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Cable Pushdown: Lockout or Not?


'separate' the cables and lockout, or not?


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I'd say no to locking out, keeping constant tension on the muscle always worked better for me atleast..


Get off the cables and get under the bar


Good contribution.

OP, I tend not to do total lock-outs, but I'm usually using pushdowns as a finisher, so the sets are typically higher-rep anyway, or if you're using Meadows principles. If you're doing something heavier, like 6-10, a total lockout might inadvertently happen.


Thanks all. This is a lowww-weight finisher, not a main triceps exercise. As for constant tension, this IS constant tension, if done the way I describe it - pulling the cable apart).
Found this clip to demonstrate

first couple of times I did this, I really felt the lower tri's the following couple of days.


I don't worry about locking out my elbows. My focus is on making sure I squeeze that contraction a little...and yes, if doing the rope cable attachment, I separate them at that peak contraction.

I usually start with pressdowns to get the muscle warmed up.


I think you should be straightening your arm most of the way, I see too many people who wimp out and they miss like 15 degrees of movement where your working the hardest.

You don't have to actually lock the elbow out but like X said focusing on that peak contraction when the arm is pretty much straight feels much more effective.
As far as constant tension goes, its not like a bench press where you lose tension at lockout. I actually find the lockout position the hardest in a pushdown.


While I DO lockout and get that tight squeeze, I never actually allow my arms to reach a perfectly perpendicular angle with the floor. I always figured by keeping my hands, when fully extended, slightly in front of me, I was keeping some degree more of tension on the muscles (similar to doing skull crushers at a slight angle behind your head).



Great Description.


Also, taking a step back helps keep the tension even when extended. But with the tear-apart action, its not really necessary. Here's to a great nit-picking thread of this movement ...lol


i've been wondering, how do you guys choose between rope, straight bar, v-bar, etc? what do you think the difference between the attachments is? do you use them all at times, or just pick the one that feels the best and always use that one?


After doing heavy compounds for tris such as CGBP or dips and then some skulls, cable pressdowns are just icing on the cake. Whichever is most comfortable to progress, doesn't really matter. Switch em up for fun too.


Years ago, I was all about using a bar attachment, whether straight, cambered, or the V-Shaped one. It allowed me to move more weight, which at the time, I honestly believed was all you need to concern yourself with if you wanted to get huge. Eventually, I stepped back and realized that even though I was moving 'big weights', and yes, had fairly good triceps, I still didn't have the polish (and I don't just mean low bf%) that the guys in the magazines had.

I read an article on 'POsitions of Flexion'. While I think a lot of it was just bs, it did get me thinking about the '3 positions' you could hit a muscle with (midrange, stretch, and contraction were the terms I think). I started to look at the exercises I was using for each musclegroup, eventually trying to make certain that I was taking advantage of each possible scenario. What I came across (and still use to this day), is this series of exercises:

1-Rope Pressdowns- Yes I still use heavy weight, but I concentrate much more on getting a great squeeze at the contraction point. Also, doing these early on serves as a pre-exhaust technique
2-Skull Crushers -I used DBs for a better angle on my wrists, but these serves as the 'stretch' portion of hitting the muscle. By eliminating the possibility of extending your arms perpendicular to the floor, you can keep constant stress on the muscle as well.
3-Bench Dips - As a 'finishing exercise', this is your basic, compound ('midrange') movement. Whatever's left in the tank get used.

Only if something's bothering me will I deviate from this approach. ie. If my shoulder is acting up and I can't do dips, I'll do pressdowns with a bar trying to mimic the movement as best as I can.

That's my thinking on this anyway :slightly_smiling:



Good post, I developed the same concept in my triceps training however I mostly used CGBP, over head extensions (stretch) and pushdowns (squeaze/contraction).
I'm surprised you use bench dips as I always found them a little rough on the shoulders and awkward to load, I prefer parallel bar dips. What advantages do you think bench dips have?


I just never felt parallel bar dips well, either in my tris, or especially when I would try angling my torso and hitting my chest. It just always seemed a very awkward movement for me. For whatever reason, my body's is just mechanically inclined to fit into the groove of bench dips without shoulder issues, and derive benefit from the movement (I figure people are either one or the other when it comes to dips vs bench dips),



i keep the ropes together, and at the very bottom of the movement i twerk my wrists so the ropes make a little 'j' BUT the long parts of the rope stay close together.

zomg <3 pressdowns


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