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How to Perform a Dumbbell Triceps Kickback Exercise

Updated on May 9, 2014

Dumbbell Kickbacks is a nice safe exercise to perform to target the back of your arms. This muscle at the back of your arms is called your Triceps and is used in extension of the elbow. The dumbbell kickback is an exercise that nearly everyone should have added into their workout routine.

Below are two ways of performing the dumbbell kickback. First is while standing and the second is to use a bench for support. Read below to see how to perform the exercise

Standing dumbbell kickbacks
Standing dumbbell kickbacks | Source

Standing Dumbbell Kickback

  • Begin by taking one step forward.
  • Bend over at the hip and place the hand not holding a dumbbell on your thigh. This will help add support and balance
  • Shoulders should be placed in athletic position by having them down and back.and your head should be in line with spine
  • Contract your core muscles to assist with stabilizing your body and try to distribute your weight as even as possible.
  • Bring elbow up so it is parallel with the floor and in line with your shoulder.Your forearm and hand should be hanging.
  • An approximate 90 degree angle should be viewable with elbow and forearm up
  • Keep elbows close as possible to your body while performing this exercise
  • Exhale and extend your arm.This is done by straightening it out
  • Pause at the top and then slowly bring arm back to starting position
  • Repeat as many times as needed and switch sides.
  • Continue doing this series of movements to the required reps and sets you need based on your goals you're trying to achieve.

Try not move your upper arm or shoulder throughout the movement. The extension occurs from your elbow. If you want greater range of motion during this exercise you can raise your arm up higher.This will also make the workout feel a little more intense.


Dumbbell Kickbacks with Bench Support

Steps are similar to that of the above standing kickbacks, however there are few more steps involved.

  • Begin by placing your right hand and your right knee on a bench. This will keep you balanced and stable
  • Now straighten your back and ensure head and spine are aligned
  • Bring arm back and up, so the elbow and shoulder are in line with each other
  • Keep elbows close as possible to your body while performing this exercise
  • Watch to make sure you have that 90 degree angle with your elbow and shoulder
  • Performing this exercise infront of a mirror will help you to ensure your form and movement is correct.
  • Exhale and extend your arm.This is done by straightening it out
  • Repeat as many times as needed and switch sides
  • When you switch sides you also switch hand and knee on the bench as well

Are Dumbbell Kickbacks part of your routine?

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Tricep Kickback Training Tips

  1. Make sure that regardless of what choice you pick to perform this exercise, always work within your limits.
  2. Don't rush progression. If you need use 3 or 5 pound weights than that is your weight. Rushing and doing weights to high to fast can lead to injury.
  3. Exhale as you extend your arm back.
  4. Start with 1 to 2 sets, see how you feel and move from there
  5. Lastly begin with a 3 count up and then a controlled 3 count back to starting position and enjoy your workout.

There are other methods as well you can use to work triceps or perform kickbacks. One example is to use a band and extend from the elbow while leaning forward. For more workout tips and articles click here!


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