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How to perform a cable EZ bar tricep pushdown

Learn why the EZ bar cable pushdown is worth including in your workout routine.
Written By  James Jackson
Last Updated on 8th November 2021
A man performing a tricep EZ bar push down

The EZ bar push down trains the main role of the triceps brachii, which is the extension of the elbow.

Because of this, cable EZ bar pushdowns are an excellent exercise for working all three heads of the triceps, which helps your upper arms to look more balanced and proportional.

Unlike free weight exercises, the triceps pushdown also challenges your muscles with constant tension, which, besides putting less pressure on your joints, also intensifies your triceps pump.

With that said, this guide shows you how to do an EZ bar tricep pushdown with the proper form so that you can make the most of your tricep training efforts. After demonstrating the correct technique, we’ll then discuss the advantages of the exercise as well as the optimal number of reps and sets for hypertrophy.

Related: Incline bench pressdownIso cable pressdown

Tricep EZ bar pushdown exercise details

  • Also Known As: Cambered bar tricep pushdown
  • Main Muscles: Triceps
  • Exercise Type: Strength
  • Exercise Mechanics: Isolation
  • Difficulty Level: Beginner
  • Equipment Needed: Cable station, EZ attachment

How to do an EZ bar tricep pushdown

A man doing some EZ pushdowns to work his triceps
  1. Connect an EZ attachment to a high pulley and grab the bar with a firm, overhand grip.
  2. Take a step or two away from the machine and then hinge at your hips slightly.
  3. Brace your core and pin your elbows to your sides.
  4. Begin the rep by flexing your triceps to push the bar down.
  5. Keep pressing until your elbows reach complete extension.
  6. Squeeze your triceps at the bottom of the rep and then slowly release the contraction.
  7. Raise the bar back up—while keeping your shoulders still—until it gets to chest height.
  8. Perform 3-5 sets of 8-15 reps.

Why should you do an EZ bar push down for your triceps?

The EZ bar cable pushdown is a remarkably versatile exercise because cambered bars offer many grip options. You can do an EZ close grip tricep pushdown or EZ wide grip cable pushdowns, depending on which grip width gives you the best pump and contraction.

Yet, grip versatility isn’t the only benefit of the EZ bar pressdown. Easy curl bar pushdowns come with some other hypertrophic advantages that make them a highly potent muscle-building weapon.

EZ bar pushdowns enable you to lift heavy

A man doing an EZ bar pressdown

Exercises like kneeling rope pushdowns certainly work the triceps well, but they’re not exactly the best movement for pushing heavy poundages.

This is mainly because rope attachments require more stabilization than bar attachments since a bar is fixed, whereas a rope is free-moving.

Additionally, it’s easier to push the palms of your hands into an EZ bar than a rope, which enables you to generate more pushing force and thus lift heavier weights—weight that can be used to overload your triceps and make them grow.

For developing triceps symmetry, however, ropes are the better choice because they encourage you to lift each side of the rope independently (see our straight bar vs rope tricep pushdown comparison for more info on this).

Even though the EZ bar press down is undeniably effective for building mass, there’s also a chance that the exercise will lead to tricep size asymmetries if your stronger triceps muscle dominates the movement. So try to push into the bar with equal amounts of force from both arms if you can.

Easy curl bar pushdowns are typically very joint-friendly

A man doing an EZ bar tricep push down

The straight bar push down is a popular isolation exercise for the triceps because, like the EZ version, it enables you to load up with plenty of weight and really overload your triceps.

Yet, straight bars and heavy weights don’t always mix, especially if you’ve had wrist problems in the past.

Unlike straight bars, which force your wrists into maximum pronation, EZ attachments enable you to lift with a semi-pronated grip, which takes much of the pressure off your joints, an advantage that allows you to give more attention to your triceps.

In this regard, the v bar tricep pushdown is another good option because angled bars also have a semi-pronated grip.

EZ bar pressdowns give your triceps a great pump

A man performing a cable EZ bar pushdown for his triceps

Like the rocking triceps pushdown, the tricep EZ bar pushdown really pumps up your arms because cables challenge your muscles with constant, tricep-taxing tension.

This constant resistance means that your triceps can’t rest until the set is finished, which in turn leads to a massive amount of metabolite accumulation within your muscles, which is what bodybuilders describe as the pump.

Many lifters avoid locking out their elbows during the EZ bar cable pushdown in order to increase their pump.

However, while this constant tension tactic may well marginally increase your pump in the short term, it places less stress on your triceps over the course of your sets, which ultimately results in a reduced hypertrophic stimulus and thereby less tricep growth.

How many reps and sets should you do?

A man doing easy curl bar pushdowns

Perform 3-5 sets of 8-15 reps.

While you can go lower than 8 reps, it’s not recommended because cable EZ bar pushdowns completely rely on strict form in order to be effective (it’s easier to use good technique when the weight isn’t as heavy).

Likewise, it’s also possible to perform more than 15 reps per set. However, extremely high reps cause a lot of whole-body fatigue since they’re so tiring to perform, which can impair the quality of your subsequent sets.

This is why moderate to moderately high rep sets are most recommended. Such rep ranges offer an excellent stimulus to fatigue ratio.

Variation: Reverse EZ bar pressdown

A man doing a reverse EZ bar tricep pushdown

Performing the reverse grip cable extension with an EZ bar places your wrists in a joint-friendly position, which enables you to increase the resistance without worrying if your wrists can handle the extra tension.

However, using a reverse grip also encourages you to keep your elbows tucked in, which intensifies the EZ bar push down peak contraction.

The only downside is that you can’t lift as much weight with an underhand grip because you lose the ability to push into the bar with the palms of your hands, which decreases the amount of pushing force that you can produce.

Read More: Swiss ball tricep pushdown

Conclusion: Should you include EZ bar pushdowns in your workout routine?

A man performing an EZ bar triceps pushdown

The EZ bar tricep push down has excellent muscle-building potential because you can really push into the bar with the palms of your hands—if you use an overhand grip—and generate maximum force.

Additionally, EZ bar pushdowns provide constant tension because, as a cable exercise, EZ bar pressdowns require your triceps to contract from the moment you elevate the weights off the stack until the second you place them back down. In other words, the cables are always exerting some kind of force on your triceps—even when your elbows are locked out.

James Jackson
James Jackson is a personal trainer who uses his expertise in strength and conditioning to create helpful workout tutorials that show fitness enthusiasts how to build muscle while staying safe in the gym. He draws on the latest sports science data as well as tried and tested training techniques to get the best results for his clients without them having to live in the gym.
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