You can’t go wrong with a pair of dumbbells. Arguably the most versatile equipment in a trainer’s arsenal, dumbbells are a favorite among competitive body builders, who happen to know a thing or two about stacking impressive arms. Whether or not you want body build-eresque arms, dumbbells can prove invaluable in your quest to improve them.
HOW IT WORKS
You’ll make use of peak contractions (holding the top, flexed, position of a rep for a second or two), slow negatives (lowering the weight with control), and stretching between sets. All of these strategies increase blood flow to the arms and encourage growth.
Perform 1A and 1B as supersets. So you’ll complete one set of A and then go on to B before resting. Repeat for the prescribed sets. Exercises 2A, 2B, and 2C are a triset—complete one set of each without rest and then repeat for all the prescribed sets.
1A. SEATED CURL
SETS: 3 REPS: 12 REST: 0 SEC .
Sit on an incline bench or seat with a backrest holding a dumbbell in each hand. Keeping your upper arms against your sides, curl the weights simultaneously, rotating your wrists out ward so that your palms face you in the top position. Hold the top position for two seconds, squeezing your biceps, and take three to five seconds to lower the weights on each rep.
1B. DIAMOND PUSHUP
SETS: 3 REPS: 20 REST: 60 SEC .
Get into pushup position but place your hands close together so your thumbs and index fingers touch. Keeping your body in a straight line with abs braced, lower your torso until your chest is just above the floor and then press back up.
2A. HAMMER CURL
SETS: 4 REPS: 8 REST: 0 SEC .
Hold a dumbbell in each hand with palms facing your sides. Keeping your upper arms against your sides, curl the weights at the same time.
2B. NEUTRAL-GRIP TRICEPS EXTENSION
SETS: 4 REPS: 12 REST: 0 SEC .
Lie back on a bench or the floor holding a dumbbell in each hand with palms facing each other. Press the weights over your chest and then bend your elbows to lower the weights toward your face until you feel a stretch in your triceps. Extend your elbows. Keep your elbows facing the ceiling the entire set .
2C. BICEPS/TRICEPS STRETCH
SETS: 4 REPS: HOLD FOR 30 SEC. (EACH SIDE)
Place the palm of one hand on a bench, box, or other low, flat surface with your fingers pointing toward you. Lean away to apply a stretch and hold it for 30 seconds. Now reach your arm overhead and bend the elbow. Gently pull your arm behind your head to stretch your triceps for 30 seconds.