Can you name the exercise that boasts the gritty nickname “skull crusher” but is simultaneously known by the elegant name “French extension”?
If you guessed Lying Triceps Extensions, you’re right! This versatile strength training move is adored by everyone from powerlifters to soccer moms because it stimulates and engages the entirety if the triceps muscle group better than any move in a lifter’s repertoire.
What Are Lying Triceps Extensions?
Lying Triceps Extensions are a basic weightlifting movement suitable for beginners, though they are also used by powerlifters for hypertrophy; that is, increased muscle volume. They involve the use of a weight bench and dumbbells of varying weights, though sometimes a barbell may also be used.
A History In Brief
Lying Triceps Extensions are generally attributed to Joe Weider, who is commonly thought to be the father figure of modern weightlifting and bodybuilding.
Understanding Lying Triceps Extensions
Lying Triceps Extensions are a single-joint exercise to build arm strength.
For beginners, it is a useful stand-alone lift for building base strength. For more advanced weightlifters, it is known as an accessory movement, designed to strengthen the triceps and increase muscle volume while also helping to guard against injury.
How To Prepare For This Lift
You will need to use a weight bench and dumbbells for this exercise. Choose a weight that you are comfortable with, so that you can more easily learn proper form.
When performing Lying Triceps Extensions, it is better to do more repetitions with less weight than to up your weight, because choosing dumbbells that are too heavy will make it hard to maintain form, which can lead to serious elbow injuries.
The Details: Performing Perfect Lying Triceps Extensions
Start by lying flat on your back on the bench, with your two dumbbells in front of you. Fully extend your arms, with palms facing downward and your elbows tucked in. It’s important to fight the natural flaring tendency of your elbows in order to avoid injury. This will be your starting position.
- Inhale, then slowly lower the weights until your dumbbells are close to your temples. Keep your upper arms still during this movement.
- Continue to keep your elbows in, then engage your triceps muscles to lift the weight up to starting position. Exhale during this movement.
- Repeat for your desired amount of reps.
Benefits Of Lying Triceps Extensions
This lift specifically builds strength and muscle size in the triceps. For beginners, it’s also a great way to practice learning proper form for weight training exercises.
Variations and Modifications
There are three notably popular variations of Lying Triceps Extensions:
- Cable Lying Triceps Extension – Intermediate Level
- Cable Overhead Triceps Extension – Intermediate Level
- EZ-Bar Overhead Triceps Extension – For Strength-Building
Each of these three versions, as well as the traditional version of Lying Triceps Extensions, can be modified by using either an incline bench or a decline bench.
Lying Triceps Extensions are one of the most versatile strength training exercises in a lifter’s regimen. Not only can they be used for beginner and advanced strength training, but the multiple modifications and variations make them adaptable to a multitude of fitness goals.