Triceps Kickback

Triceps Kickback

The triceps kickback is an exercise that can help you strengthen the muscle groups required to bend your elbows.

They are one of the most effective triceps exercises and can help you strengthen your arms and upper body. It helps build up strength for motions like using a lawnmower, lifting a barbell, and even opening a door.

Warming-Up for the Kickback

Warming-up for this exercise is essential because the elbow is a relatively fragile joint. The best stretch to do before this exercise is to raise your arm over your head and bend your elbow. Your one hand should be behind your head by the base of your neck, and then use your opposite hand to push down at the elbow. Stretches like this are critical to getting your muscles and joints ready to doing a dynamic exercise like the triceps kickback.

The benefits of this exercise are plentiful. The exercise works your triceps brachii, the brachialis, and the pronator teres. These are the muscles that control the bending of your elbow, and if worked properly, can support a lot of weight. Strengthening these muscles is critical to preventing injuries in sports like tennis and volleyball. In tennis and volleyball, the elbow and shoulder joints are so overused, and keeping them healthy by doing exercises like the triceps kickback can prevent injuries common to those sports.

It is also useful in that it targets all three main parts of the triceps. There are other exercises that do this, like the diamond push-up. However, these can be difficult, and the kickback is much more accessible to everyday folks looking to be fit.

Never Skip Tricep Day

To start off with this exercise, pick up a dumbbell in each of your hands. It is recommended to start low to learn the form of the exercise. Then, stand with your knees bent in an athletic position. Lean forward slightly while making sure that you are keeping your back straight. While in this base position, bend your elbows form a 90-degree angle back to a 180-degree angle. At their maximum point, they should be parallel with the floor. This exercise should primarily engage both your core and triceps. When they hit the maximum point, lower them back toward the floor to their 90-degree position to complete one rep.

Some of the common mistakes that people make during this exercise is involuntarily swinging the upper body. This creates a momentum that completely ruins the point of the exercise, and can also cause injury to your back. Often, people hunch their back too or break from the form the further they get into their set. It is necessary to always stay conscious of form during this exercise.

There aren’t many variations to this exercise, as it is relatively specific. However, if you are looking to change the way you do this exercise, it can be done with strength bands or even by lifting one arm at a time, in an alternating fashion.


If you are looking to make the kickback a part of your workout, it is recommended to do them at least once a week to build up the triceps effectively. They are a great part of an upper-body circuit that also works the biceps and shoulder or can be paired with another triceps exercise or circuit.

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