Tricep Dumbbell Kickback: Build Strong Triceps with Ease

The triceps dumbbell kickback is among the most frequently used exercises for strengthening and building muscles within the upper arm. The triceps muscles oppose the biceps muscles and aid in stretching your arm. There are numerous ways to work this muscle, and isolation exercises are an excellent option to target them precisely. A well-known isolated exercise to strengthen the triceps muscles is the triceps dumbbell kickback.

The kickbacks are performed using dumbbells, resistance bands as well as cables. They can be performed with both arms simultaneously or with one arm at a go (unilaterally). You’ll probably need an extremely lightweight for this exercise, particularly those just beginning to learn.

Tricep Dumbbell Kickback

The triceps dumbbell kickback exercise is an efficient and flexible exercise that targets the triceps muscle in those arms behind you. The triceps are among the muscles that play a major role in stabilizing and conditioning the upper body.

If you’re looking to boost the strength of your upper body and size and aesthetics, the triceps dumbbell kickback is the perfect choice for you!

The Tricep Dumbbell Kickback: Working Muscles

The Tricep Dumbbell Kickback Working Muscles

Primary Muscle Group

In light of its name, it’s not a surprise to find that the triceps dumbbell kickback is designed to work your triceps. The triceps muscle consists of 3 “heads:” the long medial, lateral and long head.

While the triceps dumbbell kickback is effective across all 3 heads, the triceps dumbbell kickback specifically concentrates on the lateral head of the triceps.

Secondary Muscle Group

While the triceps dumbbell kickback is an exercise that isolates your triceps muscles, it is a second exercise for other muscles. The rear deltoids, as well as other muscles that are located in your upper and mid-back, are contracted to stabilize your upper body.

Additionally, your core muscles get activated to give strength and support during the triceps dumbbell kickback.

The Tricep Dumbbell Kickback: Benefits

The Tricep Dumbbell Kickback Benefits

#1 Strength And Size Gains

The triceps dumbbell kickback is among the most effective exercises that have been proven to build your triceps muscles. Strong triceps muscles are essential for performing a myriad of other upper-body exercises. With weak triceps muscles, it’s difficult to effectively train your shoulders, chest, and other upper-body muscles.

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Developing your triceps muscles isn’t only to show off. It can also enhance your performance when performing other workouts at the fitness center!

#2 Triceps Isolation

The triceps dumbbell kickback is an isolated exercise. This means that in contrast to other exercises, such as the bench press or push-up, the triceps dumbbell kickback is a specific exercise that targets the tricep muscles.

This distinct advantage is essential for bodybuilders, athletes, or anyone who wants to increase the appearance and strength of their triceps muscles without engaging other muscle groups.

#3 Minimal Stress On The Wrists

In the triceps dumbbell kickback, your wrists are in an upright position. There isn’t any rotation or additional strain placed on your wrists. Many people report that heavier stretching exercises such as the close grip, the bench press, or weighted dips could be uncomfortable or cause discomfort and pain in their wrist joints.

If this is the case, you can try the triceps dumbbell kickback and relieve the strain off of your wrists!

The Tricep Dumbbell Kickback: Instructions


To perform this exercise, you’ll need two dumbbells.


  • Grab a pair of dumbbells and place your palms facing one another.
  • Consider a standing position with your feet approximately an inch apart.
  • Keeping your back straight, pivot at your mid-section until the back of your body is equal to the floor.
  • Make sure you bring the dumbbells near your chest. Your arms should be bent so that your elbow is at 90 degrees angle to your forearm.


  1. While your elbows are in a fixed posture, then contract your triceps muscles to pull the dumbbells in front of you to extend your arms fully.
  2. Squeeze your triceps to the top of the rep. Then stop for a few seconds and slowly return to the beginning position.
  3. Repeat this motion until you reach the desired number of repetitions.


If you’re unfamiliar with the triceps dumbbell kickback, pick a lighter weight and then complete 3-4 sets of 10 to 15 reps. If you are confident with the form, grab a pair of heavier dumbbells, and keep to an 8-8 rep set for three sets.

The Tricep Dumbbell Kickback: Mistakes

The Tricep Dumbbell Kickback Mistakes

#1 Flaring The Elbows

A lot of weightlifters flail their elbows when doing the tricep dumbbell rollback. When your elbows are flared, they increase the risk of injury to your shoulders and remove tension from your triceps.

Be sure to keep your elbows locked to ensure correct form and maximize your gains.

#2 Utilizing Momentum

I often observe individuals swinging their arms and using their momentum to raise the dumbbells when they do the triceps dumbbell kickback. This is usually because they are trying to do too much lifting.

Instead of allowing your ego to hinder your progress, Choose the lighter weight and concentrate on enhancing your posture.

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The results will be better, and you’ll be less prone to getting injured!

#3 Running Your Back

A back that is rounded is a sure method to cause an injury to your back since a rounded spine can affect the strength of your body’s position when doing the triceps dumbbell kickback.

Instead, place your feet on the floor, engage your core and ensure that your back is straight throughout the exercise.

The Tricep Dumbbell Kickback: Variations

#1 Resistance Band Kickbacks

Hold the handles with your palms facing your direction. Take the resistance band using one foot, then step back using the other foot. Maintain your back straight. Move your waist, so you’re back in line with the ground.

Use your triceps to stretch your arms. Then move the handles inwards.

Make sure you squeeze your triceps to the end of each rep and then slowly return to your starting position. Repeat!

#2 1-Arm Cable Kickback

The kickback can also be done unidirectionally. Install a pulley device with a thigh or thigh height. Set the machine in the standard kickback position. Then grasp the handle using one hand.

The triceps are contracted to bring the cable upwards and back. Press your triceps to the highest point of the rep, then return to your starting position. Repeat!

#3 Alternate Kickback Holds

Set up in the traditional set-up for kickback. Lift the dumbbells forward and move your arms straight. While keeping one arm straight, return to the starting point using the other arm and kick back.

Keep the arm in a straight position, and kick back the opposite arm. Repeat this movement!

The Tricep Dumbbell Kickback: Alternatives

If you liked the triceps dumbbell kickback, consider these other exercises for the triceps to enhance the strength of your upper body:

#1 Alternating Tricep Pushdown

The alternating tricep pulldown is an effective exercise for isolation of the triceps. Attach a resistance band onto an overhead doorframe or hook over your head. Keep your elbows close to your sides, and then press down with one hand.

Make sure you contract your triceps at the end of each rep. Alternate arms. Repeat!

#2 Overhead Triceps Extension

The extension of the overhead triceps strengthens those triceps’ long heads. Set up a pulley device using the rope attachment at the hip level.

As you look towards the device, hold the rope using both hands and then bring the rope’s bottom to your back with your hands bent.

As you stretch upwards, extend upwards, and pull the rope apart while straightening your arms. Make sure you squeeze your triceps as hard as possible towards the end of the rep, and then slowly return to your starting position. Repeat!

#3 Barbell Skull Crushers

A skull crusher barbell is a different option for the triceps dumbbell kickback. Relax on your back and bend your knees. Keep the barbell in your arms raised above your chest using an upper hand grip.

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Keep your elbows fixed, then bend your arms to move the barbell towards your forehead.

Press your triceps with your hands to raise the bar to its starting position. Repeat!

The Triceps Dumbbell Kickback: Ideal Weight

Light. You must tangibly complete at least 8 reps with good technique. As we’ve mentioned, most trainees are excessively heavy, even though they believe they’re doing light. The triceps dumbbell kickback is one of the most difficult exercises to master, considering the amount of force it permits you to perform.

How To Work Out Securely And Prevent Injury

Suppose you’ve suffered from a prior or existing health issue. In that case, you should consult with your physician before starting an exercise routine. The correct exercise technique is vital to ensure the security and efficiency of an exercise routine; however, you may have to modify your exercises to achieve optimal results based on your personal requirements. Make sure you choose an exercise that permits you to maintain full control over your body throughout the exercise. While exercising, be aware of your body and immediately stop if you notice discomfort or pain.

To continue to see improvement and increase your body’s strength, incorporate appropriate warm-ups, rest, and nutrition into your fitness regimen. Your final results will depend on your capacity to recover fully from your exercise. You should rest for 24 to 48 hours before training those same muscles to ensure enough recovery.

Last Words

The triceps dumbbell kickback can be included in any upper-body or full-body workout day or added to the circuit exercise. They’re an excellent exercise to include in a pyramid exercise, superset, and drop-set day.


  • Timothy P. Carnes

    Timothy P. Carnes is a certified personal trainer with a Bachelor's degree in Exercise Science from the University of Florida. With over 8 years of experience in the fitness industry, Timothy is an expert in strength and conditioning, body composition, and overall health and wellness. He also holds certifications in strength and conditioning through the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) and corrective exercise through the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM). As an author at FitGAG, he shares his knowledge and expertise on a variety of topics, including strength training, body composition, and overall health and wellness tips. Timothy believes that consistency and discipline are the keys to achieving fitness goals, and he strives to inspire his readers to prioritize their fitness and wellness journey. Through his articles, Timothy aims to empower his readers to take control of their health, enhance their performance, and live their best lives.

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