Incline Cable Tricep extension: Technique, Muscles Worked & Alternatine

The Incline cable tricep extension is one of the greatest workouts for shaping and pumping the long head of the triceps.

Triceps extensions in general can be useful for fixing or preventing triceps asymmetries or recovering from injuries.

As well as this exercise exerts little pressure on the wrists and is therefore an option for gym-goers who have wrist pain.

Exercise Details

  • Also known as: Incline cable tricep pushdown
  • Exercise type: Strength
  • Body type: Arms, Triceps
  • Level: Beginner friendly
  • Main targets: Triceps Brachii
  • Secondary targets: Shoulders and Forearm Muscle
  • Compound/Isolated: Isolation
  • Force Type: Push
  • Equipment Required: Cable machine, incline bench

What are Incline Cable Tricep Extensions?

Incline tricep extensions with cables, commonly known as Incline cable tricep pushdowns, are a popular triceps muscle strengthening and toning exercise.

Unlike the incline dumbbell tricep extension where you press the dumbbells upward, this exercise includes pressing downwards on a cable machine with a bar or rope attachment while you are in an incline position, targeting the triceps at the back of your upper arms.

The cable machine’s resistance provides for a regulated, concentrated movement with changeable weights

Also, changing the grip or attachment used to target different parts of the triceps can make the exercise flexible for adding to a workout plan.


How to do a cable incline triceps extension properly


  1. Bring an adaptable bench to a cable machine and position it so the seat faces the pulley.

  2. Angle the back pad between 45 and 60 degrees.

  3. Attach the rope handle or the bar attachment to the low pulley, grab it with your palms, and position it behind your head after you sit back on the incline bench.

  4. Slowly extend your arms while maintaining a stable angle at the elbows. Continue until your elbows are completely locked out, the peak contraction persisted despite the pause moment.

  5. Once again contract your triceps to raise the weight. Continue until your elbows are fully extended, and lower the bar to complete the rep.

Recommended Sets and Reps:

  • 2-5 sets 
  • 8–14 repetitions.


  • Controlled lowering of the bar behind your head is required until you get a strong triceps stretch.
  • Keep your elbows from flaring out to the sides.
  • Lower the weights gradually and without using momentum.


Muscle Worked On Incline Tricep Extension

In contrast to compound exercises, the tricep cable extension performed on an inclined bench is an isolation exercise. As a result, it’s a fantastic workout for engaging your triceps.

The Triceps brachii is the main muscle engaged.

Pectoralis major, anterior deltoid and biceps brachii worked as secondary muscles.

What are Alternatives for incline triceps extension?

There are many variations on this exercise, so you may choose the perfect alternative for you depending on your fitness goals.

1. Cable Tricep Pushdown

This exercise is a variation of reverse grip triceps extensions done using a cable machine and a straight bar or rope attachment. Stand with your back to the machine and your feet shoulder-width apart.

Grasp the bar with an overhand hold and draw it down to your thighs, keeping your elbows tucked up tight to your sides.

Extend your arms down until they are fully straightened, squeezing your tricep muscles at the bottom of the action. Return the bar to its starting position slowly.

2. Overhead tricep extension

This exercise can be done with either a dumbbell or an EZ bar.

Begin by standing straight and holding the weight with your both hands directly overhead, then Lower the weight behind your head until your forearms are parallel to the ground, maintaining your elbows close to your ears.

Finally, slowly return the weight to the beginning position, keeping your core engaged and your back straight.

3. Lying tricep extension

This exercise is done while lying down on a bench or mat with your feet on the ground. 

Hold a dumbbell or an EZ bar just over your chest, Slowly decrease the weight towards your forehead, bending at the elbows, while keeping your elbows near to your ears.

When the weight gets near to the top of your head, steadily bring it back up, stretching your arms straight.

4. Decline Cable Tricep Extension

This exercise is done using a cable machine equipped with a rope or V-bar connection.

Sit on a decline bench with your feet firmly planted beneath the roller pads.

Pull the attachment down towards your thighs while maintaining your elbows tucked into your sides.

Extend your arms slowly by pressing the attachment.

5. Smith Machine Incline Tricep Pushdown

One of the greatest versions of the Incline Tricep Extension is the Smith Machine Tricep Extension.

Before beginning your first set, it is a good idea to evaluate the bench’s location with no weight on the bar in order to get you in an optimal position.

With your hands facing up and your arms extended above your shoulders, drop the barbell behind your head by bending your elbows gradually.

Hold this position for a while, then bring your arms back to the starting position in a controlled movement, you can repeat as many times as needed.

People Also Ask


Are incline tricep extensions good?

Incline tricep extensions are an ideal way to target the tricep muscle as well as target various parts of the triceps by completing them on an incline bench rather than a flat or decline bench.

However, the effectiveness depends on your technique, load, and overall training program, just like any other exercise.

Are tricep cable extensions effective?

Yes, Tricep cable extensions (also known as pushdowns) are an effective triceps workout. They let you perform unilateral movements while maintaining continuous tension throughout the entire range of motion.

Cable or bar for tricep extension?

The triceps can be effectively trained with cable and bar workouts, cable extensions (pushdowns) provide for continuous tension and a wide range of grip widths, whilst bar extensions (skull crushers) allow for more stretch and potentially larger weights. Both types of exercises can be included in a comprehensive tricep program.


If you want to obtain a fantastic triceps pump while also boosting muscular growth, the incline cable tricep extension is an ideal addition to your training program.

Hassane Sghir
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