Best Triceps Pushdown Alternatives: For anyone looking for serious arm mass and strength, the tricep pushdown won’t go astray in their workout regimen. Just having big biceps is not enough; the triceps are equally important and the tricep pushdown is known to produce positive results!
But what if you don’t have access to a cable machine and can’t do this much-loved triceps workout? Are there any effective alternatives to the triceps pushdown?
Definitely yes! There are several ways to circumvent the barrier of not owning a cable machine to allow this exercise to be done. And they’re just as good!
I’m going to share with you some of my top-rated tricep exercises that are a great alternative to the wired pushdown. They provide similar if not the same movement and target the same muscles!
But before we look at what they are, below you will find some information on why the triceps are an important muscle group to work with and why you should try all these alternatives!
Why You Need to Train Your Tricep?
Having a solid triceps set has important functional benefits as well as aesthetic benefits.
Triceps are synergistic muscles, that is, “auxiliary muscles”. The pectoral muscles, anterior deltoids, and triceps work together to create a powerful pushup.
In addition, the triceps are valuable when it comes to locking strength in pushups.
Triceps are often overlooked when it comes to shoulder stability. It attaches directly to our shoulder blades. They play an important role. You can find out more about how triceps strength and shoulder strength are linked here.
So, as you can see, the triceps is very important. However, there are no triceps pushdowns; Do not worry! Read on for some great alternatives that cover your triceps!
As a side note, all of these exercises can be easily done from a home gym – bonus!
10 Best Triceps Pushdown Alternatives
Some of the best triceps pushdown alternatives involve similar moves but require different training equipment. Others work the same muscles but in a slightly different way. Either way, whether you’re training at home or in a commercial gym, you can use these exercises to develop and strengthen your triceps.
1. Resistance Band Tricep Pushdowns
The traditional cable tricep pushdown can easily be duplicated with resistance bands!
Some might argue that this resistance band version of the exercise is even more effective than the original, as it requires equal effort from the left and right triceps.
Another benefit of pushing the resistance band down the cable machine is that the tension is at its highest point at the end of the move, as in the bench press. In the standard cable push-down, the tension is mostly lost at the end of the travel.
- To do this exercise you need a resistance band at a suitable resistance level and something to secure it, for example, an electric rack or door anchor. From here, assume the standard tricep push-up position with one end of the band in each hand.
- Lean forward slightly at the hips and, keeping your elbows at your sides, push the bands down until your arms are fully straight/locked at the elbows. Hold for a second and slowly return to the starting position.
- This can also be a great warm-up exercise if you use a band that’s light enough to pump through many reps!
2. Resistance Band Overhead Tricep Extensions
Reverse tricep pushdown – overhead tricep extensions! This exercise is usually done on a cable machine, but it can be done just as effectively with a resistance band (if not more)!
Going overhead will tire your triceps faster than your banded triceps pushdown, so aim for a lighter band and a few extra reps.
- Make sure your resistance band is securely fastened under a shelf or door. Holding a tip in both hands, look away from the anchor in a split stance with a neutral spine.
- Keep your arms up and your elbows bent. Remember that it is important to keep your shoulders stable and squeezing your elbows to maximize the load on the triceps. From here, push the bands away from you until your triceps are fully contracted.
3. Lying Dumbbell Tricep Extensions
This is one of my personal favorites!
With this exercise, you should pay attention to the weight you choose. Overdoing it can cause injury to the elbows, so lift within your capacity!
- To do this exercise correctly, lie on a flat bench with a dumbbell in each hand. Start with your arms raised above your chest, arms shoulder-width apart, and palms facing each other.
- From here, bend your elbows and lower the dumbbells as far as you can go while keeping your shoulders stable. When you reach the end of the movement (at which stage the dumbbell should be around your ears), straighten your arms again until your elbows are locked.
- As with overhead extensions, keep your elbows inward rather than outward as you push the weights back to the starting position.
- I like to do this exercise with a maximum of 8 to 10 repetitions of weight.
4. Close Grip Bench Press
Especially when it comes to alternatives to tricep pushdown to build sculpted triceps, you can’t touch the close-grip bench press!
This variation of the traditional bench press is a powerful exercise that will get your triceps running for money. The close-grip bench press provides an excellent strength workout and, in my opinion, is best done for the maximum weight over fewer reps.
- To do this exercise, lie on a flat bench with your knees bent and feet on the floor. Assume a shoulder-width grip on the barbell. Avoid holding them too close as this can unnecessarily strain your wrists.
- From here, whilst keeping your core engaged, and your shoulder blades together for stability, lower the barbell down to your sternum. At the bottom of the movement hold for one second, and then explosively push the barbell back up.
- Keep your elbows close to your sides for the safest and most effective close-grip bench press. And be sure to use a safety rack and/or a spotter when performing these heavier lifts!
5. TRX Tricep Extensions
TRX cables are great for building functional power! And this exercise is not for cowards.
I love this alternative to the triceps pushdown, not only because it requires full-body activation, but because it provides endless room for advancement – you can adjust the amount of bodyweight you load based on the position of your feet. TRX anchor.
As with most exercises where you have complete control of stabilizing your body, the technique is everything. So be sure to watch the promotional video above to stay safe!
Like the triceps pushup, this exercise follows the same movement pattern. However, unlike the tricep pushdown, this alternative requires the stretch to be “on” at all times. Think of it as a much harder version!
- To do this exercise, hold a handle in each hand on fully extended arms in front of you at eye level, face away from the anchor point. You should lean against the cables with your body weight supported by the TRX.
- Keeping your core engaged at all times, bend your elbows to lower your body towards the floor. Keep your elbows from sticking out as your hands move towards your head.
- When you reach a 90-degree bend at the elbows (just below), engage the triceps by pushing your hands away from your face, extending your arms, and raising your body.
- Don’t do more reps than you can handle, because your lower back will suffer the consequences. And remember, the farther your feet are from the anchor point, the easier it will be. Start slow!
6. Diamond Push Ups
A tough bodyweight workout that shouldn’t be ignored!
This variation of the push-up makes a great alternative to the tricep pushdown by mimicking the movement and using bodyweight for the load. This hits your triceps really hard!
For your own safety, it’s a good idea to perfect the standard push-up before trying this!
- To do the diamond push-up, start on your hands and knees and join your index fingers and thumbs to create a diamond shape. Then lift your knees off the ground and form a straight line from head to toe to get into a push-up position.
- As with a normal push-up, lower your chest towards the floor. Keep your elbows close to your side as you come down just before your chest touches the floor. Hold for a second and then push back on outstretched arms.
- If you can easily do 3 sets of 12, try the advanced version of this exercise with your feet up!
7. Cable Overhead Extension
Overhead Triceps Extensions Overhead triceps extensions place your upper arms next to your head, allowing for a wide range of motion and significant stretch in the triceps muscle. This exercise requires and develops good shoulder flexibility, but it’s the wider range of motion that makes this a superior triceps builder.
You can do overhead triceps extensions using a low-cable machine, a single dumbbell, a regular barbell, and an EZ bar. It can be done sitting or standing, depending on preference.
If you have healthy, mobile shoulders, you will likely enjoy the effects of this challenging exercise. However, if your shoulders are tense or sore, this exercise may not be for you.
8. Triceps kickback
Triceps kickbacks have a reputation for being an easy exercise. Because you need to use light weights to do these without cheating.
Despite this fact, triceps kickbacks are a very useful alternative to triceps pushdowns. You can also kick back using dumbbells or a cable machine, like a few exercises on our list of triceps push-down alternatives.
9. Parallel bar dips
Many lifters do dips as part of their chest workout. After all, dips involve a similar move to lowering bench presses and therefore work your lower chest, also known as the abdominal or costal head of the pectoralis major.
In addition to being a useful chest exercise, dips are also a highly effective triceps builder. If you like to work your triceps hard and heavy, dips are a great choice.
10. Single arm cable triceps pushdown
One of the best ways to add variety to your workouts is to switch from bilateral (two limbs) exercises to unilateral (one limb) exercises. Performing one-arm triceps pushdowns forces you to really concentrate on what you’re doing, and also helps you identify and correct left-to-right strength imbalances.
Use a D-shaped handle and try using an overhand grip and a bottom grip to see which one you prefer.
Check out this article to discover more about this effective exercise.
Best Tricep Pushdown Alternatives – Completion
Best tricep pushdown alternatives are a popular exercise, and for good reason; they really work! It’s hard to think of a bodybuilder who hasn’t used this exercise, and it’s also popular with powerlifters and fitness enthusiasts all over the world. Triceps pushdowns are easy to learn, and most gyms have the equipment you need to do them.
As you can see, the best tricep pushdown alternatives are just one of many exercises out there to help strengthen and shape your triceps!
These are the 10 best tricep pushdown alternatives available and I hope you enjoy trying them and working through their progression. Your triceps are an important part of helping facilitate a powerful pushup, so they deserve attention!
And who needs a cable machine? Because there’s a triceps workout for everything from bodyweights to resistance bands, dumbbells, barbells, and TRX cables!
Use these best tricep pushdown alternatives to build bigger, stronger triceps and stay away from workout routines.
What are your favorite tricep exercises? Share it with us in the comments section below!