A tricep pushdown is one of the most popular isolation strength training exercises that target your triceps, scientifically known as triceps brachii, a muscle that is located on the back of the upper limb part of your body. To build and develop tricep muscles, the strength and focus are mainly targeted on the three parts of the triceps that are the lateral head, medial head, and long head. This workout is usually performed by cable pushdown or resistance bands in gyms and you can also do this at the comfort of your home by using a rope attached to a pulley machine.
Tricep pushdown is the best upper body workout for gym enthusiasts, bodybuilders, and athletes. It is also the first exercise done by weight lifters to bulk up their arms and muscle strength. However, there are some do’s and don’t while executing this exercise. Let us also check out some techniques, variations, and benefits of this workout.
A Step-by-Step Guide for the Workout
Setup and Warm-up for Tricep Pushdown
Before doing any kind of triceps workout, strong arms and elbow flexibility is crucial. Also knowing the anatomy of the triceps is equally important. Start doing warm-up exercises like Diamond pushups and kickbacks. These are great exercises that target tricep muscles initially and increase strength and stability around your upper body part.
Begin to Tricep Pushdown Workout
- After warming up, grip the adjustable tricep pushdown cable. Make sure that you have set the cable bar according to your height and weight.
- Take a step back and keep your feet slightly wide.
- Slightly bend your knees, your elbows and shoulders should be in front of your hips throughout the workout.
- Breathe in. Keep your spine straight while pushing down the cable until the elbows are fully extended.
- Once you push down the cable, bring the cable up past 90 degrees and then breathe out. Slowly, repeat this movement.
- For beginners, it is better to start with 4 reps and then go on with 8 reps.
Different Versions of Tricep Pushdown
As compared to bar pushdown, a rope is more beneficial. You can move your arm in a greater range of motion and it also increases flexibility.
Reverse Grip Tricep Pushdown
In this effective variation of pushdown, you should focus mainly on targeting the medial part of the triceps for strengthening stability. Grab the bar with palms facing upwards and pull the attachment down till your arms are fully extended. This pushdown also activates a secondary group of muscles like abs, lats and traps.
Cable Overhead Tricep Extension
While doing this pushdown, face away from the machine pulley by keeping a step away. Hold the rope with a neutral grip and remember palms should face inwards. Pull the rope, stretch and bring it in front of your face. Repeat this for some specific number of times. Soon after 8-10 reps, you will notice some difference in muscle mass and muscular development.
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- Bending the wrist while pulling the bar down could stress your shoulders and wrist. The wrist should be in line with your elbow.
- When elbow movements are improper, it would lead to severe tension in the ribcage and shoulders. So, make sure that your are doing elbows movement carefully, especially while doing a rope tricep pushdown.
- Sometimes people always concentrate on building one head of triceps, this could not benefit them. It would be better if you are giving prime importance to all the three parts of the triceps i.e lateral, medial and head for having a good physique and overall muscle development.
Safety Measure and Precautions for Tricep Pushdown
- If you are suffering from any kind of illness or have an elbow injury it is better to always consult a doctor and then do the exercise cautiously.
- If you are a beginner, do not start with heavyweight training. This is a red flag. Always choose a weight according to your comfort level and that suits your body.
- If any time you face any physical discomfort during the movement, stop the exercise immediately.
- Do not overdo triceps pushdown. Take sufficient breaks from workouts. Proper nutrition and rest for 24-48 hours are mandatory before doing physical training in your muscle program.
- The major benefit of triceps pushdown is heavyweight lifting. Stronger triceps will make it possible to lift more heavyweights.
- If your triceps are lacking strength and are imbalancing, then this workout is the solution to your problem.
- This exercise gives a huge advantage to bodybuilders who want to build up their arm strength, upper body mass and muscle growth
- If you want to stabilize your shoulder joint and tone your muscles then tricep pushdown is a must for you.
- Even if you are not a gym person, you can perform this exercise at your home by attaching the rope to a pulley. It will benefit you to do household activities like, lifting heavy boxes or moving heavy things.