Triceps Pushdown: How To, Benefits, And Variations
When it comes to exercises for your triceps, the tricep pushdown is one of the best. The tricep pushdown helps build strength, power, and most of all muscle mass since it's an isolated strength movement. We’re going to cover how to do the tricep pushdown, the benefits, and why this tried and true exercise is one of the best for muscle development.

What Is Triceps Pushdown

The triceps pushdown is an isolated strength training movement that specifically targets your triceps. Isolated movements are often used in bodybuilding since the overall goal is body aesthetics and muscular balance. Usually performed on a cable pulley you can also use resistance bands at home and a multitude of attachments for added variations which can include the triceps pushdown using a straight bar, v-bar, or single arm variation with the cable pulley.

Triceps Push Down Muscles Worked

The Triceps Brachii is a large thick muscle located on the posterior (back) part of your upper arm between the elbow and shoulder directly below your bicep. Your triceps contain three different heads (short, medial, and long). Your triceps assist in elbow extension (straightening your arm at the elbow) and shoulder extension [R].

The long head originates from the infraglenoid tubercle of the scapula, while both the lateral head and the medial head both originate from the humerus. The three heads converge into a single tendon, which attaches to the proximal portion of the olecranon process (the bony prominence of the elbow) located on the upper portion of the ulna [R].

The triceps pushdown emphasizes all three heads of the triceps.

Triceps Pushdown Variations

The triceps pushdown has many variations, namely with different cable pulleys emphasizing alternative grips and focal points or targeted areas of the triceps. You can use a straight bar, v-bar, pronated or supinated grip, as well as unilateral single arm, or bilateral positions. 

  • Rope Triceps Pushdown
  • Straight Bar Triceps Pushdown
  • Wide Grip Straight Bar Triceps Pushdown
  • V-Grip Triceps Pushdown
  • Reverse (supinated) Grip Straight Bar Triceps Pushdown
  • Single Arm (unilateral) Reverse Triceps Pushdown
  • Single Arm Rope Triceps Pushdown
  • Resistance band Triceps Pushdown

Benefits Of Triceps Pushdown

1. Upper Body Strength

The triceps brachii are a large muscle group which includes three muscles, the medial, lateral, and long head. With volume this exercise can generate more muscle development and strength. Strength training movements done in isolation are fully focused on one specific muscle group. Tricep pushdown are one of the best tricep exercises to stimulate more muscle size and strength.

2. Better Definition

If the goal is to build better body aesthetics, then the triceps pushdown is a must have in your training split. The intent of an isolated movement, is to only stimulate a specific muscle group, for the sole purpose of building that particular area in size and strength. The high level of activation will initiate more growth and better definition of your triceps.

How To Do Triceps Pushdown

  1. Attach a double-sided rope to a high pulley and grab with an overhand grip (palms facing down) at shoulder width.
  2. Standing upright with the torso straight and a small inclination forward, bring the upper arms close to your body, elbows tucked towards the body and perpendicular to the floor. The forearms should be pointing up towards the pulley as they hold the rope. This is your starting position.
  3. Brace your abdominals with a deep breath in.
  4. Using your triceps, bring the rope down until it splits the front of your thighs and the elbows are fully extended and locked out perpendicular to the floor. The upper arms should always remain stationary next to your torso and only the forearms should move. Exhale as you perform this movement.
  5. After a second hold at the contracted position, bring the rope slowly up to the starting point. Breathe in as you perform this step.
  6. Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Triceps Pushdown: Takeaway

There are only a handful of tricep exercises that are truly effective, and the tricep pushdown is one of them. The triceps are a large muscle group, yet smaller in relation to the entire body. Pushing higher volume with more reps per set, will help you build more muscle size and get the arm definition you want.

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