Sometimes we approach a full scale arm workout and will easily jump right into a heavy movement without realizing what we are truly working, especially with our triceps. Triceps, to me, are the most crucial part of the arm. They assist in compound pressing movements when we are hitting that lock-out point. Also, the tricep tendon is usually the most common area for elbow tendinitis. Let’s better understand the triceps by breaking each area down .
The medial head of the triceps, also known as the brachii, is one the smaller of the three but still holds great importance. It helps with extension of the arm as well as with movements that involve a closer grip pressing motion. Also, a reverse hand position in extension will recruit more from this particular muscle.
The long head and the largest tricep muscle is our strongest elbow extensor. It is involved in every aspect, and has such a large attachment that it even inserts into our scapula, which is more commonly known as the shoulder blade. This is one muscle we have a tendency to not stretch as well which will restrict a complete extension of our elbows .
The last but not by any stretch (get it?) the least significant is our lateral head. This area is seen more visibly in the average gym goer mainly because of its position and insertion. Due to its location along the area of the tricep tendon, the lateral head is where we usually see tendinitis issues flair up mainly because of heavy presses with lockouts or compound movements involving extension of the elbow.
In this area, it is important to always focus on proper warm up techniques which I would even suggest using the bands as shown in the Performaxlabs series. Utilizing the band allows constant tension, but also allows both the tricep tendon and the triceps to properly warm up and become richly saturated with blood.
The involvement of all parts of the tricep are necessary for better function of elbow extension. The best way to approach it is to always take the proper care in preparing the tricep tendon for weight loading. Be sure to acclimate each set to be sure your tendon is stable and the triceps are fully ready to work.