How to Do Triceps Press-Down

How to Do Triceps Press-Down

If you want the best exercises to develop your triceps, it might be time to learn how to do the triceps press-down. While this versatile upper body workout typically involves a cable machine, you can perform a version of the exercise at home or while on the go with a resistance band.

The triceps press-down or rope pushdowns is an exercise routine requiring a pushdown machine (cable machine) or a resistance band. It helps boost overall arm and lockout strength and upper body mass for power, strength, and fitness.

Step-By-Step Instructions On How To Do The Triceps Press-Down

Let us now proceed on how to do the triceps press-down.


Face the pushdown cable machine and hold the horizontal cable bar or rope connection with an overhand grip. Tweak the rope grips or bar to your chest level.

Use the pin-and-place adjustment and set a low weight as a starting point. Various versions of the machine might include other weight mechanisms.

Main Exercise

Start the exercise by bracing your abdominal muscles.

Tuck your elbows in at your sides and position your feet slightly apart.

Inhale. Tug down until your elbows extend entirely but not yet in a straight, locked position.

Always keep your elbows close to your body and slightly bend your knees during the pushdown.

Avoid bending forward and keep your back straight as possible while you push down.

While exhaling, shift to the starting point using a controlled movement. Avoid crashing the weights.

For beginners, I recommend completing four sets of 8 repetitions.

What Are The Common Mistakes?

When performing the triceps press-down, there are some common mistakes that you need to avoid.

Extending out of elbows. When performing the triceps press-down, avoid allowing your elbows to extend outward during the downward push.

Take note that this negates the work on your triceps and puts unnecessary strain on your shoulders.

Both sides are not equally used. Assess your form to make sure that you are pushing down smoothly and evenly using both arms.

Using the back too much. We strongly urge you to avoid bending over at the back and shoulders to force the weight down.

One way to ensure that your triceps are fully worked; we suggest leaning slightly forward and allow your knees to bend as you push down slightly.

With this position, it ensures that you are engaging all the muscular components equally.

Who Should Perform The Triceps Press-Down?

The triceps press-down can help boost overall arm and lockout strength and upper body mass for power, strength, and fitness.

These Exercises Can Also Provide Resilience To Injuries …and … Performance Training For Lifters Who Are Prone To Elbow And Overhead Injuries.

Powerlifters. Increased upper body size and strength are the key components when it comes to strength sports.

Improving the upper body mass and lockout strength increases overhead stability, improves bench performance, and even reduces excessive strain on the wrists and elbows.

Olympic weightlifters. As with strength athletes and weightlifters, they can engage in triceps press-down to improve upper body hypertrophy, develop overhead stability in the jerk and snatch, and lessen damage to the elbows.

If you have improved triceps strength and performance, it improves pressing strength and enhances the triceps’ size, shape, and muscular force. These are the key muscles in overhead press/lifts and bench press.

Routine Recommendations

There are two main training goals and programming recommendations – strength and hypertrophy.

Strength. Perform 4-6 sets of 3-8 repetitions. Although there are no precise guidelines in strengthening the triceps, we suggest utilizing a variety of heavier press-downs, dips, and triceps accessory exercises to boost your strength.

Hypertrophy. Perform 5-10 sets of 8-20 repetitions. The main focus is on the muscle contractions and “pump” rather than moving the weights. Remember that the loads do not have to be heavy to achieve the desired effect.

What Are The Variations?

If your gym does not have a pushdown machine, we suggest using a resistance band to perform the triceps press-down – at home or while traveling.

You also need a strong object over your head, like a rod, metal bar, or hook. Position your band around a certain point. Hold the band’s ends and perform the exercise using the same form you would on a cable machine.

You can perform the exercise one-handed or with both hands. The two-handed variant will work if you are using a machine or resistance band.

The one-handed version allows you to slow down and focus on fixing your form if it needs improvement.


You must be careful when performing this triceps press-down if you have a previous elbow injury or if you develop continuous soreness in your elbows.

Suppose you have certain medical conditions or are currently recuperating from surgery, injury, or illness. In that case, we highly recommend consulting your doctor before starting or making certain modifications to your exercise routine.

What Are The Benefits Of Doing Triceps Press-Downs?

The triceps brachii muscle is at the rear of your upper arm. It has three components – the long, lateral, and medial heads.

If you are eager to build up your arms, I suggest working all three heads of your triceps. With the triceps press-down, it can work on all components effectively.

The exercise is also beneficial to your overall strength and endurance by engaging your core, shoulders, and back.

It is also modifiable depending on your strength and level, increasing the weight as you progress.

Additionally, executing this move correctly also requires isolation, which is an essential skill for other exercises.

Other Benefits Of The Triceps Press-Down Include The Following:

Better lockout strength. Your triceps are responsible for elbow extension and stability of the elbow, wrist, and shoulder in an extended position.

Both are necessary for a strong lockout in a bench press, overhead press, and all other overhead loaded positions.

Improved upper-body mass. The exercise can strengthen your upper body arm size, general pressing strength, and chest and shoulder muscles’ performance.

Bigger arms. Since the triceps comprise more than half of the arm, they are the key muscle groups to train for better arm size and development.

Although the biceps curl is essential, we know that athletes must prioritize single-joint triceps using the triceps press-down to improve muscular growth further.

Final Thoughts

Whether you want to boost your regular fitness routine or gain better upper strength, you should include a triceps press-down in your workout.

The insights that we’ve shared with you on the triceps press-down will serve as a good starting point that will help improve your fitness goals.

We hope you find the above both informative and helpful, and wish you happiness and fitness.

Ann Roberts

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