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Tricep Pulldowns: What Attatchment?

What attachement should I use??? Rope, V-shaped Bar, Straight Bar, E-Z bar, other?

I understand they work different part of the triceps muscle?

Which one do you use?

try em all, see which hits your triceps the best. i always liked the EZ bar, personally.

I do smaller ROM with the rope attachment. I think weight+TUT=growth. And you get more of that going it this way.

V-Shaped bar for me - I get the most control and it feels the most comfortable.

I use the rope and the v-bar the rope seems to work it differently I cant really explain.

try all of them and find your fav.

I like the rope as it allows me to rotate my arms for the full contraction (if that makes sense).

While this is more information than you asked for, it includes at least much of what you were asking for.

Tesch did a review of which heads of the triceps are targeted by which exercises and whether particularly so or not. The results were:

Long head

French press with EZ bar
Overhead triceps extensions with reverse grip
Pullover with EZ bar and narrow grip

Lateral and long heads

Triceps pushdown with straight bar and narrow grip

Lateral head

Supine triceps extension with dumbbell and neutral grip

Lateral and medial heads

Standing French press with straight bar
One-arm triceps pushdown
Bench press with narrow grip
Military press with straight bar, behind neck
Standing dumbbell press

All three heads

French press with EZ bar on decline bench
Overhead triceps extensions with dumbbell and neutral grip
Triceps pushdown with rope
Triceps pushdown with angled bar
One-arm triceps pushdown with reverse grip
Parallel bar dip with neutral grip
Bench dip

What are they referring to when they say “angled bar” for the pushdown? V-bar?

So the v-bar and rope would kill all 3 at once? I only see one-arm pushdown with reverse grip. Two arm, reverse grip with cambered bar should work also, no?

[quote]RSGZ wrote:
V-Shaped bar for me - I get the most control and it feels the most comfortable.[/quote]

v shaped bar hurts my wrists, front squats don’t even hurt my wrists…so eh when i do em, i stick to ropes

Many gyms have a bar that is moderately angled, not a V bar.

On the question of using both arms in a reverse-grip triceps pushdown: I think I have seen elsewhere that this is described as still working all three heads. However, ordinarily the reverse (supinated; palms up) grip results in increased activation of the long head.

So maybe the answer is that all three heads are still worked but the two-arm reverse grip triceps pushdown works the long head the hardest of the three heads, and moreso than normal (pronated) grip.

I have to use less weight when using reverse grip.

By the way, an interesting (but certainly not necessary to do it this way all the time or indeed ever: it’s an option) technique is first doing as many reps as possible with reverse grip and then immediately, no rest break, switching to normal grip. Nearly the same number of reps as already done can be done again with the changed grip.

Also by the way, while you certainly didn’t say so one might (perhaps wrongly) read between the lines and take your post as implying the ideal is to hit all three heads at once. That is not necessarily the case.

Since some major exercises such as the bench press and overhead press work the lateral and medial heads strongly but not the long head, and many lifters never or hardly ever do exercises that zero in on the long head, it’s not at all unusual for the long head to be lacking. When it is, doing an exercise that hits all three heads may still leave the long head doing not so much as the body is so used to getting the job done with the other heads (or perhaps some other reason, at any rate that is the outcome.) So an exercise focusing in on the long head is a good thing.

Also, though again it’s not something that has to be done all the time or indeed necessarily ever, it can be a good technique to superset triceps exercises that target different heads, rather than picking only triceps exercises that hit all three.

Not that you said you were looking only for ones hitting all three, just covering the point as it’s logical one might think that best and perhaps some reading the thread would have been thinking that.

[quote]Bill Roberts wrote:
Many gyms have a bar that is moderately angled, not a V bar.

On the question of using both arms in a reverse-grip triceps pushdown: I think I have seen elsewhere that this is described as still working all three heads. However, ordinarily the reverse (supinated; palms up) grip results in increased activation of the long head.

So maybe the answer is that all three heads are still worked but the two-arm reverse grip triceps pushdown works the long head the hardest of the three heads, and moreso than normal (pronated) grip.

I have to use less weight when using reverse grip.

By the way, an interesting (but certainly not necessary to do it this way all the time or indeed ever: it’s an option) technique is first doing as many reps as possible with reverse grip and then immediately, no rest break, switching to normal grip. Nearly the same number of reps as already done can be done again with the changed grip.

Also by the way, while you certainly didn’t say so one might (perhaps wrongly) read between the lines and take your post as implying the ideal is to hit all three heads at once. That is not necessarily the case.

Since some major exercises such as the bench press and overhead press work the lateral and medial heads strongly but not the long head, and many lifters never or hardly ever do exercises that zero in on the long head, it’s not at all unusual for the long head to be lacking. When it is, doing an exercise that hits all three heads may still leave the long head doing not so much as the body is so used to getting the job done with the other heads (or perhaps some other reason, at any rate that is the outcome.) So an exercise focusing in on the long head is a good thing.

Also, though again it’s not something that has to be done all the time or indeed necessarily ever, it can be a good technique to superset triceps exercises that target different heads, rather than picking only triceps exercises that hit all three.

Not that you said you were looking only for ones hitting all three, just covering the point as it’s logical one might think that best and perhaps some reading the thread would have been thinking that.

[/quote]

I agree with your thoughts on the long head…
PJR Pullovers for president, btw.

[quote]Bill Roberts wrote:
While this is more information than you asked for, it includes at least much of what you were asking for.

Tesch did a review of which heads of the triceps are targeted by which exercises and whether particularly so or not. The results were:

Long head

French press with EZ bar
Overhead triceps extensions with reverse grip
Pullover with EZ bar and narrow grip

Lateral and long heads

Triceps pushdown with straight bar and narrow grip

Lateral head

Supine triceps extension with dumbbell and neutral grip

Lateral and medial heads

Standing French press with straight bar
One-arm triceps pushdown
Bench press with narrow grip
Military press with straight bar, behind neck
Standing dumbbell press

All three heads

French press with EZ bar on decline bench
Overhead triceps extensions with dumbbell and neutral grip
Triceps pushdown with rope
Triceps pushdown with angled bar
One-arm triceps pushdown with reverse grip
Parallel bar dip with neutral grip
Bench dip

[/quote]

This is a good point of reference, thanks for sharing.

When I took a personal training class, the instructor told us that the V-bar irritates the wrists and might cause some problems. It’s just what I’ve been told, so personally I’m going to stay away from it.

How far “up” do you all bring the bar up each rep?

[quote]k8thegr8 wrote:
How far “up” do you all bring the bar up each rep?[/quote]

On the more controlled reps, I bring the bar up so that my forearms are perpendicular to my upper-arms/biceps.

When using heavier weights towards the end of my sets, I go all the way back up.

high enough.

depends what youre going for, what set etc.

personally i like the curved one donno what to call it.

My gym has like 10 different ones, but I’ve found rope to be the best one. It’s easy on the wrists and you can lift a whole lot more weight with it(I’m doing pressdowns on the lat pulldown station).

Great answers, thanks. I will continue using straight bar on Tricep Pulldowns since tricep long head has always been lacking. Might also try reverse grip.

For the other exercises, I will continue doing French Press and might start doing Overhead Tricep Extensions with a Barbbell and a reverse grip. They also seem to target the long head.

Good post Bill. You’re correct, I was thinking about just hitting all 3 heads and being done with it. I totally see what you’re saying about the long head suffering in the long run. I’ll change things around and hit it more directly now. Thanks again Bill.

Great post to Bill, something every trainer and bodybuilder should keep in their resources.