Saturday, June 18, 2016

Massive Arms for You, Part Five - Joe Weider (1956)

Dumbbell Exercises for the Triceps Muscle

1) Standing Dumbbell Press:
 - for developing triceps, shoulders and upper back at one time.

The standing two arm dumbbell press is an elementary triceps exercise. It gives power and size to the triceps and teaches that muscle to work in harmony with the shoulders and upper back, which is important if the triceps are to function efficiently in physical activity.

The most common method of procedure is to stand erect, a dumbbell held in each hand, weights at the shoulders, palms facing in. From this position, both dumbbells are pressed together to arms' length above the head. There is little or no body motion allowed and the arms, back and shoulders carry the full load. The weights are then lowered back to the shoulders and pressed above head again.

A variation of this exercise is to perform the pressing with the palms of the hands facing the front, instead of in. This throws a slightly different action on the triceps and it should be practiced from time to time.

A final variation, and it can be practiced with the palms facing in as well as out, is the start with the elbows pointed directly out to each side, the upper arms parallel with the ground. Then, the weights are pressed to arms' length from that position and lowered only until the elbows are again parallel to the ground. Once that position is reached the dumbbells are pressed to arms' length again. This variation restricts the action more completely to the triceps, for the shoulders do not come into as much play, and it also eliminated the slight rest period that is possible when holding the weights at the shoulders with elbows at the side, as the first version explained. The 'elbows out' version does possess unusual triceps developmental possibilities and it should not be neglected.

To cheat in any of these 'arms together' dumbbell pressing exercises, you use a bit of body motion to start the dumbbell on its ride up and you also bend back a bit to get past the sticking point of the exercise. Some bodybuilders cheat by lowering the dumbbells rather quickly and bouncing the elbows off the sides, getting a good start this way. But this is a rather dangerous practice since a dumbbell could easily strike the shoulder and cause physical damage. It is better to lower rather slowly and then, after the weights have come to a dead stop, cheat by body motion and a lean-back.

The alternate dumbbell press is another variety of this same general exercise, and because more weight can be handled in this than in the 'arms together' style, it often builds stronger, larger triceps. You start as in the regular two dumbbell press, but instead of pressing the dumbbells together you press only one above the head. As you lower this dumbbell you press the other to above the head and continue alternately pressing and lowering the dumbbells until you have completed the full number of repetitions with each arm.

The alternate dumbbell press can be performed with palms facing in, palms facing out, with elbows pointed out to the sides, parallel to the ground, or else in the standard version, starting with weights at the shoulders and elbows pressed down at the sides.

To cheat in the alternate dumbbell press you see-saw the body, bending at the waist to the opposite side of the arm that is pressing the weight. You can get a lot of rhythm and snap into the see-saw cheating style and handle really heavy weights.

Besides the 'arms together' and the 'alternate' versions of the dumbbell press, you can also perform it with one arm alone, taking a dumbbell in one hand and then performing your full number of presses with that arm. After a short rest you repeat the exercise with the opposite arm.

The palms in and palms out positions can be used, and you can also bend over to the opposite side when cheating in this exercise, permitting the use of tremendous poundages once you perfect your technique.

2) Seated Dumbbell Press:
 - for a more isolated triceps workout.

The standing dumbbell press and all its variations permit considerable body motion and flexibility of performance. And, while all champions perform some version of a standing press, often, to restrict the exercise action more locally to the triceps they do the exercise either seated on a flat exercise bench, or even seated on the floor.

The dumbbell are lifted to the shoulders, or else handed to you at the shoulders if you have two training partners to assist you, and then, while seated on a bench or on the floor you press the weight overhead. You can perform all the variations possible that are done standing with the seated style, but because it is harder to maintain balance and more difficult to cheat, you will not be able to use as heavy poundages. You will experience a more direct triceps action though, and therefore, you should not neglect the seated styles.

3) Standing Dumbbell Triceps Press:
 - a very direct action triceps exercise.

To start this exercise, press one dumbbell above your head. Hold the upper arm close to your ear and side of your face and lower the dumbbell behind the head. The elbow is raised high and the palm of the hand is facing front. Now, maintaining the elbow pointed high and the upper arm against the side of the head, extend the arm and lift the dumbbell to arm's length above the head. Lower and repeat, performing the full number of repetitions first with one arm and then with the other.

It is impractical to cheat in this exercise, for to do so would destroy some of its isolation action and lessen its benefit. Besides performing the exercise standing, it is equally effective when done seated.

4) Standing Two Arm One Dumbbell Triceps Press:
 - another isolation exercise, but one which also has a desirable pumping up effect.

While this exercise may appear to be merely a two arm version of the preceding one, in reality it produces a radically different effect. For, while it still incorporates all the good features of the one arm version, it also embodies a real pumping up and flushing feature which makes your triceps respond.

To perform the movement, place your hands under the plates at one end of a dumbbell. Raise the dumbbell with palms facing up, pressing against the plates, to arms' length above the head. Keep the upper arms close to the sides of the head, Now, keep the elbows pointed up and lower the dumbbell behind the head. Still keep the elbows pointed up and press the weight to arms' length above the head. Lower again and repeat.

Because the weight is evenly balanced between the two hands, it is possible to cheat in this exercise and from this cheating get the special pumping up benefit I mentioned. To cheat, you lower the weight rather quickly, but you keep it under control at all times. As it drops behind the head and the elbows are fully bent, if you lower the weight properly you will feel a slight bounce as soon as the weight is lowered fully behind the head. Use the tempo from this bounce to help you to raise the weight to arms' length again and you will be surprised at how much weight you will be able to handle. And, because you do the exercise more quickly and cheat in this manner, the triceps becomes very pumped up.

Besides the standing version you can also perform the seated style as explained in the one arm variety.

5) Flat Bench Dumbbell Press:
 - for triceps bulk and power.

Lie on a flat exercise bench and hold a dumbbell in each hand, weights at the shoulders, palms facing each other and elbows well down. Press the weights together to arms' length above the chest and then lower and repeat. Besides the palms facing each other position, you can also perform this exercise with the palms facing to the front, or towards the feet.

You can also perform the same exercise starting with the elbows pointed directly out to the sides, upper arms parallel to the ground and then press to arms' length with palms either facing each other or else to the front. You lower only until upper arms are parallel to the ground and no lower, and you keep the elbows pointed out at all times.

To cheat in the various styles of this exercise you lower the weight rather quickly and tense the upper back muscles, which will form a muscular shelf from which you can bounce the weights up and give them a start. You can also employ a bit of body motion, raising the upper body slightly off the exercise bench to give the weights a start, or else arching the body on the feet and upper back, depending on which cheating style suits you best and permits you to use more weight.

While some bodybuilders perform this exercise in an alternate style and some even practice it one arm at a time, experience has indicated to me that both these versions are impractical, since the weight seems to pull the body off balance and in this way limits the amount of weight that can be used. You can try either style if you want, and if you feel a direct triceps action from either or both, then include them from time to time in your triceps training.

If the bodybuilder does not have access to either a flat exercise bench or an incline bench, he can still perform most of the lying exercises directly on the floor, merely placing a cushion under his upper back to permit exercise freedom and range of motion somewhat. However, exercising on the floor does limit muscular action to a large extent and should only be used as an emergency measure until a flat and incline bench can be obtained.

6) Flat Bench Triceps Curl:
 - a direct-action triceps exercise.

Lie on a flat exercise bench and hold a dumbbell in each hand, weight raised to arms' length above the face. The palms of the hands should be facing each other. Now, while keeping the elbows pointed high, lower the weights together, behind the head. Raise the weight to the starting position, still keeping the elbows raised high, and repeat.

You can also perform this exercise with the palms facing the front instead of towards each other. And it can be performed on an incline bench as well as the flat bench. Since this is a very direct-action triceps exercise, cheating is impractical and the exercise should always be performed in good form

7) Flat Bench Triceps Curl with One Dumbbell in Two Hands:
 - another direct-action triceps exercise, but one which permits cheating and therefore more flushing of the triceps.

Lie on a flat exercise bench and raise a dumbbell above the head, holding it with both hands cupped under the plates, the same as in the standing two hands one dumbbell triceps press. Lower the weight behind the head and then press again to arms' length above the face. Note that the elbows are pointed directly up and that the upper arms are close to the sides of the face.

To cheat in this exercise you lower the weight rather quickly and when it reaches its lowest point with elbows fully bent, you will be able to obtain a bit of a muscle bounce which will help you to perform repetitions with heavier weights.

Besides the flat bench version of this exercise it can also be performed on an incline bench.

8) Bob Shealy Dumbbell Triceps Kick-Back:
 - a very severe triceps contracting exercise.

Start with dumbbells behind the head while lying on a flat bench. Now, shoot both dumbbells back to straight arms, draw the dumbbells to the starting position, and repeat. This exercise can be performed with palms facing each other, palms facing up, and palms facing down, and each variation develops the triceps from a slightly different angle. To cheat in this exercise perform the exercise rather quickly and arch up onto the shoulders to give you greater power.

9) Rear Extension Triceps Exercise:
 - to give tremendous definition to triceps muscle.

Bend forward while standing and hold a dumbbell in one arm, weight raised close to the chest and elbow pulled well back. The palm of the hand is facing the front. Now, without altering the position of the upper arm, extend the dumbbell to the rear, to arms' length behind the body and mentally contract the triceps while doing so. Bend at the elbow and return the dumbbell to the starting position again and repeat. Perform the same number of repetitions with each arm.

Besides the palm front position this exercise can also be done with the palm facing the body and also facing the rear. While the single arm version as explained above is preferred by most bodybuilders, it is practical to perform this same exercise with both arms together, holding a dumbbell in the starting position in each hand and then simultaneously extending them to the rear.

To cheat in this exercise you use a bit of body motion and swing the weights back to the locked postion and this permits the use of heavier weights.

There is another version of this same exercise which some bodybuilders like. It can only be performed in the arms together style and here is how it is done. The bent over body position is the same, and the dumbbells are both raised up close to the chest. However, instead of the elbows being pointed to the rear, they are pointed directly out to the sides. The weights are then extended to the sides, instead of back. You can perform this exercise with palms facing each other as well as palms facing the rear.

A final, and slightly different version of this extension exercise, one which often proves very effective is performed as follows. Bend forward from the waist, just as in the regular style which has been explained. Grasp a dumbbell in each hand, but permit the weights to hang at full stretch toward the floor. The position you are to assume is similar to the start of the two arm dumbbell row. Now, keeping the elbows absolutely stiff, raise the weights together to the rear and up as far as possible. You can perform this exercise with palms facing front, towards each other, or to the rear. To cheat, you swing the bells slightly at the start of the exercise to give them momentum.

10) Lying Face Down Flat Bench Extension Exercise:
 - a general summary of how extension exercises can be performed lying face down on a flat bench.

The majority of standing triceps extension exercises can be performed while lying face down on a flat exercise bench. In the flat bench bent arm rear extension you start with the weights pulled up toward the chest and elbows raised high. You then extend the dumbbells back to arms' length, tensing the triceps while doing so. To save space I will not go into detail explaining all the varieties possible, for you can personally test all those already explained for the standing, bent over version, and those which seem to work effectively for you can be included from time to time in your workouts.

And what is true of the flat exercise bench is true also of the incline bench. You rest your body, face forward on an incline bench and then perform the various types of triceps extension movements.

11) Bent Forward Dumbbell KickBack:
 - for real power and contractile triceps strength.

Bend forward and hold a dumbbell in each hand, palms facing the body, weights resting on the lower back hip area. Now, quickly kick back the dumbbells to straight arms to the rear of the body. Draw the dumbbells back to the starting position and repeat.

To cheat in this exercise, bend forward more than at right angles with the ground and you will be able to handle heavier poundages.

Besides the palms facing the body version, you can also perform the exercise with palms facing each other, and palms facing the rear.

12) One Dumbbell Jerk:
 - for tremendous triceps power.

Raise one dumbbell to the shoulder, and rest the lifting arm elbow on the hip, palm of the hand facing the shoulder. Now bend the knees slightly and then straighten them quickly and while doing so shove the weight above the head to arm's length.

Use both hands to lower the weight to the shoulder again and repeat. Perform this exercise with each hand, trying to use the same weight and to perform the same number of repetitions with each. Do not worry about lifting technique. Merely jerk the weight to arm's length in whatever style suits you best. Just as long as you jerk more than you can press, you will be obtaining benefit from the movement.

Besides the one arm at a time version, you can also jerk two dumbbells above the head at the same time. However, you should have two assistants to help you raise the weights to the shoulders and to also watch you in the event that you lose control of the weights either when jerking above the head or lowering back to the shoulders.

The only way you can cheat in this exercise is to put more power into your jerk. The more you perfect the jerk and learn how to coordinate your leg power with your arms. the more weight you will be able to handle in either the one arm or two arm styles.

13) Dumbbell Pressout:
 - for great ligament power and lockout strength.

This exercise is very similar to the barbell version which was explained in the section devoted to barbell triceps exercises. To perform it, you raise two heavy dumbbells to the shoulders and jerk them above the head. You now lower the weights only a few inches, then press the weights to arms' length again and once more lower only a few inches and then press out again. You may need two assistants to help you to get the weights to arms' length above the head as you progress in this exercise, for soon you will be able to lower very heavy weights a few inches and lock them out again; more weight than you will be able to lift unassisted to arms' length above the head.

To cheat in this exercise set your body well back, bending at the lower back, and this will give you a secure support, and permit the handling of heavier poundages.

14) Lying Side Press:
 - for working the triceps and latissimus dorsi muscles together.

Lie on your side on a flat bench, propped up on one elbow, holding a dumbbell in the other hand at the shoulder. The palm of your hand is facing in, or towards your body. Now, press the weight to arm's length above the body. Lower to the starting position and repeat. Because of the body placement and the manner in which the weight is pressed to arm's length, little or no cheating is possible. You must perform the exercise in good style or else you will lose control of the weight which should of course be avoided. Naturally, you will perform the exercise with each arm.

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