How to Do Cable Tricep Extension Perfectly

Cable tricep extension is the best exercise to get stronger triceps. (Image via Unsplash/ Daniel Apodaca)
Cable tricep extension is the best exercise to get stronger triceps. (Image via Unsplash/Daniel Apodaca)

A great workout for triceps is the cable tricep extension, sometimes referred to as the cable rope triceps pushdown. A cable pulley machine with a rope attachment, an EZ bar, or a straight bar is required for this workout.

In the cable tricep extension, the elbow joint is flexed (or extended) using a cable machine by the tricep muscle. This task is intriguing, as there're many ways to do it.

That can include various sitting, standing, and kneeling positions, handles, and grips. You can include it in the best tricep exercises for beginners.

Cable Tricep Extension Instructions

The tricep, upper body, push, and full body workouts can benefit from the tricep rope extension.

Here’s how to do a cable tricep extension:

  • In a standing position, attach a rope as high as possible to a stack of cables.
  • Hold the rope with a neutral hold, palms facing in, and lean slightly forward by hunching at the hips
  • Start the movement by flexing the triceps and extending the elbows.
  • Pull the rope down till the elbows are nearly locked out, and gradually lower it back to the starting position while maintaining control.
  • Repeat for the desired number of times.

Muscles Worked by Cable Tricep Extension

Cable tricep extension can be done in many ways. (Image via Unsplash/Sule Makaroglu)
Cable tricep extension can be done in many ways. (Image via Unsplash/Sule Makaroglu)

As opposed to compound motion, the cable tricep extension is an isolation workout. That makes it an excellent exercise for the triceps. The triceps are the main muscle group targeted by the cable extension.

The biceps, forearms, lats, abs (rectus abdominis), obliques, pecs, and traps are some of the secondary muscle groups that contract during cable tricep extension (trapezius). These auxiliary muscles contract to support and stabilize the pushdown motion.

Variations of Cable Tricep Extension

The techniques for cable tricep extensions are listed below. To keep your muscles on their toes throughout training, doing these variations is a good idea:

1) Overhead cable extension

The cable overhead triceps extension can be an excellent addition to your cable tricep extension routine.

Targeting the triceps' long head is made easier by overhead cable tricep extension variations. The overall appearance of the triceps is influenced by how dense the long-head muscles are.

Here’s how to do a overhead cable extension:

  • Holding the rope in a neutral hold with your palms facing each other, raise your arms till they're straight above your head.
  • The arms should be parallel to the floor with the knuckles facing upwards, elbows close to the head, and arms perpendicular to the floor.
  • Holding your upper arms still, gradually lower the rope behind your head. Inhale as you carry out the exercise. Stop when the triceps are fully extended.
  • Repeat the required number of sets and reps after slowly returning to the starting position.

2) Single-arm cable pushdown

Overhead tricep extension is a great version. (Image via Unsplash/Matthew Sichkaruk)
Overhead tricep extension is a great version. (Image via Unsplash/Matthew Sichkaruk)

It's a unilateral version of the cable tricep extension. Breaking isolation exercises up into unilateral versions can increase the exercise's difficulty and benefits, as body strength improves. Also, by concentrating on one side of the body at a time, you double your rep count for greater work overall.

Here’s how to perform a single-arm cable pushdown:

  • Similar to how you would begin a straight-bar pushdown, draw the D-handle cable attachment down next to your body.
  • Anchor against the cable stack with your opposing hand. Drive the handle straight down till your elbow is locked out.
  • Allow the weight to gradually raise itself to chest height, and repeat.
  • Avoid placing your non-working hand on the cable machine throughout the exercise to use more of the core muscles.

Tips to Remember

Here are some pointers to keep in mind while you perform the cable tricep extension:

  • Don't fully lock the elbows out if you want to preserve additional tension in the triceps.
  • Don't let your elbows slide in front of your torso when you extend at the bottom of the exercise. Picture a screw running through them.
  • Try lifting while maintaining a static elbow posture. Some people may find that allowing their elbows to drift behind their body during the eccentric phase of the exercise results in a better stretch at the bottom of the movement.
  • While you stretch your elbows, watch out for any forward tilting of the shoulder blades.

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Edited by Bhargav
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