If you’re looking to take your workout to the next level, cable pull-downs provide just the right motion and resistance to help work your tricep muscles and improve your overall upper-body strength!
Whether you’re advanced or just beginning your exercise journey, cable press-downs can help you seriously elevate and challenge your next workout.
What Is a Cable Press-Down?
The cable press-down is an exercise that helps work the muscles that make up your triceps, and in the process works your biceps, shoulders, and back muscles as well. The exercise is done by pushing an object downward with resistance – in this case, a cable machine that has weights.
Also sometimes referred to as a push-down or pull-down, a bar is attached to a cable or set of cables that wrap around a pulley system at the top of the machine. The rest of the cable is attached to a set of weights. As the bar is pushed down, the weights provide the resistance needed to strengthen your triceps.
Working the Triceps
As with any exercise, it’s important to have a solid understanding of the muscles that you’ll be using.
Two muscles cross at your elbow joint:
● Anconeus – a shorter muscle on the outside of your elbow that helps stabilize your elbow joint.
● Triceps Brachial – a three-part muscle that covers the back of your upper arm. All three parts help with the extension of your elbow in the case of resistance, such as exercises like this one.
When you do cable press-downs correctly, these two muscles are what pull your arm straight if it’s bent.
Your triceps aren’t the only muscles that’ll benefit from this kind of exercise. Cable press-downs can help you with your core strength as well, as they engage your back and shoulders throughout the process!
Prepping for the Cable Press-Down
In getting ready to perform the cable press-down, you’ll want to have a few things prepared first.
1. Adjust the cable machine to your needs.
Make sure that the cable machine’s bar is sitting at about chest height. Start by setting a low weight by properly adjusting your machine’s weighting system.
1. Position yourself correctly in front of the cables.
Moving your body forward too much will lessen the tension, and you won’t get as good of a workout.
Leaning too far away from the machine will make it harder for you to restrict motion to your elbows.
A Correct Cable Press-Down
Once you’re correctly positioned, it’s time to begin your cable press-downs!
1. To begin, brace your core muscles. 2. Keep your elbows to your sides, and your feet just a few inches apart from one another. 3. Take a deep breath, and then push down until your elbows are extended, but not entirely straight. During this process, you’ll want to make sure your back is straight. 4. Exhale and slowly return to your starting point, taking care not to slam the weights down.
If you’re just starting, a good goal to aim for is 4 sets of 8 repetitions.
Cable press-downs are a great exercise for those looking to work each part of the tricep muscle for enhanced upper-body strength!