How To Do Overhead Cable Extensions for Triceps Gains

How To Do Overhead Cable Extensions

Affiliate disclosure: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. All opinions remain my own. You can learn more about our editorial policies here.

Adding overhead cable extensions to your workout routine is a great way to develop your shoulders, bring stability to the wrists and shape and tone the triceps.

Many of us would prefer to have a set of slender and strong arms that looked wonderful in a tight t-shirt or tank top that made other people jealous. We’ll have to put in a lot of effort at the gym if we want to achieve that goal, which isn’t going to be simple.

A good arm program must include enough of triceps activity if it is to be effective in increasing arm size and mass. Because of the triceps, our arms are disproportionately huge and muscular in comparison to other parts of our bodies.

In this article, we will show you the proper way on how to do overhead cable extensions so you can start seeing gains in your triceps and overall arm strength today.

About the Triceps

The triceps brachii is the large muscle that runs from the back of the cranium down to your elbow, and it makes up two thirds of our arm mass. It is responsible for extending, or straightening out, our arms when we lift objects as well as for several other complex overall arm movements.

It also has a great impact on shoulder stability so it affects how well you can perform in your fitness routine. This muscle is composed of three heads: long, medial and lateral.

The long head originates from the back of the humerus, or upper arm bone, and extends all the way to the elbow. This part of the muscle is mostly responsible for elbow extension, with some contributions to shoulder stability.

The medial head originates from the shaft of your scapula and inserts at your upper arm bone roughly midway between your shoulder and elbow. It enables a combined action between horizontal adduction or abduction in addition to elbow flexion or extension.

The lateral head originates from the outside of the arm bone, just below the elbow, and inserts at your pectoralis minor muscle. It acts as an extension to your elbow.

Other great tips, Back Machines To Get Maximum Gains

This muscle is far too underappreciated in comparison to its contribution to overall arm strength. In fact, some studies have shown that only 50 percent of men and women can perform triceps extensions correctly.

About Overhead Cable Extensions

It is possible to perform the same exercise with a dumbbell, we are going to use the weight machine for this exercise. This exercise is great for not only for blasting your triceps but also for building endurance in your arms and overall upper body strength.

There are several different variations to this exercise, but the basic set-up is to attach your hands to the overhead cables and move them away from your body, then pull them back toward you and hold there for a count. Do that for the required number of repetitions.

What You’ll Need:

Overhead Cable Extensions weight machine (or dumbbells) -Weighted plates if using dumbbells.

How To Do Overhead Cable Extensions

Before performing this exercise, you must make sure:

The weight machine is set at the appropriate level by testing it with your body weight. The position of the overhead bars is appropriate and that they can be securely locked into position. Allow enough room between you and the machine so that your arms are not restricted during movement.

To start this exercise, extend your arms fully so that they are now directly above your head, holding the rope firmly in both hands with a neutral grip.

Overhead Cable Extensions

You should now have your arms perpendicular to the ground with your elbows tucked tight to your chin and your palms pointing upwards toward the ceiling.

Ensure that your upper arms remain perfectly steady while you move the rope behind your head, slowly. Take a deep breath in and out as you complete this section of the workout. Hold the position for a few seconds after the triceps are fully stretched.

Finish by slowly and deliberately exhale while flexing your triceps to bring yourself back to the starting position.

Repeat as needed to finish the set.

How To Do Overhead Dumbbell Extensions

If you do not have access to a machine, you can get a similar workout by using dumbbells. You can accomplish the routine standing or sitting using your bench. For this tutorial we will walk through standing overhead dumbbell extensions.

Overhead Dumbbell Extensions Form

This exercise should be avoided if you just have one set of dumbbells or if your gym’s range is limited and the majority of the sets are too heavy. It’s never a good idea to lift weights that are too heavy above your head. In addition, in order to strengthen your triceps properly, you must move them through their whole range of motion, and lifting too much weight makes this difficult and increases your risk of injury.

Looking to get strong, tone arms, see our Arm Workout Routine for Women

To start, place your feet shoulder-width apart. Make sure that your arms are completely straight when you lift the dumbbells to your chin. With caution, slowly lower the weights behind your back, being mindful not to overextend your elbows. The weight should be brought back up to the starting position until your forearms are no longer parallel to the floor. You should keep your upper arms in the same position throughout the exercise.

How to do Overhead Dumbbell Extensions


If you want to see a change in how your arms look, then there is no better way to do it than with the proper techniques. Overall, many different exercises can help you transform your arms into bulging masses of muscle. However, learning how to do Overhead Cable Extensions has been proven to be one of the best methods for targeting your triceps and giving them that lean, athletic look.