Tricep Pushdown

Tricep pushdowns are a great exercise for building mass on you triceps.  This exercise uses very few other muscles allowing you to concentrate on the triceps.  You will also separate the tricep heads, leading to greater definition of your muscles.  Tricep pushdowns can be done with a few different grips or with a rope.

The starting position for tricep pushdowns is to face a high pulley with a straight or V bar.  Begin with the bar level with your chin.  Stand up straight with your feet approximately 10 to 12 inches apart.  Your forearms should be at a 90 degree angle (or less) in relation to your upper arms. Keep your elbows pinned or tucked tightly, in at your sides, pointing down.  Grip the bar with both hands, usually with your palms facing down, keeping the width of your hands a little less than shoulder width.  Keep your body still, do not swing your body to help lift the weight.  Push the bar down and pause for a second and flex the muscle.  Only count the rep as complete after your arms are fully extended.  This type of exercise requires a high number of reps.  You should try to do at least 12 – 15 tricep pushdowns per set.  Somewhere in that range, you should be totally exhausted.  If your muscles aren’t fatigued, you should add weight.  To gain the most benefit, we suggest at least 4 sets of tricep pushdowns per session.

There are a few variations of the tricep pushdowns.  Most of the time tricep pushdowns are done using the overhand grip.  Another option is the underhand grip, which can be used in the exercise described above.  You should be careful to keep your arms as still as possible as you proceed through the exercise.  Another variation is the one armed tricep pushdown.  This is also performed using the underhand grip.  Some people are more comfortable standing with one foot in front of the other foot.  Keep you elbows at your sides and drive the weight down to your waist.  After locking elbows, squeeze your tricep.  Bring the bar back to the original position.  Then repeat the exercise using the other arm.

Here are a few helpful hints to help you maximize the benefits and see the best results from your tricep pushdown workout.  At the bottom of the pushdown, drop your shoulders as you push the bar towards the ground to increase the contraction of the tricep muscle.  To keep the exercise working your triceps, do not to lean forward to keep pressure off your chest muscles.  Also, keep your upper arms still as you go through the various sages of the exercise.  Make sure the handle goes as high as possible so you use a full range of motion.

The most common error people make while doing tricep pushdowns are not controlling the weight of the bar as you lift up.  The momentum, not your muscles will bring the weight down along with your back muscles, taking emphasis and concentration away from your triceps. 

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