“TRI” is a prefix that means THREE, which is why the TRIceps muscles are named the way they are. The three different parts of your triceps are the LONG head, the MEDIAL head, and the LATERAL head. The Long head is the largest part of the triceps and runs down the back of your arm. The MEDIAL head is on the middle of the triceps, as the name suggests. The LATERAL head is on the outside of the arm, and while it is the smallest of the three, it is what helps to give that strived-for “horseshoe” shape.

Your triceps muscle is made up of THREE muscles, so it is very important that when you are training, that you hit ALL THREE of these muscles. Keep in mind, too, that your upper arm is made up mainly of your triceps muscles, NOT your biceps! So, LABRADA Nutrition fans, if you want bigger arms, make sure that you give as much of a focus to your triceps as you do your biceps, if not more!

During your triceps workout, make sure that the exercises that you perform target ALL THREE of the triceps muscles. It is frequently advised to start with the biggest head, which is the LONG head. The exercises that will focus on the lateral head include: Skullcrushers/Lying Triceps Extensions, Overhead Extension (Normal or Reverse Grip), Straight Bar Cable Pressdowns (using a narrow grip), Close-Grip Bench Press, and Dips.

Now, when you perform these exercises for the lateral head, understand that you will also hit the MEDIAL head, so there will not be a big difference between the exercises. What is most important here is making sure that you are getting the full stretch and proper range of motion as you perform all of these exercises! (Ex: Skullcrushers/Lying Triceps Extensions, Overhead Extension (Normal or Reverse Grip), Straight Bar Cable Pressdowns (or V-Bar), Close-Grip Bench Press, and Dips.

Understand, too, that as you perform your triceps exercises, from the long head down to the lateral head, all three muscles do work together, so there is not an exact format to follow. However, as you get toward the end of your workout and want to target your LATERAL head, good exercises to choose are: Rope Extensions and Kickbacks.

In wrapping up, I want to share a good tip that I was given once that really helps to target the triceps muscles as you train them. It is really simple and just involves your thumb placement. When performing exercises such as skullcrushers, overhead extensions, and pressdowns, if you move your thumb to the same side of the bar that your fingers are, you create what is called a “false grip”. This helps to put the emphasis on your triceps and takes away emphasis on your forearms.

Okay, well get moving and give this a “TRI”! Train hard, LABRADA Nutrition fans!


Stay motivated! 🙂