How To Do Tricep Kickbacks Properly – Using Both Cables & Dumbbells


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If you want bigger, more defined triceps, this exercise is a great addition to your routine. But, what variation should you be using? Cables or dumbbells? And how do you do tricep kickbacks properly to get the most out of this exercise and start building bigger triceps?

Because here’s the thing…when it comes to triceps exercises where we’re really isolating the muscle one arm at a time, form and technique is everything. And in this video, you’re going to discover how to do them properly, and why using cables for your tricep kickback might be a better option.

How To Do Tricep Kickbacks Properly – The Basics (0:49)

Understanding the basic anatomy of the tricep is going to help you better understand how to do this exercise properly. Because there are 3 heads of the tricep muscle, and two main motions/functions of the tricep. So we want to make sure we’re addressing both to get the best results from this exercise.

Dumbbell Tricep Kickbacks With A Bench – Proper Form (1:28)

This is probably the more common variation of the tricep kickback. And while it can be effective, as you’ll see in the form guide, we really only have tension at the peak of the motion. Not the entire way through.

Cable Tricep Kickbacks With A Bench – Proper Form (2:14)

On the other hand, when we use a cable for this exercise, we maintain tension throughout the entire motion. So as you’re focusing on doing tricep kickbacks properly, it’s much easier to feel the muscles work all the way through, making it a more effective option for bigger, well-defined triceps.

The Key Form Points & Routine Recommendations Overview (3:16)

Again, the key with doing a triceps kickback properly is both extending the elbow and hinging the shoulder back. Using the cable makes this easier.

In terms of sets, reps, and routine recommendations, this exercise is best used as a finishing exercise for an arm or total body routine. A good starting place is doing 2-3 sets of 12-15 reps. The tricep muscle responds well to slightly higher reps, so pick a weight you can do for at least 12 reps.

Overall, doing tricep kickbacks properly will really help you get bigger, more defined triceps. And, in my opinion, using a cable is a more effective option. But whichever one you choose, I hope this guide helped you and gave you some tips you can use in your next arm workout.

Looking forward to bringing you more exercise tutorials like this in the future.

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