How To Do The Tricep Pushdown: The Complete Guide

The Tricep Pushdown is one of the best exercises to add mass and strength to your triceps. This isolation exercise, in addition to your triceps, also engage your shoulders, back, and core to some degree.

The triceps brachii muscle is located at the rear of the upper arm and has three components: the long, lateral, and medial heads. If you want to build up your arms, working all three heads of your triceps is key, and the triceps pushdown does just that.

Learning The Tricep Pushdown

  1. Stand facing the cable machine and fix the cable attachment at a height above your head. Attach a rope or handle and grasp in firmly with a full grip. 
  2. Stand with your feet shoulder with apart or in a staggered manner. Keep your back straight with slight forward inclination.
  3. Tighten your core, hips with your chest up. Depress and retract your scapulae and slowly press the rope down to the starting position where your elbows are aligned with the mid-point of your trunk, arms positioned slightly in front of your sides.
  4. Gently exhale and slowly extend your elbows, pressing the rope down towards the floor. Maintain your torso, shoulder, arm and wrist position throughout the movement.
  5. At the bottom of the movement, take a slight pause to feel the contraction and return back to the starting position.

Common Mistakes

  1. Elbows Flared Out – No matter what weight you are able to lift, never flare out your elbows in order to lift heavier weight. Perfect form is the key to gaining strength and size.
  2. Leaning Forward – While slight forward posture is beneficial in increasing the range of motion, leaning forward in order to leverage the motion is not recommended.
  3. Range Of Motion – Doing half reps is not going to benefit you even if you are performing them with twice the weight. Lower the weight and perform the exercise with a complete range of motion. 
  4. Lifting Heavy – What you have to understand is that this is an isolation exercise. Here, you are not supposed to be lifting really heavy. The focus should be on doing the exercise with proper form and complete range of motion in order to reap the benefits.
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