You’re certainly familiar with a number of triceps exercises.
But do you know which exercises are more effective at targeting specific heads of the tricep, such as the lateral head?
Or how you may modify an exercise to stress one of the tricep heads specifically?
In order to assist you expand the size of your arms while also strengthening your bench press, overhead press, dips, and other pressing activities, there is a large variety of lateral head tricep exercises available.
Many people, however, train tricep exercises under the mistaken belief that they are targeting the lateral head.
While in fact, they are engaging other sections of the tricep (medial or long head), or worse, compensating with the back delts or lats (or both).
I’ve developed a list of exercises that you can incorporate into your workouts to avoid targeting other muscle groups when your goal is to isolate the lateral head.
You can find the list below for bigger triceps.
Which of these triceps heads is the largest?
The triceps is distinguished by its long head.
In comparison to the other two triceps heads, the long head of the triceps is the largest and contributes the greatest amount to the overall size of your triceps.
If you want to bulk up your arms, it’s a good idea to add workouts that focus the long head in your training regimen to maximize results.
Anatomy Of The Tricep Muscle
Three-headed muscle that is placed on the back side of the upper arm is known as the triceps brachii, or triceps brachii informally.
In fact, this muscle accounts for 60-70 percent of your upper arm bulk (move over, biceps).
It is a biarticular muscle, which implies that it has two joints where it works.
The elbow and the shoulder are the two joints in question.
When it comes to the three tricep “heads,” this merely indicates that the muscle has three different attachment places on the biceps.
All three heads, on the other hand, span the back of the upper arm, entering into a common tendon on the ulna at the same time.
The long head, medial head, and lateral head are the three heads that make up the skull.
Unlike the medial and lateral heads, the long head has an attachment point on the scapula, whereas the medial and lateral heads have attachment points on the humerus (upper arm bone).
The attachment point of the lateral head on the humerus is higher up on the humerus than the attachment point of the medial heads.
To return to the point about the muscle being a biarticular muscle, which means that it has the ability to work on two joints at the same time.
It is only a biarticular muscle because the attachment of the long head spans the shoulder joint, resulting in it only being a biarticular muscle.
The medial and lateral heads have only one joint of action: the elbow.
Taking notice of this key component of the tricep brachii will assist you in better understanding the function of the tricep as a whole and how the distinct heads are highlighted during specific tricep workout.
All three heads of the muscle act together to perform the fundamental function of the muscle, which is extension above the elbow.
Likewise, because it has an effect on both the shoulder and the triceps, the long head of the triceps will aid in actions that include shoulder adduction and extension.
Also, it contributes to the stabilization of the shoulder joint.
The Purpose Of Lateral Head Tricep Exercises
The purpose of training the Lateral Head of the Triceps is to increase its size and strength.
When it comes to the lateral head of the triceps, a well-rounded selection of workouts will help you improve your overall performance in the gym as well as your overall health and well-being in general.
You might be wondering, what exactly is the lateral head of the tricep responsible for.
The lateral head of the triceps is responsible for the extension of the forearm at the elbow joint, and it is located on the outside of the forearm.
Identifying and Targeting the Lateral Head Tricep
It is common for elbow extension to occur during overhead workouts (such as the overhead press or jerk), as well as in pressing actions in general (bench press, dips, tricep pressdown).
The common thread running across all of these workouts is that they all involve ‘elbow extension.’
As a result, any exercise that causes the elbow to be extended has the potential to target the lateral head of the tricep.
What Role Does the Lateral Head Tricep Play in Athletic Performance?
This exercise’s last phase is accomplished through the use of the lateral head of the triceps muscle.
A powerful lateral head can help you build a strong bench press, which is particularly important when your lockout is lacking.
Movements that demand lateral head tricep strength as well as the jerk, push press, and overhead press are included in this category.
Again, the majority of the time is spent in the lockout phase.
As a result, while the lateral head is rarely the primary mover in compound exercises, if it is weak, you will likely be unable to complete the full range of motion in motions that involve elbow extension.
The Best Lateral Head Tricep Exercises
While all triceps exercises engage your lateral head (as well as your medial and long heads), some are more effective than others at targeting this head specifically.
The exercises listed here are the most effective lateral head tricep workout available.
They are based on the training variables that we covered before in this article.
For those looking for new ways to work out their outer (lateral) head triceps while also adding something new to their fitness routine.
These various exercises can help you understand the significance of this muscle group and how it contributes to increasing your arm growth and overall physique.
There’s little doubt that these best triceps exercise will overwork your lateral head.
1. Triceps Pushdown
Tricep pushdown are one of the most common triceps workout, but did you know that it is also beneficial for the lateral head of the triceps?
Keeping in mind that your elbows should be at your sides when performing this exercise, the triceps pushdowns is an excellent choice.
Using the proper connection and grip position can help you achieve your aim of increasing your strength while also increasing the size of your lateral head tricep.
The rope, a straight bar, and a v-bar are the finest attachments for hitting the lateral head during tricep pushdowns.
The lateral head is best served by a thin grip, which you will (or will want to have) with all three.
Tricep pushdowns are an excellent exercise for the outer triceps as well as the inner triceps.
It’s beneficial to switch up your angles every now and then to stress the muscle in a different way.
2. Tricep Kickback
Triceps kickback are another another excellent exercise for strengthening your lateral head muscles.
Depending on the variations, it may potentially require you to use your long head as well (there are many ways to do a tricep kickback).
For the lateral head, the bent over position with a cable pulley or dumbbell is the most effective position to use. It has been demonstrated that this increases lateral head activity.
Consequently, if you want to target the lateral head, perform bent over cable or dumbbell tricep kickbacks, as seen in the illustration.
3. The Extensions Of Cable Crossbody Concentration
Tricep concentration curls are probably familiar to you, but did you realize that tricep concentration extensions are also available?
In order to complete this exercise, you will need either a cable machine or a 41″ loop resistance band.
Keeping your elbow trapped against your inner thigh is the goal here, and having the cable (or band) come from the opposing side is the secondary goal.
To put it another way, you are extending your arm in a diagonal fashion from the opposite side of the working arm to this position.
This will allow you to focus your attention entirely on the lateral head.
5. Bench Dip
Using only your bodyweight, perform this lateral head triceps workout to strengthen and tone your upper triceps.
Tricep dips (parallel handles with the body hung in the air) are the next exercise on this list, and it is especially beneficial for individuals who are new to strength training and want to build up their strength so that they can perform them effortlessly.
6. Tricep Dips
While parallel bar lifts are often used to work the pecs, they may also be used to enhance the mass in the triceps, and more specifically the lateral head, if your body is properly aligned throughout the exercise.
By the way, dip machines are available at virtually every gym.
Ideally, you want to dip with your back straight to emphasize your triceps and lateral head.
To do this, you should position yourself so that you are dipping while keeping your back straight (for chest you want to lean forward).
If you don’t have the strength to perform this exercise, you can just focus on bench dips, which are not exactly the same as the previous exercise.
For those who lack the necessary strength, a 41-inch loop resistance band can be used to aid you by looping it around the handles and then placing your knees on top of it.
The greater the width of the band, the greater the amount of assistance it will provide.
You can simply use the support platform that is included with the majority of dip machines in fitness centers.
As your skill level increases, you will be able to require less and less weight assistance, which is controlled by the weight stack pin system located towards the bottom of the machine.
You will eventually be able to perform tricep dips on your own without help.
When you’re able to do more high reps for numerous sets, it’s time to step it up a notch in terms of intensity.
All you need is a dip belt to accomplish this.
With this, you can attach plates to the belt and then dip while adding weight to the belt.
Another approach is to just hold on to weights with your feet crossed and have someone place the dumbbell in the crease between your two calves as a makeshift alternative to using your hands.
7. Bodyweight Exercise
If you are looking for a simple yet efficient workout that will target your lateral head tricep, diamond push-ups are one of the most effective options available today.
And because this workout does not require any equipment, it is accessible to everybody, whether they are working out at home or in a gym setting.
If you have problems with your shoulder joint, you can spread your hands a little bit and use a close grip instead of spreading your hands.
Both of these exercises are beneficial for the lateral head.
7. Bench Press Decline
Whatever your fitness goals are, whether you want to become a bodybuilder or simply want to increase the size of your triceps, the close grip bench press is one of the most effective workouts you can do.
This is a pure bulk builder in every sense of the word.
The fact that it includes larger weight and higher energy levels means that you should begin your exercises with this one.
Specifically, when it comes to the triceps, while the close grip bench press is a great all-around triceps exercise, it can be performed in a way that accentuates the lateral head more effectively.
The decline bench press is a terrific way to change emphasis away from your long head, which is what the close grip bench press is great for.
The decline bench will provide a more effective target for the lateral head.
8. Skull Crushers
If you’re looking for a tried-and-true tricep exercise for shoulder flexion, look no further than EZ bar or barbell skull crushers to get the job done.
For lateral specific training, on the other hand, use dumbbells and hold them in your hands with your palms facing in.
Furthermore, to provide even more control in the “hands” of the lateral heads, utilize a decline bench set at around -15 degrees.
9. Extensions Of Cable Overhead With Rope Attachment
However, you may make it more long-lateral head focused by utilizing a narrow grasp on the rope extension instead of a wide grip on the overhead tricep extension (since the long head is stretched because of the attachment point on the shoulder).
You’ll be striking both the lateral and long heads at the same time, which will be really effective for muscle activation and muscle fibers.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Diamond push-ups: This exercise works all three heads of the triceps muscle at the same time and is the most effective move for this purpose.
Kickbacks: Like the diamond push-up, this move targets all three heads of the triceps, albeit not quite as effectively as the latter.
This workout is also less difficult, making it potentially more user-friendly than push-ups.
Dips, in contrast to other triceps activities, hit every head of the triceps, including the long, medial, and lateral heads.
But if you want to concentrate most of your efforts on your triceps, there are several guidelines you should follow:
Maintain as much uprightness (verticality) as feasible in the body.
In terms of triceps stretching, the kickbacks are ineffective.
Kickbacks, because of the location of the elbow (which is in line with your body), accentuate the contraction of the triceps and are entirely ineffective when attempting to stretch them against resistance.