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Here’s how to Protect your Joints doing Triceps Extensions

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 The triceps muscle is one of nature’s overlooked miracles when looking at the human body. The triceps is a muscle located on the back of the upper arm that extends in a twist around the outside of the arm. It is called the triceps because of the fact that it has three “heads” or connection points that provide it with a variety of different movement abilities.

If it were not for the triceps our upper arm motion would be very limited. Triceps Extensions are a great way to keep this invaluable muscle strength and health, however, when done incorrectly this exercise can put added stress and strain on the shoulder, elbow, and neck regions. Here are a few tips to keep your joints healthy while maintaining healthy triceps.


When getting into position to do triceps extensions, it is best for beginners to be on all fours. Aim your shoulders at the floor as you bend whichever arm will be performing the exercise movements at the elbow bringing your elbow up and back so that it is positioned at a 45-degree angle above the back. Your shoulder and elbow should remain

stationary in these positions as the exercise movements are completed. All movements will extend and retract from the bending of the elbow and should be done in a slow controlled movement.

Exercise 1

Hold the appropriate size weight in your hand with the palm facing your rib cage, then gradually move your lower arm in a slow sweeping pattern remembering to keep your shoulder and elbow position stabilized without moving them. Do approximately ten repetitions per side per set, and do one to three sets per side.

Exercise 2

Remaining in the same position as before, rotate the lower arm so that the palm is now facing the floor; as you bend at the elbow while performing the exercise movement you should see your palm facing your face. Continue to do the extension and retraction motions in a slow controlled movement about ten times per side.

Exercise 3

For this movement the palm should be facing back and as the lower arm lifts be facing the ceiling. Retracting back to the bent elbow position on this exercise can be challenging due to the muscle structure so take it slow to engage the correct muscles while protecting your elbow and shoulder joints.

Something to keep in mind while performing these exercises is the amount of weight you choose. These exercises are not about seeing how much weight you can lift in these awkward positions. They are about form, control, and repetition. If you find that your movements are clunky or being performed in a fast momentum form, then you need to choose a

lighter weight. At certain points in your workout regimen, you may feel like you fall between weight classes, the lighter feeling too light and the heavier feeling too heavy. 

In this case, choose the lighter weight and add another set of repetitions for each exercise. Your joints will thank you in the long run, and you will get a much more productive workout.

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