Triceps activation from pull-ups: How/why?

Chrisdavisjr

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
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

Forum Administrator
Senior 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

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
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.
 

Steve Freides

Forum Administrator
Senior Certified Instructor
@Chrisdavisjr, don't forget that what you feel and what's going on may not be the same thing. You'll be focused on pulling but that doesn't necessarily mean other things aren't happening.

-S-
 

fractal

More than 500 posts
A portion of the tricep also crosses the shoulder, has a fascial connection to the lat and contributes to shoulder extension
 

Marc

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
If you start from a dead hang you might want to actively engage your triceps to protect your elbows from overextending.
 
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