Standing barbell overhead triceps extension

The standing barbell overhead triceps extension is an isolation movement targeting the triceps. The overhead position targets the long head of the triceps in particular. This movement is generally performed for moderate to high reps as part of the arms-focused portion of a workout. If holding a straight bar bothers the wrists or elbows, it can alternately be performed with an EZ-bar or neutral-grip bar.


  1. Hits all three heads of the triceps
  2. Requires core strength and good lumbar positioning
  3. Can also be done seated or using alternative bars for comfort
  4. Can be loaded heavily

Standing barbell overhead triceps extension Images


Standing barbell overhead triceps extension Instructions

Standing barbell overhead triceps extension muscle diagram
  1. To begin, stand up holding a barbell or e-z bar using a pronated grip (palms facing forward) with your hands closer than shoulder width apart from each other. Your feet should be about shoulder width apart.
  2. Now elevate the barbell above your head until your arms are fully extended. Keep your elbows in. This will be your starting position.
  3. Keeping your upper arms close to your head and elbows in, perpendicular to the floor, lower the resistance in a semicircular motion behind your head until your forearms touch your biceps. Tip: The upper arms should remain stationary and only the forearms should move. Breathe in as you perform this step.
  4. Go back to the starting position by using the triceps to raise the barbell. Breathe out as you perform this step.
  5. Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Variations: Another way to perform this exercise is to use dumbbells or a triceps blaster bar. You can also use cables with a bar or rope attachment.