Seated Tricep Press

Seated Tricep Press: the most effective exercise? How to save elbows from injury?

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Is seated tricep press the most effective exercise for triceps training? Or is it better to concentrate on more basic, multi-joint exercises such as close-grip bench press or parallel bars? Today I will answer these questions, we will talk about how to avoid the injuries that are fraught with seated tricep press, and some technique secrets will be revealed, which no one else will tell you.

The problem of triceps is that in more than 50% of exercises, the weight when performing basic exercises is taken by non-target muscles.


In the close-grip bench, athletes often complain that the exercise work the front deltas, pectoral muscles, anything but the triceps. Also, on the bars, no matter how you perform this exercise, the chest and shoulders devour almost the entire weight and the muscles do not receive needed mechanical stress.

I remind you that according to a study by the American scientist Chris Beardsley, it is mechanical stress that is the main factor in muscle growth. Therefore, if the target muscle does not receive a strictly defined mechanical impulse, we should not even dream of strong and developed triceps.

At the beginning of my training path, I read that triceps is well loaded in all basic exercises, including in the bench press. Therefore, I did not worry about my triceps, focusing on the bench press and parallel bars.

Imagine my disappointment when I realized that my hands did not grow from an indirect weight! From the pull-ups, only my back grew, and from the bench press only the chest! Biceps and triceps did not grow a millimeter, hands as were 30 and a few centimeters, remained. Then I “mastered” the two most effective exercises for the arms: standing barbell curl and the seated tricep press.

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Biceps and triceps began to grow, and I managed to increase my arms by 12 cm in circumference in just one year! Of course, we are talking about natural bodybuilding, I started performing professionally much later.

A few years later, I reached 70 pounds in the seated tricep press, and both of my elbows began to hurt terribly! The pain was so bad that I could no longer perform seated tricep press, even with a 20 kg bar! Recovery took almost a year, and all this period I could only train triceps with basic exercises. As a result, there was a slight “pullback” in the development of this muscle.

This does not mean that it is precisely the weight of 70 kg. For someone it will be 50 or 80 kg, you need to use the principle of an individual approach. However, these problems can be completely avoided by reconsidering your attitude to the exercise and using the tips below.

Seated tricep press technique

You can perform in any position, right and left hand in turn or at the same time grab a dumbbell with both hands. Sitting position is considered by sports doctors more sparing.

In order not to cause injuries, properly pump muscles and evenly redistribute the load on them barbell tricep press, you need to do everything with a straight back! In other words, posture control should always be present.

The dumbbell should first be raised and held for several seconds in an outstretched arm. Then lower the shell behind the head so that the elbow is “looking” up. Hold your hand in this position, feel muscle tension (not pain!).

READ  Effective deltoid exercises – basic and isolated overhead press

Useful tips for seated tricep extension

  • Performing this exercise lying on the floor, you can take the bar yourself and you will not need the help of a partner.
  • The Seated tricep press with dumbbells may seem better for your elbows, but in my opinion this is a less effective and more dangerous exercise.
  • Do Seated tricep press while lying on a step platform, then the bar will not touch the weight plates on the floor, but it will be most convenient for you to perform the exercise.
  • Lower the bar not to the forehead, but to the crown of the head.
  • Take your arms back before the start of the exercise, and keep them allotted all the time, so your triceps will not lose weight when the bar is at the highest point of movement

  • Make 3 sets in extension of arms on the upper block for 8-10 reps. Then begin to perform Seated tricep press.
  • Unlike other strength exercises, where progress is maximized with 6-8 repetitions, do about 10-12 repetitions in the Seated tricep press, thereby reducing weight and injuries.
  • The Seated tricep press is more effective when working with a curved bar with a close-grip.
  • The Seated tricep press is the most traumatic when you do it standing or sitting. Less dangerous option is on an incline bench. The most sparing options for the Seated tricep press, head down on a backward inclined bench, or on a horizontal bench.


French bench press with 1 or 2 dumbbells sitting, another good option of the French bench press, you can use it for a change.

Seated tricep press with 1 or 2 dumbbells is another good option you can use for a change.

Seated overhead tricep extension: how to do it right

  1. Lie on a horizontal bench for the Seated tricep press or on a regular bench.
  2. Remove the bar from the racks or take it from the hands of a partner
  3. Bend your arms holding the bar to the forehead or to the crown (depending on the style)
  4. Extend your arms fully. In the classic version, the vulture will stop above the forehead, in the improved version the arms are laid back, the vulture is slightly behind your forehead.
  5. Bend your arms slowly and inhale, unbend with a powerful movement on the exhale.
READ  Close-grip barbell press is the best exercise for building powerful triceps. How to do lying tricep press in the gym and at home?