Decline E-Z bar triceps extension

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Decline E-Z Bar Triceps Extension

Performing triceps extension on a decline exercise bench increases the demand on your triceps muscles.

You can use either a bar (E-Z or straight) or even a dumbbells to perform decline lying triceps extension. If you use dumbbells, you can work bilaterally or unilaterally (see exercise variations).

Decline E-Z Bar Triceps Extension – Exercise Instructions

STARTING POSITION (SETUP): Lie on your back on a decline bench set at an angle between 30 and 45 degrees below parallel. Take an E-Z curl bar over your chest with your arms extended, palms facing up and away from you (overhand grip). Your hands should be in a narrow grip, approximately 15-20 cm apart.

Decline E-Z bar triceps extension

Decline E-Z bar triceps extension

MOVEMENT (ACTION): While keeping your elbows in and your upper arms stationary, slowly bend your elbows, lowering the weight toward the top of your head (down to your forehead). Hold for a second, then slowly return to the starting position.

Additional Tips & Helpful Hints

Some helpful hints (key elements to consider) on how to perform decline E-Z bar triceps extension safely and effectively.

  • Keep your elbows perfectly still and pointing directly at the ceiling – do not allow them to move (flare) out to the sides, or backwards with the bar.
  • Keep your upper arms parallel to each other and perpendicular to the floor. Also, keep them on the same distance apart throughout the lift.
  • Allow your elbows to flex to lower the bar in an arc to almost touch the top of your head (depending on the length of your arms).
  • Lift with a smooth motion, keeping control of the bar at all times. Don’t let it fall quickly as you lower the weight. Start with light weight until you get comfortable with the motion.
  • Keep your head, back, and buttocks in contact with the bench.

Exercise Variations

  • Decline dumbbell triceps extension. Lie faceup on an adjustable-decline bench with your feet secured under the foot pads. With a neutral grip (palms facing each other), hold a pair of dumbbells at full arm extension over your chest. Lower your forearms to bring the dumbbells to the sides of your head, then push them back up.
Decline dumbbell triceps extension

Decline dumbbell triceps extension

  • Dumbbell decline one-arm triceps extension. Grab a dumbbell with your non-dominant hand and lie faceup on a decline bench. Hold the dumbbell over your chest with your arm straight and palm facing in. Put your nonworking hand on your stomach. Lower the weight down past your ear, then back to the starting position. Try to keep your elbow from flaring out. Complete all your reps with that arm, then repeat with the other arm.
Decline one-arm dumbbell triceps extension

Decline one-arm dumbbell triceps extension

  • From set to set, vary the degree of decline slightly (up and down) to train the triceps from a variety of angles.

Muscles Engaged in Decline E-Z Bar Triceps Extension

Decline E-Z bar lying triceps extension targets your triceps brachii. Your upper back and rear shoulders (posterior deltoids) come into play, too, since they keep your shoulders stable as you perform the movement.

  • Main muscles: triceps
  • Secondary muscles: anconeus
  • Antagonists: biceps, brachialis, brachioradialis

Replacement Exercises

Closing Thoughts

Instead of a flat bench, you can perform lying triceps extension on a slightly inclined or declined bench in order to change the type of resistance your triceps must overcome.

Performing triceps extensions while lying on a decline bench allows you to lower the bar further than in the flat-bench version before your head gets in the way.

Decline triceps extensions stress the triceps muscle complex, particularly the medial and outer heads.

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