Arm Training Tip: For optimal development of all heads of the triceps you must vary the position of the arms in relation to the torso.

The triceps brachii has three heads – the medial, lateral, and long – and is the primary elbow extensor.

Generally speaking, there are three primary positions the arms can occupy in relation to the torso:

1) arms overhead;
2) arms perpendicular to the torso; and
3) arms to the sides.

To optimize triceps development, your workouts should include exercises that hit all three of these positions.

For example, start your triceps workout with an exercise that targets all three heads, such as the Dip (arms to the sides). From there, progress to an exercise with the arms perpendicular to the torso, such as a Lying Triceps Extension (aka “Skull Crusher”), or Close-Grip Bench Press. Finally, conclude the workout with an exercise with the arms extended overhead, such as in a French Press with dumbbells, or an EZ-bar.

Changing the position of the arms in relation to the torso is critical for optimal size and strength gains because in order for a muscle to be fully developed, it must be trained at various angles.

Training a muscle group from multiple angles means you’re recruiting from a wider motor unit pool (i.e. more muscle fibers), and the more motor units recruited, the more size and strength gains you’ll see.

Interested in applying these training tips? Check out our Bigger Stronger Arms training guide: