Workout 31: Biceps & Shoulders


Bicep Exercises

1. Alternating Dumbbell Curl

  1. Grab a dumbbell in each hand.ย 
  2. Curl the dumbbell with one hand while keeping your elbow completely still and by your side.ย 
  3. At the peak of the movement, when your hand is next to your shoulder, squeeze, and then slowly allow your arm to return.ย 
  4. Do it with the other arm.ย 
  5. Repeat!

2. Ez Bar Curl

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent.
  2. Hold an EZ-bar in an underhand grip with your arms extended and then curl the bar up towards your chest, keeping your elbows in to your sides.

3. Overhead Cable Curl

  1. To begin, set a weight that is comfortable on each side of the pulley machine. Make sure the weight selected is equal on each side.
  2. Adjust the height of the pulleys on each side so that theyโ€™re positioned higher than shoulder height.
  3. Stand in the middle of both sides and use an underhand grip to grab each handle. Your arms should be fully extended to each side and parallel to the ground. Your palms should be facing upward and your feet positioned shoulder-width apart.ย 
  4. Keep your elbows in a fixed position as you slowly squeeze your biceps and curl your hands toward your shoulders. You should be squeezing in your biceps until your forearms and biceps touch.
  5. Lower your forearms back to the starting position while keeping your entire body stationary.

4. Zottman Curl

  1. Stand upright with a dumbbell in each of your hands at arm's length. Your elbows should be tucked in close to your torso. Make sure your palms are facing your body before beginning the movement.
  2. Contract your biceps as you curl the dumbbells upward; only your forearms should be moving. As you curl up, rotate your wrists so that your palms are facing upward, like in an underhand grip. Continue this movement until the dumbbells are at your shoulder-level.
  3. Try to hold the contracted position for a second while sweeping your biceps. Then, in the contracted position, rotate your wrists again until you your palms are facing down, like in an overhand grip.
  4. With this overhand grip, slowly lower the dumbbells back down.
  5. As the dumbbells approach your thighs, rotate your wrists to return to your original grip with your palms facing inward towards your body.

Shoulder Exercises


1. 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.

2. Front Dumbbell Raise

  1. Stand upright with your feet hip-width apart. Grasp one dumbbell with each hand so that your palms are facing inward and hands are against your thighs.
  2. While keeping your torso stationary, lift the dumbbells in front of you with a straight arm or slightly bent elbow. Continue to raise the dumbbell until your arm is slightly above parallel to the ground or around shoulder-level.ย 
  3. Slowly lower the dumbbells back to the starting position.

3. Bent Over Rear Delt Raise

  1. Hold a dumbbell in each hand.
  2. Bend at the hip with the butt back as far as possible.
  3. Keep the back straight in order to pick up the dumbbells. The palms of your hands should be facing each other as you hold the dumbbells. This will be your starting position.
  4. Keeping your torso forward and stationary and the arms slightly bent at the elbows, lift the dumbbells straight to the side until both arms are parallel to the floor. (Note: Avoid swinging the torso or bringing the arms back as opposed to the side.)
  5. After a one second contraction at the top, slowly lower the dumbbells back to the starting position.

    Variation: This exercise can also be performed seated. Those with lower back problems are better off performing this seated variety.

4. Reverse Flyย 

  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.ย 
  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.ย 
  3. Pause at the back of the movement, and slowly return the weight to the starting position.ย 

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