What are triceps pushdowns?

Also known as rope pushdowns, rope triceps pushdown, cable pushdowns, or simply pushdowns, triceps pushdowns is an exercise designed to activate and strengthen the muscles in your triceps. 

Rope pushdowns are an isolation exercise instead of being a compound exercise and is regularly done by athletes and bodybuilders to build arm strength. 

The triceps pushdowns exercise works on these muscle groups:

  • Triceps brachii (lateral, medial, and long head)
  • Rectus abdominis
  • Obliques
  • Latissimus Dorsi
  • Pectoralis major and minor
  • Trapezius

How to perfect the triceps pushdowns technique?

Merely knowing how to do cable pushdowns is not enough. To gain its benefits and prevent injuries, it is essential to master the triceps pushdown form. 

Here is a detailed step-by-step explanation of the rope triceps pushdown that our experts recommend:

  1. To start the triceps rope pushdown, set the pulley on the cable machine in the topmost position. 
  2. If you are using a rope, grab the handles with an overhand grip. 
  3. Ensure that your chest is pulled up and your back is slightly bent forward through the movements. 
  4. Keep your elbows tucked tight into your sides and bring the rope down till your arms are extended fully.
  5. Pause for a few seconds when you are at the bottom of the movement and flex your triceps.
  6. Slowly come back to the starting position of the cable rope triceps pushdown.

Which are some variations of triceps pushdowns?

Here are some of the most effective triceps pushdown variations for you to progress your performance:

  1. Reverse pushdown: Also known as reverse grip triceps pushdown, this exercise is done by keeping your palms facing up. Reverse triceps pushdown is an excellent exercise that challenges your glutes, back and core muscles. The reverse grip triceps pushdown also stabilises your body throughout the movement.

  1. V bar triceps pushdown: This exercise is done using a v-shaped triceps pushdowns bar to work on your triceps. The v-bar adapter is connected to a large pulley on the cable machine. For doing the V-bar triceps pushdown, you need to hold the v-bar with an overhand grip and pull it down to your knees. 

  1. Cable back incline triceps pushdown: For this variation of rope triceps pushdown, you need to lie flat on an incline bench while facing away from the pulley. Remove the triceps pushdown bar and stretch it in front of you till it reaches your knees. Get back to the starting point gradually.

  1. Resistance band triceps pushdown: This is an excellent variation of the cable rope triceps pushdown, especially when you don’t have access to a pulley machine. For this, you need to secure a resistance band around a hook above your headspace. The rest of the movements remain the same as the traditional triceps pushdown.

  1. Reverse triceps pushdown with resistance band: This reverse pushdown variation puts greater pressure on the long head of your triceps and allows your elbows to naturally remain tucked in. This is a great option when you don’t have the option of a reverse cable pushdown. There is only a change in the grip, with the remaining movements staying the same. 

Which are some of the best triceps pushdown alternatives?

Here is a list of some of the best alternative exercises to the triceps rope pushdown exercise:

  1. Skull crushers: In this alternative of triceps pushdown dumbbells are used. To do this exercise, lie flat on a bench or the floor. Hold the dumbbells above your chest with your palms facing each other. Engage your core while doing lifting the dumbbells. Hold the pose for a second and bring the triceps pushdowns dumbbells posedown. 

  1. Overhead triceps extension: One of the best alternatives to the cable triceps pushdown, this gives a great stretch to your forearms and triceps. In this triceps pushdown alternative, you need to stand straight and place your feet shoulder-width apart and hold a dumbbell in both hands. With your elbows tucked in, raise the weights. Hold the pose for a second and lower the weights until your elbows make a 90-degree angle with your forearms.

What are the benefits of triceps pushdowns?

Triceps pulley push downs have tremendous benefits for your overall strength and endurance. Here is a roundup of some of the most important triceps pushdown benefits:

  • Being an isolation exercise, cable triceps pushdowns are perfect for those who want to specifically concentrate on their triceps. This also makes it a great exercise to correct any weaknesses or imbalances in the triceps.

  • One of the most important triceps pushdown benefits is that it not just strengthens your triceps but also stabilises the joints in your shoulders and elbows. This allows you to have a better grip, lift heavier weights, and build more overall body strength. 

  • An advantage of triceps pushdowns is that they can be done with a variety of equipment. You can do this exercise with a cable pulley in the gym. If you don’t have access to a gym, you can use a resistance band, making it easy to include this exercise in your workouts at home.  

  • Triceps pulley push down is a great exercise to improve the functionality of your triceps. This makes doing your everyday tasks easier and improves your quality of life.

How to do triceps pushdowns safely?

Here are some tips to perfect the triceps pushdowns form and gain the benefits of this exercise:

  • Before doing triceps pushdowns at home, learn its technique from an experienced trainer to avoid injuries. 
  • Maintain the correct triceps pushdown form by keeping your elbows tucked in.
  • Don’t round your back while doing triceps pushdowns.
  • If you feel pain or dizziness while doing triceps pushdowns at home, stop exercising immediately. 
  • Don’t allow your elbows to flare out to the sides while doing the reverse cable pushdown or any other variation.


Just like with any other exercise, with triceps pushdown exercise also, consistency is the key. It is also important to keep challenging yourself through its many variations to gain better benefits.

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