The 4-Week Dumbbell Workout Plan Part 2: Arms

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The 4-Week Dumbbell Workout Plan Part 2: Arms

When you’ve been working out for a while and you know most of the exercises in the book, it can become challenging to create a routine that tests your body in new ways. If you’re ready to mix things up, then here’s six dumbbell exercises to spice up your arm routine.

Although the exercises below are simple, the way they are performed, can make all the difference in creating a workout that works. When you want to isolate specific muscle groups in the arms, using dumbbells is truly effective — get ready to feel the burn!

Workout 2: Arms (Week 1)

1A Biceps curl

Sets 4 Reps 10 Rest 0sec Tempo 2010

How to:

  • Stand with dumbbells by your sides and palms facing forwards.
  • Keeping your elbows tucked in to your sides, curl the weights up, squeezing your biceps at the top.
  • Lower them back to the start.

Why: It’s the classic biceps lift for good reason: performing this move perfectly is one of the fastest ways to add size to your biceps. Just keep your reps controlled to avoid swinging the dumbbells up and down.

1B Triceps extension

Sets 4 Reps 10 each side Rest 60sec Tempo 2010

How to:

  • Stand tall, holding a dumbbell over your head with one hand and arm straight.
  • Keeping your chest up, lower the weight behind your head, then raise it back to the start.
  • Do all the reps with one arm and then switch and repeat.

Why: Working one arm at a time allows you to focus on making your triceps work hard to keep the dumbbell under complete control throughout the lift and lower, while your core must be engaged to keep your torso upright.

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2A Hammer curl

Sets 4 Reps 10 Rest 0sec Tempo 2010

How to:

  • Stand with dumbbells by your sides and palms facing each other.
  • Keeping your elbows tucked in to your sides, curl the weights up, squeezing your biceps at the top.
  • Lower them back to the start.

Why: Adjusting your wrist position so that your palms face each other for the entirety of the set shifts the workload to a different part of your biceps muscles, as well as recruiting your forearms.

2B Triceps kick-back

Sets 4 Reps 10 each side Rest 60sec Tempo 2010

How to:

  • Lean forward from your hips, keeping your back straight and arm bent holding a dumbbell.
  • Raise the weight behind you until your arm is straight, then lower back to the start.
  • Do all the reps on one side, then repeat with the other arm.

Why: The key to making this an effective triceps-building move is to make sure you fully contract the working muscle as you straighten your arm, and then to lower the dumbbell back to the start position under full control.

3A Spider curl

Sets 4 Reps 10 Rest 0sec Tempo 2010

How to:

  • Bend down and rest your elbows on your thighs, holding a dumbbell in each hand with arms straight.
  • Curl the weights up, squeeze your biceps at the top, then lower back to the start under control.

Why: It may raise a few eyebrows in the gym, but this exercise works your biceps through a full range of motion so you hit them from a slightly different angle, meaning even more muscle fibres are recruited.

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3B Narrow dumbbell press-up

Sets 4 Reps 10 Rest 60sec Tempo 2010

How to:

  • Get into position with your feet together and hands holding dumbbells that are touching.
  • Brace your core so your body is straight from head to heels.
  • Bend your elbows to lower your chest, then press back up powerfully.

Why: Bringing your hands close together reduces the involvement of your chest and shoulders so your triceps muscles have to do a lot more of the hard work to lift and lower your torso.

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