Tricep Cable Push Downs – another fantastic tricep exercise.
I think it’s always wise to incorporate a cable movement into your tricep workout. This video post demonstrates ‘optimized form’ to help you really get the most out of your push-downs.
Like other exercises, the form I show you may be a little different, but it IS the best! In all THT exercises, 2 things are accomplished:
- Form is not too strict. The body’s natural movement is not restricted
- Form is not sloppy. The intended muscle is fully stimulated
To perform cable push downs, you’ll need:
- Rack with a pulley system
- Tricep handle / V Bar attachment – this one is very similar to mine
- Gloves (optional)
As far as the handle is concerned, use a V-type bar as opposed to the rope. You definitely aren’t as strong with the rope as you are with the bar; try it and experience it for yourself.
Check out the clip, then read the instructions below carefully…
- Stand in front of the V-bar and take a step back from it. This is important as it will allow you to execute the natural body rhythm vital to ensuring maximum gains.
- Grab the bar in the most comfortable position for you. For me, this is at the top, just before where the rubber grip starts (obviously higher than the manufacturers reckon you should grab it, but you MUST suit yourself).
- To get into the starting position, squat down quickly and use momentum to get the bar down. This saves precious tricep power for the actual working set.
- You should be leaning over the bar at this point and allowing your torso to rock back as you slowly raise the V bar.
- Stop at around eye-level before starting the pushing portion of the rep. Don’t get too anal about this though, you’ll feel a comfortable point that’s best for your own body structure. However, don’t let the bar rise too high as you’ll start to involve the lats more than is desirable.
- Now, initiate a powerful downward push with the triceps.
- Once the bar has started moving, follow through with your body by tilting forward and making the body move over the weight.
- For the final part of the rep, you want to be ‘on top’ of the tricep attachment and watching yourself push it towards the floor.
- Control the weight back up; remember – nice and smooth.
- Repeat. You should reach positive failure somewhere between the 8th and 12th rep.
NOTE: The conventional wisdom for this movement is to allow for NO movement of the upper arms throughout the rep. This is where most people through the baby out with the bath water; in an effort to hit only the intended muscle, they severely limit the amount of overload they can place on the triceps.
Here at MuscleHack we strike the perfect balance between form and weight! For this particular exercise, the triceps ARE controlling the weight throughout the whole rep AND we stimulate them with the maximum load possible. It’s not sloppy & it’s not strict – IT’S SMART!
If you’re new to MuscleHack, please check out this post on biomechanically optimized form – it’s important for your growth!
P.S. Apologies for the poor vid quality, it was dark and there is no ceiling light in the garage. By the way, if you see a little pink thing bobbing around on a chair in the background, it’s my 4 year old daughter. I couldn’t leave her in the house alone, so I had to wrap her up warm and put a fluffy pink hat on her to shoot this(she was so cute 🙂 ). She’s playing around on the black chair behind me. Don’t worry, we weren’t out there long; just enough time to shoot this and get back in.
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It’s always good to see it on video.
Btw, with Sony Vegas you can edit your vids, snap a logo, watermark, website url etc AND edit the brightness/contrast. Greatest vid editor ever. Fairly easy to use too.
p.s. managed to spot the pink bunny lol.
Great post. The triceps are seriously under-rated. Considering they make up 2/3 of the arm and, unlike the bicep, actually look bigger relaxed…
cool we get to see marks training dungeon haha cute kid on the computer
mark – i tried this today, i’ve always had the rigid form. increased the weight to 120 and felt an intense pump. Definitely released the tension on my shoulder joint that i’ve always felt prior. This was a good one. Love the variation in form! thanks man.
Thanks again Dean.
What have you got there Mark… have you bought a cable machine or put one together yourself?
I like cables, but train at home using the usual bench plus dumbbells and an easy bar.
Anybody got any ideas for getting a cheap cable machine or putting one together.
@Keith. The cable system is built into my rack. I would just splash out on one man. It’s a one-off expense and you’ll have it for a lifetime! Well worth it.
Thanks for the advice…
I might just do that.
Do you have a reference for the rack and cable system?
Hi Keith, I tried to find one just like mine.
If you buy the powerline rack and lat attachment, you’ll be all set.
https://tinyurl.com/d27e2t – rack
https://tinyurl.com/d7ywrj – attachment
Have a look.
We all appreciate you taking the time to help us out.
All the best.
Whoops! Sorry mate, didn’t realize you were in the UK. They dont sell my exact one anymore but this looks really cool…
Not a bad price.
THE PAIN oh the pain!
And why do I feel like everybody’s watching me when I do these, thinking to themselves ” that guy’s got some sloppy form” !
No really, this is by far the most painful triceps exercise I’ve ever come across. Love it! You’re the best, Mark!