Tricep Kickback Muscles

by Benjamin Bunting BA(Hons) PGCert

Ben Bunting BA(Hons) PGCert Sports and Exercise Nutrition Level 2 Strength and Conditioning CoachWritten by Ben Bunting: BA, PGCert. (Sport & Exercise Nutrition) // British Army Physical Training Instructor // S&C Coach.
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Quick Bite:
kickbacks are one of the best ways to isolate triceps muscles to their maximum extent while simultaneously building shoulder and chest endurance.

Do not underestimate the significance of maintaining rigidity throughout this movement. Doing so prevents other muscles - specifically your upper back and lats - from taking over and taking away from muscle-building stress for your triceps.
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Tricep kickbacks are a popular exercise for targeting the tricep muscles, but do you know exactly which muscles are being worked during this exercise?

The tricep kickback exercise helps strengthen and tone the deltoid muscles of the shoulder.

To perform the exercise properly, you must be in a split stance and keep your core tight.

You should also lean forward with your head aligned with your spine and your wrist rigid. Perform the exercise for the appropriate number of repetitions.

This guide will provide you with a detailed explanation of the muscles engaged during tricep kickbacks and offer tips on how to perform the exercise correctly for maximum effectiveness.

Tricep Kickbacks: An Overview

Tricep kickbacks are a great exercise for targeting the tricep muscles, which are located on the back of the upper arm.

During this exercise, the primary muscles being engaged are the triceps brachii, which is the main muscle responsible for extending the elbow joint.

Additionally, the anconeus muscle, located on the outside of the elbow, also plays a role in stabilizing the joint during the movement.

To perform tricep kickbacks correctly, start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and holding a dumbbell in one hand.

Bend your knees slightly and hinge forward at the hips, keeping your back straight and core engaged.

Bring your upper arm parallel to the floor and extend your forearm back, squeezing your tricep muscles at the top of the movement.

Slowly lower the weight back down and repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

It's important to note that proper form is crucial for targeting the tricep muscles effectively and avoiding injury.

Make sure to keep your upper arm stationary throughout the movement and focus on using your triceps to extend the forearm.

Gradually increase the weight as you become stronger to continue challenging your muscles and promoting growth.

Incorporating tricep kickbacks into your workout routine can help strengthen and tone your tricep muscles, leading to improved arm definition and overall upper body strength.

Remember to always consult with a fitness professional before starting any new exercise program, especially if you have any pre-existing conditions or injuries.

Muscles Engaged in Tricep Kickbacks

During tricep kickbacks, the primary muscles being engaged are the triceps brachii and the anconeus.

The triceps brachii is the main muscle responsible for extending the elbow joint, while the anconeus muscle plays a role in stabilizing the joint during the movement.

By performing tricep kickbacks correctly and focusing on using these muscles, you can effectively strengthen and tone your tricep muscles, leading to improved arm definition and overall upper body strength.

Remember to always maintain proper form and consult with a fitness professional before incorporating any new exercises into your routine.

Tricep Kickbacks Engage Triceps Brachii

The Triceps Brachii muscle comprises the posterior compartment of an arm. It consists of three heads - lateral, medial and long - each one of which extends along the forearm at its elbow joint.

The lateral head of triceps arises along a linear line on the posterior surface of the humerus inferior to the radial groove and inserts along with its fellow heads on olecranon process of the ulna, broadening out laterally and merging into fascia of extensor carpi ulnaris and anconeus.

Motor innervation for this muscle comes from the radial nerve; however, some studies indicate that its lateral head may also be innervated via the peribrachium nerve or posterior cord of the brachial plexus.

This muscle is most active during extension movements of the forearm such as pushing or thrusting movements and when supporting body weight with hands with elbows semiflexed (e.g. using arms to get out of chair). It does not perform this function during flexion of the forearm.

To advance in bench or overhead pressing or simply thicken your arms for sleeveless tops, tricep kickback exercises should be part of your arsenal.

Furthermore, this move can increase weight you can handle during pushing exercises like dumbbell bench presses.

This exercise is an isolation exercise, meaning it targets only the triceps brachii muscle without engaging other muscle groups. Thus making it superior to popular upper body workouts like diamond push up, which requires more balance and can involve shoulders as well as arms.

Start this movement by holding two dumbbells with palms facing in front of your shoulders with elbows bent to 90 degrees close to your ribcage and your elbows bent at an angle of 90 degrees, keeping them close to your ribcage.

Keep shoulders back and spine flat as you bend forward from hips until torso nearly parallel with floor; slowly extend arms behind while maintaining an upright posture, and squeeze your triceps as you return back up until starting position is reached again; repeat as many reps as you need to achieve your fitness plan.

Unfortunately, many lifters make mistakes that lessen its effectiveness; swinging arms as they straighten them or using weights that are too heavy, increasing injuries risk or using momentum instead of their triceps to create movement can reduce efficiency in this move.

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Tricep Kickbacks Engage Anconeus

Triceps kickback engages all three heads of the triceps muscle; however, due to its positioning behind and close to the sides, it primarily engages its long head and lateral head.

Anconeus is a small muscle which aids in controlling movement of the elbow joint. Additionally, it forms an integral part of triceps brachii muscle that assists in extension of elbow.

One way to strengthen this muscle is with the triceps kickback exercise. To perform it, kneel on the floor beside a bench and position your arm over it so it hangs off one side; using a dumbbell in one hand, extend your elbow so its wrist lines up with elbow and shoulder; slowly lower arm towards floor slowly as dumbbell goes back in hand.

The anconeus originates on the dorsal surface of the lateral epicondyle of the humerus and attaches to the dorsal capsule of humeroulnar joint.

From here it runs obliquely and medially through elbow joint passing under tendon of extensor carpi radialis longus before eventually passing over ulnar nerve and bone and ending approximately two inches proximal to olecranon.

Active anconeus muscles help protect against valgus stress at the elbow, abduct ulna during forearm pronation, flex the dorsal capsule of humeroulnar joint to avoid injury during forearm hyperextension and more. 

Proper Form and Technique for Tricep Kickbacks

To perform tricep kickbacks with proper form and technique, follow these steps:

1. Start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and holding a dumbbell in each hand.

2. Bend your knees slightly and hinge forward at the hips, keeping your back straight and core engaged.

3. Bring your elbows up to a 90-degree angle, with your upper arms parallel to the floor and your forearms pointing towards the ground.

4. Engage your triceps and extend your arms straight back, squeezing your tricep muscles at the top of the movement.

5. Slowly lower the dumbbells back to the starting position, maintaining control and tension in your triceps throughout the exercise.

6. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions. Remember to start with a weight that challenges you but allows you to maintain proper form.

It's important to focus on using your triceps to perform the movement, rather than relying on momentum or other muscles.

If you're unsure about your form or technique, consider working with a fitness professional to ensure you're getting the most out of your tricep kickbacks.

Benefits of Incorporating Tricep Kickbacks into Your Workout Routine

Tricep kickbacks are a popular exercise for targeting and strengthening the tricep muscles, but they offer more than just aesthetic benefits.

Incorporating tricep kickbacks into your workout routine can provide several advantages.

Firstly, tricep kickbacks help to improve arm definition and tone. By specifically targeting the tricep muscles, you can develop lean and sculpted arms.

This can be especially beneficial for individuals looking to achieve a more toned appearance or for athletes involved in sports that require arm strength, such as tennis or swimming.

Additionally, tricep kickbacks can enhance overall upper body strength. The tricep muscles are an essential component of many upper body movements, including pushing and lifting.

By strengthening these muscles, you can improve your performance in exercises like push-ups, bench presses, and overhead presses.

Furthermore, tricep kickbacks can help to improve posture and reduce the risk of shoulder injuries.

Strong tricep muscles provide stability to the shoulder joint, which can help to prevent imbalances and strain.

This can be particularly beneficial for individuals who spend long hours sitting at a desk or engaging in activities that require repetitive arm movements.

Lastly, tricep kickbacks can be a time-efficient exercise. They can be easily incorporated into a full-body or upper body workout routine and require minimal equipment.

This makes them a convenient option for individuals with limited time or access to a gym.

Overall, incorporating tricep kickbacks into your workout routine can provide numerous benefits, including improved arm definition, increased upper body strength, enhanced posture, and time efficiency.

Remember to start with a weight that challenges you but allows for proper form and consider consulting with a fitness professional for guidance.

Tips for Maximizing the Effectiveness of Tricep Kickbacks

To maximize the effectiveness of tricep kickbacks, follow these tips:

1. Use proper form: Maintain a neutral spine, engage your core, and keep your elbow close to your body throughout the movement. Avoid swinging or using momentum to lift the weight.

2. Choose the right weight: Select a weight that challenges your tricep muscles without compromising your form. Start with a lighter weight and gradually increase as you become stronger.

3. Focus on the contraction: Squeeze your tricep muscles at the top of the movement and hold for a second before slowly lowering the weight back down. This will ensure that you are effectively targeting and engaging the tricep muscles.

4. Incorporate variations: To target different areas of the tricep muscles, try different variations of tricep kickbacks. This can include using different grips, angles, or equipment such as resistance bands or cables.

5. Include other tricep exercises: While tricep kickbacks are effective, it's important to incorporate other tricep exercises into your routine for a well-rounded workout. This can include exercises like tricep dips, tricep pushdowns, or close-grip bench presses.

6. Progress gradually: As you become stronger, gradually increase the weight or resistance to continue challenging your tricep muscles. This will help to promote muscle growth and strength gains over time.

7. Rest and recover: Allow your tricep muscles time to rest and recover between workouts. This will help prevent overuse injuries and allow for optimal muscle growth.

By following these tips, you can maximize the effectiveness of tricep kickbacks and achieve your desired results. Remember to listen to your body and adjust the weight or intensity as needed.

Conclusion

Athleticians looking to expand and strengthen their arms should add tricep kickbacks to their workouts.

It is an effective strength-training move designed to sculpt out tris without placing stress on back or shoulders. 

Tricep Kickbacks Target the Triceps

This movement targets your triceps brachii muscle, located along the back of your upper arm.

This large muscle has three distinct heads: the lateral head stretches your lower arm when pronated (palm facing forward); medial head helps extend elbow; long head connects with shoulder blade and helps flex arm at humerus bone. This exercise also develops the anconeous.

The key to successful kickback is maintaining a neutral body position and not swinging your weights, since too much upper-body movement could involve your back and lats in movement and take some of the stress away from triceps.

Focusing on the contraction at the top of a kickback where your triceps are most tensed can maximize muscle-building effects.

You can intensify kickbacks further by keeping hands or weights close to your body and trying to maintain forearms parallel with floor for as long as possible.

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