MAX GAINS SERIES: Triceps Pushdowns

  • Published: 30 May 2018
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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.

    For more videos on how to build bigger triceps and how to add triceps mass, be sure to subscribe to our channel here on youtube at
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Comments • 1 177

    ATHLEAN-X™   7 months back

    Want to win an ATHLEAN-X program for free, no strings attached? Click the link below to find out how!

    • Steve Frame
      Steve Frame  5 days back

      Thanks Jeff

      • Keegan Maroney
        Keegan Maroney  2 weeks back

        So my question do we know why the shoulder externally rotates when in supination

        • steve l
          steve l  2 weeks back

          just found the channel and its great but i was wondering ijust started useing a close grip attachment and i feel it all the way threw my triceps i dont push my elbows out just my grip is different is this way good or am i doing it wrong thank you in advance

          • Tamer Said
            Tamer Said  2 weeks back


            • Jasmin Pilipovic
              Jasmin Pilipovic  2 weeks back

              Where can I buy this rope.

              • Ionut Daniel Andrei
                Ionut Daniel Andrei  3 weeks back

                The most helpful tricep video on whole youtube !

                • RockNRull101
                  RockNRull101  4 weeks back

                  man just every time i'm getting overwhelmed by his amount of knoledge. pure awesomeness jeff!

                  • Sam Vegas
                    Sam Vegas  4 weeks back

                    The pushdown is the exercise i hate the most

                    • SPIRITMAN CHARLES
                      SPIRITMAN CHARLES  4 weeks back

                      *BACK ARM DISTROYERS*
                      YOUR TEACHING ME MANY GOOD TIPS

                      • Mark Edwards
                        Mark Edwards  1 months back

                        That long rope idea is brilliant! Basically a push down going into a standing kickback all in one. I can't wait to try this tomorrow!

                        • Joe A
                          Joe A  1 months back

                          All about the dirty gains, bro!

                          • Defender ofOasis
                            Defender ofOasis  1 months back

                            I was almost doing this right. Glad I watched!

                            • ladyfitness67
                              ladyfitness67  2 months back

                              Jeff is an encyclopaedia of health and fitness knowledge 🎓

                              • Sasan Maramkhah
                                Sasan Maramkhah  2 months back

                                Thank you Jeff C.

                                If I signed up for the program, where do the work outs take place? My local gym?

                                • David Chen
                                  David Chen  2 months back

                                  1:54 Anyone else notice that cut?

                                  • XxZERO Xx
                                    XxZERO Xx  2 months back

                                    Jeff's medial head of the triceps is bigger than my chest

                                    • Joe Mama
                                      Joe Mama  2 months back

                                      Thank you Jeff.

                                      • Jesse Jordan
                                        Jesse Jordan  3 months back

                                        Genius video!!

                                        • Hulk-Mad10 10
                                          Hulk-Mad10 10  3 months back

                                          Wow that is so much better , what kind of rope or whatever you cal it should I get ?

                                          • Yogesh Gupta
                                            Yogesh Gupta  3 months back

                                            I know an asshole in my gym doing that dip and does ego lifting.

                                            • Family Naresh
                                              Family Naresh  3 months back

                                              He needs no bigger triceps, like if agree. :$

                                              • GaylordFocker
                                                GaylordFocker  3 months back

                                                I love you man seriously 💕

                                                • David Gomes
                                                  David Gomes  4 months back

                                                  Jeff just killed bro science

                                                  • Leon Martinez
                                                    Leon Martinez  4 months back

                                                    Thanks Brother I'm paying attention to everything you said & do as well

                                                    • Adam Nasir
                                                      Adam Nasir  4 months back

                                                      I have been sending Jeff's video links to new guys around the world more than anything on the web , what a guy 🙏

                                                      • jwhipp
                                                        jwhipp  4 months back

                                                        Jeff, honestly, you are the fucking man.

                                                        • holyevil
                                                          holyevil  4 months back


                                                          • ED POWELL
                                                            ED POWELL  4 months back

                                                            In this video dated year ago you said keep the arms OUT from the body?

                                                            • nj649
                                                              nj649  4 months back

                                                              Rope = grip change.

                                                              • JMC5
                                                                JMC5  4 months back

                                                                I dont know what I would do without this channel. I would literally be doing almost every exercise wrong , I've learned so much watching your videos and I am going to sign up for one of your plans within a few weeks. Thank you so much, your helping me change my life.

                                                                • Phillip Anthony Meeks
                                                                  Phillip Anthony Meeks  5 months back

                                                                  Fantastic video!!

                                                                  • shire bands
                                                                    shire bands  5 months back

                                                                    What kind of water is in that fridge? Just want to verify it is 7+ ph:)

                                                                    • Ricardo Torres
                                                                      Ricardo Torres  5 months back

                                                                      can u talk more about that machine, im in a wheelchair will it benefit me?

                                                                      • Matt smith
                                                                        Matt smith  6 months back

                                                                        Wow, Ive always ignored the longer rope at my gym

                                                                        • Old Witch
                                                                          Old Witch  6 months back

                                                                          I like suicide grip on the flat bar in lieu of an angled bar to keep form proper, it seems to feel more like actually pushing down versus thumb on bottom.

                                                                          • Roseanne Critchley
                                                                            Roseanne Critchley  7 months back

                                                                            Love to watch Jeff & listen to his step by step detailed workouts. He is my go to every time I go to the gym I watch a video on muscle group that I want to workout for that day. I’m 69 & consider myself in descent shape but always want to be better. My wish would be to be trained by him to see how much further I could better myself. I can only hope his videos can do that for me in hopes I am doing them correctly. Thank you Jeff Cavalier you are My mentor on line ❤️

                                                                            • Kevin Reynolds
                                                                              Kevin Reynolds  7 months back

                                                                              Great video Jeff! It answered a question I was going to ask about straps that I have seen some use for their triceps work. Thanks!

                                                                              • Punit Sharma
                                                                                Punit Sharma  7 months back

                                                                                I think dumbell skullcrushers are best

                                                                                • Jeff Wadlow
                                                                                  Jeff Wadlow  7 months back

                                                                                  Sir you rock.
                                                                                  I have lost over 300 lb and your videos really inspire me to stay in shape.

                                                                                  • David Couch Health and Wellness

                                                                                    Can you hit the long head of your tri's well with skull crushers? If so, what's the best way to do them? Straight above your head or slightly angled behind you?

                                                                                    • James Woodall
                                                                                      James Woodall  7 months back

                                                                                      Form Form Form It's always form!!!

                                                                                      • reeceddogg
                                                                                        reeceddogg  7 months back

                                                                                        The amount of free knowledge in this video is insane. Jeff needs to start Athlean UniverXity.

                                                                                        • Jeremie Drake Torrijos
                                                                                          Jeremie Drake Torrijos  7 months back

                                                                                          Thank you very much for the information that you share Jeff..they are all very helpful. I wasted I think more than 10yrs of my life working out with minimal gains because mainly, I was so mis informed and also lack the proper knowledge. and a little because I didn't have access on the right tools and machines. but now, learning your principles, I think I have more improvement in a couple of months than I did for how many years..

                                                                                          • ansh kumar
                                                                                            ansh kumar  7 months back

                                                                                            Very detailed lecture, even impressed an experienced doc. Great job thanks

                                                                                            • Steve Parker
                                                                                              Steve Parker  8 months back

                                                                                              I prefer using the ropes for triceps, give that flick out at extension.

                                                                                              • StyrbjornStarke
                                                                                                StyrbjornStarke  8 months back

                                                                                                Good crazy ass logic.

                                                                                                • Andres Caiced
                                                                                                  Andres Caiced  8 months back

                                                                                                  That blue rope at the end..what is that called? I need to buy one