Arm Exercises

Over The Top - Cable Overhead Triceps Extensions

A simple tweak to an old standby can get your triceps growing again.

Over The Top - Cable Overhead Triceps Extensions

Question: I never seem to feel my triceps working much when doing dumbbell overhead triceps extensions. Do you have any tips that may help? - S. Choi. Ridge, NY

Answer: It is hard for many guys to feel their triceps working during free-weight exercises like lying or overhead triceps extensions. That’s because in the top position, the weight is no longer providing resistance. A good remedy is to try the cable overhead triceps extension, which provides continuous tension on the triceps, even in the finish position. Most guys use a rope attachment from the top pulley, leaning forward and doing their overhead triceps extensions from there.


This isn’t wrong, but it doesn’t maximize the stretch placed on the triceps. Try doing the exercise my way: Attach the rope to an adjustable pulley, such as in a cable-crossover station, and set the pulley below shoulder height. Then, when you perform overhead extensions, your arms are straight up with your elbows pointing toward the ceiling; the stretch on the triceps is maximized, as is the tension in the finish position.


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