Workouts & Exercises

Everything You Need to Know About the Flip Grip Twist Tricep Kickbacks

No one wants huge arms compared to a skinny body, but everyone wants toned arms that define each muscle.

While the bicep can make a T-shirt look good on you, your triceps will show everyone that you look after yourself and hit the gym.

But then, if you have trained arms for a few months already and results seem to stagnate, my friend, this is the time to challenge yourself some more.

You need to put more time in, but also change the exercises.

There are lots of exercises when it comes to triceps exercises – the classic ones, both calisthenic and weightlifting types, will always work, but a challenge is mandatory at times.

All in all, if you feel like you could do something new, the flip grip twist tricep kickbacks will definitely surprise your triceps.

Here is everything you need to know.

What is different about flip grip twist tricep kickbacks?

Flip grip twist tricep kickbacks are different and challenging compared to other classic tricep exercises

Kickbacks are essential fitness exercises – a bit uncomfortable, but definitely worth the challenge. Now, this variation is a bit of a compound exercise because it makes the job more difficult, but it also challenges more muscles.

So, if you are used to the traditional kickbacks, the grip is a bit different – weights should not be parallel to your standing body, but perpendicular on it. Then, you have the twist, which challenges more muscles in the arms – including forearm muscles.

The grip does not necessarily occur during the movement – it is up to you. Most people perform the twist after each repetition though.

You can do it your own way – or even better, mix with other exercises like seated tricep press, congdon curls, shoulder press or lateral raise for even more challenges. 

How to do flip grip twist tricep kickbacks

Here is step by step guide on how to do flip grip twist tricep kickbacks

Just like regular kickbacks, this exercise is performed in a standing position.

Grab the weights (mostly adjustable dumbbells, since this is pretty much a dumbbells-only workout) and stand up straight.

Bend your knees, as well as the body from the hips.

You do not need the upper body to be parallel to the ground, but at an angle – bent over forward, but not parallel. Instead of a 90-degree angle for your body, opt for 110 degrees or so.

You will need a good balance, so one foot should be in front of the other – both knees must be bent. Back must be perfectly straight.

Once in this position, bring the weights close to the shoulders by bending your elbows. Your palms must face the ceiling.

Straighten your elbows without changing the hand position and move arms back in the classic kickback movement. Reverse the movement then until your hands are close to your shoulders. This is one rep.

Once back up, twist your arms. For the second rep, your hands should be facing the ground. Perform the same move again, without changing the position of the hands.

You can twist your hands after each rep. With time, as you gain more experience, you can even try twisting hands throughout the movement – more challenging and could cause injuries though.

It sounds challenging and it actually is. Make your own pre workout drink half an hour before the session and you will be able to perform much better.

Your diet is clearly important in the process, but this is another story. Focus on protein and nutrients and try to avoid sugar whatsoever.

Related Reading; BWSS Adjustable Dumbbells Vs Cheaper Options

Here's a video tutorial on how to do flip grip twist tricep kickbacks:

Flip grip twist tricep kickbacks muscles worked

Flip grip twist tricep kickback is referred as a compound exercise that work on different arm muscles and core


Flip grip twist tricep kickbacks are meant to target the triceps before any other muscle. After all, they only represent a tougher alternative to the classic kickbacks,

However, just like all the other tricep exercises out there, other arm muscles will also be targeted – indirectly and less efficiently though.


When your palms face the ground, the second part of the repetition (bringing them back to your shoulders) will also work on your biceps.


Other than that, the actual twisting movement will work on the muscles in your forearms.

Core muscles

Maintaining the perfect position also asks for some core strength – in other words, you will have to flex the core too. Although this isn't really an essential core exercise per se, it will still help tone your core. 

Yes, it might not be a fast-track to 10 pack or 12 pack abs, but the benefits roll over to other compound workouts like sumo squats or sumo deadlifts.

Simply put, this is why these exercises are often referred to as compound exercises – they provide a thorough fitness experience and more effectiveness than other triceps exercises.

Related Reading; How to get Abs in 2 Weeks for Guys

Tips for beginners doing this exercise

Here are some tips for beginners on how to do correct flip grip twist tricep kickbacks

Just like many other exercises, this one involves a specific pose for maximum effectiveness.

Failing to maintain that pose can cause unnecessary pains and even injuries. For example, arching the back is highly contraindicated, yet most people do it out of instinct.

While some exercises allow you to maintain a good pose without trying too hard, this one asks for a mirror.

This is the most important tip for a newbie.

Perform it in front of a mirror and keep looking at yourself while doing it. If your instinct forces you to arch your back, you will see it, so you can correct the problem straight away. Otherwise, there will just be too many things to focus on.

If you exercise at home like I do mostly at my backyard gym and you do not have such a big mirror, simply take a video of yourself performing a set and observe the mistakes. Do it again until you can maintain the perfect pose.

Other than that, control each movement and never use momentum. Avoid flaring your elbows too.

Make sure your warm up before the exercise. You can also finish your workout off with a bit of cardio. After all, there is nothing wrong with cardio after workouts.

Alternative exercises to the flip grip twist tricep kickbacks

Triceps pushdown - Start doing with the use of cables

Triceps Pushdown

Perform overhead triceps extension with the use of dumbbell or rope

Overhead triceps extension

Barbell skull crusher to build triceps with the use of barbell

Barbell skull crusher

While these exercises provide an excellent workout for your arms, alternating between different exercises will challenge your triceps even more. Doing the same exercise over and over again will get your muscles to get used to it – the element of surprise is lost then.

Whether you have a bad back and cannot perform this exercise or you want to diversify your workouts, here are a few great alternatives:

  • Triceps pushdown – done with cables
  • Overhead triceps extension – use a rope for this exercise if you are in a gym
  • Barbell skull crusher – start with a low weight and add weight in small increments

There are, indeed, lots of alternatives to this exercise, but these ones stand out because they imitate the movement and allow a bit of diversity.

For maximum efficiency, train triceps with other suitable muscle groups. For instance, You can train your arms by doing biceps and triceps on the same day.

There are a few unwritten rules at this point. For instance, shoulders and chest on the same day are also contraindicated.

If you feel like you stagnate and the triceps stops growing, there are a few other ways to build bigger triceps.

Final Words

Flip grip twist tricep kickbacks are not the most popular triceps exercises for a few reasons.

First, they are complicated and should be done by experienced gym goers. Second, some people choose to stick to classics, rather than modern variations.

All in all, implementing these kickbacks into your workout will definitely surprise your triceps and help these muscle groups grow faster.

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