Which Triceps Pushdown is Best for Your Triceps (IT MATTERS!!)

If you want to build bigger triceps then surely you are doing triceps pushdowns right now. But do you know which version of the tricep pushdown is best for building up the size of the back of your arms? In this video, I’m going to answer the popular question of whether the overhand or underhand grip on the straight bar is better for building up the size of the triceps when training this sizable arm muscle.

Now, there are many more variations of pushdowns and exercises for triceps than just those that can be done with the straight bar. There are different shape handles that are made specifically to attempt to improve the biomechanics of the triceps exercise, there are rope pushdowns and there are even single armed versions. Here we are limiting the discussion to the grip difference of overhand or underhand when using the common straight bar.

Well, you’ve likely read or heard somewhere (maybe even on this channel), that the act of supination and pronation at the forearm have no influence on the contraction of the triceps. This is one hundred percent true. With the attachment of the common triceps tendon occurring on the olecranon rather than the radius, it is not influenced at all by movement of the forearm. At least not directly.

That is the big caveat and why you need to pay close attention to the content of this video.

Because the body operates as one kinetic chain, there does turn out to be an impact on the function and performance of the triceps and the overall recruitment of the muscle depending on whether you are in supination or pronation at the forearm.

How does this happen?

Let’s analyze.

First, with an overhand or palms down grip, you are going to get some drifting of the elbow away from the body. This happens for two reasons. Most importantly, due to a limitation in the amount of pronation range of motion we have and the inability to get pronated so much as to flatten the wrist and reach a position parallel to the bar you’re grabbing, you will have to flare the elbow out and internally rotate the shoulder to adapt the hand to better grip the bar.

Second, because the shoulder and elbow are connected, movement of the arm at one joint is going to impact the position of the arm at a different point (in this case the elbow). Hence, the flaring of the elbow is unavoidable since the shoulder internal rotation is determining what is happening at the elbow.

To see just how impactful this is on the triceps you need to understand the anatomy of the muscle group. The triceps is comprised of three heads. The medial, lateral and long head. The medial and lateral do not cross the shoulder and only are influenced by extension (or lack thereof) at the elbow. The long head however is influenced by the position of the arm in relation to the torso.

The further back behind the body you can get your arm and the tighter to your side you can keep it, the more fully contracted you are going to be able to make the long head of the triceps.

With hypertrophy and peak tension the goal of deciding the better version of the triceps pushdown here it should be very clear that the one that maximizes the tension on all three heads of the triceps the best is going to be the winner.

This is where the underhand pushdown shines.

Flipping to an underhand grip adducts the elbow into the side and allows for more extension of the arm at the shoulder when in the bottom or fully contracted portion of the exercise. This is why you feel a stronger squeeze in the triceps muscle when doing this underhand rather than overhand.

Now if you are simply just looking to build more strength in your triceps than you would be better served to not even look at the pushdown as your best option. Instead, focus on the close grip bench press, skullcrusher and weighted dips. If all three of these are in your triceps workout plan already then the overhand pushdown becomes even more redundant. Instead, flip the grip and include the underhand pushdown as the perfect compliment to the tricep exercise selection you’re already doing to build bigger triceps.

If you’re wanting to build bigger triceps and want a workout plan that you can follow step by step, be sure to head to athleanx.com via the link below and use the program selector to find the program that matches your specific training goals. Put the science back in strength today and build ripped athletic muscle with ATHLEAN-X.

For more videos on how to build bigger triceps and tricep workouts that use exercises like the tricep pushdown to build big arms by subscribing to our channel here on youtube via the link below. Remember to turn on your notifications so you never miss a new video when it’s published.

Build ripped athletic muscle here - athleanx.com/x/my-workouts
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    ATHLEAN-X™Prije 3 mjeseci

    *NOTIFICATION SQUAD GIVEAWAY* - It’s back!! Alright guys, I’m giving away a complete 30 Day Workout program to 100 lucky clickers within the first hour this video is published! Remember, this is NOT THE FIRST 100, but those randomly selected within the first hour the video is published. Click the link to see if you’ve won. No strings attached! giveaway.athleanx.com/ytg/triceps-pushdowns If you don’t win, no worries, you’re not going away empty handed. Just be sure you have your notifications turned on so you can get to my next video quickly and try again. Good luck and thanks for being a loyal subscriber…

  2. Calvin Ellis

    Calvin EllisPrije 2 mjeseci

    Thankyou Professor Xavier

  3. Akhilesh Gupta

    Akhilesh GuptaPrije 3 mjeseci

    How to develop cut between muscle and arm

  4. dandre oliver

    dandre oliverPrije 3 mjeseci

    Jeff what do you think of The Kneesovertoesguy

  5. nagato renin

    nagato reninPrije 3 mjeseci

    In my country it is always uploaded in the mid night and it does not a chance to win.

  6. Courtney de Longis

    Courtney de LongisPrije 3 mjeseci

    Light weight but 300 each hammer and what you were doing 7.5kg start 10 each, building to 25 each rep range

  7. kai k

    kai kPrije dan


  8. Tim Brown

    Tim BrownPrije 2 dana

    I’ve always done a bit of reverse grip tricep work here and there, I guess that’s why my long head wasn’t as developed as I thought it should be. I’m eager to get back at it and incorporate these tips! 💪🏼

  9. Bliktrud De Veend De Veend

    Bliktrud De Veend De VeendPrije 3 dana

    Hahaha can't stop laughing 😂 mind reader

  10. dollar sex

    dollar sexPrije 8 dana

    Jeff looks like Barack Obama

  11. Djimpailot

    DjimpailotPrije 10 dana

    Best bodybuilding channel on youtube hands down

  12. trentntb

    trentntbPrije 10 dana

    If I am getting pain in my front delt/shoulder with overhead, how can I resolve this? Feels like weakness.

  13. pablo Perez

    pablo PerezPrije 12 dana

    Sleep Jeff: u losing

  14. Forest Littke

    Forest LittkePrije 13 dana

    humor plus science.....excellent video.

  15. Jeroen van de Haar

    Jeroen van de HaarPrije 13 dana


  16. Tech King

    Tech KingPrije 15 dana

    you talk too fast and use a lot of scientific vocabulary some of us here aren't native english speakers I didn't understand nothing in this video please slow down a little next time and try using less scientific words next time thank you for sharing your knowledge with us

  17. Sattar Khan

    Sattar KhanPrije 16 dana

    Jeff , please kinda talik less whilst presenting a methodology guidance for workout. Too much speaking on your behalf is irritating-

  18. T. S.

    T. S.Prije 16 dana

    Unbelievable, the very first thing I thought of was...what are you doing in that "take a look at me shirt" you have on.

  19. Weldon

    WeldonPrije 16 dana

    Jeff, you ol’ clairvoyant!!!

  20. White Ninja

    White NinjaPrije 16 dana

    Yeah, I need to do a skull crusher--my thinking isn't correct.

  21. Sean McGuigan

    Sean McGuiganPrije 17 dana

    Jeff is the only person Chuck Norris has apologized to

  22. will cook

    will cookPrije 20 dana

    I've done this unilaterally. The contraction is nothing short of mind boggling. In the bottom third of the movement, I twist my wrist just a little extra and by the next day I experience a sore-gasm. Also, I tweaked dumbbell kickbacks to the point where even after all these years, I can barely finish a set of ten with a 15lb bell. And I'm not a little man. I weigh close to 270. It's beautiful torture.

  23. Engel Becker

    Engel BeckerPrije 20 dana


  24. Duncan Bowtell

    Duncan BowtellPrije 20 dana

    Of course I read the body building magazines which is how I got to know about the different exercises, but the reverse grip tricep curl always felt so good when isolating the muscle. And, conversely when I did the regular bar curl I always felt my chest and shoulders being activated. The one thing about those reverse cable tricep pulls though is that it requires pretty good posterior chain muscles to stabilise the shoulder.

  25. BananasGaming

    BananasGamingPrije 21 dan

    Hey we’re can I get that soy food like prisons feed you it bulks you up like crazy 90 days beast mode just prison food not jail food

  26. johnny deals

    johnny dealsPrije 21 dan

    Kwame Brown for President. #VOTE

  27. Canuck_Gamer33

    Canuck_Gamer33Prije 22 dana

    I don't know if there is such a thing as an Emmy Award for best comedic short but if there is, you guys just won it with that 3 second triceps demonstration going a mile a minute with circus music in the background. LOL...I just about lost it when that came on!

  28. Neil Bradley

    Neil BradleyPrije 23 dana

    Great video I'm always doing the one handed underhand pull down were starts at chest and swings down to your side I wonder if this is kind of the same

  29. its smoky

    its smokyPrije 23 dana

    Me whos eating 2 burgers with a coke looking at him good luck with reading my mind

  30. Hustle 2 Muscle

    Hustle 2 MusclePrije 23 dana

    Another goldmine!

  31. Bawar Saeed

    Bawar SaeedPrije 24 dana

    If you have good form and use a U bar you can get the same tricep isolation without the wrist strain, this guy is too basic to act like his ideas are so conclusive, you can also use an oblique palm starting grip on the underhand way at the start to eliminate the wrist strain especially if you use VersaGripps. I know now why his arms are half the size of mine despite him probably being taller and being a full time fitness professional.

  32. Sanchez

    SanchezPrije 24 dana

    I can't wait to do this

  33. Phil

    PhilPrije 25 dana

    His triceps so defined that they’re now quadriceps.

  34. Hafiiz Hamid

    Hafiiz HamidPrije 25 dana

    That fridge......

  35. jerkass411

    jerkass411Prije 26 dana

    Love the content, been a follower since the old school HRcharts days, But misspelling words doesn't exactly scream putting the science into anything. Horrible shirt design in my opinion.

  36. EJ Gaming

    EJ GamingPrije 26 dana

    Jeff the type of guy to comb both directions of his hair to prevent hair follicle imbalance

  37. satyagraha a

    satyagraha aPrije 26 dana

    Always awesome information here

  38. Mr. ADHIL

    Mr. ADHILPrije 26 dana

    Yes correct ialso tried .

  39. Rayford Dean

    Rayford DeanPrije 26 dana

    Great video but what about just dumbbell getting into shape only have that

  40. Kvh56

    Kvh56Prije 28 dana

    My gym has a short rope you can attach to the pushdown machine. If I use that my arms are not pronated or supinated but the grip is with palms toward each other. is this also good or is a supinated grip still preferable?

  41. qewr4231

    qewr4231Prije 28 dana

    I really feel this exercise in the triceps. The underhand version really pumps the triceps.

  42. Hotwheel66

    Hotwheel66Prije 28 dana

    These and skull crushers with dumbbell kick backs are my big 3 for tri's.


    TINDARO LEONEPrije 28 dana

    Jeff Cavaliere you are always in my 💕in the Planet in Only the Best Exist 1 💯which gives me the courage to always go on to suffer with glory and pleasure. 🙏Thank you

  44. Bas

    BasPrije 28 dana

    Skullcrushers are the best handsdown

  45. Alexx Atl

    Alexx AtlPrije 29 dana


  46. Gabriel

    GabrielPrije mjesec

    This was gold!

  47. John

    JohnPrije mjesec

    Easy fix, use a bent bar

  48. James O'keefe

    James O'keefePrije mjesec

    As usual great video!!

  49. Orçun Sarmis

    Orçun SarmisPrije mjesec

    Thanks mate, awsome details. I learned a lot with you, 10 points for you👏🎉

  50. memphis holmes

    memphis holmesPrije mjesec

    4:40 he honestly just said what i just said

  51. Brandon Case

    Brandon CasePrije mjesec

    Jeff prepares for each video by doing the exercise for 72 hours straight. Look at that tricep pump. Legend

  52. Wigadama

    WigadamaPrije mjesec

    *_If you can't even do 1 pull up Remember, every master was once a beginner 🙂👍_*

  53. Eric Cox

    Eric CoxPrije mjesec

    Great info. Thanks

  54. Bo Curtis

    Bo CurtisPrije mjesec

    I actually needed this, thanks sir

  55. Mehak Verma

    Mehak VermaPrije mjesec

    I love how I can see every muscle contraction on Jeff (unlike chubby me)

  56. Mehak Verma

    Mehak VermaPrije mjesec

    3:11 the music and the v shred reference XDXDXDXDXD

  57. Eli Ortiz

    Eli OrtizPrije mjesec

    Solid video as usual.


    NAH TRUCKINGPrije mjesec


  59. OvershotStorm0

    OvershotStorm0Prije mjesec

    Yes. The way I should have been doing it. I kept repeatedly doing it and getting Wrist issues. Some time ago I switch to one handle. NOT even thinking I could fill both hands. Thank you. Could you do one a video on if a Incline Curl is a necessity to hit the Long head of biceps if you haven't already?

  60. Henry Coxe

    Henry CoxePrije mjesec

    What about neutral grip (i.e. rope pushdown)?

  61. Past Tax

    Past TaxPrije mjesec

    He just needs to make another video, ran out of ideas so he make you believe in nonsense.

  62. UrbanTree Steve

    UrbanTree StevePrije mjesec

    Wow, so amazing how you break that down and show the differences!

  63. Mike Gerry

    Mike GerryPrije mjesec

    Doing this tomorrow

  64. Chris Henneman

    Chris HennemanPrije mjesec

    Jeff really is a mind reader. Every time I think, "I could use a tip on *random lifting topic*", out comes an Athlean-X video to meet my needs.

  65. trapps75

    trapps75Prije mjesec

    I want you to call out Doug brignole and tell him he's wrong about any exercises that u say work and he says doesn't do that much

  66. perplexedmind420

    perplexedmind420Prije mjesec

    I wish I lived close and was friends with this guy.. workout partners.. This guy is extremely great shape. and sooo much knowledge...

  67. hwknswltr

    hwknswltrPrije mjesec

    Damn made a huge difference... thank you

  68. Ryan Boldt

    Ryan BoldtPrije mjesec

    I am 50 and the strongest I have ever been thanks to Jeff... bad new is, I am still not that strong... 😂

  69. abc 123

    abc 123Prije mjesec

    So keep doing the standard pushdown and hit the whole triceps the best way

  70. Xenjira

    XenjiraPrije mjesec

    With underhand chances is if slipped im gonna need a expensive dentist appointment

  71. Michael Wilkin

    Michael WilkinPrije mjesec

    I wasn't thinking "What hell is he doing in a tank top?" - I was thinking "Why the hell is Jeff wearing a shirt?"

  72. deathincarnate1337

    deathincarnate1337Prije mjesec

    damn, Jesse can play the sitar? legend!

  73. Wakangdi

    WakangdiPrije mjesec

    what about neutral grip? aka no attachment single arm

  74. Gabor Varga

    Gabor VargaPrije mjesec

    I am sorry for my english... on negative (moving up) stage the biceps could not "too much" work, in palm up position?

  75. Nikos Oik

    Nikos OikPrije mjesec

    Did someone order t shirt from Europe?

  76. trulsrohk1

    trulsrohk1Prije mjesec

    Having you do one first then the other is automatically going to make the second feel like there is better contraction for most people. I actually feel more with hands down. Jeff is reaching here. That being said, yes, experiment and try different things. Holding a shrug for pushdowns will do more for engaging long head than underhand grip.

  77. NotYoFLÉXii

    NotYoFLÉXiiPrije mjesec

    Was bout to scroll away from the video But the title literally said It Matters!! 👁️👄👁️

  78. Dennis Smith

    Dennis SmithPrije mjesec

    Did the underhand overhand test at the beginning and I had the opposite effect🤔, underhand had wayyy less contraction than overhand.😳🤷🏽‍♂️

  79. Al Bundy

    Al BundyPrije mjesec

    Steroid run you're forgetting about.

  80. Luka Day Lee

    Luka Day LeePrije mjesec

    Let me guess before I watch the video... the answer is a combination of variations

  81. REPSDirect

    REPSDirectPrije mjesec

    And don't leave out the one-arm cable pushdowns with palm facing the side of the body. This is the arm's natural anatomic position and largely eliminates other muscles from contributing to that motion. Use a wrist strap hooked with a carabiner, or grip one end of a thick press down rope so the bottom side of that hand is pressing down against one of the balls.

  82. Mao305

    Mao305Prije mjesec

    What about the curl bars that allow you to have your wrist on an angle rather than completely flat while doing overhand, allowing you to keep your elbows tucked in? Would overhand with a curl bar be equivalent to underhand?

  83. Aeyez Al Mohairbi

    Aeyez Al MohairbiPrije mjesec

    I appreciate all of your training education video. I have a question You always talk about the type of training for each Muscle however you don’t talk about best equipment that can be used to cover most of the essential training. Nowadays we don’t go to gym as often we prefer doing it at home, so what can you recommend for each type of body I mean losing fat, strengthening muscle and growing muscles.

  84. Ikan Masin Gaming

    Ikan Masin GamingPrije mjesec

    Makes it more complicated🤔

  85. kanaalnaam9000

    kanaalnaam9000Prije mjesec

    the best excersice is the one you feel the most

  86. R B

    R BPrije mjesec

    a real mind reader would have caught me thinking "When is Jeff going to tell me which one is best, i really hope he's not going to tell me to do 5 different things" - Damn

  87. Gideon Van Loggerenberg

    Gideon Van LoggerenbergPrije mjesec


  88. IDreadDawn

    IDreadDawnPrije mjesec

    damn thats a really good training tip, thought i knew pretty much everything. Will definitely throw this in.

  89. Rudolf Maelzer

    Rudolf MaelzerPrije mjesec

    Does it make sense to do one set with underhand pushdown and the next set with overhand?

  90. Iggs Wanna

    Iggs WannaPrije mjesec

    Jeff cavellier is changing his name to Jeff Ffej just to maintain simmetry

  91. Ken Hoey

    Ken HoeyPrije mjesec

    You do what works for you....there's no rules here when it comes to muscle stimulation. Each person is different. When I do underhand it does nothing for me at all....I also can pronate the same whether overhand or underhanded totally flat elbows tucked tight to sides.

  92. zleader99

    zleader99Prije mjesec

    Thanks for the great tip. Will definitely make the change once access to the gym is restored.

  93. A Parker

    A ParkerPrije mjesec

    2:57 voice break

  94. Angus Cottman

    Angus CottmanPrije mjesec

    Great video.

  95. Adam Thomas

    Adam ThomasPrije mjesec

    Always preferred underhand as I feel as though you can’t ‘ego lift’ the weight. Lighter weight through full ROM 🤑

  96. Kyle Knott

    Kyle KnottPrije mjesec

    Jeff’s bicep was flexing its bicep

  97. Andre ツ - Gaming Content

    Andre ツ - Gaming ContentPrije mjesec

    You should use TikTok instead for your shorts. They have a decent workout community

  98. Mark Hauxwell

    Mark HauxwellPrije mjesec

    Great video! I definitely feel it more underhand, I’ll be imitating this at the gym today 👌

  99. v SmokingAces

    v SmokingAcesPrije mjesec

    I haven’t seen his videos in 6 months and was wondering why he was in a tank top and he answered my question. Jeff the mind reader

  100. Brendan O'Hara

    Brendan O'HaraPrije 2 mjeseci

    My first thought was. “That’s a bit odd. Jeff has got a shirt on.”

  101. JMUDoc

    JMUDocPrije 2 mjeseci

    Before I clicked, I bet on "ropes"... Wasn't even in the vid!


    SMRAD SQUADPrije 2 mjeseci

    This guy is pure gold.

  103. damian

    damianPrije 2 mjeseci

    Use a rope extension or an angle extension to stay overhand...

  104. Gotch 71

    Gotch 71Prije 2 mjeseci

    I’m gonna try these ... I got back to working out , but now I have a pinched nerve in my neck.. something always happens when you get older

  105. Chrisco Coalminer

    Chrisco CoalminerPrije 2 mjeseci

    Skullcrushers are terrible, they will fuck up your elbows in the long term