Technique and types of arm extension on the block – we put everything on the shelves
Block Extension is a formative isolated triceps exercise that will help make your arms more prominent and stronger. Let’s take a look at the extension technique, their variations and typical mistakes that should be avoided.
Technique and types of extension
If the exercise is performed correctly, in addition to the triceps, other muscles should not be included in the work. The only exceptions are the static stabilizer of the body and, in fact, the brushes with which you hold the handle. If you feel that some other muscle group is actively working, you are doing the exercise incorrectly.
This is an extension of the arms with the handle of the upper block. First, put on a weight of 5 kg and warm up. The exercise can be performed both in a block trainer (extension of the arms in a crossover), and in a back trainer with an upper block (there is a pull on the broadest muscles).
The handle can be different – short straight, curved, long , with which the thrust is performed. Extension of arms on the block, where the deadlift is done, make sense only when other athletes are engaged in the block simulator.
So, let’s get started:
- Hang up a short, straight handle. Grasp it with a straight grip (palms down). The thumb is above, not below.
- The position of the elbows determines the effectiveness of the load – the elbows should be pressed against the body. Bend your arms slightly more than 90 degrees.
- The position of the feet can be either on one straight line, or one leg slightly forward and the other slightly backward. Your task is to stand as steadily as possible. The feet are already apart from the shoulders, the distance between them is 15–20 cm, if you put them on one straight line. In the event that one is in front and the other is behind, this distance will be less.
- The loin is arched, the chest is straightened, and the gaze is straight. With the weight of the body we press the handle from above, as if hanging over it. This is to ensure that you are not holding the weight with your lats. Therefore, we fix the body in this way. Due to the fact that the elbows are pressed to the body, and you hang over the handle, arching the lower back, you will pump only triceps in isolation.
- From the “arms bent” position, lower the weight down with the effort of the triceps. The elbows should not spread apart, they are always pressed to the body.
Do 10-15 warm-up reps while standing at a medium pace. Then hang the weight you want and work 3-4 sets of 8-15 times, depending on your training goals.
Ladder on the block
When you come to the gym with friends, you can arrange a competition at the end of your workout – a ladder in which everyone will do the maximum number of repetitions per triceps for several sets on the block. At the same time, the competition begins with 50-60% of your working weight, and each next approach, reduce the weight by 5-10 kg and increase the number of repetitions. Thus, by the last set, your muscles will reach complete failure.
Attention! The triceps should be well warmed up so you don’t get stretched.
And don’t forget – pulling during extension is undesirable. Only triceps work.
Curved Bar Extension
The exercise is performed while standing. A curved handle should be used to work out the outside of the triceps. With its help, you turn your hands: the right – clockwise, and the left – counterclockwise. In this position, the load goes to the outer triceps bundle.
It is better to alternate the extensions as follows: once a week you do an exercise with a straight arm, the next week with a curved arm. This way you can work the triceps from all sides.
You should not do the extension of the arms on the block twice in one week – it makes no sense. It doesn’t matter which bar you use, only your hands work. For the back there is a pull of the upper block.
Other options for extending the arms
In addition to the usual option, there is also a single extension of the arms in the crossover. This machine has 2 lower blocks that can be used to simulate the dumbbell press from behind the head.
The technique is as follows:
- Attach a horseshoe-shaped handle for one arm to the lower block.
- Sit on the bench with the cable handle from the lower block behind your head.
- Raise your elbow up, with your hand behind your head .
- The cable should not be pressed against your back. To prevent this from happening, move your arm a little further back than in the usual version of the exercise with dumbbells.
- Movements begin at the level of the back of the head, straighten your arm. Then bend again.
Repeat the movement 10-12 times in 3 sets.
This exercise option may be needed if you want to do a dumbbell press from behind the head but the right dumbbell is busy. The block version of such a press is not as convenient to do as with a dumbbell, but you should know about it anyway.
Place of exercise in the program
Triceps extension alone will not be enough to effectively target this muscle group. This is usually the final exercise at the bottom of the triceps.
If you are doing the classic program, combining chest work with triceps training, then tricep extensions are performed at the very end. First, for example, there is a basic bench press, then dumbbell raises, uneven bars, a French press, and finally the extension of the arms on the block.
If you combine the back and triceps, then you can do a heavier workout for the extensors of the arms. but leave work in the block simulator until the very end of the lesson.
Before starting the workout
Despite the fact that the exercise is relatively simple , pay attention to a number of contraindications to its implementation.
- If your elbows hurt, it is not recommended to do the exercise until the acute pain syndrome passes. It is advisable to have an MRI of the elbow joint to clarify the etiology (origin) of the pain.
- If the wrists hurt, it is also worth letting them recover. You can try using a medium hard hand retainer. If you do the extension with them painlessly – exercise calmly.
- After fractures, you need to wait a few weeks from removing the cast and start doing extensions with light weights. This will help restore the ligaments and tendons weakened from the load, prepare the joint for further weights.
Frequent mistakes when extending the arms
Knowing what mistakes most people make will help you better control your technique.
Here are the most popular ones :
- Bend the brushes. The hand should be in line with the elbow. Usually, beginners bend them downwards, increasing the stress on the wrist. Naturally, it can hurt after exercise.
- Elbows wide apart. In this position, the latissimus dorsi are connected to fix the arms in the starting position. Concentrating on triceps training will no longer work. And you won’t be able to do the exercise with the right weight.
- You are doing the exercise while standing absolutely straight. Now your body is fixed in its original position by the muscles of the press and lats of the back. Again, you won’t do quality sets.
- Often beginners slouch while doing the extension. Poor posture while weighed down can help you develop back problems. In this case, it is not critical. Still, get into the habit of doing all the exercises in the gym with the correct posture.
- You are too close to the block. In this case, a lot of weight will pull you up, and to perform the extension, you will take your elbows back. And again, the fixation of the body is lost.
- You have stood far from the block. Therefore, you will need to lean forward too much, overloading the lower back. It looks very funny from the outside, so do the exercise in front of a mirror. If something is wrong, you will immediately notice.
- Head down, or looking to the side. If the mirror is on the side, keep an eye on the technique, but do not keep your head in the wrong position all the time. The correct position of the head is strictly straight.
- Some first pull the handle from above with their backs, then lower it with their triceps down. It’s not craving. This is not necessary.
- There is also no point in doing the exercise while sitting – you have to work while standing.
Among other things, remember about correct breathing: the effort is always made during exhalation. We return the weight back on inhalation.