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.
Single-arm rope press-downs isolate and work the triceps muscles. The trick is to use proper form so you don't pass the resistance to your shoulders and biceps.
Hook a single-handled rope attachment to the highest position on the cable machine (you may also use a double-handled rope attachment if you don't have a single-handed attachment; just tie off the second rope so that it doesn't get in your way). Stand facing the machine and take the rope handle in one hand. Stagger your feet with one in front of the other. Allow your other arm to hang down at your side (see Photo 1).
- From the starting position, keep your body tall and your shoulder blades together as you bring your hand directly down beside you, ending with your hand held at your hip. Your elbow should stay held in toward your sides throughout and your upper arm steady and still; make sure your shoulders don’t end up pushing forward and taking over the work (see Photos 2 and 3).
- At the bottom of your motion, squeeze and hold for a moment, twisting your palm slightly in toward your body to get a full flexion of the triceps (see Photo 4).
- Reverse direction and allow your arm to return to the starting position—but don’t let your arm come above a right angle through your elbow. Do a full set with one arm, and then switch the rope handle to the other hand and do another set (see Photo 5).