Cable Tricep Kickbacks: Muscle Worked, Tips & Alternate

Are you looking to improve your workout routine and strengthen your triceps in a new way? Look no further than the cable tricep kickback.

This exercise is a game-changer for those who are looking to sculpt and strengthen their triceps.

In this blog, we’ll dive into the benefits of the cable tricep kickback, proper form, variations, and how to add it into your workout routine.

Get ready to get bigger and stronger triceps.

What Is Cable Triceps Kickback

The cable tricep cable kickback is a versatile and effective exercise that targets the triceps muscles.

It is an isolation exercise that builds strength and muscle in all three heads which make up the tricep muscle. This exercise is performed using a cable machine with an attachment, which allows you to adjust the weight.

The cable triceps kickback involves extending your arm behind you, using your triceps to pull the cable towards your body.

When doing an arm workout with a cable machine, kickback is one of the best exercises you can add to correct potential imbalances.

Benefits of cable tricep kickback

  • This exercise helps to improve triceps definition and tone, resulting in a more aesthetically pleasing appearance.
  • Cable tricep kickback also helps to improve overall arm strength and power.
  • The exercise is adjustable to accommodate different fitness levels.
  • Using cables aims to maintain constant tension on target muscles important for muscle hypertrophy.
  • The cable machine allows for a continuous and smooth range of motion.
  • Cable tricep kickback can be done with a single arm, allowing for better muscle symmetry and balance between the left and right arm.

Muscle Worked During Cable Tricep Kickback

The cable tricep kickback primary works on tricep, all the three heads of tricep (the long, medial, and lateral head

Secondary Muscle Groups: Rear deltoids, core and other muscles in your mid-upper back contract to stabilize the upper body.

Muscle Worked During Cable Tricep Kickback

How To Do One Arm Cable Tricep Kickback

The one-arm cable tricep kickback is a variation of the traditional cable tricep kickback exercise.

Instead of using both arms simultaneously, this exercise involves using only one arm at a time, allowing for greater focus and isolation of the triceps muscle.

  1. Attach a single grip rope handle to the lowest notch on the cable pulley system.
  2. Then, bend your knees, keep your back straight and grab the rope with your right hand.
  3. Place your opposite hand on your thigh for balance.
  4. Keep your upper arm parallel to the floor, extend at the elbow until your arm is straight back and fully extended.
  5. Place your opposite hand on your hip for balance.
  6. Complete all reps on the right arm and then repeat on the left arm.

Common Mistakes and Tips

While strength-building exercises provide you with numerous benefits, it’s a good idea to follow a few guidelines to maintain safety and prevent injury.

  • Always warm up and cold down your body for 5 to 10 minutes at the beginning and end of each session.
  • If you’re fairly new to physical activity, make sure you build up slowly and under the guidance of an exercise professional.
  • Use the lowest weight available while you work on learning proper form and technique.
  • Use smooth, steady, controlled movements instead of those that are jerky and forceful.
  • Make sure you’re able to maintain a smooth, natural breath throughout your routine.
  • Be cautious with these exercises if you have any neck, shoulder, or back injuries.
  • Always wait for your body to fully recover from any injury, even if it’s minor, before doing anything more than moderate, gentle exercise.
  • It’s a good idea to take off at least one or two full days per week to allow your muscles time to rest and recover.
  • Make sure to warm up with lightweight before training heavy to protect your elbows from excessive stress.
  • Keep your body as still as possible, move only your forearms.  
  • As a general rule, always work your weakest side first. In most cases, this will be the left.

Tricep Kickback Variations

1. Two Arm Cable Triceps Kickback

The double-arm triceps kick-back is a popular movement to increase the size and strength of the triceps.

It is usually performed for moderate to high reps, at least 8-12 reps, as part of an upper-body or arm-focused workout.

Two Arm Cable Triceps Kickback

How To Do Two Arm Cable Triceps Kickback

  1. Set up for the two arm cable tricep kickback by attaching either a long rope, or two single grip handles to a low pulley cable and selecting the weight you want to use on the stack.
  2. Then, bend your knees, keep your back straight and grasp the rope with a neutral grip and step back from the machine.
  3. Now, with your upper arms parallel to the floor, extend at the elbow until your arms are straight back and fully extended.
  4. Squeeze the triceps, and then slowly lower back to the starting position.
  5. Repeat for desired reps.

2. Reverse grip cable tricep kickback

The reverse grip cable tricep kickback is a variation of the traditional cable tricep kickback that places more emphasis on the medial head of the triceps muscle, which is located on the inner side of the upper arm.

Reverse grip cable tricep kickback

How To Do reverse grip cable tricep kickback

  1. Set up the cable machine with a rope attachment.
  2. Stand facing the machine and grasp the rope with an underhand grip.
  3. Step back to create tension on the cable and assume a staggered stance.
  4. Hold the rope at chest height, keeping your elbows close to your sides.
  5. Begin the exercise by extending your forearms back until your arms are fully extended.
  6. Hold the contraction for a moment before slowly lowering the weight back to the starting position.
  7. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

How To Add cable tricep kickback into your workout routine

1. Add During Compound Exercises

Add cable tricep kickbacks into your upper body workout routine as a secondary exercise, following a compound movement like bench press or overhead press.

You can add it to your tricep workout routine as well.

2. Sets and reps

Aim to perform 3–4 sets of 8–12 repetitions of cable tricep kickbacks.

To train the triceps effectively, adjust the weight and maintain proper form.

3. Frequency

Add tricep kickbacks to your workout routine once or twice a week.

Best Alternate Of Tricep Cable Kickback

If you enjoyed the cable tricep kickback, take a look at these alternative tricep exercises to improve your upper body training:

1. Dumbbell Kick Back

The tricep dumbbell kickback is a versatile and effective exercise that targets the triceps muscles.

This means that unlike other exercises such as the diamond push-up or Close grip bench press, the dumbbell kickback specifically targets the tricep muscle.

2. Bench Dip

Bench dips are one of the most basic and effective exercises for building the triceps and bigger arms.

The feet-elevated bench dip is one of the popular tricep bodyweight exercises for building the triceps, chest, and shoulders.

3. Two Arm Dumbbell Extension

The seated dumbbell tricep extension is a variation of the tricep extension and an exercise used to isolate the muscles of the triceps.

Overhead extension exercises are particularly useful in targeting the long head of the triceps muscle.

FAQs

Are cable triceps kickbacks effective?

Yes, cable triceps kickbacks can be an effective exercise for targeting and strengthening the triceps muscles, particularly when performed with proper form and technique.

Is cable tricep kickback better than dumbbell kickback?

Both types of exercises have their own benefits. However, cable tricep kickbacks may offer some advantages over dumbbell kickbacks, such as the ability to adjust the resistance and maintain constant tension throughout the movement.

Additionally, cable tricep kickbacks can allow for a greater range of motion. It may be more comfortable for individuals with wrist or elbow pain.

Takeaways

Cable tricep kickbacks are an effective exercise for targeting and strengthening the triceps.

In addition to building triceps mass, cable kickback also help to improve overall arm strength and power.

Best Cable Tricep Exercises for Strong and Defined Arms

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