How to build the long head of the tricep: overhead rope tricep extension

The best way to make your triceps bigger is to develop/grow the long head of the tricep. That’s the head that gives your tricep that mass on the backside. It stands out the most remarkable during the side tricep pose, with beautiful synergy with the lateral head of the tricep on the double back bicep pose. Without that head, your tricep looks flat.

A well-developed lateral head with striations can never make up for a lack of the long head of the tricep. Although there are a few compound exercises that work the long head, such as dips and close grip bench press, only the rope overhead tricep extension truly isolates and develops the long head of the tricep maximally. This exercise also gives the most stretch on the tricep as a whole.


How to do it

For this exercise you’ll need a cable apparatus, as this will ensure a much greater tension on the muscle than barbells or dumbbells. Set the cable to the top position and turn your back to the machine. Next bend over and rest your chest on your knee with your back leg stretched out behind you. From this position, the cable should go up at a 45⁰ angle behind you.


Next, have the rope go back as far as possible behind your head for a full muscle stretch. Then contract your triceps maximally and squeeze tightly as your arms go into the fully extended position. Always keep your elbows next to your head, pointing downwards, and don’t let them flare out to the sides. Return to the starting position. Really try to stretch your triceps when the rope goes behind your head.

Do the concentric phase for 1-2 seconds, squeeze for 1 second and return for 1-2 seconds. Never rush the exercise, but do it slowly and constantly feel the tension and the burn on the muscle. Never just try to complete the movement, but rather take a lighter weight so that you can focus maximally on the movement and the muscle being worked.

While you do the exercise, visualize where you want this exercise to work and what muscle it must bring out. Always keep that image in your head.

Do 12 reps on this exercise. Never cheat. If you can’t get 12 with proper form, drop the weight a bit so you can get 12 reps with perfect form. Rest no longer than 60 seconds between sets.

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Published by Hans Amato

Hi, I'm Hans and I'm a physique, strength and nutrition specialist/coach. My passion is building the best physique naturally (both functional and super strong) and enabling others to achieve their dream physique and health goals as well. Nothing is impossible if you set your mind and heart to it - not even you're "genetic limit" will be able to stop you then.

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