Overhead Barbell Tricep Extensions

Exercise Summary
Primary Muscle(s) Triceps
Secondary Muscle(s) Shoulders
Equipment Barbell
Emphasis Isolation
Type Push

Overhead Barbell Tricep Extensions Instruction

  • Feet positioned in an athletic stance just inside shoulder-width. Your knees are slightly bent and toes pointed straight ahead.
  • The core and glutes are braced and engaged with a neutral spine.
    • Your back is never arched.
  • Grip a barbell with a pronated grip inside shoulder-width. 
  • Press the barbell overhead, your arms are fully extended and elbows in.
    • Imagine bringing your armpits forward. This will create a stable shoulder position. 
    • Don't let your wrist roll back.
  • Begin by lowering the bar behind your head in a semicircular movement keeping your elbows relatively fixed.
    • Feel your triceps eccentrically loading.
    • Elbow do not flare excessively internally or externally.
  • Initiate the mind-muscle connection of creating and maintaining tension in the tricep throughout the exercise.
  • Your elbows can track behind you slightly.
  • Extend your arms to bring the bar back to the starting position. 
    • Bar follows the same semicircular path as the eccentric.


    • Keep the weight light and aim for volume. Heavy weight can wreak havoc on your elbows if you perform the exercise incorrectly or attempt to progress too fast. 
    • Don't let your back arch/overextend. Keep your core braced and glutes activated to prevent this.
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