This exercise provided courtesy of Mike Clausen, founder and co-owner of DIAKADI Body training gym, voted best personal training gym in San Francisco by CitySearch in 2006.
The cable triceps bar pull-down is similar to its more popular cousin, the cable triceps bar press-down. The difference? You hold the bar with your palms up, turning a press into a pull so you can work those hard-to-reach parts of your three-headed triceps.
Attach a bent bar to the upper connection of a cable machine. Stand in front of the cable machine with your legs in a slight scissor position so that one leg is stepped slightly forward and the other leg is stepped slightly back. Hold the bar up at chest level in both hands with your palms up, positioned so that your pinkies are resting in each bend of the bar. Your elbows should be bent and held in at your sides (see Photo 1).
- From the starting position, use your triceps to pull the bar down toward your thighs. Keep the top half of your arms steady, elbows in close to your body, and wrists stable as you descend to concentrate the work in the triceps. Focus on isolating the triceps; do not use your shoulder muscles (see Photo 2).
- When your arms are fully extended and the bar is down in front of your thighs (see Photo 3), reverse motion and bring the bar back up to starting position (see Photo 4).