tricep-pushdown

How to do tricep pushdown: variations, alternative, muscle worked

Want to know all the variations of tricep pushdown on the cable machine with a straight bar, rope, V-bar, single-hand and also knows its alternative exercises?

Also, learn its proper form, benefits, muscle worked of tricep pushdown and many more.

Yes, then you are in the right place.

So read this article till the end to get all the detailed information about tricep pushdown and many more.

Are you excited to know?

So without wasting any time let’s begin….

What is tricep pushdown?

Tricep pushdown is an exercise that we perform to build and develop our tricep muscles.

Working on your tricep muscles helps you to build overall arm strength and upper body strength, which is very important for your daily strength training routine.

Tricep pushdown is mainly performed on a machine with a cable system.

You can also perform this exercise at home with a resistance band.

It is an isolation exercise and mainly targets the tricep muscles only.

If you have weak tricep muscles, then doing this exercise will make them strong.

This exercise can be performed in many different ways. 

Like you can do tricep pushdown down on the machine with cable system, rope, with V bar, with a straight bar, with single-hand etc.

Commonly tricep pushdown is performed on the machine using a cable system. 

But you can also easily do it with a resistance band at your home or anywhere you want.

We will discuss all the variations of the tricep press down later on. 

So keep reading.

And at last, I will also show you how you can do a tricep pushdown alternative exercise at your home and build a massive tricep.

Benefits of tricep pushdown

tricep-pushdown-benefits

There are many benefits of doing tricep pushdown. 

It helps to increase the strength, size and stamina of your tricep muscles. 

It also helps to keep your tricep muscles in good shape and size.

Strong tricep muscle helps to stabilize your shoulder joints and helps to improve the stability of your shoulders and elbows.

Having strong tricep muscles will allow you to lift more heavy weights and helps to increase strength, especially in doing all the pushing and pressing movements. 

Like doing a heavy bench press, shoulder press, military press and many more.

Muscles worked by the tricep press down

Tricep muscles are located at the rear of your upper arms.

It is bigger than the bicep muscles and covers almost 60% of your arms.

So if you want to build bigger arms, then you must focus on your tricep muscles more as compared to the biceps.

That does not mean that you should not train your bicep muscles.

Triceps muscles can be divided into 3 components/heads:-

  • Lateral head
  • Medial head
  • Long head

All these tricep muscles (long, lateral and medial head) are mainly used for straightening your arms or extension of the elbow joint.

So the tricep pushdown exercise primarily works the lateral and medial heads of the tricep muscle.

But, with some modification and variations in the exercise, you can train all the 3 heads of your tricep muscles.

Now you also have some secondary muscle groups working there or you can say stabilizing/supporting muscles.

Those stabilizing muscle groups are lats, shoulder, abs, chest and leg muscles.

If you do tricep press down incorrectly then other secondary muscles or supporting muscles also get involved. You don’t want that.

The main purpose of doing a tricep press down is to train only your tricep muscles, not other muscles.

So while doing any exercise following the correct and proper form is very important.

Therefore keeping that in mind, below I have given you the correct form and the right technique of doing a tricep pushdown. 

So that you won’t make any mistakes later on.

So keep reading.

How to do tricep pushdown on a cable machine-step by step guide

  • First, you need to attach a v-bar or rope or a straight bar to the cable machine to do the tricep pushdown workout.
  • If you are using an adjustable cable machine then put the cable machine a little bit higher than your height level.
  • Now grip the bar and take a step back.
  • Keep your feet together.
  • Keep a slight bend on your knees and arch your back a little bit.
  • Now tuck your elbows at your sides and bring them in front of your hips.
  • Maintain a neutral spine, chest out and keep your shoulders back (shoulder retraction)
  • Now breathe in, contract your abs and press down the bar down until your elbows are fully extended at the bottom and squeeze your tricep muscles.
  • Don’t forget to breathe out when you’re down.
  • Then slowly in a controlled form release the weight and bring the bar up in a starting position.

Common mistakes in tricep pushdown

  • Excessive elbow moment.
  • Elbows flaring out.
  • Curling the wrist while pushing the weight down.
  • Not using your tricep muscles on both sides (hands) equally.
  • Using your chest, shoulder and back muscles too much while pushing the weight down.
  • Not keeping your shoulder and chest in the correct position.
  • Not engaging your core while performing the exercise.
  • Standing too far away from the machine or too close to the machine.
  • Not contracting and focusing on your tricep muscles.

Correct form and techniques of tricep pushdown on a cable machine

  • To do tricep pushdown, grab the bar or rope and stand approx 6 inches away from the cable. (You have to be determined by your feelings, it’s all up to you. Take a position where you feel the best).
  • Keep your feet almost together, planted on the ground and core tight.
  • Keep a slight bent on your knees, arch your back and lean forward a little bit.
  • Always tuck your elbows at your sides and bring them in front of your hips.
  • Don’t move your elbow position. Try to place them in one position during the whole exercise.
  • While performing the exercise always maintain a neutral spine, chest out and keep your shoulders back (shoulder retraction).
  • With the help of your tricep muscles push the weight down and don’t curl your wrist while pushing down.
  • Make sure you are using your tricep muscles of both hands equally while pressing the weight down.
  • Press down, extend your arms at the bottom and squeeze your tricep muscles for better contraction.
  • While doing a tricep press down exercise, always focus on contracting your tricep muscles. (Mind muscle connection).

Always remember that while doing this exercise only your elbows should be moving during pushdowns. Your upper arms i.e your shoulder to elbow part should be locked.

If you move any other joint during the exercise,  then you’ll be engaging other bigger muscles, which you don’t want.

Variations of tricep pushdown 

There are many variations of tricep press down.

Each of them has its benefit.

Like you can do the tricep pushdown on the cable machine with a straight bar, v bar, rope and single hand.

So now I will be telling you the different variations of tricep push down, which you can do and develop your tricep muscle.

My personal favourite is doing tricep pushdown with rope. Because here I can isolate my muscle better than the others.

But that doesn’t mean that the other variations are bad or not effective.

Other variations are equally effective too.

Everyone has his own personal favourite.

So first of all let’s know about the different variations of tricep push down, which you can do on a machine with cable.

All the forms and techniques will be the same, just you need to change the extension of the cable machine.

Now I will show you how you can do each of them correctly.

Are you excited to know?..

Yes, lets dive in.

Tricep pushdown on a cable machine – straight bar

How to do it?

  • Grab the extension with both hands and stand approx 6 inches away from the cable. (You have to be determined by your feelings, it’s all up to you. Take a position where you feel the best).
  • Keep your feet almost together, planted on the ground and core tight.
  • Keep a slight bent on your knees, arch your back and lean forward a little bit.
  • Tuck your elbows at your sides and bring them in front of your hips a little bit.
  • Now maintain a neutral spine, chest out and keep your shoulders back (shoulder retraction).
  • Now with the help of your tricep muscles push the weight down.
  • Don’t curl your wrist while pushing down.
  • Don’t move your elbow position, place them perfectly in one position all the time.
  • Make sure you are using your tricep muscles of both hands equally while pressing the weight down.
  • Now press down, extend your arms below and squeeze the tricep muscles for better contraction.
  • Then slowly in a controlled form release the weight and bring it up in a starting position.
  • While doing it, always focus on your tricep muscles. (Mind muscle connection).

Different grips of tricep pushdown on a straight bar

Overhand grip / pronated grip
overhand-grip-tricep-pushdown

When you grip over the bar and your palms are facing down, then it is called overhand or pronated grip.

This grip mainly targets all the 3 heads of your tricep muscles, i.e long head, lateral head and medial head.

Underhand grip / supinated grip
underhand-grip-tricep-pushdown

When you grip under the bar and your palms are facing upwards, then it is called underhand grip or supinated grip.

This grip mainly targets the long head and medial head of your tricep muscles.

So use both the grips on the straight bar for better development of your tricep muscles.

Tricep pushdown on a cable machine with rope

In this variation, you will be doing a tricep pushdown on the cable machine with the help of rope.

All techniques and forms are the same as the straight bar. Just you need to change the extension of the cable machine.

Here instead of a straight bar, you will use rope on the cable machine to perform tricep pushdown, that’s it.

With this rope pushdown variation, you can contract your tricep muscles better.

Because with the rope you will get the extra range of motion while performing a tricep pushdown – At the bottom.

Press down, extend your arms at the bottom and then twist both wrists, try to pull the rope apart from each other. 

By doing so you will get an extra contraction and stretch on your tricep muscles, which will help them to grow and develop.

That’s how you do a tricep pushdown on the cable machine with a rope perfectly.

Tricep pushdown on a cable machine with V-bar

In this tricep pushdown variation, you will be performing this exercise using V-bar or V-rod on the cable machine.

All techniques and forms are the same as earlier. Just you need to change the extension of the cable machine.

Here instead of rope or straight bar, you will use that v-bar that’s it.

The V-bar extension allows you to carry more weight than rope and straight bar.

Single hand tricep pushdown on the cable machine

In this exercise, you will be doing a tricep press down with a single hand.

How to do it?

  • Grip the extension of the cable with one hand.
  • You can use an overhand grip (palm facing downwards) or an underhand grip (palm facing upwards).
  • Stand straight, chest up, back straight and core tight.
  • Now bring the cable extension to your chest level.
  • From chest level, push down the cable extension.
  • Fully extend your arms below and squeeze your tricep muscles properly.
  • Then slowly come up at the starting position in a controlled form.
  • During the whole exercise keep your elbows lock in one position. 
  • Now do the same repetition with your other hand also.

This exercise is a great way to fix muscle imbalances between a stronger and weaker arm.

Tricep pushdown with resistance band

In this exercise, you will perform a tricep pushdown with the help of a resistance band.

It is the same as cable machine pushdown.

Here instead of cable, you will use a band for resistance.

You just need a resistance band to do this exercise.

How to do it?

  •  Attach the resistance band to a height where you can comfortably perform the press down movement.
  • Now grip the resistance band with both your hands.
  • Keep your feet planted on the ground, chest up, back straight and core tight.
  • Keep a slight bent on your knees, arch your back and lean forward a little bit.
  • Tuck your elbows at your sides and bring them in front of your hips a little bit.
  • Now with the help of your tricep muscles pull the resistance band down.
  • Fully extend your arms below and squeeze your tricep muscles properly.
  • Then slowly come up at the starting position in a controlled form.

You can go for 10-15 reps for 3-4 sets.

You can do this tricep pushdown exercise with a resistance band anywhere you want.

It is ideal for those who travel a lot and those who like to work out at home.

You can also use this resistance band at the gym to warm up your muscles before lifting heavyweights.

How many tricep pushdown should you do? – Reps and Sets

Well, it all depends on your goals. 

Whether you want to train it for muscle building or fat loss.

Normally, 8-12 reps for 3-4 sets will be perfect for beginners and normal people.

Now, if you want to train your triceps to build strength, size and muscles, then I will recommend doing 4-8 reps with heavyweight for 3-5 sets.

And here if you want to train your tricep muscles for fat loss, cutting or definition, then I will recommend doing 12-20 reps with medium-lightweight for 3-5 sets.

Alternatives of tricep pushdown

Here are some alternative exercises of tricep pushdown, which you can perform and improve your overall tricep muscles easily.

Skull crusher

Skull crusher is one of the best and common alternative exercise of the tricep pushdown.

You can do to improve your overall tricep muscles and size with this exercise

Lie on the bench, hold the weight above your chest, arms straight, core tight, fix your elbows.

Now slowly bring the weight down by bending your elbows towards your forehead or skull and back up.

It mainly targets the long and lateral head of your tricep muscles.

You can perform this exercise with dumbbells, barbells or EZ-bar.

Close grip bench press

The close grip bench press is one of the best exercises to build overall strength, size and improve your overall tricep muscles.

It is also a great alternative exercise of tricep pushdown.

As the name close grip, in this exercise, you will perform a bench press by taking a close grip.

Rather than a normal grip which we usually use in the normal bench press workout.

It’s like the normal bench press only, but as the grips are close to each other it mainly targets your tricep muscles.

Lie down on the bench, lift the barbell and take a close grip (grips should be narrow than your shoulder widths).

Hands straight, core tight, now bring the weight down slowly near your lower chest area, contract your triceps and press up.

You can perform a close grip bench press with dumbbells also.

Overhead tricep extension

Overhead tricep extension is also a great alternative exercise of tricep pushdown.

This exercise mainly targets the long and lateral head of your tricep muscles.

You can do this exercise by standing, sitting or laying down.

And also you can perform this exercise with dumbbells, barbells, EZ-bar or with a cable machine.

You have many different styles and options to perform this exercise, Right.

But, if you have a muscle imbalance or if your arm strength is not equal to each other, then I will suggest you do this exercise with dumbbells.

Tricep kickbacks

Tricep kickbacks are a great isolation exercise for your tricep muscles.

This exercise mainly targets the lateral head and long head of your triceps.

It is also a great alternative to tricep pushdown, which you can do.

Tricep kickbacks are mostly done with dumbbells, but you can perform this exercise with cables also.

How can I do a tricep pushdown at home?

If you don’t want to go to the gym and you just want to do home workouts or bodyweight workouts, then don’t worry I am here to help and guide you.

Here I will show you some tricep pushdown alternative exercises which you can easily do at your home and build tricep muscles.

So are you excited?..

Yes, let’s begin.

Tricep pushdown at home with a resistance band.

As earlier I have also told you that you can perform a tricep pushdown exercise with a resistance band also.

It is the same as the cable machine pushdown.

Here instead of cable, you will just use the band for resistance.

It is ideal for those who travel a lot and those who like to work out at home.

With dumbbells

You can also do alternative exercises of tricep pushdown at your home with dumbbells.

If you have a pair of dumbbells at your home then it will be very helpful for you.

You can do a variety of workouts with dumbbells only.

With dumbbells, you can also do the alternative exercises of a tricep pushdown at home.

Like you can do tricep kickbacks, overhead tricep extension, close grip bench press, lying tricep extension and many more.

Close grip push up

It is like a normal pushup only. 

As the same suggested close grip, from normal pushup, you will take a close grip or narrow grip (narrow then your shoulder width).

By taking the close grip you will do push-ups.

This bodyweight exercise mainly targets all three heads of your tricep muscles.

It one of the best alternative exercises of tricep pushdown, that you can do at your home.

Diamond pushup 

The diamond pushup is a difficult or advanced variation of close grip pushup.

In this pushup, you have to bring your hands very close to each other and position them in a diamond shape on the floor and perform push-ups.

It is also one of the great alternative exercises for tricep pushdown that you can easily do at your home.

This exercise hits all three heads of your tricep muscles, but mainly targets the lateral head (outside part).

Bodyweight tricep extension 

For this exercise first, you have to be in a pushup position.

Then from there, you will extend your arms forward. Keep your hands straight and tight.

Then from there slowly bend your elbows and lower your body down until your elbows touch the ground and back up

You’ll be amazed to feel how much strength it requires from your tricep muscles to perform this exercise.

Trust me it is one of the best alternative exercises of tricep pushdown that you can perform at your home.

It’s like doing a tricep press down on the floor with your body.

Bodyweight skull crusher

It is similar to the bodyweight tricep extension and is also a great alternative exercise for tricep pushdown.

In this exercise, you will get a better range of motion and your tricep muscles are stretched more, as compared to the bodyweight tricep extension.

You just need an elevated object like a table or something which you can grab and perform this exercise.

Bodyweight bench dips

Bodyweight bench dips are also one of the best exercises to build and develop your overall tricep muscles at home.

This exercise is also a great alternative to tricep pushdown.

To perform this exercise you need a bench, table or chair or something elevated surface in which you can grip and perform dips.

Also read:- How you can build stronger and bigger arms at your home without using any equipment?

Conclusion

I hope you got quite deep information about tricep pushdown – how to do it on the cable machine with rope and other different bars, alternatives, muscles worked and many more.

Triceps are the ⅔ of your upper arms. It is bigger than the biceps.

Many people think that if they want a massive arm then they should train their biceps more.

But in reality, it’s not, you should do the opposite.

If you want to improve the size, strength and overall structure of your arms, then you should focus more on your triceps.

You can check out the 8 Most Effective Triceps Exercises which you can do to improve the size, strength and overall structure of your tricep muscles.

Remember one thing, while performing all the tricep press-down exercises always keep your elbows tucked in. Don’t flare it out. And your upper arms should not move i.e from shoulder to elbow part should not move.

So you must pay attention to your forms while performing the exercises.

If you want to work out at your home, then I will suggest you get a resistance band or a pair of dumbbells.

That will make it easier for you to do tricep pushdowns at home and other different exercises.

So that’s all for today.

Let’s meet in the next article.

Till then bye-bye, take care.

If you have any doubts or question, then feel free to ask me in the comment section below.

I will definitely reply you back.

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You can also check these article:-

17 best bodyweight exercises to build bigger tricep muscles – With workout plan & Routine

How to build muscle fast for skinny guys? With a proper workout plan and meal plan.

How you can get bigger and stronger arms at home without using any equipment?

Are you a beginner? And want to build muscles staying at your home? If yes then check this out.

15 best weight loss exercises at home for beginners.