How To

Tricep Pushdown - Pin Loaded


The tricep pushdown is one of the best exercises for tricep development. While the versatile upper-body workout is usually done on a cable machine (a fixture at most gyms), you can also perform a version of the move at home or on the go using a resistance band.

Benefits of Tricep Pushdowns

The triceps brachii muscle is located at the rear of the upper arm and has three components: the long, lateral, and medial heads. If you want to build up your arms, working all three heads of your triceps is key, and the triceps pulldown does just that.

Increases Strength

Tricep pushdowns also benefit your strength and endurance by engaging your core, back, and shoulders. The move is also adaptable to your strength and level, as you can increase the weight as you go.

Prevents Injury

The muscles that make up the triceps are vulnerable to overuse injury from repetitive activities like throwing, swimming, and hammering motions. Repetitive stress injuries of the triceps can be prevented by training the triceps, including with tricep pushdowns.

Improves Functional Fitness

Tricep strength is important in any movement that involves extending your forearms from the elbow. Think about closing your car trunk, throwing a ball for your dog, planting in your garden, or trying to crush one last paper bag into an over-filled recycling bin. These everyday tasks could not performed without help from your triceps. Keeping them strong helps you achieve a wide variety of activities of daily living.

Tones Arms

Strengthening the tricep muscles is one way to achieve a toned appearance in your arms. Because the triceps are located along the backside of the upper arm, toning these muscles is visible. This can be important to some people, especially bodybuilders.

How to Do Tricep Pushdowns

As you prepare for this move, approach the tricep pushdown cable machine as in the video above and grasp the horizontal cable bar or rope attachment with an overhand grip. Adjust the bar or rope grips to about chest level.


Use the pin to set a low weight to start. 

  1. Start by bracing your abdominals.
  2. Tuck your elbows in at your sides and position your feet slightly apart.
  3. Inhale. Push down until your elbows are fully extended but not yet in the straight, locked position. Keep your elbows close to your body and bend your knees slightly on the pushdown. Resist bending forward. Try to keep your back as straight as possible as you push down.
  4. As you exhale, return to the starting point using a controlled movement. Try not to crash the weights.

For beginners, aim to complete 2-3 sets of 12 reps. As you gain strength, you can adjust your sets & reps and the weight you use as resistance.

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