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Health and Fitness Tips

Overhead Extensions

Overhead extension is very beneficial for full development of the triceps. It plays an important role in body-sculpting for increasing muscle mass and strength, and for producing greater triceps defination, especially with the elbow-locking action.

Primary Muscles Involved - Only one major muscle is involved, the triceps brachii. It has three heads (three separate muscle bellies with a common tendon at the elbow), which fill the entire back of the upper arm. Each head can be distinguished in a well-developed muscle. The medial head is on the back inner side of the upper arm fairly close to the elbow, the lateral heads, are higher up on the arm - it crosses the elbow and shoulder joints and acts in extension at each joint. The triceps is assisted by the anconeus, a small muscle located at the elbow.

Let's get started by sitting down on a cable machine.

* Grasp a straight or curved bar attached to the low cable pulley in both hands.
* Straddle an exercise bench with one end placed close to the weight stack. Sit facing away from but close to the weight stack. Sit facing away from but close to the pulley apparatus with your feet flat and on the floor.
* Your torso should be erect with your spine held in its normal curvature and your eyes focused directly forward.
* With bent elbows, raise your arms until your elbows point directly toward the ceiling. In this start position, your palms should face the ceiling.
* Inhale slightly more than usual and, holding your upper arms in place, press the bar directly upward and slightly forward to fully extend your arms overhead. Your palms should face forward.
* Pause momentarily, then exhale and return under control to the start position with the bar behind your head. Repeat for a total of 10 reps and 3 sets.

Just a few tips, don't pause at the bottom position, keep the motion moving. Also, remember to keep your torso erect and your vision focused forward at all times. Finally, use a light enough weight that you'll be able to maintain proper arm and torso position.

Rick Gusler is a certified personal trainer and diet nutritionist who serves his clients through Gusler Body Sculpting Fitness Center in central Denver. To schedule a free consultation, or to learn more about the Gusler method of body sculpting, spin yoga, or Rick's Boot Camp, please contact him at 303.860.7131 or online at

Gusler Body Sculpting Fitness Center, LLC
459 Acoma Street · Denver, Colorado 80204 · 303-860-7131
Hours: Monday-Friday: 6am-8pm · Saturday: Closed · Sunday: Closed