Grab some dumbbells for stronger arms
You love to weight train but you can’t really see the point of training your arms. Bicep curls are for guys, right? Well, maybe not. Training your arms with isolated movements improves muscle tone and improves strength. Considering so many of our fave exercises use our arms (think rows, presses, even plank holds) strengthening our arms will only help these movements.
These three exercises are super-effective and isolate your biceps and triceps for stronger, more shapely arms.
The skull crusher isolates your triceps to improve muscle tone and make your “pushing” movements stronger (think chest press and push ups).
Choose a pair of 2-6kg dumbbells. Start by lying back on the ground or on a bench with a neutral spine. Hold the dumbbells directly above your shoulders. Bending from the elbow, allow the dumbbell to travel down to your shoulder before pressing back to the top.
The movement comes from the elbow, ensure your upper arm stays still.
The French press is a tricep exercise that works the muscle from a different angle. As the name suggests, the triceps are made up of three muscles and the french press works the long head (i.e. the biggest part of the muscle).
Keep your upper arm still as you hinge the weight back behind your head from the elbow. As you bring the weight back up, don’t lock out your elbow but keep it soft. Use a 4-10kg dumbbell for this exercise.
Keep your shoulders down and relaxed through this move.
This bicep curl is a little different from the classic move. By rotating your forearm as you raise the dumbbells you shorten your biceps, which activates some additional muscle fibers. Squeezing for a second at the top of the movement lengthens the time under tension for a more difficult challenge.
Start with the dumbbells by your sides, held parallel to your body. As you curl them up twist your forearms and wrists so that your closed palm faces upwards and the dumbbells are held length ways. As you lower the weight do the reverse, twist your forearms so that the dumbbells rest beside you parallel.
Don’t swing through your body as you curl, if you can’t keep your upper arms still use a lighter weight.
Beginners: 10 skull crushers, 15 french presses, 10 bicep curls. Three rounds.
A little harder: 12 skull crushers, 15 french presses, 12 bicep curls. Four rounds.
Really tough: 15 skull crushers, 20 french presses, 15 bicep curls. Four rounds.
Fitness Playground is not your typical gym. With equipment and classes you can’t find anywhere else, plus all the bits of a traditional gym that you need for you best workout yet, it’s not your usual fitness space. Go see what all the fuss is about and workout in a playground.