Tricep Extension: Is It a Push or Pull Exercise?

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Last Updated on 3 weeks by Francis

When it comes to tricep exercises, one question that often arises is whether the tricep extension is a push or pull exercise. To understand the answer, we need to delve into the nature of the triceps and how they function during workouts.

Triceps are a key muscle group in the upper body, responsible for arm extension and stabilization during pushing movements. They are typically trained on an upper body pressing day, alongside other pushing muscles like the chest and shoulders. During exercises like the bench press or overhead press, the triceps act as prime movers, generating force to extend the arms and assist in pushing the weight.

However, the placement of triceps within a training split can vary depending on individual preferences. While triceps are considered a pushing muscle, they can also be trained on pull days, which include exercises that predominantly involve pulling movements. So, is it a push or pull exercise? Let’s explore further.

Contents

Key Takeaways:

  • Triceps are pushing muscles and are typically trained on upper body pressing days.
  • They are prime movers during pressing exercises like the bench press or overhead press.
  • Triceps can also be trained on pull days, depending on the individual’s training split and goals.
  • Training triceps on push days allows for maximum compound pressing exercises.
  • Training triceps on pull days can provide higher training frequency and potentially greater muscle growth.

Are Triceps Push Or Pull?

tricep exercises

When it comes to categorizing muscles, the triceps are considered a pushing muscle, along with the chest and shoulders. These muscles are responsible for movements such as the bench press and overhead press, where the primary action is pushing. In contrast, pulling muscles include the lats, rear deltoids, rhomboids, traps, and biceps, which are involved in movements like rows and pull-ups.

Understanding whether triceps are considered push or pull muscles is crucial when designing a balanced and effective training program. By incorporating tricep exercises into your workouts, you can target and strengthen this muscle group, enhancing your overall upper body strength and aesthetics.

To visualize the distinction between pushing and pulling muscles, refer to the table below:

Pushing Muscles Pulling Muscles
Triceps Lats
Chest Rear Deltoids
Shoulders Rhomboids
Traps
Biceps

Understanding the distinction between pushing and pulling muscles allows you to create a well-rounded and balanced workout routine. By incorporating exercises that target both pushing and pulling muscles, you can improve your overall strength, posture, and functional abilities.

Now that you have a clearer understanding of whether triceps are push or pull muscles, let’s explore how to incorporate tricep exercises into your training routine. In the next sections, we’ll discuss different workout splits and training strategies to maximize tricep strength and development.

Workout Split With Triceps On Push Day

tricep exercises

When it comes to tricep training, one common approach is to include triceps exercises on push day within a push/pull split. This means incorporating tricep exercises after working the chest or shoulders. By doing so, you can maximize the benefits of compound pressing exercises while also prioritizing tricep strength training.

Placing triceps on push day allows you to capitalize on the already warm and activated triceps from pressing exercises. This can enhance your performance and enable you to go heavier and push your muscles to their limits.

Moreover, incorporating triceps-heavy variations of exercises on push day can help you build stronger triceps. For example, including close-grip bench press or tricep dips can specifically target the triceps and promote muscle growth.

Here’s an example of a workout split with triceps on push day:

Exercise Sets Reps
Bench Press 4 8-10
Overhead Press 3 8-10
Incline Dumbbell Press 3 10-12
Tricep Dips 3 10-12
Close-Grip Bench Press 3 10-12
Tricep Pushdown 3 12-15

By including tricep exercises on push day, you can effectively target and strengthen your triceps while also reaping the benefits of compound pressing exercises for overall upper body strength.

Upper Lower Workout Split With Triceps On Push Day

tricep exercises

If you’re looking for a training split that allows for greater frequency of triceps training while still providing enough recovery time, consider the upper-lower workout split with triceps on push day. This training split divides your workouts into upper body and lower body days, with triceps trained alongside the other pushing muscles on upper body push day.

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On upper body push day, you’ll typically focus on compound pressing exercises like bench press and shoulder press, which also engage the triceps. By including triceps-specific exercises in your push day workout routine, you can give your triceps the attention they need to develop strength and size.

This training split allows for greater frequency of triceps training compared to other splits, as you’ll be working your triceps twice per week. This increased frequency can be beneficial for muscle growth and overall triceps development.

Here’s an example of an upper body push day workout routine with a focus on triceps:

  1. Barbell Bench Press
  2. Overhead Barbell Press
  3. Incline Dumbbell Press
  4. Cable Tricep Pushdowns
  5. Dumbbell Tricep Kickbacks
  6. Close Grip Bench Press

Including triceps exercises like cable tricep pushdowns, dumbbell tricep kickbacks, and close grip bench press in your upper body push day routine can effectively target and strengthen your triceps.

Remember to prioritize proper form and technique during your triceps exercises, and progressively overload the muscles over time by increasing the weight or volume of your workouts. This will ensure continued progress and maximize the benefits of your triceps training.

Tip: If you’re new to training or have any underlying health conditions, consult with a fitness professional before starting a new workout routine.

Can You Train Triceps On Pull Day?

Tricep Exercises

When it comes to tricep training, the common practice is to include it on push day, following upper body pressing exercises like bench press and overhead press. However, you may wonder if it’s possible to train triceps on pull day instead. The answer is yes! Training triceps on pull day can provide several benefits, including a higher training frequency and potentially greater muscle growth.

On push day, your triceps are already warm from the pressing exercises, which can be beneficial for performance. However, training them on pull day allows you to target and stimulate the triceps specifically, without compromising their involvement in pushing movements. This can lead to increased tricep strength and muscle development.

By incorporating tricep exercises on pull day, you create a more balanced and comprehensive upper body workout. It also allows you to distribute the workload more evenly throughout the week, promoting better recovery and reducing the risk of overtraining.

To give you a better idea of how you can train triceps on pull day, here’s an example workout:

Exercise Sets Reps
1. Pull-Ups 3 8-10
2. Bent-Over Rows 3 8-10
3. Tricep Dips 3 10-12
4. Lat Pulldowns 3 10-12
5. Close-Grip Cable Rows 3 10-12

Remember to adjust the weights and repetitions according to your fitness level and goals. As always, it’s important to prioritize proper form and technique to avoid injury and maximize the effectiveness of your tricep training.

Training triceps on pull day provides an innovative approach to tricep strength training. The increased training frequency can stimulate muscle growth and help you achieve your goals faster. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different workout splits and find the one that works best for you.

Workout Split With Triceps On Pull Day

tricep exercises

In a push-pull legs split with triceps on pull day, we incorporate triceps training after back exercises. This strategic placement allows for a different training stimulus and can help to further develop the triceps muscles. By targeting the triceps after back exercises, we tap into the pre-fatigued state of the muscles, helping to enhance their engagement and overall growth.

Incorporating triceps training on pull day not only provides variety in the workout routine but also allows for a balanced distribution of muscle groups throughout the training week. By pairing triceps with back exercises, we effectively target both push and pull movements.

During pull day, the focus is primarily on the back muscles, including the latissimus dorsi, rear deltoids, rhomboids, and traps. Triceps training on this day complements the pull exercises and provides an opportunity to develop tricep strength and stability.

Training the triceps on pull day can have its advantages. By placing triceps after back exercises, we can take advantage of the pre-fatigued state and stimulate further muscle growth in the triceps. It’s a great way to diversify your training routine and maximize the development of your triceps muscles.

– James de Lacey, Strength & Conditioning Coach

Sample Workout Split with Triceps on Pull Day:

Exercise Sets Reps
1. Pull-ups 3 10-12
2. Bent-Over Rows 3 8-10
3. Seated Cable Rows 3 12-15
4. Tricep Pushdowns 3 10-12
5. Skull Crushers 3 8-10
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By incorporating triceps training on pull day, you not only target the major pulling muscle groups but also effectively work on developing tricep strength and definition. Remember to perform each exercise with proper form and focus on the mind-muscle connection to maximize the benefits of the workout.

Upper Lower Workout Split With Triceps On Pull Day

tricep exercises

In an upper-lower workout split, you have the flexibility to incorporate triceps training on the pull day. By including triceps exercises within the pull emphasis day, you can target these muscles with higher frequency and volume, promoting optimal growth and development.

The upper-lower split is a popular training approach that divides your workouts into upper body and lower body sessions. With triceps on pull day, you can work them alongside other pulling muscles such as the back and biceps, creating a comprehensive upper body workout.

Here’s an example of how an upper-lower workout split with triceps on pull day may look:

Day Upper Body Pull
Main Exercises – Pull-ups
– Barbell Rows
– Triceps Dips
Accessory Exercises – Dumbbell Curls
– Face Pulls

By strategically placing triceps exercises within the pull day, you ensure that they get trained with adequate intensity while benefiting from the pre-activation of other muscles involved in pulling movements. This workout split allows you to target multiple muscle groups effectively, promoting overall upper body strength and definition.

Summary

When it comes to tricep training, there are two main options: incorporating tricep exercises on push days or pull days. Each approach has its advantages and can contribute to your overall tricep workout and strength gains.

On push days, triceps are trained alongside chest and shoulders, which are also considered pushing muscles. This allows for greater rest between triceps work, ensuring optimal recovery. Additionally, the warmth generated from pressing exercises like bench press or overhead press can enhance tricep performance.

Alternatively, training triceps on pull days, which primarily focus on pulling muscles such as the back and biceps, can provide a higher frequency of tricep training. This increased training frequency has the potential to stimulate greater muscle growth in the triceps.

The choice between push day and pull day for tricep training ultimately depends on your training split and individual preferences. If you prefer prioritizing compound pressing exercises and maximizing rest between triceps sets, incorporating tricep exercises on push days may be more suitable. On the other hand, if you want to increase triceps frequency and potentially accelerate tricep development, incorporating tricep exercises on pull days can be an effective strategy.

Push Day Tricep Training Pull Day Tricep Training
  • Allows for optimal rest between triceps work
  • Utilizes warmth from pressing exercises
  • Maximizes compound pressing exercises
  • Provides higher triceps frequency
  • Potentially stimulates greater muscle growth
  • Complements back exercises

About the Author

Meet James de Lacey, a highly experienced strength & conditioning coach with a deep understanding of sport & exercise science. With a passion for training and a background working with professional teams and athletes, James brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to his clients.

“I believe that training is not just about the physical aspect, but also the mental and emotional components. By combining evidence-based research with practical applications, I strive to bring the most effective training techniques to my clients and help them achieve their goals.”

James holds a degree in sport & exercise science and has spent years honing his skills in various coaching positions. He has worked with athletes from a wide range of sports, including football, basketball, and swimming. James understands that every individual is unique, which is why he tailors his training programs to meet the specific needs and abilities of each client.

  1. Qualifications:
  • Strength & Conditioning Specialist Certification
  • Master’s Degree in Sport & Exercise Science
  • Areas of Expertise:
    • Sport-specific training
    • Strength and power development
    • Injury prevention and rehabilitation
    • Performance enhancement

    With a commitment to ongoing learning and professional development, James stays up to date with the latest advancements in the field of strength and conditioning. This enables him to provide his clients with the most effective and innovative training strategies.

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    Whether you’re a professional athlete looking to take your performance to the next level or an individual seeking to improve your overall fitness, James de Lacey is the strength & conditioning coach you can trust to guide you on your training journey.

    Conclusion

    The question of whether a tricep extension is a push or pull exercise ultimately depends on the individual’s training split and preference. Triceps are commonly classified as a pushing muscle and are typically trained on upper body pressing days alongside exercises like bench press and overhead press. These compound movements heavily engage the triceps.

    However, there is flexibility in incorporating tricep training into pull days as well. This approach can provide a higher frequency of tricep exercises, potentially leading to greater muscle growth. The triceps’ involvement in pressing exercises on push days also creates a warm-up effect, which can enhance performance during subsequent tricep-focused exercises.

    Ultimately, the choice of training day for triceps should be based on personal goals and preferences. Whether you choose to include tricep exercises on push days or pull days, the key is to ensure proper form and technique during tricep extension exercises. Consistency and progressive overload in your tricep training routine will lead to improved strength and muscle development.

    FAQ

    Is a tricep extension a push or pull exercise?

    The categorization of a tricep extension exercise as a push or pull exercise depends on the training split and individual preference.

    Are triceps considered push or pull muscles?

    Triceps are considered pushing muscles, along with the chest and shoulders. They are prime movers during pressing exercises like the bench press and overhead press. Pulling muscles include the lats, rear deltoids, rhomboids, traps, and biceps.

    Can triceps be trained on push day?

    Yes, triceps can be trained on push day, which is a common practice in a push/pull split. This allows for maximizing compound pressing exercises and focusing on building strong triceps through triceps-heavy variations.

    Can triceps be trained on pull day?

    Yes, it is possible to train triceps on pull day. This can provide a higher training frequency for the triceps, potentially leading to greater muscle growth. In a push-pull legs split, triceps training is done after back exercises. In an upper-lower workout split, triceps training is incorporated within the pull emphasis day.

    Which workout split places triceps on pull day?

    In a push-pull legs split, triceps training is done on pull day after back exercises. This allows for a different training stimulus and further development of the triceps muscles. In an upper-lower workout split, triceps training is incorporated within the pull emphasis day.

    Which workout split places triceps on push day?

    In a push/pull split, triceps are typically trained on push day, after working the chest or shoulders. This allows for maximizing compound pressing exercises and prioritizing triceps training through triceps-heavy variations.

    What is the benefit of training triceps on push day?

    Training triceps on push day allows for greater rest between triceps exercises and utilizes the warmth generated from pressing exercises, which can be beneficial for performance.

    What is the benefit of training triceps on pull day?

    Training triceps on pull day provides a higher frequency of triceps training and potentially greater muscle growth. It allows for more focus on triceps development and can be incorporated into different training splits for increased variety.

    Can triceps be trained on both push and pull days?

    Yes, triceps can be trained on both push and pull days, depending on your training split and preferences. The choice of training day for triceps depends on individual goals and training program design.

    Who is James de Lacey?

    James de Lacey is a professional strength & conditioning coach with a background in sport & exercise science. He has extensive experience working with professional and international teams and athletes.

    Is a tricep extension a push or pull exercise?

    The categorization of a tricep extension exercise as a push or pull exercise depends on the training split and individual preference. Triceps are considered a pushing muscle, but they can also be trained on pull days for higher frequency and potential muscle growth.

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