Triceps pressdowns- a new look at an old classic!

Hello again,

since we are in the midst of summer , it may be a good idea to take another look at the ever fascinating topic of arm training (sun’s out, guns out)
More precisely, the theme du jour is triceps pressing
As everyone is well aware, the tris are making up about two thirds of your arm, so they deserve some attention.
With that said, I am willing to bet anything that anyone who has set foot into a gym has done triceps press downs.  Girls and boys, young and old, hordes of people have slaved away in front of it, praying to the mighty cable. And yet, well-developed triceps are rare but blown out elbows are not.

Why, you ask? Most people use too much weight and lean over the bar, which leads to an overemphasis on the shoulder and elbows joints while diminishing the actual muscle recruitment in the triceps.Here are a few pointers that will help you get the most out of this exercise.1. Stand upright – this will minimize the deltoids involvement.2. Use a exercise band if you have elbow troubles.  It will minimize the stress on the joint while maximizing the contraction. As for your gains, do not fear. They go up to 200 lbs in resistance.3. Tuck the elbows behind the body so you can stretch the triceps all the way. (Please note Luke’s perfect form in the pic)4. Reduce the weight instead and slow down the negative. You are a bodybuilder, not a weightlifter. Time under tension matters, inertia does not.5. Double up on rope length The regular rope is simply too short to allow your arms to move in a biomechanically correct manner. The easiest way to fix is to hook two ropes, this way you can truly go past your torso at the bottom part of the motion.6. Take several steps back This is where high school physics (apologies again to Professor Riese, I was a brat back then) comes in big and I truly wish I had paid more attention. You only have resistance against your triceps if the cable is at 90 degrees to your forearm and very little when the rope runs parallel to your forearm. That means when you stand close to the machine, the main resistance occurs at the 90-degree bend of the elbow where the joint is vulnerable and very little resistance occurs at the contracted position.Instead, start your press down three big steps away from the machine; your should feel the lower part of the motion most. As you fatigue, take a step forward, the stress will shift toward the mid range. Lastly, step close to the cable in order to fatigue the top range of the exercise.

So now get on the gains train!