Workout 23: Shoulders & Triceps 

Shoulders 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.
  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. Seated Dumbbell Press 

  1. Sit on a military press bench, or any utility bench that has a back support, and hold two dumbbells upright on the top of your thighs.
  2. With your palms facing each other, lift the dumbbells up (one at a time) to shoulder-level.
  3. Then, rotate your wrists so that your palms are facing upward toward the ceiling.
  4. Press your dumbbells up and toward each other, without jerking your back.
  5. Slowly lower them until they return to the starting position.

Triceps Exercises

1. 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, as pictured. 

2. Overhead Dumbbell Extension

  1. Stand upright with a single dumbbell held by both hands. Your feet should be positioned about shoulder-width apart. Use both hands to lift the dumbbell over your head until both arms are fully extended.
  2. To start, your palms are supporting the weight of the dumbbell with your thumbs wrapping around it. Your palms should be facing upward, maintaining an overlapped grip.
  3. Keep your upper arms close to your head and perpendicular to the ground with your elbows by your ears. Lower the dumbbell in a semicircular motion behind your head so that your forearms touch (or almost touch) your biceps. Your forearms should be the only part moving.
  4. Use your triceps to lower the dumbbell back to the starting position.

3. 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. 

  1. Get either a flat or incline bench or other flat surface ready, and lie on your back holding two dumbbells. Raise your arms so they’re perpendicular to your body.
  2. 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. 
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

 

4. Diamond Push Up

  1. Start by lying on the floor face down with your hands closer than shoulder-width apart. Hold your torso up at arm’s length.
  2. Lower yourself until your chest almost touches the floor.
  3. Using your triceps, press your upper body back up and squeeze your chest.