Why it's on the list: We're not big fans of the dumbbell kick-back because there are so many ways to cheat it and the angle of resistance is less effective than what you can achieve with a resistance band or cable. Surprisingly, one study by ACE fitness found that a well-executed kick-back can be as effective at activating the triceps as either dips or overhead extensions.
Just make sure you don't drop your elbow—a very common mistake, but one that's important enough to qualify for the "Laws of Triceps Training." Keep your upper arm parallel to the floor as you fully extend your elbow and squeeze. Don't use a handle here, just grab the rubber ball at the end of the cable. Alternately, you can use a resistance band.
Kick-Back Variations for Triceps Growth:
In your workout: Maximum contraction is key and you won't be able to go very heavy with this exercise, so place it last in your routine. Shoot for 3 sets of 10-12 reps. To optimize this cable kick-back for maximum muscle activation, take a bench and incline it up to about 60 degrees. Facing the weight stack with your chest on the bench, perform the cable kick-back with your upper arm locked parallel to the floor.