Most people often focus on building biceps when they start strength training. It is only after a few weeks that they realize that stronger triceps are equally important. These three-headed muscles are essential for elbow extension and overall upper body strength. So, whether you are starting a workout at home or gym, it’s crucial to add triceps exercises. A rope pushdown, for instance, is a great way to train your triceps. 

Also known as tricep rope pushdown or cable triceps rope pushdown, a rope pushdown is a type of isolation exercise that specifically targets your triceps. It is commonly done using a cable system available at the gym. However, you can also modify this rope workout by using a resistance band for at-home workouts. 

If you wish to start cable rope pushdown, this is your perfect guide. Below, we have jotted down almost everything – right from the form and techniques to the benefits and precautions. Let’s begin!

Rope Pushdown: Form and Steps

Whether you are performing a rope lat pushdown or pushup, you must always maintain the right form and follow the correct steps. This avoids any injury and helps in reaping most of the benefits from your workout. 

Here is a step-by-step guide on how you can prepare and then perform the rope pushdown exercise: 

Preparation Steps:

  • Stand straight with your face towards the machine of cable pushdown with rope. Hold it with an overhand grip. 
  • Adjust the rope for tricep pushdown to your chest level. 
  • To begin with, set a low weight with pin-and-place adjustment. This action can differ based on the different machines. 
  • As for the form, make sure your chest is high and your shoulder blades and together. You can bend your knees a little in the beginning. Engage your core and keep the elbows by your sides. Your feet should be slightly apart. 

Note: Take the help of the fitness trainer if you are not able to adjust the weights and machine for rope pushdown. 

Step To Follow:

  • With your core engaged, take a deep breath and push down the weights until the elbows are fully extended. Lock them and keep them close to your body. Try to keep your back straight as you push down the weights. 
  • Pause at the bottom for a few seconds and then release the weights in a controlled manner as you exhale and return to the starting position. 
  • This is one rep.

If you are a beginner, aim for 4 sets of at least 8 reps. The sets and reps can vary as you become more comfortable with the workout. 

Common Mistakes To Avoid

Along with form and steps, you ought to know the common mistakes that people commit which can harm triceps during cable rope pushdown instead of strengthening them. These include: 

  • Flaring out elbows

Make sure you do not flare your elbows outwards during the rope pushdown. It can add unwanted stress on your shoulders and take away all the benefits from triceps. Instead, keep the elbows closer to your body. 

  • Using the back a lot

Bending your knees slightly is good to maintain the form but you should always avoid bending your back to push the weight down. 

  • Adding too much weight

You may feel that adding extra weights will give you faster results but the truth is it won’t. In fact, if you add weights that are too heavy, you will end up straining your muscles and causing soreness. 

  • Not focusing on both arms equally

When you are pushing the weights down, check if you are using both arms or using just one arm’s strength. If it’s the latter, try to distribute the weights evenly with both arms. Or the workout will cause pain or injury in one arm. In case you are doing the one arm rope pushdown, try to lower the weights to avoid extra strain. 

Alternatives of Rope Pushdown

When it’s about triceps building, it is always good to have more than one triceps exercise in your workout. Here are some other alternatives that you can try: 

  • Skull Crushers

The name might seem too dangerous but this workout, if done the right and safe way, can do magic for your triceps. Skull crushers contract your triceps muscles when you hold the dumbbells above your chest and slowly bring it down behind your ears. Do it on a regular basis to see the best results. 

  • Overhead Triceps Extension

This rope pushdown alternative is done using a dumbbell and hence can also be used for home workouts. Overhead triceps extension targets all three heads of your triceps: the medial, lateral, and long heads to give you improve your arm shape and strength. 

  • Close-Grip Bench Press

A variation of the traditional bench press, this workout targets your triceps and the anterior deltoid muscles. It can increase your triceps’ strength, hypertrophy, and your grip. 

Other than these, you can also try diamond push-ups, lying dumbbell triceps extension, and triceps kickbacks. A good fitness trainer can also help you in finding the best rope pushdown alternative based on your health and goals. 


A rope pushdown workout is not just about getting chiselled triceps. It also offers the following benefits: 

  • It helps in stabilizing the shoulder joints.
  • It also adds more stability in elbows.
  • It improves the aesthetic appeal of your physique. 
  • The workout also engages abs and core muscles to make them stronger. 
  • It improves your overall strength and endurance. 
  • Your capacity to lift weights increases with time.
  • It is also good for building overall arm strength to perform daily tasks. 
  • It is a convenient exercise for beginners that can be performed at home with a resistance band as well. 

Precautions and Safety

No doubt that even beginners are can try rope pushdown but it is always best to be cautious during strength training. Therefore, here are some precautions and safety tips to keep in mind: 

  • Always do a warmup before beginning the workout. 
  • If you have any elbow injury or soreness, it is best to avoid this workout. 
  • If you are recovering from any surgery or have any specific medical condition, talk to your doctor before starting this exercise. 
  • Do not forget to complement rope pushdown with proper diet and rest. 


Adding rope pushdown in triceps workout can be a great step if you know how to perform it properly. In case you are a beginner, connect with an expert and learn the workout under their supervision. 

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May 19, 2022

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