Triceps dumbbell kickback exercise

Dumbbell kickback

Exercise details

  • Target muscle: Triceps Brachii
  • Synergists: None
  • Stabilizers (not highlighted): Posterior Deltoid, Latissimus Dorsi, Middle and Lower Trapezius, Rhomboids, Extensor Carpi Ulnaris, Flexor Carpi Ulnaris
  • Mechanics: Isolation
  • Force: Push

Starting position

  1. With a dumbbell in your right hand, kneel over a bench with your left knee, and support your body with your left arm.
  2. Position your torso and right upper arm parallel to the floor, with your right elbow bent at a 90-degree angle. The dumbbell should be hanging straight down below your elbow.


  1. Keeping your right upper arm stationary, exhale as you extend your right arm backward until it is straight.
  2. Hold for a count of two.
  3. Inhale as you slowly lower the dumbbell back to the starting position.
  4. Repeat for the prescribed number of repetitions.
  5. Repeat the repetitions with your left arm.

Comments and tips

  • Keep your back straight and horizontal.
  • Keep your working arm tucked in close to your torso. Only your forearm should move.
  • For a greater range of motion, keep your elbow raised higher than your shoulder.
  • The dumbbell kickback is one of the most effective exercises for your triceps. In one study by the American Council on Exercise (ACE) that compared the effectiveness of triceps exercises, it came second, to be beaten only by the triangle push-up (aka diamond push-up).
  • Keeping your upper arm stationary while holding a heavy weight can be difficult, which limits the amount of weight that you can use with this exercise. Therefore, if you want to go heavy, try the cable triceps kickback (see second video).
  • Also known as the triceps kickback.
  • See also the standing two-arm dumbbell kickback and the seated bent-over two-arm dumbbell kickback.


Dumbbell kickback

Cable triceps kickback


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