What is the make-up of the triceps?

Trifocus Fitness Academy - mesomorph body
Personal/Fitness Training Blog

The triceps are made out of three small muscles: the long head of the triceps, the lateral head of the triceps and the short head of the triceps.

The triceps brachii muscle (which is Latin for “three-headed arm muscle”) is the large muscle on the back of the upper limb of several vertebrates. It is the muscle principally responsible for the extension of the elbow joint (straightening of the arm).

The medial head appears proximally in the humerus and inferior to the indentation of the radial nerve:

  • From the dorsal (back) side of the humerus.
  • From the medial intermuscular septum; as well as
  • Its distal part also develops from the lateral intermuscular septum.

The medial head is mainly protected by the lateral as well as long heads and is just visible distally on the humerus. The lateral head comes from the dorsal surface of the humerus, lateral as well as proximal to the indentation of the radial nerve, from the larger tubercle down to the area of the lateral intermuscular septum.

The important of the triceps

Working out your triceps assists with building upper body strength. These types of exercises are a crucial part of any strength training routine. This is because strong triceps are responsible for stabilising your shoulder joint and are essential for daily activities and sports for example tennis, volleyball as well as basketball.

Exercises to work the triceps

French press

Start by lying prone on a flat bench with the feet placed firmly on the floor, hip-width apart. Hold the barbell at full extension over the chest area.


Keeping the upper arms stationary, flex the elbows to lower the bar towards the forehead. Pause for a second and then return the barbell up to the starting position. Perform how many reps necessary for the desired results:

  • The exercise can be performed with dumbbells.
  • The exercise can be performed on a decline bench with a barbell or dumbbells.

Trainer safety tips

  • Monitor elbows
  • Keep the abdominals engaged
  • Keep the elbows at the sides
  • Spot at the bar
  • Keep the lower back flush on the bench

Kickbacks with dumbbells

Place the left knee and palm on a flat bench so that the torso is parallel to the floor. While holding onto a dumbbell in the right hand, and keeping the right foot flat on the floor, press the right arm tight against the side of the torso with the upper arm parallel to the floor.


Extend the elbow until the arm is fully extended behind the body. Flex the triceps for a second at the top of the movement and then return to the starting position. Perform how many reps necessary for the desired results:

  • The same exercise can be performed standing with the knees flexed and the tailbone extended.
  • The same exercise can also be performed on a cable pulley machine.

Trainer safety tips

  • Monitor scapula and elbows
  • Keep abdominals engaged
  • Keep the elbows at the sides
  • Spot at the dumbbell

Improving upper body strength is incredibly important as you age however it’s a good idea to keep your body strong from the time that you’re young. Building muscle strength assists with supporting bone health and strength, which is extremely useful in treating in addition to preventing osteoporosis. It can also help with managing arthritis pain by minimising swelling, pain and bone loss while strengthening and lubricating joints.

Contact Trifocus Fitness Academy

Do you want to become a personal trainer and learn more about exercises such as the above? If you do, then you need to do our Personal Training Diploma. For more information, please follow this link.

Trifocus fitness academy personal training course registration