The gym bunny in the corner is so fit, so firm, so fancy with her triceps kickbacks. What is she doing over there? Why don’t I do that? Should I do that? How do I do those anyway, and will I benefit from triceps kickbacks?
Oh, yes, the questions may be many, but the answers are few: Yes, yes, and yes!
What Are Tricep Kickbacks?
As you might expect from its name, the triceps kickback works almost exclusively on your triceps (a small group of muscles that make up about two-thirds of your upper arm). Many gym goers concentrate on biceps because of aesthetics, but recognizing the math of things means triceps take up more real estate on your arms, and should not be neglected if you’re looking for arms that will really wow people!
Triceps kickbacks are probably one of the most common exercises you’ll see both men and women doing at the gym because they can sculpt your arms and deliver amazing results…if you do them correctly.
How to Perfect This Exercise
As with anything done well in life, there is a technique to successful execution. The triceps kickback is no different. You want to make sure you are exercising correctly and not putting undue strain on your back by simply swinging weights willy-nilly.
The upper portion of the arm you are working (from the shoulder to elbow) should be held against your side in a position that’s almost parallel to the floor. Next, with a light dumbbell in your hand, start with a 90-degree bend in your elbow and press the weight back until your arm is fully extended.
If available, use a weight bench to balance yourself: Place the opposite hand and knee on the bench while you work the other arm. If no bench is available, stagger your stance so one leg is in front of the other leg and support the non-working arm on the thigh of your front leg. Now, while in a bent-over position, extend your elbow joint against the resistance and repeat. The triceps kickback is all about extending the elbow joint against resistance slowly and with minimal weight.
The Benefits of Triceps Kickbacks
If you are looking to firm up that flab that jiggles when you shake your arms, the kickback is your friend. This exercise is meant for strength and tone, not bulk. It’s about definition and firming up the triceps brachii, the brachialis and the pronator teres. These muscles all work in tandem so you can bend and extend your elbow to successfully complete the exercise.
Toning your triceps is all about isolation—which means targeting one muscle group rather than multiple muscle groups at once. (It does not mean hiding in a dark corner of the gym to perform these exercises because you feel like you look silly.) The kickback will kick that flab to the curb, and give you triceps worth bragging about.
Just remember: You can’t use a lot of weight with this exercise; it’s about toning not bulking.