If you want nice-looking arms, you must train your triceps along with your biceps. Many dislike the tricep area since it is a section that despite its small size can accumulate extra fatty tissue. For that reason, flabby arms with extra fat are sometimes called “grandma’s arms.” This look isn’t the most appealing, which is why you can’t neglect your triceps. The tricep kickback is a great tricep exercise.
Below we’ll look deeper into tricep kickbacks and we’ll cover the following:
- Muscles involved in tricep kickbacks
- Benefits associated with tricep kickbacks
- How to properly do tricep kickbacks
- Common mistakes when performing tricep kickbacks
- Video on how to do tricep kickbacks
- Tricep exercises to complete your arm workout
What Muscles Do Tricep Kickbacks Work?
Primary Muscles in Tricep Kickbacks
- Triceps Brachii: It engages the triceps, the muscles located on the back of the arm. Their name is due to the fact that they are composed of three muscle strands (the long, medial, and lateral heads). It specifically targets the most visible part of the tricep, the lateral head. Triceps are involved in forearm extension, as well as shoulder adduction and extension.
Secondary Muscles Engaged
- Forearms: Located in the upper limbs between the elbows and the wrists.
- Deltoids: The main shoulder muscles
- Rhomboids: Muscles located in the upper back in between the scapulas
- Core Muscles: The erector spinae (set of muscles that run vertically along the side of the vertebral column, originating at the hip and extending up to the skull. They help rotate and extend the spine and neck) and abs (muscles in the abdominal wall: rectus abdominis, obliques, transverse abdominal) make up the core muscles.
Tricep Kickbacks Benefits
- Hypertrophy & Aesthetics: Tricep kickbacks help sculpt your arms and increase tricep mass.
- Strength: They help increase strength. This translates into better sports performance and improved upper body strength to help you move heavier loads when training and have an easier time with your daily activities.
- Wrist Health: If you suffer from wrist pain or discomfort, the tricep kickback is ideal since your wrists maintain the same angle throughout the exercise. This avoids putting a lot of stress on your wrists.
- Better Posture: In order to perform tricep kickbacks properly, you need to learn to maintain your core muscles engaged and back straight. As a result, this exercise teaches you to maintain proper posture.
- Isolation: This exercise isolates the triceps, helping you to concentrate on that specific muscle.
- Versatility: The tricep kickback is versatile. You can perform it standing or using a bench. Plus, you can use different tools. In the video, I’m demonstrating the exercise using a dumbbell. However, it can be performed with resistance bands or cables.
How to Do Tricep Kickbacks
There are different ways to position yourself to perform tricep kickbacks:
- You can stand in a split stance [stand with one leg forward and place the hand on that same side on your forward leg to help stabilize yourself – you’ll be working the opposite arm].
- You can stand with both legs together [use your non-working hand to grab the back of a bench or a rack to help you stay steady].
- Or you can use a bench [place one knee on a bench, lean forward, and place the same side hand on the front of the bench while keeping your opposite foot on the floor].
- Grab a dumbbell and grip it firmly, but not too tight.
- Lean forward while keeping your back straight, your shoulders down and back, and your core tight. This position allows for maximum effectiveness as it works the triceps against gravity.
- Hinge forward at the hips and align your head and spine.
- Take the arm that is holding the weight and bend it at your elbow at a 90-degree angle. Your upper arm should be held close to your body, parallel to your torso, and your forearm vertical with the floor.
- Hold your upper arm steady and exhale as you straighten your arm along the side of your torso. Extend your arm fully but do not lock at the elbow.
- Lower the forearm slowly to the start position (arm on a 90-degree angle), bringing the dumbbell back towards the shoulder.
- Repeat the movement for 8 to 12-15 repetitions and change arms.
- As you advance, you can work both arms simultaneously.
Tricep Kickbacks Mistakes
- Avoid dropping your elbow: You must keep your elbow elevated so that the upper arm remains parallel to the floor. This incorporates gravity to strengthen your triceps.
- Avoid using very heavy dumbbells: If you have a hard time keeping the elbow lifted, you should decrease the weight. Don’t compromise proper form for heavier weight as you won’t be challenging the triceps as you should.
- Avoid rounding your back: Don’t let your torso sag. Keep your back straight and engage your core. A straight back helps you maintain proper alignment from the shoulders through the hips.
Tricep Kickbacks Video
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