A dumbbell kick, also known as a tricep kickback, is an excellent workout for strengthening your triceps, forearms and shoulder muscles. All you’ll need is a hand-held weight and a sturdy bench to lean on. Better yet, it’s simple enough that you can perform this workout at home or the gym. Follow a few simple steps and you can develop these important muscle groups in no time.
Part One of Three:
Starting the Exercise
1Use a stable bench. You’ll need a bench to place your knee on. It should be sturdy enough so that it doesn’t move or shake while you’re exercising.
2Position your legs. If you’re starting with the left arm, place your right knee on the bench at a 90-degree angle.
- If the bench isn’t padded, you may want to put down a towel so that your knee isn’t injured.
3Get a hand-held weight. You can use a disc weight but the most ideal tool is a hand-sized dumbbell.
- Chose a weight based on your level of strength. Start with a weight that feels easy and only increase the weight in small increments as you gain strength.
4Position your back. Bend at the waist so your back and legs are at a roughly 90-degree angle. Try to keep your back straight during the exercise.
5Position your arms. Grip the weight in your left hand and bring your arm back so that your bicep is parallel to your back and elbow is bent at a 90-degree angle.Advertisement
Part Two of Three:
Performing the Exercise
1Extend your arm back. Slowly lift your arm backwards until your arm is straight and roughly parallel to your back. During the lifting motion, gradually turn your palm upward to face the ceiling.
- Your arm should be mostly but not completely straight. Do this move slowly and do not lock or snap your elbow upon extension.
- Your upper arm and body should remain still.
2Return to the starting position. Slowly lower the forearm back to the starting position with your elbow bent down at a 90-degree angle. When lowering the dumbbell to start, gradually turn the hand back to beginning position, palm facing towards the body.
- If you are performing the exercise correctly, you should feel some tension in your tricep and forearm. Discontinue the exercise if you feel uncomfortable tension in your elbow joint.
3Perform in sets. The best way to perform muscle exercises is in sets with a fixed number of repetitions. Determine the number of repetitions you can perform at a given time.
- Do the exercise 10 to 15 times, and if 15 reps is easy, take a brief rest of about a minute and try another set of 10 to 15. Continue to add sets until you can do three sets of 15. Then consider increasing the weight, reducing the number of reps per set, and gradually increase the number of sets.
4Increase resistance if necessary. If the weight you start with is not causing any burning sensation in your muscles, you may want to use a heavier weight.
- Another way to increase resistance is to rest the forearm that doesn’t have the weight flat on the bench. This will increase the strain on your triceps.
5Perform regularly. As with all muscle exercises, it’s most effective when you incorporate it as a regular part of your workout. Determine a number of sets you intend to do per week. Once you notice improved strength in the relevant muscle groups, slowly increase the number of weekly sets.
- The number of sets you should perform depends on your frequency of exercise. If you consider yourself a beginner, try three sets of 10 to 12 reps for up to a month, working the triceps once or twice a week. When it becomes easy, increase the weight, numbers of sets, and reps up to 15. Once you can do three sets of 15, increase the weight.
Part Three of Three:
Being Safe and Adding Variety
1Check with your doctor. If you are new to lifting weights, have any chronic health conditions, or live a sedentary lifestyle, see a doctor before lifting. A doctor may recommend you start with cardio workouts before moving to weights.
2Know when to stop. Feeling a burning sensation in your muscles is a sign that the tissue is stretching. This is a good thing for muscle growth but too much burning can be a sign of strain.
- When you start feeling a burn, stop working out. If your muscles feel better after a few minutes, you can continue. If the painful sensation is still there, you should rest and consider seeing a physician.
3Try a tricep extension. It’s good to add variety to your workout, even when hitting the same muscles. The tricep extension is similar to the dumbbell kick and hits similar muscles.
- If you’re starting with your right arm, kneel with your right knee and keep your left leg bent at a 90-degree angle. Lean your body forward and lift your arm with the weight in it. Then, extend your arm straight back the same way you would for a dumbbell kick.
- Do 3 sets of 15 repetitions to start.