Muscles Used • Exercise Type • Form Instruction • Tips and Techniques • Recommended Reps • Common Variations • Substitutions • Equipment Needed
|Delts (R), Traps, Lats, Abs, Pecs|
See all the exercises at the:
Weight Training Exercises Database
– Triceps Cable Pushdowns –
Isolated Exercise, Push Movement
Standing with back straight but slightly leaning into the exercise, elbows tightly at your sides, knees slightly bent, grasp attachment and pushdown until arms are extended then let it raise until forearm is again close to upper arm (a bit above parallel to floor).
Tips and Techniques:
While slightly leaning in, the back should stay straight and stationary throughout the exercise. Make sure you are using your triceps and resisting the urge to put some bodyweight into the pushdown. If your shoulders are curling in as you press down, you are using the delts and limiting the triceps building value of the exercise. This usually means you are using too much weight. Take weight off and stick to your form for best results.
Don’t swing, squeeze the triceps at the bottom and control the weight as you move toward the top of the exercise.
Grip should be slightly less than shoulder width. Keep your elbows pinned to your side throughout the movement and do not allow the wrists to bend back at any point. Forearms are the only body part moving.
You can use a bar attachment (straight or V-bar) or a rope attachment for the exercise. Form is the same on all. On the rope attachment you start with the hands together and palms facing in at the top and then twist the wrists down as you perform the exercise, ending with the rope in an upside down V.
For heavier triceps pushdowns, using a stance with one leg in front of the other may be advantageous for support. Here you are at the beginning stages of a lunge and your front knee is out about where you are pushing the weight down.
Overhanded vs. Underhanded Grip: Both have value. The overhanded grip is most often used and may best target the outer arm triceps (lateral head). An underhand grip creates a pulling motion (Triceps Pulldowns). It can help eliminate the use of the delts but increases the use of the forearms. It is necessary to use a lighter load with the underhanded grip but it may be more effective for the inner triceps (medial head).
Recommended Reps For Muscle Building:
6-12 the majority of the time, trying higher or lower reps on occasion.
- Seated Triceps Pushdowns – Save movement just seated.
- Seated Incline Triceps Pushdowns – Seated on an incline bench and facing away from the cable machine as opposed to towards it. Same basic form with elbows pinned to sides.
- One-Arm Triceps Pushdowns – Same movement with one arm at a time. Typically using the one leg in front of the other stance for best balance.
- More Machine-Based Pushdowns – In addition to cable based triceps pushdowns detailed above, lever machines can provide an option for the exercise.
For targeting the triceps, compound exercises like the Close-Grip Bench Press and Bench Dips as well as isolated exercises like Skull Crushers and Dumbbell Triceps Extensions give you lots of options.
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