In this brief guide, we’ll address the question, Are tricep pulldowns push or pull? What do tricep pulldowns work? How do tricep pulldowns muscles work? and other related questions about tricep pulldowns muscles work

Are tricep pulldowns push or pull?

Triceps pushdown is a strength training exercise that focuses on the tricep muscles at the back of your arms. This is done by pushing an item down against resistance.

It is also known as a pulldown, cable tricep pushdown, tricep rope pushdown, and more variations.

It is one of the first exercises that lifters use to help them develop muscles in their back arms.

Tricep pushdowns, unlike other main workouts, target just your triceps. As a result, the triceps are the main muscle group targeted by this strength training exercise.

When you extend your arm, the triceps’ long, lateral, and medial heads all move simultaneously. This is why it is sometimes referred to as tricep brachii. The literal translation for the same is “three-headed arm muscles.”

When doing tricep pushdowns, however, just your medial and lateral heads are utilized.

It also works on secondary muscular groups such as the abs, lats, obliques, pecs, and traps.

The Advantages of Tricep Pushdowns

Are tricep pull downs push or pull? What do tricep pulldowns work? How do tricep pulldowns muscles work?

Tricep pushdowns help you develop stronger, more toned triceps. However, it has a number of unspoken advantages, including the following:

  1. Increase your Strength

Because the tricep pushdown is a strength training exercise, it goes without saying that it strengthens the triceps over time. It aids in the stability of your shoulder joint as well as your elbows. This will ultimately allow you to lift heavier weights.

According to our research, both bodybuilders and athletes like and prefer this workout. Weight lifters utilize it to their advantage to increase capacity and strength. Athletes, on the other hand, utilize it to enhance their capacity to lift or throw an item.

Don’t worry if you’re neither of them; the benefits extend well beyond that. This workout will improve your ability to accomplish daily activities such as lifting large boxes or pushing blocked doors.

  1. Convenient to carry out

Are you weary of waiting for someone to free up a piece of gym equipment so you may use it? We’ve all been there, believe it or not. However, if someone takes up too much of our time, we may get frustrated and abandon the activity entirely. However, not with tricep pushdowns.

Although you can do this workout at the gym, you can also do it at home. Simply apply a resistance band, and you’re ready to go!

Connect the band to a bar such that its midway hangs over the bar. Grab the ends and you’ve got your own tricep pushdown mechanism.

You will never miss a day of training, whether you are at home or on the road!

  1. Isolation

As previously stated, the tricep pushdown targets just one muscle group, the triceps. You may take advantage of this by addressing muscular weakness while correcting any imbalances.

For example, if your chest is larger than your arms, tricep pushdowns may help you correct the imbalance. Tricep pushdowns, on the other hand, maybe used if the front of your arm is strong but there is a noticeable disparity in the rear of your arm.

How to perform tricep pushdowns

When doing tricep pushdowns, proper form is essential. With just one incorrect motion, you may wind up with aching muscles or, worse, an injury.

To make things easier for you, we’ve included a straightforward step-by-step tricep pushdown method. As a novice, you must follow the stages to improve your form and posture.

  1. Select the triceps pushdown gym equipment. You may grasp the cable bar or the rope attachment with the cable machine. Make sure you have an overhand grip.
  2. Bring the bar grips up to your sternum.

iii. In the beginning, adjust and set it to a modest weight.

  1. Tuck your elbows and brace your abs while keeping your feet apart.
  2. Slowly inhale and press down until your elbows are stretched but not in a square frame.
  3. While bending your knees, keep your elbows close to your body.

vii. You must be tempted to lean forward, but you must resist this urge. During the pushdown, keep your back straight.

viii. Exhale and return to your starting posture.

Variations of tricep pushdowns

Do you want to include some movement variety into your tricep pushdowns? Say no more, since we’ve covered the finest variants for this exercise choice.

  1. Triceps Pushdowns (Partially Reps)

This may help to improve training volume while also focusing on strength at particular angles.

  1. Pushdowns on Ropes

This attachment may be used to change the angle and position of the wrist. As a result, it aids in providing the athlete greater strength to alter his/her emotions as fast as feasible.

  1. Triceps Pushdowns with a Reverse Grip

This increases the strain on the inner head of the tricep, which aids with stability and overall strength.

  1. Tricep Pushdowns with a Band

This is a good warm-up activity. It may also be used outside of the gym.

  1. V-bar Tricep Pushdowns

This variant is quite helpful if you want to transfer additional weight.

Tricep Pushdown Safety & Precautions


Triceps pushdown 2 Are tricep pulldowns push or pull?The following are some safety precautions and preventive steps to remember while doing tricep pushdowns:

  1. Make use of a V-bar.

If you desire greater strength, our research shows that a V-bar is preferable. You may challenge yourself and test your boundaries since it provides for a neutral grip.

  1. Concentrate on your core

Tricep pushdowns work your core. This necessitates that you maintain a tight core throughout the whole exercise. You may also keep your posture by pressing your back against the apparatus.

  1. Keep the Cable Pulley Height Consistent

To prevent overstraining, adjust the cable pulley height to your height. Your movements will be hampered if you set them too high.

  1. Do not perform if you have an elbow injury.

This exercise should not be done if you have an elbow injury. Because the tricep pushdown demands you to extend your elbow, it will only aggravate your discomfort.

  1. Consult your physician.

Change your regular exercise regimen only after speaking with your doctor. If you have an underlying disease, this is a necessity.

Tricep Pushdown Substitutes

Do you want to add additional exercises to your training regimen, such as tricep pushdowns? The options listed below may assist you in reaching your intended exercise objective.

  1. Bench Press Skull Crushers with a Tight Grip
  2. Triceps Extension Above the Knee
  3. Tricep Extensions While Lying
  4. Tricep Extensions (TRX)
  5. Triceps Kickback Diamond Push-Ups

The greatest thing is that you may perform these exercises even if you are suffering from elbow discomfort.

Are tricep pull-downs good?

Tricep Pushdowns are one of the first workouts that most lifters learn for good reason. Pushdowns—also known as Tricep Extensions—provide a powerful pump and aid in the development of bulging muscles along the back of your arms, whether performed with a bar or a rope.

That is, of course, if you execute the maneuver properly. And what many people believe to be the proper technique to do Pushdowns—standing stiff and erect, holding the bar (or rope) with bent elbows, and keeping the elbows pinned to the sides of the torso—is not at all accurate. In reality, doing Pushdowns in this way misses a large portion of the triceps.

To understand why you need to be familiar with triceps anatomy. That may seem dull but bear with us.

The triceps are made up of three parts known as heads. The medial and lateral heads of the upper arm bone connect to the forearm and stretch the elbow. From the underside of the shoulder blade to the forearm, the long head extends. It assists the other two heads in extending the elbow as well as extending the shoulder, which happens when you draw your arm straight down.

Anatomy of the Triceps

People who do Triceps Pulldowns while standing up miss out on working the shoulder-extending function of the long head.

“Everyone gets on the rope pulldown machine, locks their elbows to their sides, and goes to town,” Dr. John Rusin, strength and conditioning coach, physical therapist, and creator of the Functional Hypertrophy Training Plan explains. “That’s not the best method to work on your triceps.”

What do tricep pulldowns work?

Triceps pushdowns strengthen the muscles at the rear of your upper arm.

  1. Extension of the Elbow

At your elbow joint, seven muscles cross and act. The triceps brachii and anconeus muscles are located on the rear of your upper arm. These muscles are connected to your forearm’s ulna bone and pull your arm straight if it is bent. When triceps pushdowns are done properly, this action termed elbow extension occurs.

  1. Triceps Brachii (Triceps Brachii)

The triceps brachii, or triceps for short, is a three-headed muscle that runs down the back of your upper arm. The triceps long head also crosses and moves the shoulder, whereas the medial and lateral heads are the main elbow extensors. When there is resistance, all three heads engage in elbow extension. When tightened, the three heads of the triceps form a horseshoe shape.

  1. Anconeus

Your anconeus is far less visible than your triceps. It is a little muscle located on the outside of your elbow. In addition to elbow extension, your anconeus muscle helps in pronation and supination, which are forearm bone motions. This function helps to keep the elbow joint stable.

Proper techniques

Perform the action properly to isolate your triceps and anconeus when performing triceps pushdowns. Maintain the space between your elbows and the wire since shifting your body forward will cause tension to be lost. It is also essential to limit mobility to your elbow joint since moving at the shoulder activates stronger muscles and reduces stimulation of your elbow extensors.


How do tricep pulldowns muscles work?

Triceps pushdowns improve overall strength and endurance by activating the core, back, and shoulders. The exercise is also adjustable to your strength and level, since the weight may be increased as you go.

With an overhand hold, face the triceps pushdown cable machine and grab the horizontal cable bar or rope connection (depending on the equipment at your gym).

Set the bar or rope grips at about chest height.

Begin by using the pin-and-place adjustment and a little amount of weight. Other weighing techniques may be incorporated in various machine models.

When you’re ready to begin, do the following steps:

  1. Begin by bracing your abdominal muscles.
  2. Tuck your elbows in at the sides and place your feet slightly apart.

iii. Inhale.

  1. Push down until your elbows are completely stretched but not straight and locked. On the pushdown, keep your elbows close to your body and your legs slightly bent. Refrain from bending forward. As you press, try to maintain your back as straight as possible.
  2. Return to the beginning position with a controlled movement as you exhale. Try not to overdo it with the weights.

For novices, aim for four sets of eight repetitions.

Common Errors

  1.  Extending Wrists

The first error occurs while doing a triceps pushdown with a rope, and honestly, most of the errors I see occur when using a rope, so we’ll start here. When I get to the bottom of a rope pushdown, I notice a lot of individuals twist their wrists out, go back to the top, and then twist their wrists out every time they go back to the bottom of the exercise.

When you get to the bottom of the exercise and twist your wrists out like that, you are not activating your triceps. If it were, you could accomplish it with no weight by completely extending your arms and then swiveling your wrists. Will you notice any increased triceps engagement? No. The only reason you may THINK you’re experiencing greater engagement while using the rip is because the weight is dragging your arms back up as you attempt to fully extend.

  1. You are not using both sides equally

Examine your technique to determine whether you’re pressing down smoothly and evenly with both arms.

You’re placing undue stress on your back.

You don’t want to hunch your back and shoulders to push the weight down. That being said, it may be beneficial to lean forward somewhat and let your knees bend slightly while you press down to ensure your triceps are properly engaged. This posture guarantees that all of the muscle’s components are evenly engaged.


We have answered a few questions about “Are tricep pulldowns push or pull? What do tricep pulldowns work? How do tricep pulldowns muscles work?” and other related questions about tricep pulldowns muscles work


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