HomeExercise LibraryHow To: Dumbbell Triceps Kickback

How To: Dumbbell Triceps Kickback

Dumbbell Triceps Kickback
The dumbbell triceps kickback is a light weight isolation exercise targetting 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.

Movement: Isolation

Targets: Triceps

Required: Dumbbell + Bench

Optional: N/A

Dumbbell Triceps Kickback

Grip a dumbbell in one 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 arm is essentially straight (only your forearm should be moving to achieve this).

Hold this contraction for 1 second.

Repeat for the desired number of repetitions before switching arms.

Dumbbell Triceps Kickback Variations

Cable Kickbacks

Perform a dumbbell triceps kickback utilizing a cable machine and hand attachment as opposed to a dumbbell.
Utilizing a cable for your triceps kickback ensures constant tension throughout the duration of the repetition.

See also
How To: Straight Arm Pulldown

Dumbbell Ski-Jumpers

Perform a dumbbell kickback with 2 dumbbells simultaneously - ensure you're not swinging backward or utilizing momentum.

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Common Dumbbell 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.

See also
How To: Preacher Curl

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.

Similar & Substitute Exercises 

  • Cable Triceps Kickback
  • Dumbbell Close Grip Bench Press
  • Dumbbell Overhead Extension
  • Close Grip Push-ups

Any Questions Regarding The Dumbbell Triceps Kickback? Ask Below!

Scott J.
Scott J.
I’m SJ. I’m a fitness enthusiast and published author. I transformed my body from a skinny fat 135lbs with 18% body fat to a solid 192lbs at 8% body fat. I became qualified in a field I was passionate about. I founded several online businesses that allow me to pursue ideas and projects in my life that I am passionate about without having to constantly worry about money. I published several eBooks explaining the training and dieting techniques I used to achieve the body I have today. I learnt a plethora of new information on dieting and fitness by reading and applying what I read, to find out what does work and what doesn’t work, because as I’m sure you’ve noticed the health and fitness industry is full of non-sense claims and BS. I found out what was true and what worked for me and applied that knowledge. And you bet I had fun during the whole process.

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