The Tricep Kickback


Form Friday

by Devin Sarno, NSCA-CPT

Exercises: Single Arm Tricep Kickback
Muscle Groups: Triceps
Importance: The tricep kickback is great for directly targeting the triceps, building strength and increasing your muscle definition! Tricep strength is especially important when locking out at the end range of motion of horizontal (bench press) or vertical (shoulder press) pressing movements.
Proper Form:

  1. Start with one knee on a flat bench and the opposite leg planted on the floor
  2. Grab one dumbbell with the arm on the same side as the leg planted on the floor
  3. Row the weight up so that your elbow is about even with your shoulder while maintaining a flat back
  4. From this position begin to extend your arm at the elbow while keeping your shoulder in place
  5. Continue to straighten your arm until it reaches full extension and try to take a brief pause at the top of the movement
  6. Slowly lower the dumbbell by re-bending at the elbow until you return to the start position
  7. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions
  8. Repeat the same number of repetitions on the opposite side

Progression/Regression: Bent-over two-arm tricep kickbacks


  • Be sure to use a weight that is challenging but that you can actively control throughout the full range of motion
  • Keep your shoulder in place and do not swing the dumbbell

Sample Workout, 3-5 rounds:

  • 10 Dumbbell Bench Presses
  • 10 Tricep Kickbacks (right)
  • 10 Tricep Kickbacks (left)
  • 10 Push-ups
  • 10 Bench Dips