Workout 8: Biceps & Triceps
1. Dumbbell Skull Crusher
This is just like doing a normal ‘skull crusher’, only you’re using dumbbells rather than an EZ bar or straight bar. With dumbbells, you sacrifice the amount of weight you can use because there’s less stability, but anytime there’s less stability, there’s more core strength involved, and the pressure on the muscle should be a little bit more dramatic.
- Get either a flat or incline bench ready, and lie on the bench holding two dumbbells. Raise your arms so they’re perpendicular to your body.
- Make sure your wrists are straight and your hand isn’t bending over your wrist towards your body. Using your triceps, only extend your elbows up towards the ceiling. Avoid allowing your upper arms to move back and forth from their position as you raise and lower the weight.
- As you power the weight back up, stop just short of full extension so that you're unable to rest in the top position, which keeps tension on the muscle throughout the range of motion.
- Keep your elbows in tight as much as possible and avoid elbow flare to ensure the triceps do the bulk of the work. Allowing your elbows to flare out reduces the triceps' workload.
2. Cross Body Tricep Extension
- 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!
- Lift a cable pulley all the way up and make sure there’s a single arm handle on it.
- Grab the handle, and stand horizontally in relation to the the cable like the picture above.
- 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.
- Switch sides when you’ve finished.
3. Tricep Rope Pulldown
- Secure a rope attachment to the high pulley at its highest position. Stand in front of the pulley, hinge at your hips, and grab the rope with your palms facing each other.
- Keep your elbows close to your torso, while using your triceps to pull the rope downwards toward the outside of your thighs. At the most contracted point of the motion, your arms should be fully extended and perpendicular to the ground. Your forearms should be the only part moving.
- After reaching the contracted position, slowly bring the rope up to the starting point.
- Hold your body above the bars with your arms fully extended and nearly locked into the starting position.
- Inhale and slowly lower yourself downward. Your torso should remain upright and your elbows should stay close to your body to help to better work your triceps. Lower yourself until a 90° angle is created between your upper arms and forearms.
Exhale and push your torso back up using your triceps (feeling a slight stretch in your shoulders) to bring your body back to the starting position.
1. Preacher Curl
- To perform this movement, you will need a preacher bench and an EZ bar. Load your desired weight onto the bar and adjust the seat on the preacher bench so that your upper arms sit comfortably on the padding when you’re seated.
- Grab the EZ bar using an underhand grip with your palms facing upward. Lift the EZ bar to shoulder height.
- As you inhale, slowly lower the bar until your upper arms are extended and your biceps are fully stretched.
- As you exhale, curl the bar up until your biceps are fully contracted and the bar is at your shoulder height. Try to squeeze your biceps tightly and hold this position for a second if you can.
2. Dumbbell Hammer Curl
- Stand upright with your feet shoulder-width apart. Hold a dumbbell in each hand with your arms extended along your sides. Your elbows should be tucked in close to your torso and your palms should be facing your torso.
- Keep your upper arm stationary as you contract your biceps and curl the dumbbells directly upward. Continue to raise the dumbbells until your biceps are fully contracted and the dumbbell is at shoulder-level. Focus on only moving your forearm.
- After a brief pause, slowly begin to lower the dumbbells back down to the starting position.
3. Concentration Curl
- Sit at the end of a bench and place one dumbbell in front of you between your legs. Keep your legs spread apart, your knees bent, your back straight, and your feet on the ground.
- Use your right arm to pick up the dumbbell. Place the back of your arm against the inside of your same-sided thigh.
- Begin with the the palm of your hand facing away from your thigh. Keep your arm extended and the dumbbell slightly above the ground.
- Make sure that your upper arm remains stationary as you contract your biceps and curl the dumbbell toward your opposite-sided pec. Continue the movement until the dumbbell is at shoulder-level. Remember, only the forearms should move.
- Slowly begin to lower the dumbbell back to its starting position. Avoid swinging motions at all times.
- Perform all reps using the same arm, then repeat this movement with your other arm.
4. Spider Barbell Curl
- To begin this exercise; position the bench in an incline degree. Similar to if you were performing an incline bench press movement. Also, place the barbell so that you are going to use just in front of the bench.
- Place yourself on top of the bench with your stomach and front torso pressing against. As you grip the barbell in front, ensure that both feet are firmly positioned against the floor allowing your body full stabilization and a firm base.
- Hold the bar with your palms facing the ceiling, and curl the bar upwards, making sure to keep your elbows still throughout the movement.
- Slowly release the bar back down.