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Tricep Dumbbell Kickback

This strength training exercise called “Tricep Dumbbell Kickback” develops the triceps at the back of the arm. It is a finishing exercise that is usually placed at the end of the triceps session to get good congestion in these muscles. You can’t take too much on this isolation exercise, and that’s not the goal. The goal is to focus on muscle sensations.
We recommend that you place it at the end of your triceps weight training session after basic poly-articular exercises – used to gain maximum volume in the arms – such as Weighted Dips

How To Make Tricep Dumbbell Kickback

To perform Tricep Dumbbell Kickback, you do not need any special equipment, which allows you to practice it from home. Indeed, a simple bench and a dumbbell and you can start!

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Stand next to the bench, in a standing position. One of your hands should lie flat on the bench, keeping the arm straight, while ensuring proper alignment with the shoulder.

The leg on the same side of the hand that you have chosen to place on the bench must be brought forward (or possibly placed on the bench, bent). The other leg should be placed backward. You must be able to tilt your chest horizontally to do the exercise.

With your free hand, grab a dumbbell, positioning your thumb hand forward. Your arm should be placed alongside your body, elbow bent at 90 °.

To perform the exercise, take a deep breath while lifting the dumbbell until your arm is stretched in line with your chest. Once at the top, exhale and maintain the contraction of your muscle. Lower back to the initial position slowly, controlling your movement.

Repeat these movements several times, without wanting to go too fast. Once you have reached the set number of repetitions, change your position to work your other arm.

Targeted Muscles

In this exercise, several muscles located in the arm are used, with each movement of the Tricep Dumbbell Kickback.

So when your arm is placed next to the body, it is the brachial triceps that are called upon. This muscle is located on the posterior part of the arm and is cut into three parts: internal, external, and long portion. These parts have in common a tendon that is fixed on the ulna.

When the arm is raised above the level of the back, three muscles work. On the one hand, the posterior deltoid, which is a triangular muscle, but also the long portion of the triceps and the upper part of the back. This muscle works when you raise your arm.

The Tricep Dumbbell Kickback thus defines and develops the posterior part of the arm, but also of the shoulder. The Tricep Dumbbell Kickback exercise provides results that are useful when you need to throw or hit, but also when you need to push down and back.

Risks and mistakes to avoid

Risks And Mistakes To Avoid

  • To succeed in the Tricep Dumbbell Kickback, focus on your position, don’t cheat:
    • Keep your back and head straight at all times.
    • Do not stand up: keep the bust stationary and level. The shoulders should remain at the hip level.
    • Keep the upper arm still: only the forearm should move.
    • Stretch the forearm in the high position: otherwise, you will not work the entire triceps.
    • Lower the dumbbell vertically, do not get carried away by its weight, control your gesture. The elbow should form a 90-degree angle in the down position, with no advantage.
    • Execute the movement slowly, do not give impulses!
  • Avoid heavy loads: the Tricep Dumbbell Kickback is a finishing movement, excessive weight hinders the performance and presents the risk of injury. If you are giving impulses use a lighter load.

8 Training Tips

  1. To place maximum resistance on the triceps, the bust must remain immobile in the horizontal position. If it is lifted and the shoulders are higher than the hips, you are using momentum rather than muscle strength to lift the load.
  2. It is very important to hold your breath during the forward phase of the exercise to stabilize the bust and keep it parallel to the floor.
  3. As the Tricep Dumbbell Kickback solicits the three muscle bundles, strict execution is essential. For example, if you don’t fully extend your forearm or raise your arm slightly higher than your back, you’re not stretching the longest portion.
  4. Excessive load prevents working at full amplitude. It can also cause you to give a boost at the start to move the dumbbell backward in one movement. This prevents full stress on the long portion of the triceps and the posterior deltoid and also decreases the range of motion.
  5. When lowering the load, do not go too far from the vertical (90 ° bend). Bringing the dumbbell up to your head has no muscle advantage in the triceps and is an incentive to gain momentum.
  6. To put even more stress on the long portion, do the exercise in two parts. First, place your arm alongside your body and fully extend it. Then raise the outstretched arm as high as possible above the level of the back. Make a brief pause between each phase of the movement.
  7. Keep the bust and shoulders parallel to the floor, do not twist them to raise the forearm further. Only the arm will be higher than the back.
  8. Some bodybuilders perform this exercise with both arms at the same time. This variant is effective, but it requires more force to keep the bust in the right position because you have no support and you have to rely only on the hip and lower back muscles to stay still. It is also very difficult to raise the arms at shoulder level or above, which can compromise the range of motion.


  • Exhale when you reach out.
  • Inhale when you return to the starting position.

To gain stability, block your breathing during the climb: exhale in the high position once the point of contraction has passed.

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For the bravest, you can try a slight variant of the Tricep Dumbbell Kickback which will allow you to make your triceps work even more.

To do this, you must break down your exercise. At first, place your outstretched arm along the bust. Secondly, keep your arm straight and raise it as high as possible above the level of your back. Be careful not to turn your shoulders when raising your forearm.

Some more experienced people do it by lifting both arms at the same time. It is certainly very effective, but also very difficult to achieve. In fact, this places heavy demands on the muscles of your hips and your back, to manage to maintain the stationary position. In addition, the range of motion is limited and you will therefore not be able, or with great difficulty, to raise your arms at shoulder level or more.

There really isn’t another variation of this exercise, but there are other exercises that work the triceps as well. So, in the list, you can especially find the Weighted Dips, or Dumbbell Skull Crusher, or Seated Tricep Press.

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