How To Dumbbell Tricep Kickbacks Properly

The triceps are the large muscles on the back of the upper arms that are responsible for elbow, shoulder, and forearm movements.

Working out your triceps helps to build upper body strength and is an essential part of any strength training routine. Strong triceps stabilize your shoulder joint and are important for daily activities and sports such as tennis, volleyball, and basketball.

Dumbbell Triceps Kickback

A dumbbell tricep kickback is perfect for increasing upper body strength, gaining mass in your arms, or toning them for aesthetics. It is considered a beginner-level exercise.

When doing an tricep workout with a dumbbell, kickback is one of the best single-arm exercises you can add to correct potential imbalances.

The dumbbell tricep kickback is a versatile and effective exercise that targets the triceps muscles. It is an isolation exercise that builds strength and muscle in all three heads which make up the tricep muscle.

Using dumbbell aims to stimulation of target muscles important for muscle hypertrophy.

Muscle Worked During Dumbbell Tricep Kickback

The tricep dumbbell kickback primary muscle works on all, the three head of triceps (the long, medial, and lateral head

Secondary Muscle Groups: Rear deltoids, core and other muscles in your mid-upper back contract to stabilize the upper body.

Dumbbell Kick Back
Dumbbell Tricep Kickback

Benefits Of DB Tricep Kickbacks

The few advantages of performing dumbbell kickback triceps are:

  • It is highly versatile as you can adjust it to your current fitness level.
  • Dumbbell kickbacks build functional strength by improving the flexibility and stability of your arms and shoulders.
  • DB kickbacks require limited space with no other special equipment; it is a perfect workout at home option for people who cannot afford to hit the gym daily.
  • Tricep kickback workout is the best warm-up exercise for other advanced tricep exercises. For example, you can perform this and then move to a diamond push-up, which will be effortless to accomplish.
  • It increases the upper body movement and range, thereby helping you perform your lifting, swimming, boxing, rowing, and other pushing activities efficiently.
  • A dumbbell kickback exercise tones the arms and sculpts them beautifully. It stimulates all three heads while straining the lateral head a little more.
  • When the triceps are strong, you can excel in sports activities like volleyball, basketball, and tennis
  • As you age, you need more upper body strength, so you have to build muscle strength right from your younger age. It will eventually support your bone health and prevent problems like osteoporosis in later life.

Common Mistakes & Tips

While strength-building exercises provide you with numerous benefits, it’s a good idea to follow a few guidelines to maintain safety and prevent injury.

  • Always warm up and cold down your body for 5 to 10 minutes at the beginning and end of each session.
  • Use the lowest weight available while you work on learning proper form and technique.
  • It’s a good idea to take off at least one or two full days per week to allow your muscles time to rest and recover.
  • Make sure to warm up with lightweight before training heavy to protect your elbows from excessive stress.
  • Keep your body as still as possible, move only your forearms.  
  • As a general rule, always work your weakest side first. In most cases, this will be the left.
  • Use smooth, steady, controlled movements instead of those that are jerky and forceful.
  • Make sure you’re able to maintain a smooth, natural breath throughout your routine.

Best Variations Of DB Tricep Kickbacks

Dumbbell Kickback

The tricep dumbbell kickback is a versatile and effective exercise that targets the triceps muscles. The dumbbell kickback is an isolation exercise. This means that unlike other exercises such as the diamond push-up or Close grip bench press, the DB tricep kickback specifically targets the tricep muscle.

Dumbbell Kick Back
How To Do
  1. Place your right knee and palm on a flat bench so that your torso is parallel with the floor.
  2. Hold a dumbbell in the left hand and keeping the left foot flat on the floor, press your left arm tight against your side with the upper arm parallel to the floor.
  3. Extend the elbow until your arm is straight back and fully extended.
  4. Flex the triceps hard for a second, then reverse to the starting position. Complete all reps on the left arm and then repeat on the right.

Seated Two Arm Dumbbell Kickback

The seated bent-over DB tricep kickback is a variation of the standing dumbbell kickback. Seated triceps kickbacks are an exercise used to isolate the muscles of the triceps.

The seated bent-over two-arm dumbbell kickback is a fantastic tricep isolation exercise that effectively builds size and strength in all three heads of the triceps. You can also perform this exercise alternating one arm at a time.

Seated Two Arm Dumbbell Kickback
How To Do
  1. Sit on a bench and grab a pair of dumbbells using a neutral grip (palms facing your body).
  2. Keeping your upper arms fixed to your sides, lean forward until your torso is almost horizontal. Your back should be straight.
  3. Exhale as you extend the dumbbells behind you until your forearms are horizontal.
  4. Hold for a count of two and inhale as you slowly lower the dumbbells to the starting position.

One Arm Bent Over DB Tricep Kickback

The One Arm Bent Over Dumbbell Tricep Kickback is an isolation exercise. The one arm DB triceps kickback targets the triceps, and by working one arm at a time, you’re also engaging your core and torso for stability.

One Arm Bent Over DB Tricep Kickback
How To Do
  1. Grab a dumbbell with your right hand, place your left foot forward and your right foot back, bend your left knee and lean your torso forward.
  2. Raise your right elbow back, so that the upper arm is almost parallel to the floor, and kick back until your arm is fully extended.
  3. Slowly lower the dumbbell back to the starting position.
  4. Complete all reps on the right arm and then repeat on the left.

Sets And Reps

Start with 8 to 12 repetitions and increase the number of reps over time until you’re able to complete 3 sets of 16 repetitions. Once the exercise becomes too easy, it’s time to change to a set of heavier dumbbells.


To conclude, there are very few exercises that work solely on your triceps. Dumbbell tricep kickback is one of these practical exercises.

The key is just to be mindful of the pose and to start off with less weight.

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