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Gym Shorts: The Tricep Push Down

New to the tricep push down or looking for a quick technique tutorial? Learn correct form in one short video.

The Tricep Push Down

Gym Shorts videos provide short video demonstrations of correct form for various exercises.

Follow these steps:

  • Palms face away (pronated)
  • Thumbs around bar
  • Grip about shoulder width
  • Keeping elbows in, push bar down until elbows and shoulders are fully extended
  • Slow, controlled eccentric movement
  • Extend shoulders first, extend elbows last
  • Big stretch on triceps
  • Bend elbows first, then flex shoulders
  • Moving weights hover about stationary weights

The tricep push down (or triceps push down or tricep pushdown or triceps pushdown) is an accessory exercise that stresses the triceps muscle by use of a pulley system attached to weights on one end and a bar on the other.

Because of the additional equipment needed to perform this exercise (especially for those of you who train at home) many cannot perform this exercise, but most gyms have the equipment to execute this exercise and more companies are offering pulley attachments to perform this and other similar exercises that require a pulley system.

Although we’re only training the triceps with this exercise, the triceps help move two joints (the elbow and the shoulder), so it’s important to extend both the shoulder and elbow while performing this movement.

During the concentric portion (where you’re pushing down) first extend your shoulders, then extend your elbows. You do the reverse of this as you allow the weights to rise during the eccentric portion of the exercise.

This exercise is best for intermediate and advanced lifters who require additional stress for the triceps beyond the press, bench press, and their variations.

We tend to program higher reps for this, as it is primarily a hypertrophy exercise, so while you can do three sets of five, we tend to program for 3-4×8-15. This is typically performed on upper body day of a 4-day split, after the press, bench press, and pull movements have been completed.

If you need more stress for the triceps and have access to the necessary equipment, add the tricep push down to your training program.

Click HERE to learn about how to focus on hypertrophy & become a beefcake and HERE to learn about the rolling dumbbell extension, one of our favorite triceps exercises if you have access to dumbbells.

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