A Better Triceps Exercise: Cable Triceps Kickbacks Instead of Dumbbell Triceps Kickbacks

The Dumbbell Triceps Kickback has strangely received a lot of attention as a popular triceps exercise for many years. It’s unsure why, considering the cable version is far better for triceps development – why? Because muscles that are stretched with resistance receive the most overload. When there is little overload in the eccentric (stretching) portion of the exercise (like with the Dumbbell Triceps kickback) you are missing out on a lot of the muscular development benefits. With the Cable Triceps Kickback however, there is a differing line of pull and constant tension placed on the triceps both concentrically and eccentrically, making it a far better Triceps Kickback variation – don’t believe it? Follow our tips below and give it a try:


Execute the Cable Triceps Kickback as follows to get the most benefit:

  1. Position the cable anchor pulley at hip height or lower
  2. Bend at the hips and begin with horizontal straight torso position – this position should be maintained during the entire exercise
  3. Grasp the cable and make sure the weight is off the cable stack throughout the entire exercise – i.e. there is constant tension
  4. Extend the forearm back until the whole arm is straight, being careful to move only at the elbow joint (not shoulder).
  5. Maintaining control, return the arm to the starting position where the elbow is fully flexed

*Tip – You can grasp the cable with a neutral, underhand or overhand grip – differing grips will overload different heads/portions of the triceps