Why Do The Cable Triceps Kickbacks (And How To Do It!)

Maybe you have gone to the gym, and you have heard many people talking about the cable triceps kickbacks. Or maybe you have told your friend that you want to get bigger forearms and he advised you to do cable triceps kickbacks, and you have no idea about what that is.

If you are one of those people who is considering of including this exercise in your workout, you have come to the right place! In this article, you will get to know everything you need to know about the cable triceps kickbacks—why and how to do it!


Dumbbell Vs Cable Triceps Kickbacks

Why Do The Cable Triceps Kickbacks

The more popular type of kickback is the dumbbell, but the cable version is slowly rising to popularity for plenty of good reasons.

According to experts, the dumbbell version is the best way to target the triceps’ lateral head. However, many people tend to drop their elbow as they perform this exercise. When they do that, the supposed isolation exercise becomes a combo exercise that targets not just the triceps but the biceps as well.

And that is the reason why the cable triceps kickbacks have been introduced. The cable gives a continuous tension on your triceps all throughout the exercise. And even if you are in the same position, the use of the cable can engage the lateral head immediately and a lot better, allowing you to develop it further.

Why Perform Cable Triceps Kickbacks?

Many experts would advise you to do the cable triceps kickbacks if you want to get bigger forearms. And if you are thinking twice about following their tips, you need to read the benefits cable triceps kickbacks can provide you with. Here are some of them:

  • This Exercise Develops The Size And Strength Of Your Triceps

Developing your forearms is not as easy as it seems. In order to do that, you need to perform exercises that are designed to target the triceps muscles, and the cable triceps kickback is designed to do just that!

This type of exercise can develop the long rear head of the triceps and gives the arms the horseshoe look that most men are dying to have.

  • It Also Helps To Develop Other Parts Of The Arms

Aside from the triceps, the cable triceps kickbacks can also develop the shape and size of the neighboring muscles like the Anconeus muscles, the biceps, brachioradialis, and brachialis.

The Different Types Of Cable Triceps Kickbacks

Why Do The Cable Triceps Kickbacks

Just like most exercises, the cable triceps kickbacks come in different variations too. These are as follows:

  • With A Rope Attachment

In this type of variation, you would need to hold the ends of the rope using your working hand. This adds more challenge to the usual exercise.

  • Reverse Grip

In this variation, you will be using a D-handle instead of a rope. This variation is designed to help you work out the medial head of your arms a lot more.If you really want to achieve a bigger and functionally stronger forearms, it is suggested that you do all of these variations together.

The Right Way To Do The Cable Triceps Kickbacks

Now that you know what the benefits and variations of a cable triceps kickback are, the next thing that you should is to figure out how to properly perform this exercise. Just like most exercises, this also has little margin for error. One wrong twist on the wrist and you may have an injury.

With that in mind, here are the simple steps that you can take as you perform this exercise:

  • Step 1: Set Up And Get Into The Starting Position

Attach a single grip handle to a low pulley cable machine. Choose the weight that you can comfortably handle (avoid using heavier weights not until you have perfected the form). Using an overhand grip, grab the handle with your left hand.

Keep your feet together and slightly bend your knees. Bend at your waist; ensure that your torso is parallel to the floor. Once you are already in position, use your right hand to provide support to your right knee and to stabilize yourself.

Raise your elbow in a way that your upper arm will be parallel to the floor. Tuck your elbow into your side, allowing it to bend at 90 degrees.

  • Step 2: Execute The Exercise

Now that you are in the starting position keep your left-hand perpendicular to the floor. Afterwards, extend your arm or elbow until the arm is completely locked out. As a result, it will be kept in a stationary position.

Squeeze your tricep and contract it as much as you can. Do this for just a single count then slowly return to the starting position. Make sure to do this movement in a controlled manner. Avoid dropping your elbows as that may lead to injury.

Perform one set using your left hand then repeat the steps using your right arm. 

To further understand the steps, check out this video:


There is no doubt that the cable triceps kickback is one of the best exercises for bigger and stronger forearms. But it is important that you perform it properly to avoid any possible injuries and to really hit your target muscle.

Some of the tips to keep in mind to ensure safety and efficiency during the exercise are the following:

  • Avoid dropping your elbow after executing the exercise.
  • You can use your free hand to press against the thigh so you can achieve balance while doing the exercise. 
  • Let your triceps contract longer by holding the position wherein your arm is extended. 
  • Keep your elbow at your side at all times.

Follow these tips, and you can surely make the most out of this exercise.

Did you learn a thing or two from this article? If yes, please do share it with your friends. You can leave a comment if you have any suggestions below too!

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Emily Brathen

Hi there! I'm Emily Brathen. I am a fitness and yoga instructor and a mom of one. Despite my hectic schedule, I still find time for doing the thing I love most - fitness and yoga. I love doing and teaching fitness and yoga because in my own little way, I am able to encourage people to take health and fitness back into their own hands.

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