Targeting the Triceps
It is important to remember that, in actuality, the triceps muscle comprises a very large component of the arm, so you must not neglect your triceps work either.
The triceps muscle takes up two-thirds of your arm space, making it larger than the biceps. As the name suggests, the triceps have three (tri) heads; the long head (upper inside), the medial head (lower inside) and the lateral head (outside).
When training, the angle of your arms can change the emphasis and stress the heads differently, giving you a more complete triceps workout.
The Triceps Long Head
The long head runs down the back of the arm and is the largest of the three heads.
Recommended Exercise: Pull Overs
The long head is attached to the shoulder joint and is used during shoulder extensions, which is why pull overs are especially good.
The Triceps Lateral Head
The lateral head is located on the outside of the arm, giving a ‘horseshoe’ shape that makes your triceps stand out.
Recommended Exercise: One-Arm Reverse Pushdown
Pushdowns target all three heads of the triceps, but one-arm reverse pushdowns put particular stress on the lateral head.
The Triceps Medial Head
The medial head is positioned on the mid-line of the triceps, lying deep within the arm. Due to its position, a developed medial head will help your triceps to look thicker.
Recommended Exercise: Close-Grip Bench Press
It’s extremely difficult to isolate the medial head of the triceps, as it works in conjunction with the lateral head. However, the close-grip bench press is a great option if you’re looking to thicken up your triceps.
Note: Using a very close grip (less than 6 inches apart) places a greater amount of stress on the wrist and elbow joints, with no additional benefits to the triceps.