The dumbbell kickback or tricep kickback is an isolation exercise which builds muscle and strength in all three heads of the tricep muscle. It’s a very effective movement which is also underrated for its benefits. Now, many people think of it as more of a shaping and toning exercise but that couldn’t be further from the truth.

Any exercise in which your muscles contract against some type of resistance will cause muscle hypertrophy and strength gains. And the tricep kickback is one of the best exercises you can do for complete tricep development. So, add it in your routine and you’ll see its awesome benefits.

In This Exercise:

  • Target muscle GroupTriceps Brachii
  • Type: Strength
  • Mechanics: Isolation
  • Equipment: Dumbbell
  • Difficulty: Beginner

Exercise Instructions

  1. Grab a dumbbell with your left hand and hold it with a neutral grip, then place your right leg forward and your left leg back.
  2. Then, hold onto something with your right hand, bend your knees and lean your torso over while keeping your back straight.
  3. Bend your left arm at a 90-degree angle so your upper arm is parallel to the floor and your forearm is perpendicular to the floor.
  4. Now, extend your forearm back while flexing your triceps until your arm is parallel to the floor. Exhale during this portion of the exercise.
  5. Then, bend your left arm again at a 90-degree angle.
  6. Complete the desired number of reps and then repeat with your right arm. Switch your leg position.

Variations & Tips:

  • You can do cable kickbacks as an alternative to dumbbells (See the second video).
  • You can perform this exercise with both arms at the same time.
  • Do not go too heavy and lose your form.
  • Keep your upper arms parallel to the floor and only move your forearms.
  • The dumbbell kickback works all three heads of the tricep.

Watch: How to do the dumbbell kickback

Watch: How to do the cable tricep kickback