long head tricep exercises

Exercise Daily – Strong arms are essential for practically every upper body activity you do on a daily basis. Your triceps are often the ones that do the heavy lifting. For this reason, you need regular long head tricep exercises to keep them healthy and fit.

You use your triceps muscles every time you push anything, whether it’s an open door, a stroller, a lawnmower, or an iron barbell.

Strength is vital, and for many individuals, having toned arms is as important as having strong arms. The triceps have three distinct heads, as indicated by their name: the long head, the lateral head, and the medial head. 

The long head is the largest of the three heads. Every one of these heads contracts during triceps workouts. However, certain motions target specific regions of the triceps more intensely than others. 

The most effective method of developing strong, solid triceps is to choose workouts that target all of the muscle fibers from all directions.

The Most Effective Triceps Exercises

Triceps exercises that are more successful than others, according to the American Council on Exercise, are included below. 

The following are the top four movements in order of importance:

Diamond push-ups

This exercise works all three heads of the triceps muscle at the same time and is the most effective motion for this purpose.


Like the diamond push-up, this motion targets all three heads of the triceps, but not nearly as well as the former. This workout is also less difficult, making it potentially more user-friendly than push-ups.

Tricep extensions

When you include triceps extensions in your routine, you will have a move that focuses on the long head of the triceps muscle. It is a wonderful compliment to the other workouts. 

Tricep pushdowns

In this exercise, the emphasis is on the lateral head of your triceps.

Rather than doing all of these exercises in the same session, concentrate on selecting a mix of movements. In this way, you can target all of the various parts of the triceps and work on them all at the same time. Let’s discuss some of the long head tricep exercises:

Diamond Push-Ups

The diamond push-up is the most difficult triceps exercise on our list, yet it is also the most effective. Because it takes significant upper body strength, you may need to begin by doing this motion on your knees. Then, gradually progress to your toes.

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The Proper Way to Perform a Diamond Push-Up

  • Begin by placing the hands on the mat directly beneath the chest. Keep your fingers wide and the thumbs and forefingers touch forming a diamond shape. Holding the posture for 30 seconds.
  • Lie down on the floor with your legs straight in a plank posture, or keep your knees on the floor for a simpler variant.
  • As you bend the elbows and lower your body till your chin or chest hits the mat, make sure your back is flat and your abs are engaged. If you are unable to go so low, go as low as you are able and work on developing the strength to lower yourself all the way down over time.
  • At the bottom of the action, your elbows should be close to your sides to prevent injury.
  • Return to the starting position while maintaining a stiff torso, and continue for 1 to 3 sets of 8 to 16 repetitions.


The triceps kickback is the second most effective triceps exercise, coming in second only to diamond push-ups. They help in 88% of muscle activation.

By bending forward, you are forcing yourself to work against gravity in order to lift the weight up and down. Using your shoulder to support the upper arm while allowing the forearm to stretch behind you is essential for this maneuver to be successful. 

If you see that your elbow is sliding downward, use a smaller weight to keep your form intact. This is one of the other best long head tricep exercises you might come across.

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What to Do When You Get a Kickback?

  • Prop the right foot up on a step or a platform, resting the right forearm on the right hip to support the back, or letting the arm fall straight below the shoulder
  • Holding a weight in the left hand, raise the elbow to torso level by pulling it up
  • Keep the elbow in that posture and extend the arm behind you, keeping the triceps muscle contracted throughout the movement
  • Reverse the movement by lowering the forearm to about 90 degrees and repeat for 1–3 sets of 8–16 repetitions
  • Throughout the exercise, maintain the upper arm motionless against the body by keeping the elbow down


Triceps dips are the third most effective workout, and they may be a difficult exercise depending on how you position your feet. The knees bend in this variation, which makes the workout more manageable. The intensity of the workout will be increased if you extend your feet out more.

It is critical to maintain your hips close to the chair or bench in order to prevent hurting your shoulders while doing this maneuver. Be careful to keep your shoulders down and away from your ears throughout this exercise.

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If you have any soreness in your shoulders, you should omit it! The best ways to do these long head tricep exercises are as follows:

The Proper Way to Do Dips

  • Place your hands slightly outside your hips on a chair or bench. Keep your knees bent or your legs stretched straight out in front of you (harder).
  • Lift up onto your hands and, while maintaining your hips as near to the chair or bench as possible, bend your elbows. Lower them until they’re at around 90 degrees with the chair or bench.
  • Keep your elbows pointed backward, your shoulders down, and your abs engaged at all times.
  • Return to the starting position and repeat for 1 to 3 sets of 8 to 16 repetitions.

If you have any shoulder soreness, you should avoid doing this exercise.

Overhead Triceps Extensions

The overhead triceps extension is the fourth most effective long head triceps exercise.

Keeping the arms close to the ears while lowering the weight behind you is critical to the success of this exercise. In order to prevent your back from arching, make sure you can contract the abs.

This exercise may be performed either sitting or standing. Whether you believe it or not, sitting makes this action seem much harder. Sitting on an exercise ball adds an element of core strength to the mix of these long head tricep exercises.

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Techniques for Performing an Overhead Triceps Extension

  • Sit on a chair, bench, ball, or stool. Maintain your back as straight as possible. Holding a weight in both hands and stretching it above is a good exercise.
  • Lower the weight behind your head until the elbows are at around 90-degree angles. Keep your biceps close to your ears and your elbows facing forward as you do so.
  • Continue to straighten the arms while tightening the triceps. 
  • Then continue for 1 to 3 sets of 8 to 16 repetitions each time.
  • Maintain abdominal engagement throughout the exercise, and avoid arching the back at any point.

Rope Pushdowns

The rope pushdown, which is often performed on a cable machine with a rope attachment, comes in next. Almost 74% of muscles engage during this exercise. Ideally, the rope should be extended out at the bottom of the exercise in order to fully burn up the triceps muscle.

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The Proper Way to Perform a Rope Pushdown

  • Holding on to the rope at the knotted ends of a cable machine with a rope connection, begin the exercise with the elbows bent at about 90 degrees. Keep elbows adjacent to the body, and repeat the movement.
  • As you contract the triceps, extend the arms and bring the hands down to the floor, spreading the rope slightly out on each side as you do it on the other side.
  • Return the forearms to the starting position and continue for 1 to 3 sets of 8 to 16 repetitions.

Bar Pushdowns

The bar pushdown is comparable to the rope pushdown, although it is significantly less efficient, with an efficiency of 67%. However, it is also one of the best long head tricep exercises.

It is customary to do this exercise on a cable machine at the gym with a little bar attachment. However, it is also possible to perform this exercise at home with an exercise band and a short pole or bar threaded through the grips of the machine.

The most important thing to remember about this exercise is to maintain your elbows fixed while pushing the weight down. If you elevate the bar too high (for example, above the height of your neck), your elbows may move forward. This might make the exercise less effective and dangerous.

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How to Perform a Pushdown on a Bar

  • Position yourself in front of a cable machine, gripping onto the bar with your elbows bent to around 90 degrees.
  • As you stretch your arms, engage the triceps by contracting them while you press the bar down. Keep the elbows motionless as you do so.
  • Rep this movement until the bar is raised to around chest level without moving the elbows, then repeat for 1 to 3 sets of 8 to 16 repetitions.

Lying Triceps Extensions (Skull Crushers)

Triceps extensions done laying down (commonly known as skull crushers) are ranked seventh on the list, generating around 62 percent of muscle activation, which is somewhat remarkable.

It is possible that some exercisers may be surprised by the relatively low activation rate. This is because generally this exercise is considered the most difficult of long head tricep exercises.

The muscle activation data does not imply that you should stop doing these exercises. Rather, it suggests that you include them in a program that also contains some of the most effective activities. 

Better results and stronger triceps will result by doing a range of workouts that target various muscles at varying intensities.

How Do You Do It?

  • Holding a barbell or dumbbell with your hands approximately shoulder-distance apart, lie down on a bench, step, or the floor.
  • Using your palms facing out and your thumbs next to your fingers, begin by stretching the weight up above your head. Repeating the movement.
  • Bend the elbows and decrease the weight till the elbows are about 90 degrees from the horizontal. When doing this workout, you would not want to risk crashing your skull by diving too far below the surface of the water.
  • Triceps contractions are used to straighten the arms without causing them to lock.
  • Repeat for a total of 1 to 3 sets of 8 to 16 repetitions.

Close Grip Bench Presses

The close grip bench press ranks tenth on the list of the most effective long head tricep exercises. This helps with around 62% of the muscle being activated. This technique also incorporates a significant amount of chest effort. 

It may explain why the triceps aren’t working as hard as they are in other workouts.

That is not to say that you should refrain from participating in this workout. In fact, if you’re looking to target both the chest and the triceps in the same session. This may be a fantastic exercise.

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Making this exercise towards the end of your chest workouts will help to warm up your triceps before moving on to more focused routines.

How to Do a Close Grip Bench Press?

  • Holding a barbell with your hands approximately shoulder-width apart, lie down on a bench or stair.
  • Begin with the elbows bent and the barbell hovering just above the ribs to get the most out of the workout.
  • Lift the weight straight up over the ribs, concentrating on tightening the triceps as you do so.
  • Continue with 1 to 3 sets of 8-16 reps each time you lower the bar.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do push ups work long head tricep?

In terms of targeting the lateral head and long head triceps, triangle push-ups (sometimes referred to as diamond push-ups) are one of the most effective workouts you can do. In contrast to a regular push-up, this exercise requires the joining of the hands beneath the chest.

Do skull crushers work the long head?

While lowering the bar over your head, the long head of the triceps is largely engaged in the exercise. This is the top section of the triceps that inserts beneath your back delt. It is located above the elbow joint.

Do dips hit all three tricep heads?

Dips, in contrast to other triceps activities, impact every head of the triceps, including the long, medial, and lateral heads. It is OK to target particular heads to bring up inadequacies, but the bulk of your triceps program should emphasize large movers such as the dip and the bench press.

What does the long head of the biceps do?

The long head of the biceps has an important role in the stabilization of the humeral head in the glenoid. Therefore, it is important to try long head tricep exercises to keep their strength.

Do dips increase bench?

Dips, when performed properly, may help you gain muscular growth in your upper body. This exercise may also assist you in increasing your strength for other workouts such as bench presses.


Although all triceps workouts strengthen the long head of the muscle, paying special attention to this muscle will result in larger arms. After all, it accounts for around two-thirds of your triceps bulk, therefore it is critical that you do not overlook it.

This muscle has a purpose more than only being an important cosmetic muscle. It is also essential for shoulder stability. Increasing the strength of your triceps long head may help you perform better in the overhead and bench press movements. 

It also plays an important role in pulling workouts such as chin-ups and T-bar rows, among other things. If you have tried any of these exercises, feel free to share them in the comments section below.