How To Do Straight Bar Tricep Pushdown Properly

If you are looking for an isolation workout for your triceps muscles, Straight Bar Tricep Pushdown should be your workout of choice.

The triceps muscle has three heads, namely, medial head, lateral head and the long head.

The exercise concentrates more on the long head because it is the center of the workout and works on developing and strengthening the muscle. The other heads also activate when doing the workout.

The workout resembles triceps extension variations but the arm movement creates the difference.

HOW TO DO STRAIGHT BAR TRICEP PUSHDOWN PROPERLY

You will require a cable machine with a straight bar attachment. Engage your trainer/gym instructor for assistance with setup and spurring.

Set the pulley to the highest level and stack weights that best match your fitness level.

How to do it:

  • Stand facing the pulley machine and grab the straight bar with both hands in an overhand grip (neutral grip). Make sure your hands are shoulder width apart (depending on the length of the straight bar).
  • Stand with feet hip width apart and lean forward by slightly hinging at the hips with a slight knee bend. Keep your back straight and torso firm.
  • Pull the cable by tucking in your elbows by your side, this will lift off the weights from the stack and create tension on the cable.
  • Your forearms should be in front of your chest. This is your starting position.
  • Inhale as you push down the bar attachment until your elbows almost lock out. Only your forearms should be moving.
  • You will feel your triceps muscles start to contract.
  • Exhale as you slowly control the bar back to your starting position and repeat.
  • Do the movements in a slow and controlled motion to help activate the triceps muscles.
  • Do 2 sets of 8-10reps.

WHAT MUSCLES DO STRAIGHT BAR TRICEP PUSHDOWN WORK

TRICEPS

The form and technique of Straight Bar Tricep Pushdown greatly concentrate on the triceps muscles and work on developing the muscle.

Located at the rear of the upper arm, the muscles help with elbow flexing and extension when pushing the bar attachment down. The triceps activates as the arms straighten.

ABS

With how the forearms are placed in the starting position, creates a longer push-down distance, which engages the abs muscles to help in stabilizing the core to enable the pushdown.

When you straighten your arms, the abs muscles contract to stabilize you for a stronger pushdown, which helps in developing the muscles and further burning fat.

FOREARMS

The forearms muscles (extensors and flexors) help with straightening the arm and bending the elbows at the elbow joints.

They also help with gripping the straight bar tightly, which increases your grip strength and wrist flexibility.

BENEFITS OF STRAIGHT BAR TRICEP PUSHDOWN

INCREASE TRICEPS STRENGTH AND MASS

Big triceps muscles means stronger upper arms and better muscle balance. The workout also benefits your overall upper body strength by engaging the core and back muscles.

Being an isolation workout, the triceps are isolated and worked on well to be strong and well defined with an increase in mass.

IMPROVE POSTURE

A straight and neutral spine while working out is a great way to reinforce a good posture.

This helps to relieve back tension and aches that build up because of constantly curving your back while working out or an acquired rounded posture over time.

A healthy spine is a straight and neutral spine.

INCREASE PERFORMANCE IN SPORTS AND WORKOUTS

Arm strength does not only apply in lifting and pressing while at the gym, in sports it is an added advantage especially for sports that require arm strength like basketball, swimming and tennis.

ALTERNATIVES TO STRAIGHT BAR TRICEP PUSHDOWN

SKULL CRUSHER

Best known as the supine triceps extensions, the skull crusher is a triceps extension variation that effectively works on the triceps and definitely a great alternative for Straight Bar Tricep Pushdown.

The workout is done by completely relying on the triceps strength which if you have weak muscles you will find it very challenging to control the motion.

How to do the scull crusher is very dependent on your strength and endurance to do the reps.

PARALLEL BAR DIPS

A simple but very effective bodyweight compound exercise that builds maximum muscle mass and strength to the triceps.

There are different variations of dips and the most ruthless one of all is parallel bar dips with a weighted chain around your waist. Your body weight and weights all supported by your arms, mostly the triceps.

This explodes the muscles and builds massive triceps. A common routine for lifters and bodybuilders.

Try to do parallel bar dips to create strong and balanced muscles.

STRAIGHT BAR TRICEP PUSHDOWN MISTAKES TO AVOID

FLARING ELBOWS OUT

Keeping your elbows tucked in increases the triceps engagement and activation. Flaring them out places tension and stress on your shoulders.

Protect your elbows by tucking them in to avoid aches and soreness due to bad form and technique.

UNEQUAL MUSCLE ENGAGEMENT

It is common to have your dominant hand do all the work but while working out, this can lead to muscle asymmetry and have a muscle imbalance in the body.

Check-in while working out to ensure your less dominant hand is engaging equally with the dominant hand.

EXCESS USE OF THE BACK MUSCLES

The back muscles’ core purpose is to stabilize the upper body while pushing down the straight bar. Bending forward increases the back muscles’ engagements and shifts the focus from the triceps muscles.

A slight lean forward should do it because this way your triceps muscles are getting the maximum activation they ought to get.

CONCLUSION

Straight Bar Tricep Pushdown is a great isolation workout for the triceps muscles that helps increase the muscle’s mass and strength.

The form and technique of this exercise is important to master because injuries like elbow injury or soreness can be persistent if not done correctly.

Work on improving your upper arm muscles in order to increase your arms muscle balance and strength, especially for lifters and sportspeople.

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