The triceps is the biggest muscle in your arms. Your arm consists out of two thirds out of your triceps. The biceps is in comparison a rather smaller muscle. Therefore, you can’t skip direct triceps work if you want to have muscular, stronger or just firmer arms. The same goes for improving any pressing movements. The triceps plays in these movements a huge role to support the shoulders and the chest. Don’t neglect it!
Resistance bands are perfect to hit the triceps hard. I didn’t think it will be that hard and effective until I tried it. Bands are on another level compared to weights or body weight.
In this article we will show you how to perform a perfect triceps Overhead Extension with resistance bands. Also you will learn what variations there are so you can include them in your workouts. We will also cover how you can progress by adding more resistance and multiple tips we came up with by training with resistance band for years.
Triceps Overhead Extension With Resistance Band
Let’s get right into it and pump it up!
Band VS Weights & Machine
Doing your triceps Overhead Extension with a resistance band gives you many advantages over doing them with a machine or free weights.
- Follow the natural strength curve of your muscle! The resistance of a band will always increase the more you stretch it and that’s also the natural strength curve of your muscle, having the most power in the full contraction. With free weights, you often fatigue in the expanded part of your muscle without fully fatiguing the whole muscle.
Especially in the starting position we are weaker than in the finishing position. Band are perfect, since they provide less resistance at the start of the movement and maximize the resistance at the end where we are the strongest.
- Fewer Injuries & Home Workout! Recovering from an injury? Use bands! Want to build bigger and better triceps? Use bands! Since bands force you to perform the exercise with a good form simply by using them, this will provide an automatic injury prevention. Nice!
A home gym or even dumbbells need space, bands on the other hand can be stored in any drawer or in a small bag. Especially if you have little space for working out, bands are perfect.
- Versatility! With one band you can simulate a variety of resistances depending on the stretch and also use it to train your whole body.
There are also more reasons to favor resistance bands over traditional free weights or machines, like reducing the stress on your joints, getting more peak contraction, and many more. But we’re talking here about doing triceps Overhead Extension, so if you’re interested in background info about what benefits resistance bands give you in strength training and muscle building, check it out here.
How To Triceps Overhead Extension The Right Way
The set up is quite straight forwards. The easiest and most effective way to perform a triceps overhead extension is stepping on the resistance band with both feet and have the band in front of you. Now you will press the band up over your head to get in position with your arms straight over your head.
From here you will lower the band behind your head so your hand are slightly below your elbows. Now extend your arms back, so they are over your head.
Keep in mind to actively squeeze the triceps in the top position.
One important thing about this exercise is to lock your elbows in place. Only your forearms and hand will be moving. Don’t swing your elbows around. This will make it less effective.
Basically that’s the movement. Complicated? Not really. But take your time to learn the movement before increasing the resistance. This will prevent injuries and will make sure that you really work the triceps. We also collected some tips and tweaks to focus on during this exercise. We highly recommend not to skip the following section
Important Do’s & Don’ts!!!
No Slack – when you’re in the bottom position of your triceps Overhead Extension, there shouldn’t be any slack in the band. Make sure that the band is already stretched in the bottom position and doesn’t have any slack. This will ensure that the triceps are working throughout the movement.
If it is not possible for you to extend your arms completely without compromising the form you need to use a lighter resistance band (below you find tips how to increase the force with a lighter resistance band).
Neutral Neck – one of the most common mistakes is sticking your head forward. Keep your neck in a neutral position aligned with your upper body. This will ensure that you have a good form and will prevent any peak stress in your neck.
Don’t Move Your Elbows – this is another mistake with this exercise. Your elbows should stay in place right next to your head and don’t move throughout the movement. You have to actively keep your elbows right there to prevent them moving forward. This will ensure that your triceps is working and not any other muscles.
We also collected alternative ways to perform a triceps overhead extension. Make sure to check them out. This will bring variety to your training, it will also ensure that your triceps don’t get used to the movement and you will avoid stagnation in your progress.
Alternative Ways To Do Triceps Overhead Extension With Resistance Bands
Every version of a given exercise brings some advantages and some points a variation can cover better. If you have problems with the triceps Overhead Extension version as shown above (while executing it the right way), you might want to try one of the following variations.
Triceps Overhead Press From Beneath – This variation comes very close to the standard version as described above. One huge advantage is that you can adjust the resistance bid-set. Fix the band to a door anchor at feet level. Now you will bring your band above your head and perform the exercise as shown above. The great thing is: take a step forward and you will increase the resistance – take a step back and you will lower the resistance.
Triceps Overhead Extension From Above – this is the variation I love the most. The stretch in the triceps is unreal and the squeeze in the end position is simply great. Adjust the band around head level or slightly further above. Grab the band and bring the elbows next to your head. Now extend your arms in a 45-degree angle in respect to your upper body.
Uni Lateral Triceps Overhead Extension – the uni-lateral versions are great to focus on one side at a time. You can prevent or fix any imbalances in your arms and also get a great feel for the movement.
A great variation of the uni-lateral triceps overhead extension is doing it to the side. This will bring you the ability to use a stronger band and put more stress on your triceps.
The mini band version is great if you don’t have any access to the regular loop bands. Grab one end of the band behind your back and extend the other arm above your head.
We highly recommend you to get a regular loop band set and really make progress in your training. Check out our set right here!
Get Your Pump
If that doesn’t get you that pump, here are some tips that will help you work those triceps to the ground.
Shorten The Band – many people make the mistake to use a band with a resistance level that’s simply too high for the exercise. The full effect of bands results from getting the right resistance and if you use a band that’s too heavy you can’t get a clean range-of-motion and clean reps and get lower progress.
Instead of taking a stronger band simply shorten the band, you use by grabbing it further towards the fixing point and get that extra resistance without losing the ability to do clean reps.
That’s also one reason why I don’t like the resistance bands with handles attached to them and prefer the loop-style bands.
Take A Step Forward – you can adjust the resistance simply by taking a step forward or back. This will stretch the band further and add resistance or give it less stretch if you take a step back. The best thing about this tip is… You can do it mid set. Want more resistance? Take a step back! You are at the end of your set and the form starts to get ugly? Take a step forward! Easy.
Double Time – If you feel that there is only a little bit of resistance missing and a jump to the next thicker band would be too much, simply add a second one of the lighter ones. It will give just that extra resistance you’re looking for without taking it over the top.
Time Under Tension – compared to weights where you have the same force applied to any position of the movement, bands will add more resistance the further you stretch them – this will lower the time under tension your muscle has during a set in the starting position. Focus on doing the exercise controlled and try to hold it for a second or two in the fully contracted position and don’t let the band snap back but slowly go back to the starting position.
Triceps Overhead Extension are great to isolate the triceps and give you a great pump but only doing triceps Overhead Extension is not a full workout. In your arms you also have the biceps and it needs some loving too. And let’s not forget the other muscles in the upper body. Of course there is the lower body too. We offer you a full and individual workout plan to help you to reach your goals. Simply take the quiz right here and get your free workout plan with even more tips to get the best out of training with resistance bands.