Triceps activation from pull-ups: How/why?

Chrisdavisjr

Level 6 Valued Member
I remember reading somewhere (probably SF related) that you can experience activation of the triceps when performing strict pull-ups and I've certainly experienced this first hand on many occasions.

Does anyone know how/why this happens?
 

Steve Freides

Staff
Senior Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
Chris, as a general rule, antagonists will participate when the tension is sufficiently high. E.g., biceps get used in the bench press. A slower speed of execution will also require antagonist participation.

-S-
 

Chrisdavisjr

Level 6 Valued Member
Chris, as a general rule, antagonists will participate when the tension is sufficiently high. E.g., biceps get used in the bench press. A slower speed of execution will also require antagonist participation.

-S-
That makes sense. I typically do pull-ups in sets of 12 or more (never less than 10) so I feel like the actual tension generated by the upper arm isn't that high when compared to a 1RM curl. I might have to experiment with weighted pull-ups and see what happens when the tension is really high.
 

Marc

Level 6 Valued Member
If you start from a dead hang you might want to actively engage your triceps to protect your elbows from overextending.
 

Starlord

Level 2 Valued Member
For the same reason you will experience DOMS from high volume pull overs. The long head of the Tricep ties into the back and contributes massively in the movement.

The pull up is like a pull over but mechanically easier to load.
 

LvlUpStr

Level 3 Valued Member
I have been doing strict pull-ups and chair triceps extensions for the long heads of the triceps as I only have a power tower.

I also do three sets of triceps push-ups for the lateral head of the triceps.
 
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