Tricep Pushdown – Why It Is So Great
In this article I will examine the tricep pushdown and why it is so great for a multitude of reasons. The tricep pushdown is a movement that pretty much anyone who goes to the gym regularly will know about. It is generally performed using a cable station with a high pulley and an attachment but it can also be done with resistance bands.
Can Be Done All Year Round
One of the big benefits of tricep pushdowns is that they can be performed all year round without discomfort and are a fantastic way of adding in quality volume work for the triceps.
Many tricep exercises like variations of different tricep extensions can not be performed continually throughout the year as they are more taxing on the elbows and can lead to over-use injuries. For instance, skullcrushers are notorious for being very demanding on the elbows and can beat them up if performed regularly every week. This would then lead to reduced performance in exercises like the bench press and also increased risk of injuries.
Even rolling dumbbell extensions can be very taxing on the elbows when performed very heavy. With the tricep pushdown you can do it on a regular basis and it is comfortable on the elbows. Other big benefits are the in built variations of the exercise which I will discuss later in this article.
We all want bigger and more meaty triceps. Tricep pushdowns are one of the best weapons in the arsenal of any bodybuilder or fitness enthusiast in achieving this. This is due to the tremendous hypertrophy effect that pushdowns can provide. You can get a far better peak contraction when doing tricep pushdowns compared to pretty much all other tricep exercises.
It is therefore imperative not to “short-stroke” reps and make sure that every rep on your tricep pushdown is performed with an emphasis on locking out the elbows at the bottom and emphasising the peak contraction. In addition you can perform this exercise for very high reps without any negative effects.
If you try to perform high reps with extensions you will beat up the elbows significantly over time. With tricep pushdowns you can add in a lot of extra volume with no negative effects. This additional volume will help to spur on more growth in the triceps and add some serious meat to your arms!
This is the reason why any bodybuilder who is serious about having big and aesthetic arms will incorporate tricep pushdowns into their training regiment. Powerlifters as well who want to increase their bench will also perform tricep pushdowns regularly in their training for adding hypertrophy. A bigger muscle has the potential over time to become a stronger muscle. Julius Maddox is a big advocate of pushdowns and he is one of the best benchers in the world currently.
Utilise Different Attachments
Another great thing about tricep pushdowns is the fact that there are so many attachments you can make use of. You could use a rope, V bar, long straight bar, short straight bar, lat bar, curl bar as well as single pulley attachments. I wouldn’t use single pulley attachments personally as I find single arm pushdowns can cause stress on the elbows.
I do all my pushdowns with two arms and rotate between using the rope attachment, V bar and curl bar. By using different attachments on a regular basis you can get the benefits of all the different angles and work the triceps fully from all angles. V bar attachment for example is more of a power move and hits the triceps really hard as your hands are very close together.
If you want to hit the long head more you would need to use an attachment that allows for more external rotation – like a curl bar or longer straight bar. The rope also works the long head as you can pull the two sides of the rope away from each other when locking out each rep.
The rope attachment is my personal favourite and I use it every week. Another thing I like about it is that it works the grip and forearms at the same time. You can even perform rope pushdowns with fat gripz on the rope to work your grip even harder!
Alter Body Position
You can also make tricep pushdowns harder by altering your body angle. If you lean over more the pushdown becomes easier, if you stand more upright then you make the movement harder.
I personally prefer to do pushdowns standing upright as I feel I can isolate the triceps better and work the triceps harder. When you lean over you can end up cheating too much and short-change your efforts.
Strengthen Connective Tissue
Pushdowns are a fantastic way of strengthening the connective tissue around the elbows as well. On off days from the gym I like to do high rep pushdowns using resistance bands from home. Band pushdowns are a great way of getting extra volume work for the triceps as well as reduce risks of elbow injuries.
Bands are a great tool for their convenience. All you need is a door anchor, a door and some bands and you can perform your pushdowns from home easily and safely!
==> To See Which Bands I Use Click Here! <==
To conclude, in this article I have taken a close look at tricep pushdowns and why they are so great. I personally believe that anyone serious about weight training and bodybuilding should be doing tricep pushdowns regularly all year round. It is one of the best ways to add in quality volume work for adding size to the triceps. In addition it helps to keep your elbows healthy long term and strengthen the connective tissue.
You can use different attachments to add more variety and target different heads of the tricep to varying degrees. Pushdowns with a longer bar will hit the long head more due to the facilitation of greater external rotation.
If you have any questions about anything I have written in this article, please leave me a comment below. Let me know which attachments you use for pushdowns and how often you perform them.
As always, stay safe and enjoy your training!