The rolling triceps extension is an isolation exercise that targets the triceps mainly. If one of your goals when working out is to define the muscles of the arm, then this as a must-add. The only equipment needed is a flat bench and a pair of dumbbells and you’re good to go.
This step-by-step guide will help you learn form and procedure.
- Lay down on your back on a flat bench, legs planted wide on the ground with one dumbbell held in each hand.
- Your palms should be facing each other (parallel grip), with your arms at shoulder-width distance.
- Extend the arms towards the ceiling with the wrists directly under the elbows.
- Hinge(bend) at the elbows to bring the dumbbells down to your shoulders.
- Your upper arm should form a ninety-degree angle to the bench.
- ‘Roll’ your shoulders back to bring your elbows beside your head and dumbbells to the back of your head. You should feel the stretch in your triceps.
- Squeeze the triceps as you bring the dumbbells back to your shoulders then extend your arms to the ceiling once more.
- This is one repetition. You may do ten reps for a set.
MUSCLES WORKED BY THE ROLLING TRICEPS EXTENSION
The triceps brachii, or triceps for short, is a thick three-headed muscle made up of the lateral, medial and long head. It’s found in the dorsal part of the upper arm. The triceps acts as an elbow joint extensor. Aside from this, the muscle fixates the elbow joint and helps abduct the arm.
This is a large muscle of the back adjacent to the trapezius. It is commonly known as the lats. The lats are the largest muscle of the back and are responsible for extension, adduction and rotation of the shoulder.
A muscle of the shoulder, the deltoids give the shoulder its rounded structure and connects your arm to your trunk. Its origin spans the scapula, acromion and clavicle. It is crucial for abduction and flexion of the arm.
BENEFITS OF DOING THE ROLLING TRICEPS EXTENSION
The muscles that benefit the most from this workout are the triceps. You are guaranteed to notice a significant increase in muscle as you incorporate this exercise into your regular workout. This will leave your arms looking toned and well-built like most gym-goers aim for.
STRENGTHENS THE ARMS
As the triceps and deltoids are worked by this exercise, the arms and shoulders grow stronger. This improves stability of the shoulder. Even as muscle is built in the upper arm, overall strength is increased making it easier to perform daily tasks such as lifting and pushing heavy objects. Aside from that, athletes and gym-goers find it easier to carry out work outs such as bench-presses.
Flexibility of the arm is improved thanks to this isolation exercise that targets the triceps, latissimus dorsi and deltoids. The lats are responsible for rotation of the shoulder which is made easier when the muscles are engaged in workouts such as these. This reduces risk of injury during tennis, swimming and pitching of any kind etc.
ELBOW JOINT HEALTH
The elbows are strengthened alongside other muscles. This lowers the risk of injury during weightlifting and ensures you have healthier tendons and ligaments to carry out heavy-lifting activities.
ALTERNATIVES TO THE ROLLING TRICEPS EXTENSION
SINGLE-DUMBBELL OVERHEAD TRICEPS EXTENSION
The overhead triceps extension is a variant of the rolling triceps extension. The major difference is that the motion is carried out while seated.
- Sit upright on a bench with your back straight and feet planted wider than shoulder-width.
- Extend the arms while cupping one weighted end of a dumbbell with both hands so that the other end is below your wrists, pointing to the back of the head.
- Carefully bend the elbows to bring the dumbbell down to the back of the head.
- Pause before extending the arms back to starting position. Do twelve reps for the set.
Skull crushers are a dumbbell exercise that engage the same muscles as the rolling triceps extension.
- Lie back on a bench facing the ceiling with your feet secured, holding a dumbbell in each hand (shoulder-width apart).
- Your head, shoulders, butt and lower back are your points of contact to the bench.
- Extend the arms straight until your hands are below your elbows and pause.
- Slowly bring your dumbbells to the side of the head, only hinging at the elbows, in order to form a ninety-degree angle.
- Squeeze the triceps as you extend the arms once more. This is a single rep. You can do ten for one set.
CABLE FRENCH PRESS
The cable French press is typically carried out while standing or seated on an inclined bench. It is a relatively easy work out that makes use of a cable pulley machine. Set the bar to a comfortable amount of weight before beginning the workout.
- Set your inclined bench to forty-five degrees and ensure it is pulled up in front of your pulley.
- Sit on the bench as you pull the handle of the cable from the side to the back of the head.
- Extend your arms to straighten them while squeezing the triceps.
- Bend at the elbows to bring your hands to the back of your head.
- Do not move the upper arm through this motion.
- Pause then extend your arms once more.
COMMON MISTAKES WHEN DOING THE ROLLING TRICEPS EXTENSION
EXTENDING THE ELBOWS OUTWARDS
It may seem like an easy cop out but extending the elbows outwards could lead to injury. Not only do you risk dropping the dumbbells and hitting your chest, but also tearing a muscle. You may engage the wrong muscles if your form is wrong such as the back and neck, which is sure to cause strain.
To prevent all this, keep your elbows at the same width as your hands and pointing up towards the ceiling when bringing the dumbbells to the shoulders. This ensures that the triceps are absorbing the weight instead of the elbows
USING TOO MUCH MOMENTUM
Chances are your dumbbells are too light and it is tempting to swing them rather than slowly raise and lower them. If you find your dumbbells way too easy for this workout, then gradually increase your weight. Slow controlled movements are recommended to truly reap the benefits of the rolling triceps extensions.
FAILING TO SQUEEZE THE TRICEPS
If you don’t squeeze the triceps, then you simply fail to fully engage the muscles. This is an isolation exercise so maximum attention should be paid to the triceps throughout. Squeeze the triceps as you extend the arms and as you bring the dumbbells to the back of the head.
USING VERY HEAVY WEIGHT
Using too heavy of a dumbbell is quite dangerous since you could tear your shoulder if you happen to drop it to the side. It’s also possible to accidentally hit yourself with the dumbbells if you can’t properly control their weight. Do not overestimate the strength of your triceps! They are actually quite often briefly brushed over during workouts. You’d rather do more reps using a slightly lighter weight.
The rolling triceps extension is a strength exercise which is exactly what you need if you’re looking to increase strength and tone the arms. Do not favour the biceps and look over the triceps. A good weekly workout routine engages multiple muscles to balance things out. Go on and try this today.