Exercise Profile
  • Target Muscle Group
  • Exercise TypeStrength
  • Equipment RequiredCable
  • MechanicsIsolation
  • Force TypePush (Bilateral)
  • Experience LevelBeginner
  • Secondary Muscles
Target Muscle Group


Triceps Muscle Anatomy Diagram

Straight Bar Tricep Extension Overview

The straight bar tricep extension is a variation of the cable tricep extension and an exercise used to build the muscles of the triceps.

Well-built triceps also have a lot of positive carryover into your pressing movements such as bench press variations and shoulder press variations.

The straight bar tricep extension can be included in your tricep workouts, upper body workouts, push workouts, and full body workouts.

Straight Bar Tricep Extension Instructions

  1. Attach a straight bar to a cable stack as high as possible and assume a standing position.
  2. Grasp the straight bar with a pronated grip (palms facing down) and lean forward slightly by hinging at the hips.
  3. Initiate the movement by extending the elbows and flexing the triceps.
  4. Pull the handle downward until the elbows are almost locked out and then slowly lower under control back to the starting position.
  5. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

Straight Bar Tricep Extension Tips

  1. If you want to keep more tension in the triceps, don’t lock the elbows out entirely.
  2. Imagine there’s a screw running through your elbow and don’t allow them to move in front of the body as you extend at the bottom of the movement.
  3. Experiment with static elbow positioning throughout the lift - some may find that they get a better stretch in the bottom portion of the movement by allowing their elbows to drift behind the body during the eccentric portion of the movement (similar to a drag curl).
  4. Ensure the shoulder blades don’t tilt forward as you extend the elbows.
Jeferson Moreira
Posted on: Mon, 02/05/2024 - 11:38

Boa tarde. Não possuo máquina de polia pois treino na minha residência e só possuo barras e halteres. Qual exercício eu faço pra substituir tríceps com barra na polia alta? Posso fazer tríceps testa com barra pegada invertida? Uma vez que esse treino já possui tríceps testa com barra, Obrigado

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Thu, 02/15/2024 - 18:36

Você pode fazer mergulhos ou prensas reversas com uma barra. Flexões com pegada fechada também são uma boa opção a se considerar. Obrigado por ler M&S!

His question translated from Portuguese - Good afternoon. I don't have a pulley machine because I train at home and only have barbells and dumbbells. What exercise do I do to replace triceps with a high pulley bar? Can I do triceps dips with a reverse grip bar? Since this workout already includes barbell triceps, Thank you?

My answer - You can do either dips or reverse grip presses with a bar. Close grip pushups are also a good choice to consider. Thank you for reading M&S!

Posted on: Wed, 06/20/2018 - 12:24

What does it mean when it says 20x1, 20x1/4 reps?

Posted on: Fri, 08/11/2017 - 03:20

Is it ok to use a normal overhand grip but have the thumb above the bar rather than below? when below i feel i need to turn the bar and it uses my forearms and limits my tricep activation

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Fri, 08/11/2017 - 10:43

Hi Peter,

Sure, that would be a fine alteration.

Hope this helps!

Shrikant vyas
Posted on: Fri, 06/02/2017 - 03:13

cutting programe

Posted on: Thu, 01/15/2015 - 21:04

Are these cables safe?

Posted on: Wed, 07/23/2014 - 15:51

these are pushdowns....???

Posted on: Wed, 06/25/2014 - 00:44

How do i do with a bar or dumbbells ?

Posted on: Mon, 09/14/2015 - 05:35

you can do it on a bench press with a bar, hold the bar straight out and lower the bar to your forehead by bending your elbows and then extend back out, keeping your upper arm and body in the same position and only moving your forearms

Posted on: Sun, 03/30/2014 - 20:41

That woman in the background is trouble

Posted on: Sat, 10/19/2013 - 01:12

Using a rope. Tie both ends of the braided rope to act as grips then attach the rope to the pully in the middle of the rope. Pull down from each end the same as you would for this exercise except pull or 'stretch' the ends apart as you pull down. Its a much more benificial process for working the triceps and getting a good 'burn' feel through them. You'll defiantly know your working your triceps hard with this exercise. **start with lower weight and work your way up to find your optimal weight for the workout**

Posted on: Wed, 11/07/2012 - 19:01

Can I substitute the closegrip with skull crushers? Mitch has a great idea there.

Posted on: Tue, 08/14/2012 - 18:58

a good substitute would be lying tricep extension or "skull crusher"

Posted on: Mon, 07/16/2012 - 17:45

I have dumbbells but no machine, how can I do this excercise using dumbbells?

Posted on: Fri, 08/17/2012 - 06:09

not an exact alternative for cable version, but you can do it like the link below in standing position:

Posted on: Fri, 05/11/2012 - 20:14

If you dont have any machines or cables, what is the best substitute for this workouy

Posted on: Sun, 06/24/2012 - 17:56

do you have dumbells?

jay house
Posted on: Thu, 04/10/2014 - 09:31

i sell you some

Amanda I
Posted on: Thu, 01/03/2013 - 12:09

use a chair and do chair dips!!! it uses your own weight for resistance!

Posted on: Sat, 04/14/2012 - 01:59

Each time I work my triceps they become uncomfortable tight every 1 rep. Is there something I am doing wrong or certain strectch I can do to release this tightness.

jay house
Posted on: Thu, 04/10/2014 - 09:30

yep their is something you did wrong put your hand on your shoulder and take it towards your back that will stretch your triceps

Posted on: Thu, 04/12/2012 - 13:38

What are your thoughts on using a rope in place of the bar for this exercise?

Posted on: Tue, 05/26/2015 - 21:44

I actually prefer using a rope instead of the bar because I feel like it works your triceps a little harder. That and when you use the bar you have to up your weight to make a difference because it's heavier than the rope, making it "easier".