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How to Do a Dumbbell Kick for an Arm Workout

Learn how to do a dumbbell kick from personal trainer Brett Azar in this Howcast home arm workout for men video.


Today we're going to go over a dumbbell kick, otherwise known as a dumbbell kickback. It's for your triceps. It's a very basic exercise for your triceps, a well-known exercise that you can do completely right or completely wrong. There are many different things that go into such a simple exercise. First, you can do these standing, or you can do these kneeling. The most popular way to do them is on a bench. I still prefer that way, too.

You want your knee well-supported, and you want your body well-supported. This arm is for your upper-body support. The back leg is firmly on the ground. You want good balance. You're going to choose a weight that you can control through the motion without cheating. I like to stay light with these. You're not really going to go heavy; it's a concentrated exercise. With this starting position, you never want to lock out. You're going to keep a slight bend in your elbow. Now, your elbow is going to start here. You want to keep your upper arm at 90 degrees to the floor, parallel to the floor, the whole time.

As you do this exercise, you simply extend the elbow out and bring it back. It's a very controlled exercise. To get the most out of it, you're going to come up and pause. That really works the muscle, right there. That pause is what you're going to feel the most. Now release back down. It's not a swing thing. That's totally wrong; it's cheating, and you're not doing a thing for your muscle. It's all controlled. Squeeze that muscle and return. Squeeze that muscle, and return. Really pump a lot of blood into that. This isn't a heavy exercise. It's something you want to keep light. You can really fill that muscle up with blood and get the nutrients that you need.

Again, you see a lot of guys have bad form with this, where they torque their bodies to cheat the exercise and basically make it an ego exercise. This is not an ego exercise at all. The better control you have doing it, the better results you're going to get. You're square with the ground, you're firm with your feet, your hands, and support. Elbows are parallel to the floor. Come up, squeeze that muscle. Make it burn, and return. Come up, squeeze that muscle. Make it burn, and return. And that's your tricep kickback.

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