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How To Do A Dumbbell Tricep Kickback: Step-by-Step Guide and Benefits

dumbbell tricep kickback

Sculpted and aesthetic arms aren’t just a product of working out your biceps. Instead, you need to have a 360 approach and work your triceps just as much. A dumbbell tricep kickback is optimal for working the three heads of your triceps muscle.

Usually, arm workout routines are dominated by bicep exercises. Yet triceps contribute more towards our physique and strength than we think.

Triceps play a pivotal role in stabilizing your upper body; they help your elbow, shoulders, and forearms move. Not just this, triceps also contribute to your upper body strength. Plus, you can’t pull off a toned look without having worked on your triceps.

For these reasons, a dumbbell tricep kickback needs to be incorporated into your workout routine. It is mainly an isolated exercise that focuses solely on the triceps.

This guide will take you through the right way to do a dumbbell tricep kickback, the common mistakes, and the benefits of this practical exercise.

What Is A Dumbbell Tricep Kickback?


A dumbbell tricep kickback is perfect for increasing upper body strength, gaining mass in your arms, or toning them for aesthetics.

It is considered a beginner-level exercise.

The form is relatively easy to maintain. The key is to make sure your spine stays neutral. Apart from this, dumbbells are the primary preference, but cables are standard as well.

You can either use a bench for support when doing a dumbbell tricep kickback or its standing.

Regardless, your back needs to stay bent, so the focus is directed towards your triceps. A stationary back also helps in reducing any unwanted stress on your spine to prevent injury.

Muscles worked

Primary muscles: The name “dumbbell tricep kickback” is quite self-explanatory about which muscle it targets.

Your triceps are made up of three heads: the lateral, medial and long head.

The dumbbell tricep kickback targets all these three heads, but the lateral head works just a little more.

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Secondary muscles: Deltoids and core muscles also play a part during dumbbell tricep kickback. These muscles support your triceps, which receive the bulk of the stress.

How To Do A Dumbbell Tricep Kickback


Tricep kickbacks are usually done with dumbbells.

If this is your first time doing this exercise, start with low weight to get your form right. In case you don’t have a dumbbell at home, you can always make one!

Fill up a water bottle, a milk jug, or canned goods; any of these objects can become a makeshift dumbbell.

There are two ways to go about this exercise.

You can either do it standing up or use a bench for support. If you are starting out, you should use a bench to help stabilize your body and keep your form in order.

However, once you get the hang of it, then standing up definitely beefs up the intensity.

The Wrong and Right Way To Do A Dumbbell Tricep Kickback



Step-by-step Instructions

  • Start by holding a dumbbell in each hand. Make sure the weight doesn’t make you compromise on the form.
  • Now, stand with a hip-width apart stance.
  • Next, bend your knees and hinge your waist until your back is parallel to the floor. Make sure that your back stays straight.
  • Then bend your elbows to a 90-degree angle and bring the dumbbell close to your chest. This is the resting position.
  • Now, contract your triceps and fully extend your arms backward.
  • Your arms should extend fully backward, hold for a moment before returning to rest position.

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Common Mistakes


Don’t Swing Your Arms

When people are either lifting too much or unaware of the form, they swing their arms. Using momentum to lift the weight for you is basically cheating.

Gravity is supposed to make things harder for you, not easier. So, start with a lighter weight and get the form down. Also, using momentum to lift is not doing you any good. It reduces the strain on your triceps, meaning no gains.

Don’t Curve Your Back

The reason your back is straight is so your spine stays neutral. As long as your spine stays neutral, you minimize the risk of injury.

Many amateurs round their backs, especially when doing a dumbbell tricep kickback while standing. Instead, keep your back straight and take support from your core.

Elbow Position

Elbows going up and down is a common form problem. With dumbbell tricep kickback, form is of the utmost importance to get the right gains and prevent injuries.

Keep your elbows tucked to make sure they don’t flare out. Try practicing in front of a mirror.

Benefits of Dumbbell Tricep Kickback


As mentioned above, working out your triceps is needed for strength, stability, and arm aesthetics.

The dumbbell tricep kickback works solely on your tricep heads. It stimulates all three heads while straining the lateral head a little bit more.

Apart from working your triceps, this exercise takes support from your shoulders, core, and auxiliary muscles responsible for the extension of the arm.

So, a dumbbell tricep kickback helps to build functional strength. This strength is used in all kinds of pushing and pulling movements.

But coming back to your triceps, strengthening your triceps also helps in bodybuilding. If you have ever done a chest workout, you might have noticed the supporting role your triceps play in every other exercise.

To conclude, there are very few exercises that work solely on your triceps. Dumbbell tricep kickback is one of these practical exercises.

The key is just to be mindful of the pose and to start off with less weight.

Hopefully, in no time, your triceps will become sculpted just as you imagined.

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