Between the isolation exercises for this muscle, tricep pushdown is my favorite.
Elbows that pop on every arm extension with weight is a very common issue between bodybuilders, and unfortunately I am one of those.
The number of tricep exercises that I can do safely is kinda limited because my left elbow pops during arm extensions when I hold a dumbbell.
Yes I know...what's the big deal if an elbow pops...
The problem is that it happens every time and once you know your body you can tell if it's something harmless or if it's risky.
Well, for me it's dangerous and I don't want to end up having to take a forced month of two off because of that.
Tricep pushdown allows me to work out my triceps with no worries, and I also find it very effective to increase my arms size.
Tricep Pushdown Details
PRIMARY MUSCLE: Triceps
SECONDARY MUSCLES: Shoulders, Forearms
EQUIPMENT: Cable machine, straight bar/angled bar/rope attachment
INITIAL POSITION: Stand in front of a cable machine, better if a couple of steps behind, using a overhead grip. Attach a straight bar and pull it down till your forearms are parallel to the ground. Slightly bend your knees to gain stability and avoid charging your back. Lock your elbows in that position.
MOVEMENT: Push down till you reach the max tricep contraction, then return to initial position, slowly. Keep your elbows close to your sides during the movements.
BREATHING: Exhale while you push down and inhale when you return to initial position.
TIPS and ERRORS: If you use heavy weights you can perform the movement with one foot in front of the other to have more stability. You should lean forward just a little bit, again for balance reasons. Don't open your elbows wide when you push down otherwise you lose the effectiveness of the exercise.
When you return to the initial position, try to stop when your arms and forearms form a 90 degrees angle, don't let the cable pull you up more than that. Keep the tension for the whole duration of the exercise.
Another factor to keep in mind is that you should avoid curving your shoulders. Push your chest out and keep your back straight.
You may want to change something from time to time when you do this exercise. For example you can use:
- Reverse grip (palms face up)
- Angled bar
- Rope attachment
- Single handle for the one arm pushdown
The movement remains the same, you just stimulates your triceps differently and it can be fun sometimes to just change, right?
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