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Blast Your Triceps with This Cable Pushdown Routine

Looking to build some serious horseshoe triceps? You've come to the right place! As a certified personal trainer at Revive Fitness, I'm going to share one of my go-to arm day routines that's guaranteed to smoke your triceps.

Training your triceps isn't just about adding mass to your arms - it offers a ton of functional and aesthetic benefits too. Well-developed triceps improve elbow and shoulder health, increase pushing strength for exercises like bench press, and enhance performance in sports like swimming and baseball. They also give you better upper body stability and a greater range of motion.

Of course, we can't forget the aesthetic factor. The triceps make up over two-thirds of your upper arm mass, so training them is key for building those sculpted horseshoe arms.

This workout is all about cable pushdown variations - one of the most effective exercises for targeting those tricep muscles. By switching up your grip and body position, you'll hit the triceps from multiple angles for maximum growth.

Ready to get pumped? Let's dive into the routine!

Exercise 1: Upright Cable Pushdowns (3 sets of 12-20 reps)

Kick things off with the classic upright pushdown. Grab the straight bar attachment and face the cable stack with your feet shoulder-width apart. Keeping your upper arms locked in at your sides, extend through your triceps to push the bar down until your arms are fully straight. Squeeze at the bottom, then resist on the way up. This variation is great for overall triceps development.

Exercise 2: Leaning Cable Pushdowns (3 sets of 12-15 reps)

For this one, you'll lean forward from the hips while keeping your back flat. Position yourself far enough from the cable stack so there's tension on the cable at the start position. Push down with an overhand grip, focusing on moving only your forearms. The leaning position increases the longhead involvement for that sweet horseshoe look.

Exercise 3: Reverse Grip Cable Pushdowns (3 sets of 10-15 reps)

Attach the two-handled rope to the high pulley and grab with a reverse (palms facing you) grip. Push straight down, keeping your elbows tucked. This hand position targets the lateral and medial heads for all-around triceps thickness.

Exercise 4: Cable Kickbacks (3 sets of 20 reps)

For the final exercise, you'll use the long straight bar attachment. Hinge forward from the hips and let your arms hang perpendicular to the floor. Keeping your upper arms stationary, extend through your triceps to kick the cable attachment straight back. Focus on squeezing the triceps at the back of the movement. High reps will leave your arms screaming!

There you have it, a complete cable pushdown routine to build bigger, stronger, and more defined triceps. Give it a shot on your next arm day!

Take Your Triceps to New Heights: Progression Tips

While this cable pushdown routine is great for triceps hypertrophy, you'll eventually want to apply progressive overload to continue seeing gains. 

Here are some tips for progressing this workout:

Go Heavier

The most obvious way to progress is to gradually increase the weight/resistance used for each pushdown variation. Aim to bump up the load by 2.5-5% whenever you can complete the top end of the rep range with proper form.

Increase Reps/Sets

You can also progress by doing more reps or sets over time. For example, after a few weeks, try increasing the rep targets to 4 sets of 15-20 on the upright pushdowns, 4 sets of 15-18 on the leaning pushdowns, etc.

Intensify Techniques

Incorporate advanced intensity techniques like drop sets, partial reps, forced reps, or rest-pause sets to overload the muscle even further. These create greater muscle damage for enhanced growth.

Prioritize Weak Areas

If you notice a particular triceps head lagging, prioritize the variations that emphasize it first in your routine when you're fresh. For example, lead with reverse grip pushdowns to focus on the lateral head.

Rotate Variations

Swap out one of the pushdown variations every 4-6 weeks for a new triceps exercise like skull crushers, dips, or overhead extensions. This introduces a novel stimulus to avoid plateaus.

Increase Frequency

If you're recovering well, you can train triceps more frequently - perhaps twice per week using different exercises and loads each session. Higher frequency can maximize growth.

The key is to avoid letting your triceps get too accustomed to the same weight and reps for too long. By applying progressive overload systematically, you'll continually challenge your muscles to grow bigger and stronger over time.

Achieve Your Fitness Goals with Revive Fitness

Blast Your Triceps with This Killer Cable Pushdown Routine

This killer triceps routine is just a taste of the effective, research-backed training you'll get from the expert coaches at Revive Fitness. Whether your goal is building muscle, losing weight, or boosting performance, we have the programs and support to help you crush it.

Our services include:

Personal Training

Work one-on-one with a certified trainer who will design a fully customized workout and nutrition plan based on your specific goals, fitness level, and preferences. Your personal trainer will coach you through every session, ensuring perfect form and providing the accountability you need to stay motivated.

Online Coaching 

Can't make it to the gym? Our online coaching makes expert programming and guidance accessible from anywhere. You'll get a personalized training and nutrition plan, regular form checks via video, and ongoing support from your coach to keep you progressing.

Nutrition Coaching

Nutrition is just as important as exercise for achieving your fitness goals. Our coach will provide a structured meal plan, education on healthy eating habits, and continued support to ensure you're fueling your body properly for your goals.

Competition Prep

We also specialize in contest prep for fitness and physique competitors. We work with people looking to do their first show all the way to national-level competitors.

From cutting-edge workout programs to flexible coaching options, Revive Fitness gives you everything you need to build your best body ever. Take the first step towards your goals and book a free consultation today!


Article Author: Dwight Wilson

Dwight has over 20 years of experience and is an NSCA-certified trainer specializing in weight loss and enjoys bodybuilding style training. Owner of Revive Fitness, Dwight educates his clients in the areas of strength training, cardiovascular endurance, and proper nutrition.

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