Everything you need to know about Triceps​

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Everything you need to know about Triceps

The triceps, sometimes known as the “three-headed muscle of the arm,” is a big muscle found on the back of many vertebrates‘ upper limbs. The medial, lateral, and long heads are the three sections of the skull. It is the primary muscle in the elbow joint that allows it to extend (straightening of the arm). Because three bundles of muscles, each with a separate origin, link together at the elbow, it is sometimes referred to as a three-headed muscle. 

Having said that, the triceps’ main role is to extend the forearm at the elbow joint, which opposes the activity of flexors like the biceps brachii. When the arm is slightly bent during flexion, the biceps brachii outweigh the triceps brachii. In addition to stretching the forearm at the elbow joint, the triceps may help support the elbow joint when the forearm and hand undertake precise movements such as writing.

Heads of the Triceps Muscle -

1. Long Heads

The lengthy head is produced by the scapula’s Infraglenoid Tubercle. It runs from the teres minor to the teres major in a straight line. The long head that links to the scapula not only strains the elbow, but it also has a little influence on the glenohumeral (shoulder) joint.

This head is active during elbow extension whether the forearm is supinated or pronated. The triceps muscle serves to retain the humeral head in the glenoid cavity while the arm is adducted. This activity contributes to the prevention of humeral displacement. The long head also contributes to arm extension and adduction at the shoulder joint.

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2. Medial Heads

Triceps anatomy

The triceps’ long and lateral heads overlap the medial head. It has a broad root that extends across the whole posterior side of the humerus, just below the radial groove. It is connected to the humerus in a triangular area. The apex of the triangle lies above the insertion of the teres major on the medial border of the humerus, and the base is the line joining the humeral medial and lateral epicondyles.


On the backside, the medial head is likewise connected to the medial and lateral intermuscular septums. Because the medial head is not linked to the scapula, it has no influence on the stability or mobility of the glenohumeral joint. When the forearm is supinated or pronated, the medial head is active during extension of the forearm at the elbow joint.

3. Lateral Heads

The lateral head, like the medial head, emerges from the dorsal humerus but is superior to the radial groove, where it joins to the lateral intermuscular septum. The most powerful of the three heads is supposed to be this one. It is activated during supinated or pronated forearm extension at the elbow joint. The lateral intermuscular septum also contributes to the formation of certain muscle fibers. It’s attachment ascends obliquely behind the deltoid tubercle from the lateral border of the humerus. It continues to the surgical neck of the humerus, medial to the insertion of the teres minor, and above the medial head of the triceps connection.

Functions of the Triceps Muscle -

The triceps and biceps brachii are the primary muscles that regulate elbow mobility. The primary function of the triceps brachii, is forearm extension at the elbow joint. Particularly, triceps participate in active extension, which happens as a result of both triceps brachii muscular contraction and biceps brachii muscle relaxation. As a result, the triceps brachii is most active while pushing or thrusting, as well as maintaining body weight on the hands with the elbows semi-flexed (e.g. when using arms to lift oneself up from a chair).

The triceps medial head is active in all kinds of forearm extension, but the long and lateral heads are only active when the elbow is extended against resistance.

The triceps long head has numerous extra motions as follows :

  1. Because of its attachment to the scapula, the long head can also act on the shoulder joint, generating arm extension.
  2. Because the attachment of the long head also joins with the glenohumeral capsule, it contributes to the stability of the shoulder joint. It notably aids in the retention of the humeral head in the glenoid cavity and the prevention of inferior movement.
  3. When the arm is stretched, the long head may press on the glenohumeral capsule, causing the humerus to press superiorly and the arm to adduct.

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