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How to do a kneeling cable concentration triceps extension

Isolate your tris and eliminate momentum with the cable concentration triceps extension.
Written By  James Jackson
Last Updated on 11th October 2021
A man doing a kneeling cable concentration triceps extension

One of the most interesting tricep facts is that all three heads of the triceps muscle share the same primary function: elbow extension.

As such, any time that you can take your other muscles out of the equation and focus purely on training your triceps, you’re going to get an excellent hypertrophic stimulus.

The kneeling cable concentration triceps extension is a highly effective exercise in this regard because, by bracing your elbow against the inside of your knee, you drastically reduce your ability to generate momentum, which in turn encourages you to use the proper form.

This article shows you how to do 3 different types of tricep concentration extension with the optimal lifting technique.

Related: Cable cross tricep extension

Kneeling cable concentration triceps extension exercise details

  • Main Muscles: Triceps
  • Exercise Type: Strength
  • Exercise Mechanics: Isolation
  • Difficulty Level: Intermediate
  • Equipment Needed: Cable column, single cable handle

How to do a cable concentration triceps extension

A man doing a tricep concentration extension
  1. Connect a single cable handle to a high pulley.
  2. Stand side-on to the cable machine.
  3. Grab the cable handle with a supinated grip and assume a lunge position.
  4. Brace your elbow against the inside of your knee and then flex your triceps forcefully.
  5. Keep going until your elbow reaches full extension.
  6. Slowly release the contraction and let the handle travel upward until your forearm and biceps make contact.
  7. After doing all your reps for one arm, perform a half turn so that the other side of your body is now facing the pulley.
  8. Perform 3-5 sets of 10-20 reps per arm.

Cable tricep concentration extension variations

Learn how to do a cable concentration extension with a rope attachment and no attachment at all.

Cable concentration tricep extension (rope)

A man performing a cable concentration triceps extension

While you can do this exercise with a regular, two-sided tricep rope, you’re better off using a single tricep rope because it’ll reduce the distance between your hand and the cable, which in turn makes your triceps work harder during the initial phase of the rep.

Using a rope rather than a single handle enables you to generate more force (and thereby lift heavier weights) because you can push into the end of the rope with your hand.

When you use the handle attachment, on the other hand, you forfeit any ability to push into the handle with the palm of your hand because, when you use a supinated grip, you’re basically performing a pulling motion on the handle with your hands and fingers. It’s a similar story with the horizontal tricep extension.

Using a rope attachment for the concentration cable extension also enables you to keep your wrist in a neutral position, which is generally considered to be more joint-friendly than both supinated and pronated hand positions.

Cable concentration tricep extension (no attachment)

A man at the gym doing a cable concentration tricep extension

If your gym has a poor selection of attachments or if they’re all taken, then you can actually do the cable concentration tricep extension with no attachment at all.

When you remove the attachment, many cable machines have rubber balls on the end of the cables.

These balls are ideal for gripping during isolation exercises because they fit nicely into your hands.

The lifting technique is the same. You press your elbow against the inside of your knee (to minimize cheating) and then extend your elbow to contract your triceps. From there, you simply release the contraction under control until your forearm presses up against your biceps.

Read More: Cross body tricep extension

Conclusion

The tricep concentration extension is an underrated isolation exercise that can really improve your lifting technique.

By bracing your elbow against your leg, you lose the ability to generate momentum with your shoulder.

Likewise, since you’re doing a cable kneeling tricep extension, you can’t swing the weight up with your legs, hips, or back either. This means that your triceps have to perform all of the lifting, which naturally means that they also get to benefit from all of the tension.

The cable concentration triceps extension is also an excellent exercise for enhancing the symmetry of your triceps because by training each arm separately, you can make sure that both of your triceps get equal amounts of work.

As such, the exercise is ideal if you have muscular imbalances and want to develop a more proportional pair of upper arms.

James Jackson
James Jackson is a personal trainer who uses his expertise in strength and conditioning to create helpful workout tutorials that show fitness enthusiasts how to build muscle while staying safe in the gym. He draws on the latest sports science data as well as tried and tested training techniques to get the best results for his clients without them having to live in the gym.
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