Triceps Pushdowns

Technique Summary

Stand in front of a triceps pushdown machine with feet slightly wider than shoulder length. Grab the bar, press your upper arms into your sides, and fix your elbows slightly ahead of your shoulders. Push the bar down and exhale. Allow it to come back up and inhale.

Exercise Type: Isolation
Primary Muscle: Triceps Brachii

Technique Details

Triceps pushdown is a great cable isolation exercise for triceps. Cable exercises do a good job of maintaining a constant even pressure throughout the full range of motion.

Keep your arms – shoulder to elbow – fixed in place. Your upper arm should form a small angle (may be 10 degrees) with your body. This will allow you to achieve full contraction without having to move your arms. Fully extend your arms on peak contraction, but do not lock out your elbows. Locking elbows may lead to tendonitis. Bring the bar up until your forearm touches your biceps (that’s about a 30 degree angle at your elbow). You should feel pressure on your triceps the entire time. If you are not, then you are probably doing the exercise incorrectly.

Keep your chest out, shoulders back, and back straight. Do not jerk the weight or try to help yourself lift by pushing down with shoulders or by leaning forward. Keep your legs stationary and your feet flat on the floor. You may introduce a small bend in your knees to help you balance.

Triceps pushdown could be performed with a straight bar, a curl bar, or a rope. It could also be performed with palms facing down or with palms facing up.