The triceps are a set of three muscles at the back of the upper arm. You can train these muscles with a move called the dumbbell kickback. The exercise is done from a bent over position, resting one arm on your thigh or a workout bench. You hold a dumbbell in the free hand and position your upper arm parallel to the floor. When you extend the elbow until it is straight, you activate the triceps muscles. Adding the dumbbell kickback can help you build muscle and tone your arms.
Strength and Tone
The triceps are made up of the triceps brachii, the brachialis and the pronator teres. These muscles work together so you can bend and extend your elbow. When your triceps are toned, you develop a dent or a ridge that makes you look strong rather than flabby. The dumbbell kickback makes it possible for you to train this hard-to-isolate muscle group.
Isolation exercises target one joint or muscle group rather than multiple joints and muscle groups at once. Isolation exercises such as dumbbell kickbacks allow you to train the triceps without involving other muscles. You might choose this isolation move if you strength train every day and are looking to rest certain muscle groups near the triceps, such as the chest and shoulders. Bodybuilders who need to develop the size and appearance of muscles to fit a particular standard also benefit from isolation moves such as the dumbbell kickback.
Beginners and Injuries
If you are new to upper body strength training, the dumbbell kickback can help you develop a base of strength in the triceps so you can move on to more complex exercises. If you have an injury to the shoulders or chest, an isolation move such as the dumbbell kickback prevents irritation in other joints or muscles. Some triceps exercises, such as dips, cause pain in your wrists. The dumbbell kickback keeps the wrists in a neutral -- or straight -- position so they are not irritated.
Proper execution of the move prevents maximizes its benefits and prevents injury to your lower back and spine. When bending forward, hinge from the hips and keep your head aligned with your spine. Your upper arm should always stay next to your torso and not be raised or lowered during the exercise. Prevent your lower back from sagging and your torso from rotating.