HomeExercise LibraryHow To: Reverse Grip Triceps Pushdown

How To: Reverse Grip Triceps Pushdown

Reverse Grip Triceps Pushdown
The reverse grip triceps pushdown is a light weight isolation exercise targetting the long head of the triceps.
Provided you're performing the kickback with strict form (which most guys don't!) you'll find this pushdown provides solid growth for the long head of the triceps.

As this is a lightweight isolation exercise I recommend performing it towards the end of your arm workout, after your heavy presses and dips.

Movement: Isolation

Targets: Triceps

Required: Cable machine + Attachment

Optional: N/A

Reverse Grip Triceps Pushdown Form:

Hold the straight bar on your cable machine with an underhand grip (your palms should be away from you).

Lean slightly forward while maintaining an overall upright position with your elbows tucked into your sides.

Flex your triceps as you push the straight bar down until your arms are fully extended, keep your upper arms in position while only your forearms are moving.

Hold the contracted position for 1 second.

Slowly begin to lower the straight bar up until it reaches lower chest height.

Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

Reverse Grip Triceps Pushdown Variations

Rope Pushdown

Utlizing a rope attachment while perform your triceps pushdowns, ensuring you seperate the rope as you contract at the bottom of each repetition to get maximum triceps engagement.

See also
How To: Dumbbell Squat

V Bar Pushdown

Utilize a V bar attachment for your triceps cable pushdowns, the V bar will allow you to utilize more weight than the straight bar or rope attachments, great for applying progressive overload to the triceps.

Common Reverse Grip Triceps Pushdown Mistakes


Utilizing A Partial Range Of Motion

There's no reason to work in a small range of motion on your pushdowns, opt to lower the bar ALL the way down by driving through the triceps until they're locked out.
Partial range of motion = partial triceps activation.

Flaring Your Elbows Out

When performing any triceps exercise, whether it be a dumbbell overhead triceps extension or a rope pushdown it’s imperative you keep your elbows tucked in by your sides.
Flaring your elbows outwards is often a sign that the weight is too heavy (as you’re trying to muscle the shoulders in to assist with moving the weight).
Flaring the elbows on triceps exercise places your shoulders at a high risk of injury not to mention you’re only going to applying a small amount of tension to the triceps as the shoulders are trying to take over and lift the weight.

If you find yourself constantly flaring your elbows lower the weight and consciously practise tucking your elbows in to your side on each repetition until it becomes natural.

See also
How To: One Arm Kettlebell Press

Lifting Too Light

If you don’t generally train in the lower rep range I recommend you give it a try, stop lifting in the 10 – 15 rep range for at least a month and focus on heavy, low rep sets. Once you start to see results you won’t want to go back.

Now, you may still think high reps are beneficial, but let me tell you they’re far from it.

High repetitions result in increased stress on your CNS, increase in localized inflammation and increased soreness.

“Movements or exercises that do not give the muscle the required resistance, but are the kind that involve a great number of repetitions, never break down any tissue, to speak of. These movements involve a forcing process that cause the blood to swell up the muscle, and simply pump them up”– George F. Jowett, 1926

Similar & Substitute Exercises 

  • Triceps Dips
  • Dumbbell Skull Crushers
  • Dumbbell Overhead Extension
  • Close Grip Push-up

Any Questions Regarding The Reverse Grip Triceps Pushdown? Ask Below!

Scott J.
Scott J.
I’m SJ. I’m a fitness enthusiast and published author. I transformed my body from a skinny fat 135lbs with 18% body fat to a solid 192lbs at 8% body fat. I became qualified in a field I was passionate about. I founded several online businesses that allow me to pursue ideas and projects in my life that I am passionate about without having to constantly worry about money. I published several eBooks explaining the training and dieting techniques I used to achieve the body I have today. I learnt a plethora of new information on dieting and fitness by reading and applying what I read, to find out what does work and what doesn’t work, because as I’m sure you’ve noticed the health and fitness industry is full of non-sense claims and BS. I found out what was true and what worked for me and applied that knowledge. And you bet I had fun during the whole process.
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