Building arm strength shouldn’t be any more challenging for you with a straight bar pushdown workout in your training regimen.
It is a more straightforward exercise targeting the triceps, thereby increasing muscular hypertrophy.
This arm workout is an excellent pick for both beginners and seasoned lifters alike looking to build their upper arm muscles.
The workout ideally employs the isolation mechanism to target the long head of the triceps. And weights on the bar are responsible for this.
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Pushdowns using a straight bar place the hands in an overhand grip with the knuckles facing up, which is the natural grip. The straight bar activates the long triceps head when the arms straighten.
Here is how you complete this exercise.
- Hold the bar with a proper handgrip.
- Keep your back straight and your arms extended in front of your thighs.
- Your elbows should be at your sides and your wrists straight.
- Raise the bar until your forearms are parallel to the floor.
- Hold that position for two to three seconds.
- Press the handle down toward the floor while maintaining your wrists straight.
- Throughout the exercise, keep a firm grip on your triceps.
WHAT MUSCLES DO STRAIGHT BAR PUSHDOWN WORK?
Straight bar pushdown works the muscle of your upper arm most and those at the back of the forearm.
The pushdown predominantly works all the three heads of the triceps. The three parts making the triceps brachii muscle are:
- The medial
- Long head
The triceps’ primary function is straightening the arm when completing the exercise.
Forearm bending towards the upper arm occurs thanks to the biceps, a muscle found in the upper arm. Biceps also play a critical role in turning the palm upwards and forward, otherwise known as supination.
The triceps pushdown exercise also activates your stabilising muscles, which include:
STRAIGHT BAR PUSHDOWN BENEFITS
The straight bar pushdown is a perfect exercise because it isolates the triceps giving you the following benefits.
INCREASED MUSCLE SIZE AND STRENGTH
When your arm bends and straightens, it uses the triceps muscle, which is also the one that gives your arm its shape. Your triceps are visible as a pop in your upper arm.
So if you’re looking to target the triceps, this is the perfect isolation exercise.
GREAT FOR A BEGINNER
It’s a good idea to start with the triceps pushdown if you’re starting with triceps training.
IMPROVE YOUR STABILITY
While not technically a core exercise, the triceps pushdown does involve some stabilisation training in the core, back, and chest. This is in a bid to maintain your torso rock stable while you move your elbows.
Although these are not the primary muscles, you will still receive some stability work as a result.
Lowering the weight and increasing the number of repetitions is an effective way to increase your triceps’ muscular endurance. For example, lifting heavy grocery bags with one’s arms for an extended length of time becomes more manageable with improved muscular endurance.
ALTERNATIVES TO STRAIGHT BAR PUSHDOWN
Having a well-developed set of triceps has numerous functional advantages in addition to its visual appeal.
However, straight bar pushdowns aren’t the only or finest triceps exercise, but they aren’t the worst either. You can still use the following triceps pushdown alternatives to inject muscle-building variation into your triceps workout.
RESISTANCE BAND TRICEP PUSHDOWNS
Resistance bands simulate the typical cable tricep pushdown! The movement’s conclusion brings the tension to a climax.
How to do it:
- You need a resistance band and an anchor to perform this workout, such as a door or a power rack.
- Put one end of the band into each hand and perform a conventional tricep pushdown.
- Extend your arm.
- Slightly forward at the hips lean.
- Squeeze the bands together as you keep your elbows close to your sides.
- Lockout the elbows and straighten your arms
- Pause, then slowly return to your starting position.
LYING DUMBBELL TRICEP EXTENSIONS
The lying dumbbell tricep extensions work as good as the straight bar pushdowns.
How to do it:
- Holding a dumbbell in each hand.
- Sit on a flat bench.
- Raise your arms above your chest, palms facing each other, with your arms shoulder-width apart.
- While keeping your shoulders in a neutral position, bend your elbows and lower the dumbbells as far as you can.
- Lock your elbows out.
- Return your arms to their original position after completing the movement.
- Let the dumbbells rest around your ears.
- Bring the weights back to the starting position.
- Keep your elbows tucked in rather than letting them flare out.
CLOSE GRIP BENCH PRESS
If you’re looking for an activity that will challenge your triceps, this bench press variation is the one for you!
The close grip bench press is a great strength exercise.
How to do it:
- The best place to do this exercise is on a flat bench.
- Maintain an overhand grip on the barbell.
- Avoid squeezing your wrists too tightly since this might put undue stress on them.
- Keep your core engaged and your shoulder blades together for stability.
- Lower the barbell down to your sternum.
- Hold for a second at the bottom of the exercise, and then explode the barbell back up.
- Keep your elbows close to your sides to perform a safe and effective close grip bench press.
- It would help if you also employed a spotter or a safety rack when completing these more complex lifts.
STRAIGHT BAR PUSHDOWN MISTAKES TO AVOID
The common mistake in straight bar pushdown is in form. These are the poor form techniques you avoid.
- Locking out your elbows while they are in extension increases elbow injuries.
- Avoid raising the bar quicker than twice to three seconds. During this movement, you must maintain complete control at all times. Raising the bar quickly increases your chances of injury.
- Using more weights than you can handle flares your elbow out.
The straight bar pushdown is an excellent isolation workout for enhancing triceps strength and arm contouring. Other major muscular groups, such as your chest and back get support from these three-pronged muscles. They also have a significant impact on one’s functional strength. Therefore, it’s imperative that you include a triceps pushdown the next time you’re completing an upper-body workout and have a limited amount of time.