Cable Triceps Kickback
The cable triceps kickback is a light weight isolation exercise targeting the long head of the triceps.
Provided you're performing the kickback with strict form (which most guys don't!) you'll find this extension provides solid growth for the long head of the triceps.
As the kickback is a lightweight isolation exercise I recommend performing it towards the end of your arm workout, after your heavy presses and dips.
Required: Cable Machine
Optional: Attachment Handle
Cable Triceps Kickback Form
Grip a cable pulley in each hand with your palms facing in towards your body, your back should be straight while you lean forward and maintain a slight bend in your knees.
Starting with your arms tucked in close to your body while your upper and lower arm form a 90 degree angle.
Without moving your upper arm proceed to flex and drive through your triceps to extend the weight until your arms are essentially straight (only your forearm should be moving to achieve this).
Hold this contraction for 1 second.
Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.
Cable Triceps Kickback Variations
Dumbbell Triceps Kickback
Grasp a dumbbell in one hand while supporting yourself against a bench or bar with the other hand.
While your upper arm remains stationary proceed to kickback the dumbbell and contract the triceps.
Perform a dumbbell kickback with 2 dumbbells simultaneously - ensure you're not swinging backward or utilizing momentum.
Common Cable Triceps Kickback Mistakes
Utilizing A Partial Range Of Motion
There's no reason to work in a small range of motion on your close grip bench press, opt to lower the bar ALL the way down to your chest before driving through the triceps until they're locked out at the top of the movement.
Partial range of motion = partial triceps activation.
Flaring Your Elbows Out
When performing any triceps exercise, whether it be a dumbbell overhead triceps extension or a rope pushdown it’s imperative you keep your elbows tucked in by your sides.
Flaring your elbows outwards is often a sign that the weight is too heavy (as you’re trying to muscle the shoulders in to assist with moving the weight).
Flaring the elbows on triceps exercise places your shoulders at a high risk of injury not to mention you’re only going to applying a small amount of tension to the triceps as the shoulders are trying to take over and lift the weight.
If you find yourself constantly flaring your elbows lower the weight and consciously practise tucking your elbows in to your side on each repetition until it becomes natural.
Lifting Too Light
If you don’t generally train in the lower rep range I recommend you give it a try, stop lifting in the 10 – 15 rep range for at least a month and focus on heavy, low rep sets. Once you start to see results you won’t want to go back.
Now, you may still think high reps are beneficial, but let me tell you they’re far from it.
High repetitions result in increased stress on your CNS, increase in localized inflammation and increased soreness.
“Movements or exercises that do not give the muscle the required resistance, but are the kind that involve a great number of repetitions, never break down any tissue, to speak of. These movements involve a forcing process that cause the blood to swell up the muscle, and simply pump them up”– George F. Jowett, 1926
Similar & Substitute Exercises
- Dumbbell Triceps Kickback
- Dumbbell Close Grip Bench Press
- Dumbbell Overhead Extension
- Close Grip Push-ups