Dumbbell Exercises For Arms
You just know when it’s time to tone up your body and push yourself forward with your workout routine for some extra muscle. Whatever your motivation for the big push for a better body, you still have to choose a method that works. In a way, you are spoilt for choice but rather than hopping from one method to another, how about sticking with the tried and tested that over centuries has been proven to work? Dumbbells have been around since the ancient Greeks and they knew a thing or two about building muscle although their focus was on increasing stamina and strength.
Dumbbells have been a staple of the gymnasium since the 1800s for good reason. They are portable and easy to use with quick gains. These days we don’t use old bells that don’t ring, chunks of concrete or stones. Modern dumbbells are made with modern materials and designed with modern technology to be adjustable to get the maximum results to build your body.
It is a great thing that you are planning to purchase a new workout or gym equipment for strength and muscle-building training. The advantages of dumbbells particularly the adjustable ones, over barbells are manifold. If you are serious about staying in shape you won’t ever regret purchasing them.
1. Better for use at home
If you are even a little passionate about workout and gym, it is a good option to have a home setup rather than going to an outside gym. Having an in-house gym allows you to be flexible with timings and do the workouts anytime you want. Besides no travel woes, you save on gas and fees so they pay for themselves in the long run.
Traditional dumbbells occupy a lot of space for storage, modern adjustable sets don’t. All you have is a single bar you can set the different weight plates on. It is simple to set the weights and also economical, as you don’t need to buy an entire set like you have to with regular dumbbells.
Heavy barbells are a single solid unit and difficult to maintain. They are a pain to use and a pain to the person living below you if ever happen to drop one. They can easily heavy and bulky enough to cause damage to a floor.
2. Dumbbells are easy on joints
Compared to barbells, most people find it easier and more comfortable to use dumbbells. The design of barbells forces your hands to stay put. The design of dumbbells allows more flexibility and results in much less pain with the same set of exercises.
The most common exercises are bench presses, standing presses, and rows. When you use dumbbells on a bench press you are in tune with your natural body movement which means you are doing nothing that can lead to pain or discomfort. The workout is better for your elbows and shoulders than barbells and especially if you end up forcing yourself through the pain.
3. Both your limbs work equally
One side of the body is stronger than the other side in at least 99 percent of people. This strength imbalance has the potential to create physical problems. With barbells, there is a tendency to use your better hand to lift most weight. With dumbbells, both arms carry equal weight. Adjustable dumbbells give you the option to focus on strengthening the side of your body you feel needs more attention to balance out your workout.
4. Boost your muscle development
Dumbbells make for a more challenging and engaging workout. Dumbbells are much more flexible rather free-form, so you use more muscle to support the weight compared to barbells. You can do 8 bench press reps with a 200-pound barbell while with dumbbell you can do the same number of reps with a combined weight of only 160 pounds.
5. A safer option for many exercises
Using barbells at home carries more risks that a broken floor when you’re working out alone without a spotter. You need to use a power rack to reduce the chances of unpleasant accidents and that comes at a cost and will need maintenance. Dumbbells are safer and provide good support. If you are doing reverse lunges with a barbell and lose your balance the barbell falls with you and is likely to cause injury. With dumbbells, you don’t have this problem. If you lose your balance, you can just toss them.
Interesting and Effective Dumbbell Exercises
Now that you have gathered the fact that dumbbells can go a long way in helping you build your arms quickly and effectively, you may be wondering what types of exercises will produce most gains. Here are some of the most popular and effective exercises to incorporate in your routine and give your arms the kind of push they need to grow. You don’t have to try all these together, but you can add a few to your routine and stick to those movements for a couple of weeks to see how you feel. You can then add more to shock your muscles and get better results.
1. Skull Crushers
- Make sure you have the dumbbells with you and lie on your back with knees bent.
- Take one dumbbell in each hand and raise your arms so your hands are above your chest with elbows are straight, but not locked.
- Lower both arms towards your head very slowly bending your elbows to 90 degrees when the dumbbells reach the floor. Your dumbbells should be on either side of your head and pressing in towards your head with the elbows bent. Keep breathing all the while.
- Go to the starting position by lifting your arms and repeat the exercise for two sets with 15 reps in each.
2. Overhead Triceps Extensions
- Place your feet apart at a hip distance.
- Hold one dumbbell with both hands and bend the elbows behind your head. Go for the heavier weight for a better result.
- Lift the dumbbell in the air by straightening your arms, and then slowly bend the arms to bring your hands down. Repeat this for two sets of 15 reps.
3. Bicep Curls with Overhead Press
- Stand straight and hold one dumbbell in each hand with palms facing outwards. Slowly bend your elbows and bring the weights to your shoulders – this is a bicep curl.
- At this position, make your torso stable and move your arms upwards straight above you with palms facing out into an overhead press.
- Bring your hand back and bending your elbows, to come to the bicep curl position and then straighten the arms while coming back to the starting position. Repeat this exercise for two sets of 15 reps each.
4. Bent-Over Rows
- Lean forward and bend your knees in a slight squat. Your back should be flat.
- Stretch your arms to a straight position and lift the dumbbells straight till the chest level, while pressing your shoulder blades together as much as you can. Keep your back flat and make sure the elbows are pointed in and upward.
- Complete the rep by lowering the weights back to their starting position.
- Repeat for two sets with 15 reps each.
5. Inverted Curl to Front Press
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart and hold the dumbbells in front of your thighs. The palms of hands should face inwards.
- Bend your elbows by the side and slowly move the weights upwards.
- Extend your arms straight out in front of your shoulders rotating slightly, palms facing towards the floor.
- Return to start position by bending the elbows back to the sides.
- Do 1 set of 20 reps.
6. Hammer Curls
- Get a pair of dumbbells and hold one in each of your hands.
- Make sure that your arms are fully extended and your palms are facing your body.
- Keep your upper arms close to your body and slowly curl the dumbbells without changing the position of your palms. Lift your arms up and down as if you’re using a hammer.
- Ensure that you keep your body tight and don’t use momentum to curl the weight.
- Be sure to lift both dumbbells simultaneously to make this exercise more challenging and get better gains in return.
7. Triceps Extension Using Neutral Grip
- Get a pair of dumbbells and hold one in each hand.
- Now slowly lie back on a bench – or you can do it lying on the floor too.
- Keep your palms in a neutral position – they should be facing each other.
- Press the dumbbells in a controlled motion over your chest. Stop when your arms are fully extended.
- Now, bend your arms at the elbows and bring the dumbbells close to your face. Feel the stretch and then extend your elbows to return to the starting position.
- Repeat the same movement to work your triceps properly.
8. Rear Fly and Press Back
- Start by maintaining split stance – your left foot should be forward with left knee bent and right leg straight. Hold dumbbells in your hands.
- Slowly hinge forward from your hips creating a 45-degree angle and your palms facing your thighs. Maintain a straight back all the time.
- Now, squeeze your shoulder blades together and raise your arms towards your shoulders. Then, lower your arms slowly.
- Next up, keep your palms facing up and then slowly press your arms back by hips. Lower your arms again. That completes one repetition.
- Perform at least 10 reps before switching sides.
9. Seated Dumbbell Clean
- Get a bench and sit on its edge. Get a pair of dumbbells and hold one in each hand.
- In this seated position, lean forward a little. You should not let your lower back lose its flatness at any point.
- Now, straighten your body in an explosive way while shrugging the weights at the same time. It will help you raise your arms. Use the momentum to flip your wrists and lift the weight to the shoulder level.
- Return to the starting position and repeat.
Few Important Things to Improve Your Gains
While it is true that isolation movements certainly help target a muscle, you need to include compound movements in your routine to double your gains. The same holds true when you want to build better arms. Many studies have confirmed that you will notice an improvement in the size and strength of your biceps and triceps when you spend more time using a squat rack. Moreover, there is also evidence that training your legs just before you use your dumbbells to train your arms may help create stronger and bigger biceps. It helps because heavy leg exercises are known for boosting your growth hormone and testosterone levels, which will help you put on more muscle mass in all parts of the body.
Keeping the same rule in mind, it also makes sense to include battle rope training in your routine even when your main goal is to build stronger arms. Yes, battle ropes work great for your upper body, but they can also work your back, abs, and glutes that increase testosterone and help improve gains. You can use movements like lunges, jumps, and squats to get better results. These compound movements will make you feel stronger as a whole and give your biceps and triceps the right kind of push so they have no other choice but grow.
The fact of the matter is that you can find more than enough exercises to include in your routine and start building your arms. Dumbbells are the best when it comes to building arms, but you should also be ready to incorporate some multi-joint, compound movements in your routine to double your gains. So, what are you waiting for? Get your workout clothes out, pick your workout headphones, and get ready to pump some iron to make those arms explode out of your v-neck t-shirt.