Fitness Magazine

Seated Tricep Press: How to Perform It Successfully

By Kenin Bassart @Constantramble

Want to develop “guns” for your arms? Then seated Tricep press is the best workout for you. Most importantly, strong Tricep can assist in pushing and pulling movement using your arms. However, do you know that most workout lovers give little attention to Tricep muscle? In fact, seated Tricep press is an afterthought exercise done after another routine workout to most people. The Tricep are among the most important muscles in your body. If you have weak Tricep, then your chest, lats and shoulders can’t train or function properly. As a result, the weak ones will end up doing much of the work supposed to be done by these parts of your body.

Underdeveloped Tricep can also halt workout progress. And hey! Use priority principle in all your workouts. I mean work the body parts that require utmost attention first then move on to the others. That way, you will have the strength needed to train other body muscles. Furthermore, avoid falling into this trap of doing the opposite.  Do you think seated dumbbell Tricep press is a hard workout to execute? I don’t think so. Let’s find out.

How to do it

Step 1

Begin by sitting on the machine’s short bench and place your feet on the floor. Lean straight on the back support.

Step 2

Hold a dumbbell with your two hands overhead and keep your palms facing inwards. If you find some difficulties holding it, ask someone to pull it down for you. Let the resistance rest on your palms and ensure the thumbs are around it.

Step 3

Extend your arms as you put the dumbbell overhead.

Step 4

Keep your upper arms near your head and at 90 degrees pointing the floor.

Step 5

Then pull the resistance behind your head in a semi-circular motion. Continue lowering it until the arm touches your biceps. The upper arm should maintain a stationary position. Ensure that only your forearms move.

Step 6

Hold on for a while, say, a few seconds.

Step 7

Inhale as you execute the above steps.

Step 8

Let the Tricep stretch. Raise the dumbbell as you breathe out and return to the starting point.

Step 9

Repeat this process for the recommended number of times.

3 Alternatives to Seated Tricep Press

There are many other options to seated Tricep press you can perform and get the same results. The advantage of trying them all is because we all have varying preferences when it comes to exercises. Besides, probably the gyms in your local area don’t have a seated Tricep press machine but has other facilities that can provide you with the same result. To avoid missing this essential activity, go for the available alternative as discussed below.

Cable Rope Overhead Tricep Extension

Seated Tricep Press: How to Perform It Successfully

  • Step 1

Using a pulley machine, attach a rope on its bottom.

  • Step 2

Hold the rope with your hands. With both your hands above your head and the palms parallel facing each other, stretch your arms.  Put your elbow near your head. The arms should be 90 degrees to the floor and the knuckles pointing the ceiling. This is your beginning point.

  • Step 3

As your upper arm remains stationary, lower the rope. Breathe in, while performing the movement and stop when the Tricep become fully stretched.

  • Step 4

Then breathe out, bend your Tricep and return to your beginning point.

  • Step 5

Repeat the process for the number of times recommended.

Incline Barbell Tricep Extension

Seated Tricep Press: How to Perform It Successfully

  • Step 1

Grasp a barbell with palms down or overhead grip less than shoulder-width closer.

  • Step 2

Set an angle of between 45-75 degrees on a bench and lie back.

  • Step 3

Pull the bar overhead and your arms remain stretched in line with the torso. Mark it as your starting point.

  • Step 4

In a semi-circular motion, lower the bar until your forearms touch your biceps. Breathe in as you perform the movement. Also, let your arms remain stationary and near your head. The forearms should be the only ones making a move.

  • Step 5

Breathe out as you go back to the starting point and as your Tricep contracts. Hold it for say, a second or two.

  • Step 6

Repeat the process for a few more times as recommended by your instructor.

Standing Dumbbell Tricep Extension

Seated Tricep Press: How to Perform It Successfully

  • Step 1

Hold a dumbbell with your two hands and stand up. Put your feet at a distance of a shoulder-width apart. Grab the dumbbell with your hands. Lift it above your head until you fully stretch your arms.

  • Step 2

Put the resistance in your palms, and your thumbs should be around it. Let your palms face the ceiling. Consider it your starting point.

  • Step 3

Now bring down the resistance in a semi-circular motion as you place your upper arms near your head and your elbows 90 degrees to the floor. Do it until your arms touch the biceps. However, the upper arm should stay motionless. Only the forearms should make the movements. Inhale as you perform these steps.

  • Step 4

Use the Tricep to put up the dumbbell as you return to the starting point. Exhale as you do this step.

  • Step 5

Repeat this process for the number of times recommended.

Tips for Training Your Triceps

There are rules, tactics and techniques attached to every exercise and seated Tricep press is no exception. In fact, same applies to all Tricep alternative workout. Therefore as you workout at the gyms consider using them for better results.

Plan your Workout before Going to the Gym

Most workout darlings go with a list of exercises to perform at the gym each day or every time they have it on their schedule.  But do they care about the priority of these exercises? Unfortunately no! In fact, most do them interchangeably. For example, if the last time you began with squatting, then this time you decide to start with press ups.

Maybe you have reaped a few benefits from this arrangement but do you know you can get better results if you knew how to prioritize? For example, if you would begin by training your Tricep and biceps, then your arms would use more energy to help work out the chest, lats and the shoulders. Moreover, if your second priority would be your leg muscles such as glutes, hamstrings, and quads as well as the knees and ankles, then you would enjoy all other exercises.

Now you know why you feel exhausted after a few exercises while some other people spend many hours in the gym and look energized after that. Don’t you? Putting your priorities right is the secret.

Train with Absolute Intensity

You don’t want to pay the gym several visits and remain the way you started or with minimal results, do you? The secret is in intensity. Muscles especially the Tricep don’t understand the language of casual or light training. Moreover, they only respond to intensity. Include heavy lifting in your workout. Light exercise will leave you with tiny arms you’ll not be proud to show.

Techniques for High-Intensity Training

Seated Tricep Press: How to Perform It Successfully
It takes a lot of energy to build muscles, and you can be sure this is the last priority of your body. Therefore, the first resistance to your bodybuilding endeavor is your body. Don’t load it with hefty weight from the beginning. Start with minimal load and increase with time until it can withstand extremely strenuous exercise. As a result, every time you increase the pressure, your body will adjust to ensure that it manages more weight the next time.

Some people think that they can walk in the gym, pick some weight and have their body work out the rest. That’s entirely NOT TRUE!

The painful truth is that you have to force your body to produce the desired results through heavy lifting. That’s the only option. Next time you see a person with well-built biceps and Tricep (arm guns) know he has worked on them big time!

How to Know Whether you are Using the Right Intensity

There are high chances that your body will withstand more weight every time you walk into the gym. But too much of everything can be poisonous. So the question is, how much is too much intensity? Different people have different levels of energy. Actually, only you can know the amount of intensity to consider too much. In addition, you will definitely feel that such intensity is the maximum you can carry. Then work with it until you get the results. If you don’t attain the desired effect after some time, then the intensity is still not enough.

Seated Tricep Press down Machine

Working your Tricep without engaging the biceps may lead to injury as a result of muscle imbalance. Moreover, your arms can’t attain the energy level needed to help in other workouts. Building those big arms requires that you train both the biceps and the Tricep. But again it depends on your ability and goals. Seated Tricep press down machine also known as dips, helps to strengthen your Tricep muscles as well as the chest and shoulder muscles.

Unlike the seated Tricep press, dips are done away from a bench. They are not difficult to execute as illustrated below.

Step 1

Sit in an upright state on the bench and put your hands on the machine bars. Your fingers should face your buttocks.

Step 2

Bend slightly forward such that your elbows are past your back and the knees are slightly bent.

Step 3

Put your legs near the bench or far away if you want to increase intensity.

Step 4

When your arms are 90 degrees to the floor, press those of the machine down. All this time your trunk should be bent forward and chest up.

Step 5

Bend your elbows back as you return to the starting position and repeat the process.

Standing Tricep press down machine

There are two types of Tricep press down machine; the standing and the seated. Let’s now look at the standing type.

Step 1

Stay behind a cable machine that has a rope attached to it.

Step 2

Grab the rope with an overhand grip. Let your elbows stay to your body’s sides.

Step 3

Lower the rope or bar down by stretching and bending your elbows. You should lower it to your hip level.

Step 4

Slowly release the rope as you return to the starting point.

Step 5

Repeat the process.

Pros and Cons of Seated Tricep Press

If you want to develop larger upper arms commonly known as “building guns,” you need to train both your Tricep and biceps. But most people ask, “What are the cons and pros of isolation training of the upper arm muscles?” Let’s find out.

Pros of Seated Tricep Press

In seated Tricep press, less energy is lost on the stabilizers because some of the work of these muscles is done as you sit. In addition, there is more neural energy for elbow flexors. Moreover, the arms can lift more weight when you’re seated than when standing. As a result, the exercise can bring better-desired result and building of large arms becomes easier than with some of the alternative.

Cons to  Seated Tricep Press

  • Limitations of arm Development

For you to have those large arms you’re looking for; your whole body requires to get developed. Training the biceps and Tricep won’t help, and the chances are that your entire work will be in vain. Ever seen a person with a 30-inch arm, yet has thin legs and a small back. Definitely no! Why? Because, for you to develop large arms, all other muscles of your body have to be intensely trained.

  • Decreased Radiation Effects

Squatting and other muscle training can increase your arm size due to the radiation effect. On the same note, specialists will advise that you train the non-injured leg to improve the fractured one. Why? Because of the hormonal and neural changes. The more intense the exercise, the more the radiation effect. They help build the less worked areas such as the arms. On the contrary, the muscle mass of the biceps and the tricep is far less and cannot have the same radiation effect to other parts as squats have on the arms.

Take Away

Seated Tricep press is an essential part of your workout. Do not neglect it! However, for better results ensure that you integrate other exercises. As seen above, if you want to produce your desired results begin your workout with Tricep before moving on to other exercises. If for some reasons you feel uncomfortable with seated Tricep press, choose an alternative rather than boycotting this vital workout.


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