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Workout 16: Shoulders & Triceps 


Shoulder Exercises

1. Arnold Dumbbell Press

  1. Sit on the military press bench, or any utility bench that has a back support, and hold two dumbbells in front of you at about upper-chest level. Your palms should be facing your body with your elbows bent and tucked in. 
  2. Next, in the middle of the movement, raise the dumbbells as you rotate your palms until they are facing forward.
  3. Continue raising the dumbbells until your arms are fully extended above you.
  4. After a pause at the top, begin to lower the dumbbells, rotating your palms towards you.

2. Lateral Dumbbell Raise

  1. Stand upright with your feet shoulder-width apart and dumbbells aligned with your feet at arm's length. Make sure your palms are facing inward towards your sides.
  2. Keep your torso stationary and raise the dumbbells to your side with a slight bend at your elbow. Lift your arms until they are slightly parallel to the ground, or around shoulder-level, and pause for a second at the top.
  3. Slowly lower the dumbbells back to the starting position.

3. Reverse Fly

  1. On the reverse fly machine (which sometimes doubles as a chest fly machine), adjust the handles so that they are fully facing the rear (closest together). Adjust the seat height to make the handles at your shoulder-level. Sit on the seat with your chest against the pad and grasp the handles with your palms facing inwards. 
  2. Pull your hands out to your sides and back as far as possible. This should make a semicircular motion where you should feel a stretch in your shoulders. 
  3. Pause at the back of the movement, and slowly return the weight to the starting position.

4. Face Pull

  1. Stand in front of a medium-height rotating pulley and grab each side of the rope attachment. 
  2. Step back away from the machine until your arms are fully extended in front of you. 
  3. Your feet should be slightly wider than shoulder width apart and with a soft bend in your knees.
  4. Brace core and drive elbows past back, while pulling the rope handles slightly outside of your ears. 
  5. Hold and contract shoulder blades together.

Tricep Exercises


1. Skull Crusher

  1. Lie back on a flat or slightly inclined bench. Using an overhand grip, grasp the innermost grips on the EZ bar. Hold it with your elbows tucked in and your arms perpendicular to the ground.
  2. Keeping your upper arms stationary, lower the bar by unlocking your elbows to a flexed position. Pause once the bar is directly above your forehead.
  3. Reverse the bar back to the starting position by extending your elbows while flexing your tricep.

2. Tricep Kickback

  1. Start with a dumbbell in each hand and your palms facing your torso. 
  2. Keep your back straight, with a slight bend in the knees, and bend forward at the waist. Your torso should be almost parallel to the floor. Make sure to keep your head up. Your upper arms should be close to your torso and parallel to the floor. Your forearms should be pointed towards the floor as you hold the weights. There should be a 90-degree angle formed between your forearm and upper arm. This is your starting position.
  3. Now, while keeping your upper arms stationary, exhale and use your triceps to lift the weights until the arm is fully extended. Focus on moving the forearm.
  4. After a brief pause at the top contraction, inhale and slowly lower the dumbbells back down to the starting position.
  5. Repeat the movement for the prescribed amount of repetitions.

*You can also do this exercise one arm at a time. 

3. Straight Bar Pulldown

  1. Attach a wide bar at your shoulder-level on the pulley of the pulldown machine. Grab the bar with an overhand grip with your palms facing downward, and make sure your grip is wider than your shoulder-width.
  2. Take a couple steps back and make sure your feet are shoulder-width apart. Slightly hinge at the waist so that your torso is leaning forward. Keep your arms fully extended so that they’re parallel to the ground. Your arms can have a slight bend at the elbow.
  3. Pull the bar down while keeping your arms straight. Continue pulling down until your hands are beside your thighs; you should feel a contraction in your lats. 
  4. Reverse this movement while keeping your arms fully straight. 

4. Crossbody Tricep Extension

  1. This is similar to the ordinary single arm tricep extension you’ve been doing, only here you’re extending across your body rather than straight down and back. The crossbody extension focuses on the lateral head while the ordinary tricep extension hits the long head in the back of the arm (although both exercises work the entire tricep!
  2. Lift a cable pulley all the way up and make sure there’s a single arm handle on it. 
  3. Grab the handle, and stand horizontally in relation to the the cable like the picture above. 
  4. Keeping your elbow in place and your wrist still, pull down and out until your tricep is completely flexed, hold for a moment, and slowly go back to the starting position.  
  5. Switch sides when you’ve finished.