This exercise is widely used at the gym to build and shred the triceps muscles. The whole triceps muscle group is worked, and this exercise is particularly good for focusing on the middle or outer portion of the triceps. Like other pushdown exercise, you can try experimenting with a variety of attachments to work your triceps from different angles.
Several different types of attachments can be used for this exercise including straight bars, angled bars, and ropes. Regardless of the type of attachment used, you should take a narrow grip of 3-6 inches in order to place the greatest emphasis on the tricep muscles.
Locate an adjustable pulley and place the pulley at a location thatís above your head, then take the bar/rope attachment in your hands and step back. Squeeze your upper arms close to your body and lean forward slightly. Begin this exercise with the elbows bent and the bar at chest level.
Use your tricep muscles to force the weight downward and slowly straighten your arms. Squeeze your tricep muscles for a moment for peak contraction, then slowly allow the arms to bend until the bar returns to the height of your chest. If you are using the rope attachment for this exercise, an even greater squeeze for your triceps can be obtained by straightening your wrists until your knuckles point to the floor. For best results, always use this wrist rotation movement to get maximum returns when you are using the rope.
Tips From the Trainer
When performing this exercise, the elbows should remain motionless throughout the entire movement. To help with this, imagine that a pin is connecting your two elbows through your body, and this pin always keeps your elbows from moving. Your elbows simply become a hinge and only the forearms move to bring the weight up and down.
Switching up the type of attachment you use is a great way to add variation to your workout. Ropes can make a particularly great attachment because of the increased range of movement that can be obtained by straightening the wrists at the peak of your muscle contraction.