Mastering Triceps Rope Pushdown: Guide, Form, Flaws, Set Up & Execution

Triceps Rope Pushdown – this appears to be a fairly ordinary exercise—at the end of your chest routine. What makes this work so exceptionally well is that you combine rest-pause and dropset techniques, going almost nonstop for a full 10 minutes. You take only a 20-second rest between sets and you’re right back doing press-downs again. That pace ensures you’re only partially recovered before you start your next set.

As lactic acid builds, each set becomes progressively more difficult. As your arms become increasingly pumped, you either start to do fewer reps on successive sets or—when you can’t do more than eight reps—you drop the weight one plate. Continue this fast-paced technique for a total of 10 minutes; you may end up doing 18 total sets, but that total number is less important because you are training by feel.

Exercise Instructions

  1. Attach a rope to a cable stack as high as possible and assume a standing position.
  2. Grasp the rope with a neutral grip (palms facing in) and lean forward slightly by hinging at the hips.
  3. Initiate the movement by extending the elbows and flexing the triceps.
  4. Pull the rope downward until the elbows are almost locked out and then slowly lower under control back to the starting position.
  5. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

Exercise Tips

  1. If you want to keep more tension in the triceps, don’t lock the elbows out entirely.
  2. Imagine there’s a screw running through your elbow and don’t allow them to move in front of the body as you extend at the bottom of the movement.
  3. Experiment with static elbow positioning throughout the lift – some may find that they get a better stretch in the bottom portion of the movement by allowing their elbows to drift behind the body during the eccentric portion of the movement (similar to a drag curl).
  4. Ensure the shoulder blades don’t tilt forward as you extend the elbows.