Triceps Brachii Muscle Anatomy &
Exercises 101: The Back of the Arm

Learn the triceps brachii muscle anatomy, exercises and functions all on this page. You can apply some of the information on this page towards building bigger arms.

The triceps is a horseshoe-shaped muscle on the backside of the upper arm, between your rear deltoid and elbow joint.

Its primary movement is to arm extension, such as when push yourself off of a surface or push something (or someone!) away from you.

The triceps muscle glossary at the bottom of this page defines all the triceps heads and other anatomy terms in this guide.

Use the table of contents (TOC) to quickly jump between the listed sections of this page.

Triceps Brachii Muscle Anatomy

Triceps Brachii

Long Head

  • Origin
    • Infraglenoid Tubercle of the Scapula
  • Insertion
    • Olecranon Process of the Proximal Posterior Surface of the Ulna
  • Function
    • Elbow Extension
    • Shoulder Extension
    • Shoulder Adduction

Lateral Head

  • Origin
    • Superior to the Radial Groove of the Posterior Humerus
  • Insertion
    • Olecranon Process of the Proximal Posterior Surface of the Ulna
  • Function
    • Elbow Extension

Medial Head

  • Origin
    • Inferior to the Radial Groove of the Posterior Humerus
  • Insertion
    • Olecranon Process of the Proximal Posterior Surface of the Ulnaa
  • Function
    • Elbow Extension

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Triceps Brachii Muscle Exercises

Triceps Brachii Exercises. Below is a list of the exercises that most directly workout the triceps.

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Related Muscles. Muscles that perform similar functions include:

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Triceps Muscle Glossary

Functions

  • Elbow Extension. Straightening the elbow by moving the forearm away from the upper arm.
  • Shoulder Adduction. Pulling the upper arms downward and to the side of the body, from an elevated position; exemplified by the pull-ups or pull-downs exercises.
  • Shoulder Extension. Pulling the upper arm downward from an elevated position.

Anatomy

  • Humerus. Upper arm bone.
  • Infraglenoid Tubercle. The small protruding bump (tubercle) on the lower, outer scapula (below the "glenoid cavity").
  • Olecranon Process. A large hook-shaped bony projection of the ulna (outer forearm bone) that curves behind the elbow joint; it forms the bony tip of the elbow that you can see and feel when the arm is bent.
  • Posterior. Back, or rear.
  • Proximal. Located closest to the origin.
  • Scapula. Shoulder blade.
  • Superior. Above, or higher; located closer to the head, away from the feet.
  • Ulna. The forearm bone, located on the medial (toward the inside) side of the elbow.

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