Skip to main content

How To Do Tricep Kickbacks

What Is A Tricep Kickback

How To Do Tricep Kickbacks

The tricep kickback is a single arm tricep extension variation where the performer kneels on a bench. This exercise can be done with both dumbbells and the cable machine.

The tricep kickback works all three heads of the triceps, with the lateral head most engaged during the movement. This exercise can help to build strength and size in the arms, and improve pushing lifts.

As a unilateral exercise, the kickback is a good addition to your tricep training as it helps to identify and reduce muscular imbalances, as well as contribute to bilateral strength.

Commonly Asked Questions On Tricep Kickbacks

  • Triceps are an excellent tricep strengthening exercise. While less load can be moved compared to bilateral tricep exercises, this variation helps to build single arm strength, improve muscular imbalances, and can build muscle mass.

  • Tricep kickbacks work all three heads of the tricep, however the lateral head is activated to a greater degree.

  • The standing tricep kickback involves hinging at the hips while standing, rather than resting one knee on a bench. This variation requires more core stability, and it is easier to rely on momentum rather than recruit the tricep to move the load.

Tricep Kickbacks Tips

The tricep kickback set up requires the performer to lean on a bench with the non-working hand and corresponding knee, with opposite foot on the floor and work arm pinned close to the side. Keeping the upper arm close to the torso is an important aspect of the kickback as it prevents the arm from swinging, which moves tension away from the triceps and onto the shoulder joint. If you struggle to maintain this position, switch to a lighter load.

How To Do A Tricep Kickback

  1. Holding a dumbbell in one hand with the corresponding foot planted on the floor next to the bench, rest the opposing arm and knee on the bench so that your torso leans forward.

  2. Bend the arm that is holding the dumbbell so that the elbow is at 90 degrees and the upper arm is in line with the torso.

  3. Brace your core and squeeze your tricep as you extend your arm to push the dumbbell behind you.

  4. Complete the rep by slowly lowering the dumbbell to the starting position, keeping the upper arm still.

If you’re not sure if any of the above exercises are suitable for you, please consult your doctor before you start it. Need guidance on how to perform the exercise? Ask a personal trainer at your gym.