Cable Tricep Kickback: How To, Alternative, Mistakes & More

Are you searching for a new way to enhance your workout routine and develop your triceps?

The cable tricep kickback is an excellent option for those who want to tone and strengthen their triceps.

This exercise guide will discuss the advantages of the cable tricep kickback, the correct technique, different variations, and common mistakes.

Now, prepare yourself to discover how to achieve bigger and stronger triceps.

Exercise Details

  • Exercise type: Strength
  • Body type: Arms, Triceps
  • Level: Beginner
  • Main targets: Triceps
  • Secondary targets: None
  • Compound/Isolated: Isolation
  • Force Type: Push
  • Equipment Required: Cable (low pulley)

Related Exercise: Dumbbell Kickback Using An Incline Bench

What Are Cable Triceps Kickbacks?

The cable tricep kickback is a flexible and efficient workout that focuses on the triceps muscles. It is an isolation exercise that strengthens and builds muscle in all three parts of the tricep muscle.

This exercise is done with a cable machine that has an attachment, which enables you to modify the weight.

To perform the cable tricep kickback, you extend your arm behind you and use your triceps to pull the cable towards your body.

When using a cable machine for an arm workout, the kickback is an excellent exercise to include to address any possible imbalances.

Tricep Kickbacks With A Cable Machine: Muscles Worked

The cable tricep kickback exercise mainly targets the tricep muscle, including all three heads (long, medial, and lateral).

Additionally, this arm exercise also engages other muscle groups such as the rear deltoids, core, and mid-upper back muscles, which play a role in stabilizing the upper body.

How To Do Cable Tricep Kickback Properly?

The one-arm cable tricep kickback is a variant of the classic cable tricep kickback in which only you use one arm at a time.

This variation allows for more concentration and isolation of the triceps muscle.

To perform this exercise, Follow the following step-by-step instructions:

  1. Attach a single grip rope handle to the lowest notch on the cable pulley system.
  2. Then, with your right hand, grab the rope while keeping your back straight and your other hand on your thigh to maintain balance.
  3. Fully extend your arm and straighten it back, making sure your upper arm is at a parallel level to the floor.
  4. Repeat the steps for your left arm after completing all reps for your right arm.

Exercise Tips:

  • Warming up and cooling down for 5 to 10 minutes before and after each workout session is essential.

  • If you are a newbie, it is best to gradually increase your workout load under the guidance of a training specialist.

  • Start with the lightest weight available and focus on proper form and technique with smooth and controlled movements instead of sudden and forceful ones.

  • It is also suggested to work on your weaker side first, which is usually the left side.

What Are The Benefits Of One Arm Tricep Cable Kickbacks

Here are the main four cable tricep kickback advantages :

1.  More comfortable than dumbbells: Using only the end of the cable without a handle or attachment can provide a better triceps contraction without the need for large weights, making it a more ergonomic option.

2. Wourkout your arms unilaterally: Cable tricep kickbacks allow for unilateral training, meaning you can work on one side or limb at a time, which can help to improve muscle imbalances and overall strength.

3. Maintain constant tension: Cable tricep kickbacks allow you to maintain constant tension on the triceps throughout the entire range of motion, which can lead to greater muscle activation and growth.

4. Variety in your workout: Incorporating cable tricep kickbacks into your workout routine can add variety and challenge your muscles in new ways, helping to prevent plateaus and keep your workouts interesting.

Common Mistakes

Here are four common mistakes to avoid when performing cable tricep kickbacks:

1. Always using a dumbbell: Cable tricep kickbacks are typically performed using a cable machine, not a dumbbell, using a dumbbell might restrict your range of motion and make it more difficult to efficiently target your triceps.

2. Twisting your wrists: It’s crucial to maintain straight wrists that are parallel to your forearms throughout the exercise. Bending your wrists can put unnecessary strain on your joints and reduce the effectiveness of the exercise.

3. Flaring your elbows: Every movement should be performed with your elbows close to your body, flaring your elbows out to the sides can shift the focus away from your triceps and onto your shoulders.

4. Excessive weight:  Pick a weight that lets you keep perfect form throughout the workout because excessive weight might cause poor form and increase your risk of injury.

Best Cable Tricep Kickback Variations & Alternative

1. Cable Tricep Extension

Cable Tricep Extension Image

In this workout, the elbow joint is flexed (or extended) using a cable machine by the triceps muscle. The challenge is intriguing since there are so many different ways to do it. These might include sitting (incline position with dumbbells), standing, and kneeling positions, as well as various handles and grips.

2. Overhead Tricep Extension

Seated Overhead Tricep Extension Image

Dumbbells are usually the most common option for the overhead tricep extension, which may be done bilaterally or with one arm.

This exercise can also be performed using a cable machine, or using a band at home, which can add to the difficulty by continuously applying tension to the muscle fibers and emphasizing the eccentric component of the exercise, which is commonly overlooked, both options are discussed in this dumbbell vs cable version video.

3. Reverse Grip Cable Tricep Kickback

Reverse Grip Cable Tricep Kickback Image

Also called supinated tricep kickbacks.

The medial head of the triceps, which is found on the inside side of the upper arm, is given more attention in the reverse grip cable tricep kickback than it does in the standard variation.

How to perform:

  1. Connect a single grip handle to a low pulley cable machine.
  2. Step back from the cable machine and grab hold of the handle with your left hand, holding it with an underhand grip.
  3. Bend down till your torso is about parallel to the floor while keeping your feet together and your knees slightly bent.
  4. For support, use your free right hand. As high as you can raise the elbow, keeping it firmly by your side.
  5. Extend your arm by contracting your triceps while keeping your elbow stable and your body still.
  6. Squeeze your triceps and then gradually lower your arms.
  7. Repeat (3-4 sets, 8-12 reps)

Wrap-Up: Is Cable Tricep Kickback Better Than Dumbbell Kickback?

Both types have their unique advantages, but overall cable tricep kickbacks have specific benefits over dumbbell kickbacks, such as the ability to customize resistance and maintain continuous tension during the whole range of motion.

Additionally, a wider range of motion is achievable with cable tricep kickbacks. People who suffer from wrist or elbow pain might find it more ergonomic.

Hassane Sghir
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