MAX GAINS SERIES: Triceps Pushdowns

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If triceps pushdowns are part of your tricep training then you are going to want to watch this video on how to squeeze every gain out of the exercise for max size. The pushdown is one of the most common tricep exercises but often misperformed as well. Here, I’m going to show you the best way to position your elbows, wrists, hands, and shoulders during the movement to get the most out of your tricep workouts.

So it stands to reason that simply flexing and extending your elbow on a pushdown is not enough if you want to see maximum gains from the exercise. There is much more to it and the sooner you can capitalize on each of the areas I’m going to show you the better results you will see from performing the exercise.

It starts with the hand position in relation to your body. You want to be sure that you don’t keep your hands too close to your chest or too far away during the exercise. If you stand too close you will likely see your hands rise up to about face level and this will take tension off of the triceps in the beginning of the exercise. With the line of resistance parallel to the forearm at the start you will not have as much tension on the triceps as desired.

If you stand too far away then you will likely see your elbows drift away from your body which will cause the lats to overactivate and contribute unnecessarily to the lift. The key is to either find the midrange of these two extremes where your hands can be about chest height during the start and finish of each rep or perform the rocking pushdown that I have covered on this channel instead.

Next you want to be conscious of the elbow positioning during the exercise. If you allow them to drift out (as if often the case when you see people perform this exercise) then you are going to quickly shift the work away from the triceps and onto the chest. You essentially turn the pushdown into a standing dip which will lessen its effectiveness on the triceps greatly.

People often wonder whether the hands should be in a pronated or supinated position on the bar when performing the pushdowns. This is actually tricky because anatomically you are likely to believe that there is no impact on the triceps by varying the grip to an overhand or underhand position. The key however is that the change in grip often has an impact on the position of the shoulder and arm that can in fact affect the area of the triceps you are feeling it in.

Finally, if you have any wrist issues you definitely want to take note of the implement you are using. Obviously a straight bar is going to be more stressful on your wrists given the fact that your wrists tend to go into radial deviation naturally with wrist extension. If you force your wrists flat you likely won’t see any additional strain on the wrists but rather in a compromise of the elbows flaring out that leads to the issues already covered.

The fact is, the triceps pushdown exercise is incredibly popular and if you want to see the best gains from doing the exercise then you will want to take note of each of the things mentioned in this video. Obviously anyone can do a tricep exercise but getting the most out of it is what we are really after. If you want to get the most out of every workout you do, head to and start training like an athlete. See your best and fastest gains ever within the next 90 days.

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