One of the most effective exercises for triceps strengthening and development is the Cable Pressdown exercise.
It goes by other names like Standing Cable Pulldown or even Straight – arm Cable Pulldown and from the names, this technique is quite an engaging exercise as its done while standing.
The exercise requires you to use a cable system machine, which uses weights that can be adjusted depending on your level of fitness.
Since the exercise is done while standing, the primary muscles targeted are the triceps, Pectoral muscle and back muscles.
The upper body engages in a lot of activities on a daily basis and activating the muscles assures body development and build up.
HOW TO DO CABLE PRESSDOWN PROPERLY
Before doing the exercise, make sure the cable machine is well set and prepped by a trainer/gym instructor to avoid accident before and while doing the technique.
- The cable pulley should be adjusted to a slightly higher position than your height.
- Make sure the cable bar attachment is in a position you can reach with outstretched hands.
- Adjust the weights on the cable system to a preferred weight, depending on your level of endurance and triceps development.
- Tighten your core and take a hold of the cable bar attachment in an overhand grip with both hands.
- Keep feet hip-width apart, slightly bend your knees and keep your back straight and braced.
- Exhale while pulling down the cable to your thighs, maintaining the slight knee bend, straight arms and back.
- Hold the position for a second or two.
- Inhale while releasing the tension on the cable in a controlled and smooth motion until the cable bar attachment is above your head.
- Keep your grip on the cable bar attachment while releasing the tension on the cable.
- Maintain tension on the cable.
- Do 3 sets of 10 to 12 reps.
WHAT MUSCLES DO CABLE PRESSDOWN WORK?
This exercise is the best for triceps build up and development. The triceps brachii muscle constitutes of the long, medial and lateral head located at the back of the upper arm. The muscles help with arm movements and extension during exercise.
PECS OF THE CHEST
The cable pressdown works the chest muscles during the up and down movement of the arms. The exercise pumps the chest up and down thus developing stronger chest muscles.
While doing the work out, the back is braced and upright, which activates latissimus dorsi muscles at the back. The muscle helps with spine protection and assists in the arm and shoulder movements.
The core muscles actively contribute to the pulling and pressing down of the cable, which helps build up the arbs and strengthen the muscles.
CABLE PRESSDOWN BENEFITS
STRENTHN AND STABILITY
Having strong triceps increases shoulder and elbow endurance and strength. It also helps stabilize the shoulder joint which increases shoulder stability.
Back muscles are well developed and with the lats being worked on, the spine is supported and stabilized which makes the back have a strong posture.
PREVENT BACK AND SHOULDER INJURY
This exercise stretches and strengthens your back and shoulders which give the muscles stability and endurance, preventing muscle and joint injuries.
ALTERNATIVES TO CABLE PRESSDOWN
RESISTANCE BAND PRESSDOWN
The resistance band pressdown is a great alternative as it still works on the primary muscles and with the same motion and stance but with a resistance band.
How to do it:
- Place the resistance band on a pulley or hook it on something that will hold it in place while doing the pressdowns.
- The pulley or hook should be a bit higher than your actual height to create a good resistance on the band.
- Hold the bottom of the resistance band with an overhand grip with both hands and create a small distance in between.
- Keep an upright posture with feet hip – width apart, brace your shoulders and back for the motion. Knees should be slightly bent.
- Do not lean forward while pressing down the band.
- Exhale and pull down the resistance band towards your thighs until your forearms are almost fully extended out.
- Maintain the elbow tucks while doing the whole technique.
- Ease the resistance band by going back to the original position.
- Do 3 sets with 10 -12 reps.
This exercise is a good alternative if you want a triceps work out that is less full body engaging. Desired weights can be used since each arm will use a weight on its own.
How to do it:
- Get a dumbbell in one hand and with the free hand, hold on to the bench
- Kneel on a flat padded bench and keep a 45 degree angle bend at your torso.
- Tuck elbow at a 90 degree position and raise your forearm all the way back until you feel your triceps contracting.
- Extend your arm completely to fully activate the muscles.
- Bring hand back to original position.
- Elbow should be by your side at all times during the motion.
- Repeat the same motion on the left hand side
- Do 2 sets of 10 – 12 reps on each arm.
CABLE PRESSDOWN MISTAKES TO AVOID
Your elbows should be tucked in at your sides throughout the motion of the exercise to focus on the primary muscles being worked on. Your forearms should be parallel to each other.
ROUNDING YOUR BACK
This exercise requires one to have a straight and braced back, which leads to effective muscle work out and better outcome.
To maintain the cable tension, you must brace and tighten your abdominal muscles, pectoral muscles and back muscles to activate them and build stability.
The right body positioning, gives out a better outcome and effective work out.
Cable Pressdown exercise is one of the best triceps exercises which reinforce a straight posture and upper body development.
For any injuries you may have, make sure to inform the gym instructor/trainer for advice and if you are able to do the exercise, use less weight that usual to avoid further injuries.