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How to Use a Tricep Extension Machine: Tips, Technique, Correct Form, Benefits and Common Mistakes

Guide to using the tricep extension machine (Image via Pexels/Photo by Sinitta Leunen)
Guide to using the tricep extension machine (Image via Pexels/Photo by Sinitta Leunen)

The tricep extension machine is designed such that it allows you to isolate the muscles to work on them.

Not every gym has this machine. When you don’t have access to one, you’ll need to use other variations of the exercise using dumbbells and barbells. However, if you have access to it, it’s advised that you make it a part of your triceps routine.


Correct Form of Using Tricep Extension Machine

The machine comes with a back pad, set and arm rest. It’s important that you pay attention to all the settings before starting your exercise.

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You need to place the back pad such that when you put your arms on the front pad, your elbows align with the point from where the machine’s bars turn.

Adjust the seat to a height where your shoulders can relax and your arms form a 90-degree angle. If the settings are incorrect, your shoulders would either hunch or extend, which you want to avoid. Once you’ve perfected the settings and seating, grab the handles, and bring your arms to the pad.

To exercise, extend your arms forward, making sure your elbows and triceps do not leave the front pad. Once they're fully extended, you’ll feel a stretch on your triceps. That's an indication to bring them back towards yourself.

During this while, the idea is to keep the tension on your triceps rather than allowing it to spread to your biceps or forearms.


Tips on Using Tricep Extension Machine

Keep the following points in mind when you’re using the tricep extension machine:

Use a weight that your triceps can handle. As it’s an isolation movement, no other muscle group should help the triceps to withstand the resistance.

Do not bend your wrists inwards or outwards. Keep them straight and stable. Even if the resistance is being supported by the triceps, your wrists will take some of the pressure. So, if you keep them bent, you could end up with an injury.

It’s important to control your breathing. Inhale at the starting position, and exhale as you extend your arms. Again, inhale at the top of the motion, and exhale when you’re coming back to the starting position.


Benefits of Using Tricep Extension Machine

Tricep extensions, as mentioned earlier, can help with isolating the muscles. When you’ve done that, your triceps can work on their strength and muscle endurance without being limited by the limitations of other muscle groups.

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A strong set of triceps can help with stabilising the shoulders, which can help in other exercises, especially compound movements.

Triceps play an important role in how your overall arm looks. It’s crucial to focus on these muscles that give your arms the horse-shoe shape and are responsible for the bigger portion of your arms.


Common Mistakes While Using Tricep Extension Machine

Here are a few pointers to keep in mind when using the machine:

Do not use an extremely heavy weight. Focus on intensity over volume to boost your strength and muscle endurance.

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Keep your posture correct. This is how you’ll be able to work on your triceps rather than allowing the tension to move to another part of your arms.

Do not do half reps. The idea is to feel the stretch on your muscles. Half reps or hand range of motion stops you from achieving that.

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Edited by Bhargav
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