Welcome to our comprehensive guide on Medial Head Triceps Exercises. If you’re looking to sculpt your arms and build strength, you’ve come to the right place. The triceps, a three-headed muscle located at the back of your upper arm, plays a crucial role in arm extension and overall upper-body aesthetics. While many fitness enthusiasts focus on the long and lateral heads of the triceps, the medial head often doesn’t get the attention it deserves.
In this article, we’ll delve into the importance of the medial head, debunk myths about triceps training, and provide you with effective exercises to target this often-neglected muscle head. So, whether you’re a gym newbie or a seasoned athlete, read on to discover how you can take your triceps training to the next level.
Anatomy of the Triceps Muscle
The triceps muscle is a large muscle on the back of the upper arm that consists of three parts: the long head, the lateral head, and the medial head. The main function of the triceps is to extend the forearm at the elbow joint and to assist in extending the arm at the shoulder joint. The tricep is innervated by the radial nerve and supplied by the deep brachial artery and the superior ulnar collateral artery.
The long head of the triceps originates from the infraglenoid tubercle of the scapula, which is a bony projection at the lower part of the shoulder blade. The lateral head originates from a ridge on the posterior surface of the humerus, the upper arm bone, above the radial groove. The medial head originates from the posterior surface of the humerus below the radial groove. All three heads converge and insert into the olecranon of the ulna, the forearm bone that forms the elbow.
The triceps is an important muscle for many daily activities, such as reaching, pushing, and getting dressed. It also helps to stabilize the shoulder joint and create anatomical spaces for the passage of nerves and blood vessels.
Importance of Targeting the Three Triceps Muscle Heads
The triceps brachii muscle, commonly known as the triceps, is a major muscle group in the upper arm. It is composed of three distinct heads: the long head, the lateral head, and the medial head. Each of these heads plays a significant role in extending the elbow and determining the overall shape and strength of our arms.
Importance of Targeting Each Triceps Muscle Head:
- Long Head: The long head is one part of the tricep muscle. Big moves like overhead dumbbell extensions work this area well. The skull crusher move also helps to make this part stronger.
- Lateral Head: The lateral head is one part of your tricep muscle. It sits on the outer side of your upper arm. By working in this area, you can get stronger. A bigger lateral head also makes your arms look wider.
- Medial Head: The medial head is the least visible and smallest. It is the “inside tricep,” or better described as the “middle tricep,” located at the bottom center of the posterior upper arm. It plays an important role in elbow extension, with and without resistance.
In terms of aesthetics, when all three triceps heads are well-developed, they form a distinct horseshoe shape. This symbolizes a well-developed tricep. Moreover, they all play an important role in elbow extension and stability. Therefore, it’s crucial to target all three heads for a balanced and comprehensive workout routine.
Understanding the Medial Head Triceps
The medial head of the triceps is one of the three muscle heads that make up the triceps brachii, the muscle located on the back of your upper arm. The medial head is the smallest and least visible of the three heads, and it is located at the bottom center of the posterior upper arm. It attaches to the humerus, the upper arm bone, just below the radial groove, which is a depression that runs along the back of the humerus. The medial head joins the other two heads, the long and lateral head, to form a common tendon that inserts on the olecranon, the bony prominence of the elbow, and the fascia of the forearm.
The main function of the medial head of the triceps is to extend the forearm at the elbow joint, which means straightening the arm. It also helps stabilize the elbow joint and assists the long head of the triceps in extending and adducting the arm at the shoulder joint. The medial head of the triceps is the only triceps head that has more slow-twitch muscle fibers than fast-twitch ones, which means it is more suited for endurance activities than explosive ones.
To train the medial head of the triceps, you can perform exercises that involve elbow extension with your arms close to your body, such as close-grip bench press, triceps pushdown, skull crushers, and diamond push-ups. These exercises will also work the other two heads of the triceps, but they will emphasize the medial head more. You can also vary the angle of your arms to target different parts of the triceps. For example, overhead triceps extensions will work the long head more, while triceps kickbacks will work the lateral head more.
Some additional information or tips that you might find useful are:
- The medial head of the triceps is often neglected or underdeveloped compared to the other two heads, especially the lateral head, which is the most visible and prominent one. This can lead to muscle imbalances and injuries, as well as a lack of definition and symmetry in your arms. Therefore, it is important to include exercises that target the medial head in your triceps routine, and not just focus on the lateral head.
- The medial head of the triceps is also the most active and stable head of the triceps, as it is constantly working to keep your elbow joint in place and prevent it from hyperextending. This means that it is more prone to fatigue and overuse, especially if you perform a lot of repetitive movements that involve elbow extension, such as typing, writing, or playing certain sports. To prevent this, you should warm up properly before exercising, stretch and massage your triceps regularly, and avoid overtraining or using excessive weight or resistance.
- The medial head of the triceps is also involved in some other movements and functions that you might not be aware of, such as pronation and supination of the forearm, which means rotating your palm up or down, and assisting the biceps brachii in flexing the elbow, which means bending the arm. These movements are usually performed in combination with other muscles, such as the brachioradialis, the pronator teres, and the supinator.
Can You Isolate the Medial Heads of the Triceps?
The short answer is no, you cannot isolate the medial heads of the triceps completely. The medial head works together with the lateral and long heads to extend the elbow and stabilize the joint. However, you can emphasize the medial head more by using certain exercises and techniques.
Some of the factors that can affect the medial head activation are:
- The angle of your arm is relative to your body. Generally, the more your arm is close to your body, the more the medial head is involved.
- The grip you use for the exercise. A reverse grip, where your palms face up, can increase the medial head activity.
- The range of motion you perform. The medial head is more active at the end range of elbow extension, when your arm is fully straightened.
Some examples of exercises that can target the medial head more are:
- Close-grip bench press
- Triceps pushdown
- Skull crushers
- Diamond push-ups
Remember, it’s important to use proper form and technique when performing these exercises to effectively target the medial head and avoid injury.
Best Medial Head Triceps Exercises
The medial triceps head is the smallest and least visible of the three triceps heads, but it plays an important role in elbow extension and stability. To strengthen the medial triceps head, you need to perform exercises that involve external rotation of the shoulder joint. Here are some of the best exercises for the medial triceps head, along with their benefits and instructions:
Reverse grip bench press
This exercise targets the medial and long heads of the triceps, as well as the chest and shoulders. To do it, lie on a flat bench and hold a barbell with an underhand grip, slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Lift the bar off the rack and hold it above your chest, with your arms fully extended. Lower the bar to your lower chest, keeping your elbows close to your body. Press the bar back up to the starting position, squeezing your triceps at the top. Repeat for the desired number of reps.
Reverse grip pushdowns
This exercise isolates the medial and lateral heads of the triceps, as well as the forearms. To do it, attach a straight bar to a high pulley cable machine and hold it with an underhand grip, shoulder-width apart. Stand facing the machine, with your feet slightly apart and your elbows tucked in. Keeping your upper arms stationary, push the bar down until your arms are fully extended. Pause for a second, then slowly return to the starting position. Repeat for the desired number of reps.
This exercise works the medial and long heads of the triceps, as well as the elbow flexors. To do it, lie on a flat bench and hold a pair of dumbbells or a barbell with an overhand grip, slightly narrower than shoulder-width apart. Extend your arms above your chest, with a slight bend in your elbows. Lower the weights to your forehead, keeping your upper arms still. Press the weights back up to the starting position, contracting your triceps. Repeat for the desired number of reps.
This exercise targets the medial and lateral heads of the triceps, as well as the chest and shoulders. To do it, get into a standard push-up position and form a diamond shape on the floor with your hands, right under your chest. With your elbows at 45 degrees, squeeze your glutes and core, then lower yourself up off the floor by pushing down through your palms. When your chest nearly touches the floor, push back up to the starting position without flaring your elbows. Repeat for the desired number of reps.
Palm out bench dip
This exercise works the medial and lateral heads of the triceps, as well as the chest and shoulders. To do it, place your hands on the edge of a bench or a chair, with your palms facing out and your fingers pointing down. Extend your legs in front of you and lift your hips off the bench. Lower your body until your elbows are at 90 degrees, keeping them close to your sides. Press yourself back up to the starting position, squeezing your triceps. Repeat for the desired number of reps.
This exercise isolates the medial and lateral heads of the triceps, as well as the elbow flexors. To do it, lie on a flat bench and hold a pair of dumbbells with a neutral grip, slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Extend your arms above your chest, with a slight bend in your elbows. Lower the dumbbells to the sides of your chest, keeping your elbows flared out. Press the dumbbells back up to the starting position, contracting your triceps. Repeat for the desired number of reps.
These are some of the best medial triceps head exercises that you can incorporate into your arm workouts. By doing them regularly, you can improve your triceps strength, size, and definition.
Sample Medial Tricep Workouts
Here is a sample medial tricep workout that you can follow;
- Warm up for 5 minutes with some light cardio and dynamic stretches.
- Perform 3 sets of 10 reps of reverse grip bench press, resting 90 seconds between sets. This exercise targets the medial and long heads of the triceps, as well as the chest and shoulders.
- Perform 3 sets of 12 reps of reverse grip pushdowns, resting 60 seconds between sets. This exercise isolates the medial and lateral heads of the triceps, as well as the forearms.
- Perform 3 sets of 15 reps of skull crushers, resting 60 seconds between sets. This exercise works the medial and long heads of the triceps, as well as the elbow flexors.
- Perform 3 sets of 20 reps of diamond push-ups, resting 45 seconds between sets. This exercise targets the medial and lateral heads of the triceps, as well as the chest and shoulders.
- Perform 3 sets of 10 reps of palm out bench dip, resting 90 seconds between sets. This exercise works the medial and lateral heads of the triceps, as well as the chest and shoulders.
- Perform 3 sets of 12 reps of Tate press, resting 60 seconds between sets. This exercise isolates the medial and lateral heads of the triceps, as well as the elbow flexors.
- Cool down for 5 minutes with some static stretches and deep breathing.
This is a sample medial tricep workout that you can try in your arm workouts.
Common Mistakes to Avoid
Here are some common mistakes to avoid when doing medial head triceps exercises:
- Poor Form: Incorrect form can lead to ineffective workouts and potential injuries.
- Using Too Much Weight: Lifting more weight than you can handle can compromise your form and lead to injuries.
- Neglecting Range of Motion: Not fully extending and contracting your arm during the exercise can limit the effectiveness of the workout.
- Overtraining: Overworking your triceps can lead to muscle fatigue and hinder your progress.
- Elbow Flare: Keeping your elbows tucked in during the exercise can help target the triceps more effectively.
- Excessive Momentum: Using momentum to lift the weight can reduce the effectiveness of the exercise and increase the risk of injury.
Remember, it’s always important to maintain proper form and technique during your workouts to ensure you’re effectively targeting the intended muscles and preventing potential injuries. It might be helpful to work with a personal trainer or physical therapist to ensure you’re performing these exercises correctly.
Q 1. How often should I train the medial head of the triceps?
Ans. As with any muscle group, the frequency of training depends on your individual goals and recovery ability. However, it’s generally recommended to train the triceps 2-3 times per week.
Q 2. Why does my medial head tricep hurt during exercises?
Ans. Pain during exercises could be a sign of improper form, overuse, or an underlying injury. If you’re experiencing pain, it’s important to consult with a healthcare professional.
Q 3. Can medial head triceps exercises help with arm fat?
Ans. While these exercises can help strengthen and tone the triceps, they can’t specifically target arm fat. Fat loss occurs throughout the body, not just in one area.
Q 4. What’s the difference between the medial head and the other heads of the triceps?
Ans. The triceps muscle is made up of three heads: the long head, the lateral head, and the medial head. Each head has a different origin point but they all play a crucial role in arm extension.
Q 5. Are there any variations of medial head triceps exercises for beginners?
Ans. Yes, exercises like the tricep pushdown or bench press with a backward handhold can be modified to suit beginners.
Q 6. What equipment do I need for medial head triceps exercises?
Ans. Equipment needs will vary depending on the exercise. Some exercises may require dumbbells, barbells, or cable machines.
Q 7. Can I do medial head triceps exercises at home?
Ans. Yes, several exercises can be done at home with minimal equipment, such as diamond push-ups.
Q 8. What are some signs of progress when doing medial head triceps exercises?
Ans. Signs of progress can include increased strength, improved muscle definition, and the ability to perform more reps or lift heavier weights.
With the right knowledge and commitment, you can unlock the full potential of your triceps and achieve well-rounded arm development. Incorporate the recommended medial head triceps exercises into your fitness routine, and watch as your arms transform into symbols of strength. Remember to listen to your body, stay consistent, and enjoy the journey to stronger, more sculpted arms.
Good day, and welcome to Fitthour. My name is Shubham Vijay, and I am a certified personal trainer and nutrition coach with 6 years of experience in the fitness industry. At Fitthour, we specialize in types of training, such as strength training, cardio, or HIIT, and our mission is to help clients achieve their fitness goals and improve their overall health.