The triceps pushdown is without doubt one of the easiest and best workouts for coaching your triceps.

It’s a fixture in lots of weightlifting applications as a result of it trains all three heads of the triceps, particularly the lengthy head, making it glorious for growing your higher arms.

On this article, you’ll study what the triceps pushdown is, why it’s helpful, the right way to carry out it with correct type, the very best triceps pushdown alternate options, and extra.

What Is the Triceps Pushdown?

The triceps pushdown (typically erroneously known as the “tricep pushdown”) is a triceps isolation train carried out utilizing a cable machine. 

To carry out the triceps pushdown, you grip a deal with hooked up to a excessive cable pulley and push the deal with towards the ground by straightening your elbows.

You need to use a number of completely different handles to carry out the triceps pushdown, together with the rope deal with, straight bar, EZ bar, and V bar. This is the reason you’ll typically hear individuals confer with the train because the “bar triceps pushdown,” “rope triceps pushdown,” and so forth.

Regardless of what many individuals say, altering the deal with you utilize doesn’t drastically change how the train trains your triceps, so use whichever one feels most comfy.

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Triceps Pushdown: Advantages

1. It trains your whole triceps.

The triceps has three heads: The lateral head, medial head, and long head. The lengthy head is the biggest and thus contributes most to the general dimension of your triceps. 

Whereas the triceps extension successfully trains all three heads, analysis reveals that it emphasizes the lengthy head, making it significantly good for including dimension to your higher arms.

2. It maximizes triceps growth.

Many individuals assume that heavy bench urgent is sufficient to practice your triceps, and doing units of isolation workouts just like the triceps pushdown is superfluous or “junk” volume (further units and reps that aren’t well worth the effort). 

Nevertheless, analysis reveals this most likely isn’t the case.

For example, in a single study performed by scientists at Paulista College, researchers discovered that whereas doing the bench press or triceps pushdown alone brought about some triceps development, together with each workouts in your coaching was higher. (Additionally they discovered that doing the bench press adopted by the triceps pushdown led to extra development than doing the workouts within the reverse order.)

This jives with different analysis that reveals coaching a muscle group with numerous workouts produces better outcomes than only one train.

That’s why I at all times embody triceps isolation exercises just like the triceps pushdown and heavy urgent workouts in my health applications for women and men, Bigger Leaner Stronger and Thinner Leaner Stronger.

(And for those who’d like extra particular recommendation about what workouts to incorporate in your coaching program to achieve your well being and health objectives, take the Legion Strength Training Quiz, and in lower than a minute, you’ll know the proper energy coaching program for you. Click here to check it out.)

3. It permits you to practice your triceps when your different “pushing” muscle mass are drained.

Throughout the entire greatest pushing workouts, just like the bench press, overhead press, and close-grip bench press, your chest and shoulders bear the brunt of the load.

In case your chest, shoulder, or push workouts solely encompass free-weight workouts like these, your pecs and delts could fatigue quicker than your triceps. In different phrases, whereas your chest and shoulders could also be bushed after 6 units of those workouts, your triceps might be able to deal with a number of extra.

The triceps pushdown is a useful workaround on this situation, because it permits you to practice your triceps after your different pushing muscle mass are fried.

This ensures you practice your triceps with the amount they should develop with out your chest or shoulders turning into a limiting issue.

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Triceps Pushdown: Muscle tissues Labored

The triceps pushdown trains all three heads of the triceps. Right here’s how they appear when seen from behind:


Triceps (anatomy)


Triceps Pushdown: Kind

One of the simplest ways to study the right way to do the triceps extension is to separate the train into three components: arrange, push down, ascend.


Triceps Pushdown before after


1. Arrange

Alter the pulley on a cable machine to the very best setting and fix your most well-liked deal with (the straight steel or rope deal with, EZ bar, and V bar are all good choices), then stand in entrance of it together with your ft about shoulder-width aside.

Seize the deal with with each palms (for those who’re utilizing a bar attachment your palms ought to face the ground), take a step again in order that your palms are supporting the burden, and lean barely ahead whereas pulling your elbows again towards your torso, in order that your shoulders are over your palms. It’s also possible to put one foot behind the opposite if that’s extra comfy for you.

2. Push down

With out altering your again angle, push the deal with straight down till your arms are straight, holding your elbows at your sides.

3. Ascend

Increase your palms and return to the beginning place. It is a mirror picture of what you probably did throughout the extension.

Don’t let the burden yank your arms again to the beginning place or attempt to bend your arms slowly. All the ascent must be managed however solely take a few second.

Right here’s the way it ought to look once you put all of it collectively:


Triceps Pushdown gif


The Greatest Triceps Pushdown Options

1. Reverse-Grip Triceps Pushdown


Reverse-Grip Triceps Pushdown


The reverse-grip triceps pushdown (typically known as the underhand triceps pushdown) is nearly similar to the common triceps pushdown—the one distinction is you’re taking an underhand grip (palms dealing with upward). 

Some individuals say that altering your grip from palms right down to palms up on the triceps pushdown vastly impacts which head of the triceps you practice, however that is most likely an over exaggeration. It seemingly modifications which head you emphasize to a small diploma, however it’s tough to say whether or not this has any significant impact on long-term muscle development.

Nonetheless, the reverse-grip variation is a viable different that some individuals discover extra comfy for his or her elbows.

2. Banded Triceps Pushdown


Banded Triceps Pushdown


The resistance band triceps pushdown is an effective variation for those who prefer to work out at home or whereas touring and have restricted area and gear. 

Nevertheless, as a result of a resistance band provides nearly no resistance when it’s slack, there’s little rigidity in your triceps after they’re stretched. This makes the band overhead triceps extension much less efficient for constructing muscle than the cable or dumbbell overhead triceps extension, which is why it’s best to solely use it once you don’t have entry to fitness center gear.

3. Machine Triceps Pushdown


Machine Triceps Pushdown


The machine triceps pushdown makes use of a machine to imitate the motion of the free-weight triceps pushdown. 

Like most machine workouts, the machine triceps pushdown is simpler to study and carry out than the free-weight triceps pushdown as a result of it requires much less stability, coordination, and stabilization. This makes it variation for people who find themselves new to weightlifting or working round an injury.

Nevertheless, machine workouts are barely much less efficient than free-weight workouts for constructing muscle, so when you’ve constructed a base stage of energy or recovered out of your harm, it’s normally greatest to do to the cable triceps pushdown.

4. Single-Arm Triceps Pushdown


Single-Arm Triceps Pushdown


The one-arm triceps pushdown is similar because the common cable triceps pushdown, besides as an alternative of coaching your arms bilaterally (each collectively), you practice every unilaterally (separately).

That is helpful as a result of it . . .

  • Might enable you to raise extra complete weight than you possibly can with some bilateral workouts, which can help you acquire extra muscle over time
  • Helps you develop a larger mind-muscle connection together with your triceps, since you solely have to deal with one facet of your physique at a time
  • Helps you appropriate muscle imbalances, as a result of either side of your physique are pressured to raise the identical quantity of weight (one facet can’t “take over” from the opposite)

5. Dumbbell Kickback


Dumbbell Kickback


The dumbbell kickback entails an identical motion to the cable triceps pushdown (which is why some individuals name it the dumbbell triceps pushdown). 

Just like the cable triceps pushdown, the dumbbell kickback successfully trains the lengthy head of the triceps. The one downsides are that it’s tough to keep up good type when you progress to heavy weights and it doesn’t train your triceps by means of a full range of motion or place rigidity on them after they’re stretched, which makes it much less efficient than the cable variation for gaining muscle and energy.

+ Scientific References