Bodybuilding is very much about making the target muscle work as hard as possible, removing as many variables as possible which lead to reduced tension within that area. This is NOT "weight lifting" where the emphasis is simply on moving the weight from A to B. The aim is very different, to create tension between point A and point B and to maximise it... In turn, both forms of muscle hypertrophy can be maximised provided everything else is equal.
Today I'm going to give you 3 tips which will improve the isolation of your triceps, in turn leading to better growth over time. You can implement these with immediate effect so make sure you take these tips to the gym ASAP!
Isometric Tension with Pushdowns
When doing pushdowns the first isometric point comes after the concentric, the "lifting" of the weight. At this point the aim is to kill the momentum by holding the weight with a static pause. This immediately increases tension within the triceps, however you need to do this correctly.
1) Don't hyper extend the elbow joints
2) Don't lean into the weight too much because this means the tension will be partially taken away from the triceps
After this phase, you then move into the eccentric before reaching the second isometric point of the exercise. One of the best ways to force significant amounts of muscle tension within the triceps is pausing at this point. Make sure you do this with a strong posture, with the elbows at a 90 degree angle. This only works if your form and positioning is correct. Too many people use too much weight and use s*** form when doing this, leading to very limited muscle tension.
Isometric Tension with Overhead Extensions
When doing overhead tricep extensions the isometric points usually reverse because you go into the eccentric first rather than the concentric. After the eccentric pausing in an overhead extension position creates a massive amount of tension with the long head of the triceps, stretching the muscle. This can transform the way you "feel" the triceps in the gym within a matter of sets. On this variety of tricep exercise there is less need to pause at the second isometric point which follows the concentric.
Yes, slowing down the eccentric always helps lead to improved muscle tension. However, we can get more specific when training triceps in order to exaggerate muscle tension. When doing pushdowns or over head extensions using 15+ reps, you can impliment a short pause half way through the eccentric. This force the muscle to fire under load and you will find the pump becomes more noticable, very quickly.