One-Arm Reverse Push-Downs (Cable)

Performance Description
  1. Stand before the cable apparatus and grasp the desired attachment, which in this case is the single-grip attachment, with an underhand grip (i.e. thumbs facing outward). (See "Further Clarification" for various grip attachments.)
  2. Keeping your elbows at your body's sides, press the weight downward, while exhaling throughout the movement. If desired, you may self-spot with your free hand.
  3. Slowly allow the weight to rise until your forearms are parallel to the ground, inhaling throughout the negative motion.
  4. Repeat steps 2-3 for as many sets as are desired.
Primary Muscle(s)
Forearms (Anconeus)
Triceps (Triceps Brachii: Lateral Head)
Triceps (Triceps Brachii: Long Head)
Triceps (Triceps Brachii: Medial Head)
Secondary Muscle(s)
Forearms (Extensor: Carpi Radialis Brevis)
Forearms (Extensor: Carpi Radialis Longus)
Forearms (Extensor: Carpi Ulnaris)
Forearms (Extensor: Digiti Minimi)
Forearms (Extensor: Digitorum)
Tertiary Muscle(s)
Abdominals (Rectus Abdominis)
Abdominals (Rectus Abdominis: Upper Aspect)
Obliques (External Oblique)
Further Clarification

There are several different grip attachments which can be used, each will direct focus to different parts of the muscle group.

The standard cable attachments that are used with this exercise are:

  • Straight Bar
  • Easy Curl Bar (E-Z curl bar)
  • Single Grip
  • Rope

As with most cable exercises, one-arm reverse triceps push-downs are good for toning and isolating, and, furthermore, are especially good for beginners or placed at the latter part of the workout (for the triceps portion of the workout, at least). This being said, with enough weight, push-downs can serve as a mass building exercise. When performing push-downs with heavier weights it is acceptable and recommended to lean forward. Do note, however, that the underhand grip which is utilized for this exercise greatly isolates the medial head of the triceps, and consequently debars the amount of weight that can be used--at least in comparison to one-arm triceps push-downs (i.e. push-downs with an overhand grip). Also, self-spotting with your free hand is an excellent way to really push yourself.

The wrist does not have to remain straight during the downward motion of this exercise. It is OK to rotate the wrist outward (the final point would be similar to a hammer curl grip). This alleviates some stress on the wrist although it decreases focus on the forearms while maintaining emphasis on the triceps.

Things To Look Out For

Keeping the wrists straight (neutral) may prove exceedingly difficult with this exercise, especially when a heavy amount of weight is used. Therefore, to help prevent injury, it is recommended that only as much weight be used as will allow for the wrists to remain neutral.

Exercise Position(s)
Standing, Kneeling
Exercise Variations
Considered An Exercise In The Following Categories