The overhead barbell tricep extension is also known as the French press, and it’s a very effective isolation exercise for working all three heads of the tricep muscle. Now, there are many ways to do this exercise but barbells load the triceps with the most amount of overall resistance load.
However, dumbbells and cables are a great alternative to isolate each tricep even further. But it’s very important to warm-up the elbows with light weights before doing heavy overhead extensions to keep the tension on the triceps and not the elbows.
Beginners can benefit from the overhead barbell tricep extension but good form is a must.
In This Exercise:
- Target Muscle Group: Triceps Brachii
- Type: Strength
- Mechanics: Isolation
- Equipment: Barbell
- Difficulty: Beginner
- Grab a fixed barbell slightly narrower than a shoulder-width overhand grip, then lift it straight above your head while keeping your knees slightly bent and back straight.
- Now keep your upper arms still and slowly lower the barbell down behind your head until your hands are level with your neck.
- Then extend your arms straight up by using your triceps to move the weight.
- Repeat for the desired number of reps.
Variations & Tips
- You can use dumbbells or cables as an alternative.
- You can also perform the exercise seated.
- Do not lock out your elbows at the top of the extension.
- Start by warming up your elbows thoroughly with light weights before you train heavy because this will allow you to feel the triceps working and alleviate elbow pressure.
- The overhead barbell tricep extension works all three tricep heads.