Anyone who wants to have bulky arms must not only treat the biceps well but also show the triceps some love. Your triceps muscles have three heads: the long head, the lateral head, and the medial head. When your triceps muscles are too tight, it limits your strength, power, and mobility. So keep in mind that you should give all those muscles a good stretch.
Most arms exercises involve lifting weights. However, if you don’t have any dumbbells at home, no worries! You can use canned goods, bags of rice, water bottles or heavy books for weights. 100-ounce laundry detergent jugs have handles and secure lids so that might be your best bet. Let’s start!
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Working with dumbbells is a great way to bring out imbalances you may have in your body.
Incorporating any of these five dumbbell exercises into your current routine is a great way to not only switch up your bicep workout, but to maximize your muscle engagement for more growth and strength.
You can also choose to use these five exercises together as a bicep routine. Perform 4 sets of each exercise increasing the weight with each set.
Follow the rep ranges of:
12 reps for set 1
10 reps for set 2
8 reps for set 3
6 reps for set 4
Alternating Dumbbell Curl
This is a great isolation exercise to work the entire bicep. The focus here is to keep your palms facing forward and your elbows in front of your hips throughout the entire movement. As you curl each arm keep your shoulder blades retracted and squeeze the dumbbell as hard as you can to force an even harder bicep contraction. Bring the dumbbell all the way up to your chest and control the decent never letting your elbow go pass your hip. Fully extend your arm at the bottom of the movement and do not begin to alternate sides until your arm is fully extended. The reason being is because you want to put as much focus as possible into isolating each bicep for maximum muscle engagement.
Dumbbell Drag Curl
The dumbbell drag curl is a great exercise to work on the peak of your bicep. To perform this exercise you’re going to once again begin with your palms facing forward. While maintaining a tight core, bring the dumbbells up to your armpits while pushing your elbows back as far as you can. Flex and squeeze your biceps as hard as you can while you curl and as you lower the dumbbells make sure you still focus on pushing your elbows back. You’ll notice that to perform this movement correctly you’ll need to use lighter weight.
The hammer curl is a great exercise to target the entire bicep, but you’ll be putting a lot more emphasis on your brachioradialis. This is the muscle runs from your wrist, across the inside portion of your elbow and into your upper arm. You’ll be using the same form to perform this exercise as you did with the Alternating Dumbbell Curl, however the only difference is that you’ll be keeping your palms facing in throughout the entire movement and lifting both arms at the same time. So let’s recap. Keep your core tight, shoulder blades retracted, elbows in front of your hips and be sure to bring the dumbbells all the way up to your shoulders and fully extend your arms at the bottom of each repetition.
If you’re looking for an exercise that will target a little bit of everything, the Zottman Curl is number one. You’ll work the primary movers for a traditional bicep curl on the way up (the biceps and brachialis) and you’ll target the main muscles for the reverse curl on the way down which includes the brachioradialis, a muscle we just talked about in the Hammer Curl. To perform the movement, begin with the dumbbells by your side with your palms facing in. As you curl the dumbbells begin to twist your wrists so that your palms face your shoulders at the top of the movement. Once you reach the top of the movement, turn your palms so they face out. Then slowly return to the starting position and repeat. Once again focus on keeping your core tight, shoulder blades back, elbows in front of your hips and perform the full range of motion with each repetition.
Dumbbell Concentration Curl
The last exercise is the dumbbell concentration curl. This movement will target both heads of the bicep, but more emphasis will be placed on the long head or outside of the bicep
Chris has spent many years working and teaching in the IT field. He enjoys spending time outdoors and learning about new topics. He likes playing golf, spending time at the beach and working on classic cars and woodworking projects.
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