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Tricep Pushdowns

Tricep PushdownsDo your Tricep Pushdowns in the following way and you’ll be well on your way to thicker arms.

In recent months it’s really hammered home to me that when hitting the triceps, both the NEGATIVE and STATIC strength should be emphasized.

Watch the video to get a visual of what I’m talking about and I’ll explain all afterwards.

  • Face a high pulley and grasp a V-bar attachment with overhand grip. Position the elbows to the side and keep them locked in there.
  • Now extend the arms FULLY. Do this pushing movement under full muscular control ensuring that it’s actually the triceps doing the work. Feel the muscle here, not the weight.
  • At the bottom when the arms are fully extended and the triceps are in the fully contracted position, pause for a brief second before starting the negative/raising.
  • Return SLOWLY until the forearm is parallel to the floor, no higher is required.
  • Once you go higher than parallel you enter the weakest range of motion for this movement. So you’d have to use a lighter weight to hit the same number of reps. And what for? You won’t be recruiting any extra muscle fibers or stimulating more growth. In fact, with the decreased overload, you’ll stimulate less growth. Parallel is high enough.
  • Roughly speaking, use a 2-1-3 cadence. 2 (down) 1 (hold) 3 (up). More importantly remember to push down under full muscular control of the triceps, pause briefly at the peak contraction point, and raise a little slower than you pushed down.

TIP: As far as the handle is concerned, use a V-type bar as opposed to a rope. You definitely aren’t as strong with the rope as you are with the bar. The rope means you have to divert a portion of your strength to stabilization; try it and experience it for yourself.

Also, don’t get this confused with the ‘McManus Pushdown‘, which is finisher move for your triceps using a much lighter weight.

Stay Motivated!


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Mark McManus
Mark McManus
Mark is now available for 1-on-1 consultations to help you take your results to the next level. Click here for more details.
Mark McManus is a trainer & author from Ireland. His work has been featured in major publications all over the world. He is the creator of the free growth-promoting workout Targeted Hypertrophy Training' (THT) and author of the NEW fat-torching system Total Six Pack Abs.
He has also created the BREAKTHROUGH arm and chest maximizer programs The Arms Blast' and 'Chest Blast' workouts.
And if you're a fan of delicious high-protein recipes to fuel your muscle growth, check out his cook book 'Buff Baking' here.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Mike Huber March 21, 2013, 2:53 am

    I love doing these!! And yes, like Mark said, they work!! Since I have been doing them, the last year, I have gotten a lot of compliments on my arms. Most Importantly From My Wife!! Thank You Mark For Your Tireless Work And Dedication To All Us MuscleHacking Followers!!!

  • Alvin March 21, 2013, 3:07 am

    Once again…thanks!
    I’ve been doing these for quite a while now, and my triceps have definition even when i bend my arms (ie. my hand touching my shoulder). …these and overhead one-arm triceps extensions are standard.

  • Smile Haq March 21, 2013, 7:42 am

    I already have it in my arm workout and it does feel great! But I’m pushing it with a horizontal bar! easy, but I feel a lot comfortable than V-bar (it takes great amount of my forearm strength while gripping).

  • Dwight March 21, 2013, 12:55 pm

    I have to say I have been following your workout route for 5 months now and gained a 1 1/2″ in size on my arms lost 3 inches on my waist and I have a real chest and not man boobs!!!!!!!!!!!
    Tricep day is the greatest day for me I have been doing both rope pull downs and V-bar pull downs and without a doubt the V-bar gives me a better work out, Thank you Mark for your postings and your help I tell everyone I talk to at the gym about your site your a real help.

  • Mark McManus March 21, 2013, 1:32 pm

    @Mike. Thanks, buddy :)
    @Alvin. Thanks
    @Smile. If it’s more comfortable with a straight bar, then use it. Just use a bar instead of a rope.
    @Dwight. Great results, pal. And thanks for passing on the word 😀

  • bamaman March 21, 2013, 7:29 pm

    is that a smith machine?

  • Ozzy March 21, 2013, 10:24 pm

    Nice info Mark…and what do you think about dumbbell tricep extension ? Is it effective ?

  • Richard March 22, 2013, 5:49 pm

    I have an emerging problem, caused by the weight machines rather than my strength. I am starting to max out all the weights/plates on a number of exercises using the resistance machines. So with a fixed V bar, I can now max out all the weights (200lb I think) without giving me too much trouble. I’m having to go back to the rope as I find this harder and can only do good set at 180Ib. But this will all hit the limit in the next few weeks or so. Any ideas? I guess I will only be able to do free weights on a number of routines, such as bicep cable curl, triceps pushdowns, pullover, ab crunch…. :(

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