What Is The Tricep Cable Extension Workouts And How To Use It

The cable tricep extension is one of the best exercises that you can do using a cable machine to primarily work your tricep muscles. If you are aiming to have bigger arms, this is one of the exercises that you should do. In the following paragraphs, you will have full details on how to do the various cable tricep extension exercises.

The interesting thing about the cable tricep is that you can do it while seated, standing, or even lying. In addition to that, you can also use weights instead of the cable machine. In the following paragraphs, you will get the advantages of doing the tricep extension variations and alternatives.

Cable Tricep Extension Single Arm

Cable Tricep Extension Single Arm

The cable tricep extension single arm exercise primarily works the triceps muscles. Besides that, it also works the back muscles to a lesser extent. The back muscles that get worked include the serratus anterior and lats. The good thing about this exercise is that it strengthens the muscles that you engage when doing the exercise.

In addition to that, using the cable gives your muscles continuous tension when exercising. As such, every move that you do benefits the muscles that you engage. You will need a cable machine to do this exercise. However, this exercise is easy and beginner-friendly.

  1. Stand in front of the cable machine and grasp the handle with an underhand grip. Make sure that the handle is attached to a high pulley.
  2. Keep your one-foot behind the other and position your arm by your body side. Your arm can be bent to a less than 90-degree angle.
  3. Then pull down the handle until your arm is fully stretched by your body side. Pause for a second and squeeze the triceps.
  4. Return to the starting position. You can pull up the weight and curl your arm towards your shoulder.
  5. Repeat to meet the number of preferred reps.

Cable Tricep Extension Dumbbell

With this exercise, you will primarily work the triceps muscles. Interestingly, the exercise targets the three heads of the triceps. Besides that, other muscles that you work with include shoulders, lats, and serratus anterior. But you work these muscles to a lesser extent.

Using the dumbbells to do the cable tricep extension is good for strengthening your muscles. More so, the exercise stabilizes your upper body muscles such as the shoulders and elbows. The exercise is an easy cable workout to do and you will need one dumbbell. You can do the exercise standing or while seated.

  1. While holding a dumbbell, stand with your feet at hip-width apart.
  2. Hold the dumbbell with both hands and bring it behind your head with your elbows pointing upwards.
  3. Raise the dumbbell up on top of your head until your arms are fully stretched.
  4. Lower the dumbbell to repeat the moves.

Cable Tricep Extension Alternative

There are many cable tricep extension alternatives that you can do to work your triceps muscles. You can do the tricep extension variation to achieve the same results as the cable tricep extension. Below are some exercises that you may consider doing.

Cable Lying Triceps Extension

This is a cable tricep extension variation. It is good at working the tricep muscles as well as back muscles. As such, you can do the cable lying triceps extension in place of the tricep cable extension.

The advantage of doing the cable lying triceps extension is that you lower the chances of using lower body momentum when raising the weight. But when you are standing, you are likely to use your lower body muscles. Another advantage of doing this exercise is that the cables are good at giving your muscles constant tension.

The equipment required to do this exercise is a bench and a cable machine.

  1. Lie down on a bench on your back with your head closer to the cable machine. Make sure that the bar attachment is coming from the low pulley notch.
  2. Then grasp the bar attachment with an overhand grip. Pull the bar up above your chest until your arms are fully extended.
  3. Lower the bar over your head with your forearms closer to your face.
  4. Repeat the moves as much as you can.

Close Grip Bench Press

Cable Tricep Extension - Close Grip Bench Press

A close grip bench press is another exercise that you can do in place of the tricep extension exercise. Like the tricep extension, the close grip bench press is good at working the tricep muscles.  Besides the triceps, it also works the chest, shoulders, and biceps to a lesser extent.

To do the close grip bench press, you will need a bench and a barbell.

  1. Lie on a bench on your back and make sure that the barbell is above your chest.
  2. Grasp the barbell with your hands slightly closer than shoulder width apart distance. Then unrack the barbell and lower it to your chest.
  3. Raise the barbell up above your chest until the arms are fully stretched.
  4. Repeat the moves to reach the number of your intended reps and sets.

Cable Overhead Triceps Extension

The cable overhead triceps extension is ideally an isolation exercise for strengthening the triceps muscles. It works all the three heads of the triceps but it mainly focuses on the long head. In addition to that, this cable machine workout helps you to strengthen your shoulders and back muscles. 

The cable overhead triceps extension is also known as the overhead cable extension. You just need a cable machine to do this exercise.

  1. Make sure that the handle is attached to a high pulley. Grasp the handle with both hands and make sure that your palms are facing upward.
  2. Then stand facing away from the machine. Keep your feet at shoulder-width apart.
  3. Pull the cable over your head. Continue pulling and extending your arms forward until they are fully stretched.
  4. Lower your arms to your back to the starting position.
  5. Repeat the moves to meet the number of your reps and sets.

Cable Tricep Extension Vs Pushdown

The cable tricep extension and cable tricep pushdown exercises are similar. They work the same muscles such as the triceps, shoulders, and back muscles. The difference might be the attachments and weight but you can always use the same equipment to do both exercises. The attachment can make you target the muscles in different spots.

Cable Tricep Extension At Home

Doing the cable tricep extension can be difficult at home without access of a cable machine. However, if you have a cable machine at home, you can always do the exercises on your own because it’s easy and straightforward.

However, without the use of a machine, you can always do alternative exercises such as the lying tricep extension. A lying dumbbell tricep extension also works the triceps as the primary target. Other muscles that you can work with include shoulders, forearms, and back muscles.

You will need a bench and a dumbbell to execute this exercise.

  1. Lie on a bench and face upwards. Plant your feet on the floor to balance them.
  2. Grasp a pair of dumbbells and extend your arms above your chest. Then lower the dumbbells and bring them closer to your ears.
  3. Return to the starting position and then repeat the moves.

Cable Tricep Pushdown

Cable Tricep Extension - Cable Tricep Pushdown

The tricep pushdown is another exercise that primarily works your triceps muscles. It is good for developing and strengthening your triceps. Other muscles that you work with include the serratus anterior, lats, core, and shoulder muscles to a lesser extent. In addition to that, the cable tricep pushdown exercise is an isolation exercise that benefits your endurance. Doing this exercise is easy and you can choose any weight that you are comfortable with. You will need a cable machine to do this exercise.

  1. Make sure that the handle grip is at your chest height. Then stand with your feet closer than a hip-width apart distance and face the machine.
  2. Grasp onto the handle with both hands with an overhand grip.
  3. Keep your back neutral and your arms close to your body. Then push down the handle until your arms are fully stretched and avoid locking your elbows.
  4. Return the handle up to the starting position to finish one rep.
  5. Repeat to do as many reps as you can.

Cable Tricep Extension Rope

The cable tricep extension with rope is good as the cable tricep pushdown. The exercise works the tricep muscles. In addition to that, it also works the back and shoulder muscles. The difference between the two exercises is that you use a rope attachment but the form is the same. You can follow the cable tricep pushdown instructions to do the cable tricep extension rope exercise.

Final Thoughts

Doing cable tricep extension is one of the easy and straightforward exercises that can be done by beginners. It is good for making your arms bigger and stronger. Primarily, the exercise works the triceps. In addition to that, the exercise strengthens other muscles such as pecs, delts, and back muscles.

There are many tricep extension variations that you can do. But you should know how to do them correctly. This will lower injury risks. Interestingly, if you don’t have a cable machine, the tricep extension exercises can be done using dumbbells, bands, and other equipment.

Have you tried the tricep cable extension exercise? Share your experience.

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