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How To Do The Overhead Tricep Extension Cable Exercise The Right Way

 Written by 

Jordyn Snyder

 Last updated on 

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If you’re looking for an intense upper body workout on a pulley machine, you’ve come to the right place. Overhead tricep extension cable exercises are an effective exercise for muscle growth and are really one of the best triceps exercises to see a true difference in muscle building. If you struggle with muscle growth issues, focusing on a single muscle at a time like the triceps can be a great idea to get over any performance or training hurdles and assist with injury prevention. 

With that said, let’s dive in deeper into how to perform the overhead tricep extension cable pull and exactly how you can benefit from it.

A woman doing an overhead tricep extension cable exercise
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Muscles Worked During the Overhead Tricep Extension

Obviously, the primary muscle group worked is your triceps brachii. Although, a variety of secondary muscle groups include biceps, forearms, lats, abs (rectus abdominis), obliques, and trapezius.

Benefits Of The Overhead Tricep Extension Cable Exercise

The overhead cable tricep extension has so many benefits no matter your training goals and we’ve listed the top three right here.

Muscle Size

The triceps muscle covers most of the arm, therefore if you’re looking to increase your arm size, then the cable overhead tricep extension is going to be your best friend in the gym. Overall, one of the most effective ways to build your muscle mass is with overhead triceps isolation movements.

Increased Strength

Aesthetic goals are important, but increasing your strength can help aid in heavy bench pressing and overhead lifts. This means you’re able to lift more and be able to overcome some upper-body plateaus

Elbow Stability

Strengthening your tricep muscles is a fantastic way to assist with stability around your elbow joint to help prevent injury and build functional strength. Overhead cable tricep extensions are the best for adding stability during elbow flexion and can help with joint health. I can also help with getting a better range of motion for achieving more intense lifting challenges and assists with avoiding shoulder regions and elbow injury, especially if you have poor shoulder mobility already. 

A man doing overhead tricep extension cable exercise
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How To Do The Cable Overhead Tricep Extension

Set up by connecting a rope to the bottom pulley of the cable machine. Then stand with your back to the cable machine and grab the tricep rope handle with both hands above your head while using a natural grip (palms facing each other). Your elbows should be perpendicular to the floor with your knuckles aimed at the ceiling. Remember to keep your arms close together and your elbows locked and then straighten your arms overhead to contract your triceps, pulling the rope upwards. Once fully extended above your head let the cable pull your arm back to maintain shoulder flexion. This will bring you back to the original stable body position where you then can repeat for the desired reps. 

Tips For Cable Overhead Extensions

Now that you know how to do a cable overhead extension, let’s go through some tips and techniques to avoid it when performing this exercise.

Elbow Movement

During the downward push avoid flaring your elbows outwards or any excessive elbow movement. Although you can technically lift more weight this way, this can put unnecessary stress on your shoulders and chest muscles. 

Too Much Weight

Adding more weights before you’re ready can strain your muscles and potentially cause severe injury. Start off lower in weight and slowly increase until you’re able to complete your rep with control, proper form, and without pain to assist more with triceps muscle growth.

Swinging Momentum

Many people tend to drop the weight after they’ve pulled it forward which swings the weight, causing less time under tension. This means you should focus on a controlled descent to make more effective sets and less risk of injury.

Recovery Period

It’s incredibly important you incorporate rest into your tricep training. It’s a good idea to take a break from training the same muscle group for at least 24 to 48 hours to allow sufficient recovery.

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