You’ve heard of French fries, French bread, and French fashion. But, what about French Press? No, not the coffee! We’re talking about the Tricep French Press. And, unlike its coffee counterpart, the Tricep Press is something that a lot of people actually get wrong. (Well, we’re sure some people get French Press coffee wrong, too. But, we’re not going to talk about those people.) The truth is that it’s not that hard to get things right. So, let’s talk about the Tricep French Press, what you should be doing, and variations on this exercise.
What Is A Tricep French Press?
We called this article “Tricep French Press Decoded” because we knew that people might not know exactly how to do this exercise. And, honestly, when it comes to getting the correct form in the gym, you could watch all the videos or see all the pictures you want. But, it probably won’t help you actually get the right form. So, we’re going to start by saying that it’s a good idea to get a personal trainer. That way, you can have someone who is showing you the ropes as you’re doing the exercise. And, they can correct your form if you’re doing something wrong. Don’t have the money for a trainer? Pop into a gym and ask someone who works there to give you some tips.
Now, the real question, what IS the Tricep French Press Exercise? And is there a difference between one that’s overhead, standing, seated, etc.? Well, basically the French Press For Triceps is about working out – you guessed it – the triceps. But, they tend to also hit your forearms, too. (It’s just the way your muscle mechanics work.) Ideally, a Tricep French Press will isolate your triceps as much as possible. It’s actually arguably one of the most popular exercises for isolating the triceps. Because, it should be more natural on the joints of the wrist and elbow.
How To Do A Tricep French Press Dumbbell Exercise
Now, one of the nicknames for some forms of the Tricep French Press is the “skull crusher.” Why do they call it that? Well, because you’re doing a lot of heavy lifting right over your forehead. So, it’s really important that you start with a weight that is doable for you. And, make sure you have a spotter so that if you experience muscle fatigue, you don’t just drop the weight on your face. It might also be helpful to use what’s called an “EZ bar” – a barbell that has kinks along it for better gripping and curling motion. Some people find that it helps activate muscles better, or may just be better for wrist and joint position.
Of course, if you have the stability, you can try doing a Tricep French Press Dumbbell exercise, which will use dumbbells instead of a barbell. But, you should talk to your trainer before you attempt any of these exercises. And, always use a spotter (like we said before). Because, when you do a Tricep French Press Curl, you’re going to be lowering quite a bit of weight to either just above your forehead, or just behind your head. And, if you drop the weight, you could injure yourself. So, be careful about doing Tricep French Press workouts!
Types Of Tricep French Press Exercises
There are four that we’re going to be touching on today.
- Overhead – this one can actually be done with cables instead of barbells or dumbbells, so you’ll want to use a gym with the appropriate machine.
- Standing – the weight starts above the head and lowers behind the body while in a standing position.
- Seated – essentially the same thing as the Standing Tricep French Press, except you’re sitting down.
- Reclined – lying back against an inclined chair back while performing the exercise.
Overhead Tricep French Press
So, we mentioned that you can do the Overhead Tricep French Press with a cable. So, how does that work? If you’ve ever seen those convertible cable machines at the gym, where you can adjust the weights and cables to do just about any exercise – the Overhead French Press uses that system. Just set the cable to around hip height, so that you’re pulling the cable upwards. We also recommend using the rope handle for more wrist flexibility (as opposed to a bar). Then, using proper lifting technique (keep that core engaged!), you’re going to be facing away from the cable and pulling the rope attachment over your head. With the Overhead Tricep French Press, you’ll want to keep your elbows locked and tucked.
The only movement that should be happening is from the elbows, so you want to keep the hips straight. If you have any questions about doing this exercise, ask someone at the gym or your personal trainer.
Standing Tricep French Press
So, unlike with the Overhead Press, the Standing Tricep French Press is good with a barbell or EZ bar. Much like with the Overhead move, you’re going to want to keep your elbows as stationary as possible. And, it’s a good idea to have them point towards the ceiling the whole time. Of course, with this move, you’re raising and lowering the barbell over and behind your head. So, make sure you have someone standing there who can help you out if you suddenly experience muscle failure. Especially, since improperly unloading a barbell from the back can cause you to dislocate a joint.
Seated Tricep French Press
As we said above in the short list, the Seated Tricep French Press is basically the same thing as the Standing one. Except, you’re going to be doing the move while seated. This is a good option if you recently did leg day! In all seriousness, though, there are several reasons why your trainer might want you to do a Seated Tricep French Press instead of a standing or overhead one.
Reclined Tricep French Press
Some people prefer to do their “skull crushers” while lying down. This means that you’re going to be lowering the bar right over your forehead and then pulling it back upward. So, it’s crucial to have a spotter if you’re fully lying down. If you’re reclined but mostly still upright, you may still choose to lower the weight behind your head. Just ask your trainer which option is the best for targeting your muscles. We hope we’ve helped you decode the Tricep French Press! Stop back at Muscle Gainer soon for more articles!