Most people are familiar with the triceps push-down and the triceps kick-back. The push-down has you extend the elbow with your trunk fully upright. The kick-back has you extend the elbow from a full hip-hinge position, with the same trunk position you’d use when performing a bent-over row.
Both of these moves are legit but I’ve found that I can get a way better triceps contraction by fusing the two exercises into one mega muscle-builder. I call it a triceps kick-down or push-back.
First, I recommend using a triceps rope in single-handle mode off of a cable machine so you can train one arm at a time and get a more continuous resistance stimulus. It’s always good to incorporate a unilateral move into each training session to clean up any imbalances and improve aesthetics.
Second, use just a slight hip-hinge of about 45-degrees, so your trunk angle is directly in-between the one you’d use for a push-down and kick-back. And be sure to get a good squeeze on the contraction and use a controlled negative phase of the movement. The only motion should occur at the elbow joint, so keep the upper arm fixed throughout the drill.
Third, I recommend 2 to 3 sets of 10 to 15 reps (or 90-second work periods) with 30 seconds of rest between sides. This is a great accessory move to add in towards the end of your workout, especially after some heavier multi-joint work like close-grip bench presses, dips, or skull-crushers to target the fast-twitch fibers.
“Tri” it today. I think you’ll really dig it! And if you’re looking for a full-blown arms workout, check out my Arms Specialization Workout.