How to pull apart the cable band triceps to build your arms

When it comes to challenging your triceps, sometimes it’s necessary to break away from the pushdowns and other basics and get creative. Trying out this tricep pull-up on the cable machine might be the solution to injecting new enthusiasm into an everyday muscle-building routine.

At first glance, this cable variant fails men health Fitness Director Ebenezer Samuel, CSCS performs similarly to some standard exercises that target the deltoids. However, a small change allows the pull apart to become a fantastic finishing move that’s sure to set your triceps on fire.

When we think of pull aparts, we usually think of the resistance band variety, where the main focus is pulling your scapula back to target your traps, posterior delts, and rhomboids. Similar in style and execution is the rear delt fly on the cable pull, where we grab the opposing cables and again aim to target the rear delts by retracting the scapula.

However, when the triceps are pulled apart on the cable, the focus shifts from the scapula to the triceps. You’ll still get some back work—Samuel says that pulling into the position immediately engages the mid-back stabilizers and rotator cuff muscles—but since your primary focus is to straighten your elbows for a tricep contraction, your triceps will receive a lot of attention.

According to Samuel, a major advantage here is that you can target the muscle from a different plane (specifically the frontal plane), making it a rare arm-building movement that doesn’t happen in the front-to-back sagittal plane. This variety can be valuable when you want to change up an outdated routine.

How to pull apart the cable triceps

● To begin tricep extensions on the cable pulley, stand in a half-kneeling position in front of a machine with two cable pulleys (or a pair of resistance bands similarly attached, if needed).

●Grasp the opposite cable (right hand, left cable; left hand, right cable) with each hand. You don’t have to use a grip on the cable; Grasp the cable just above the attachment point.

● Concentrate on keeping your elbows and shoulders in the same plane (in relation to your torso) with your elbows slightly lower than your shoulders.

● Engage your mid-back stabilizers and rotator cuff muscles, then try to move just at the elbow joint, straighten your arms, and get a good, solid push on your triceps.

● Perform 3 sets of 12 to 15 reps.

Although your shoulders are laterally stabilized and you’re still working those posterior muscles, your triceps should be doing the bulk of the work on each rep. Try not to “cheat” by using your delts – these should all be triceps.

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