Best Triceps Exercises – Triceps Pushdown

by Riley Daye


One of the Best Triceps Exercises for bigger arms is the Triceps Pushdown.  This is probably one of the most common Triceps exercises I see performed at the gym and it is often being executed improperly.  Of course the key to optimizing the effects of any exercise is proper form.  Everyone wants bigger arms, a thicker chest, and / or more defined abs, but few take the time to understand how a specific exercise works the muscle group.  In my experience, the mind-body connection is the single most important factor when working out and trying to achieve goals.  It is important to focus on the exercise you’re performing and what muscles you’re body is using to move the weight.

First let’s understand what the Tricep muscles are and what their purpose is.  The Triceps Brachii is the group of muscles located on the upper arm, opposite the biceps muscle.  Basically, it’s the back of the arm.  The Triceps Brachii is latin for “3 headed muscle” and it’s primary function is to extend the arm from the elbow joint.

To challenge the Triceps muscle or any muscle group for that matter, don’t limit yourself to one specific training exercise or motion.  Ideally if you’re just beginning to workout in the gym, it’s a good idea to master one exercise and practice increasing the weight while maintaining proper form, before moving on to learn a new exercise.

So let’s begin.

The Triceps pushdown require that you use a rigid bar attached to the cable pulley.  Remember the Pushdown is different that the pulldown that utilizes the rope.

1. To protect your hands from calluses and get a better grip, be sure to wear a good gym glove.

2. Standing towards the weight rack with feet shoulder width apart, grasp the bar which should be at about eye level when at rest.

3. While keeping your elbows pinned close to the sides of your body, push the bar down towards your upper thigh.  Keep your abs tight and contracted and maintain proper posture.  If you find that you’re lurching forward or bending at the waist, the weight is probably a bit to heavy for you.  Remember the mind/body connection… you want to work the triceps here!

4. When the bar is pushed down to the point that you’re arms are almost straight, pay attention to the contraction of your triceps.  Give them an extra squeeze at this point, but be careful not to lock your elbows entirely.

5. With controlled motion, slowly raise the bar until your hands are slightly higher than parallel to the floor, and begin the motion again for your second rep.  You are NOT return your hands to the starting position until you have completed your entire set!


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Riley Daye

About Riley Daye

Riley Daye is an ACE Certified Personal Trainer and Lifestyle and Weightloss Consultant.  He is a Los Angeles Personal Trainer and Lifestyle Consultant who specializes in Weight Loss and Sport Specific Training.  Contact Riley to schedule a private consultation.

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