Workout 41: Biceps & Triceps
1. Seated Dumbbell Curl
- Sit on a bench with a back support and place your feet shoulder-width apart. Take a deep breath before beginning. Sit up straight with a dumbbell in each hand at arm's length. Keep your elbows close to your torso and rotate the palms of your hands until they are facing inward.
- Curl the weights while contracting your biceps so that your palms are facing backwards. Continue to raise the dumbbells until your biceps are fully contracted and the dumbbells are at shoulder-level. Try to hold the contracted position for a brief pause as you squeeze your biceps. Make sure to keep your upper arms and elbows stationary through the movement; your forearms should be the only part moving during this exercise.
- Slowly begin to lower the dumbbells back to the starting position.
2. Zottman Curl
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- With this overhand grip, slowly lower the dumbbells back down.
- As the dumbbells approach your thighs, rotate your wrists to return to your original grip with your palms facing inward towards your body.
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.
4. 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.
1. Tricep Kickback
- Start with a dumbbell in each hand and your palms facing your torso.
- 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.
- 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.
- After a brief pause at the top contraction, inhale and slowly lower the dumbbells back down to the starting position.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
4. Diamond Push Up
- Start by lying on the floor face down with your hands closer than shoulder-width apart. Hold your torso up at arm’s length.
- Lower yourself until your chest almost touches the floor.
- Using your triceps, press your upper body back up and squeeze your chest.