Arm exercise: Work your biceps and triceps

By: Maureen Hagan

Author: Canadian Living


Arm exercise: Work your biceps and triceps

By: Maureen Hagan
Alternating press and curl
Why it is great

Two exercises in one target the back (triceps) as well as the front (biceps) of the upper arms, building strength and reducing sag. This exercise also works all the other upper-arm muscles – including the biceps at the shoulders, unlike traditional biceps curls. To make the most of this alternating curl and press, add resistance: use a pair of dumbbells – from three to eight pounds (1.5 to 2.5 kilograms) each – or two 1-litre bottles of water.

Starting position

• Stand with feet hip-width apart and knees slightly bent; keeping elbows bent, hold a dumbbell in each hand in front of your shoulders with palms turned in, thumbs up (A). Keep palms facing in throughout the exercise. To guarantee proper technique, you can perform this exercise while standing against a wall.

• Press the left weight overhead as you slowly lower the right weight down alongside your thigh (B).
• As you lower the left weight down to starting position, curl the right weight up to starting position and pause.
• Repeat the action pressing up with the right and lowering with the left.
• Exhale as you press, inhale as you lower overhead weight to starting position.
• Do one to three sets of eight to 15 repetitions, alternating sides; use enough weight so that you feel your efforts after the first set. Rest for 30 seconds and repeat.

What not to do
Don’t swing your arms as you curl and lower the dumbbell.
Don’t lock your elbows when you press overhead.

Muscles worked
• Biceps
• Triceps
• Anterior deltoid
• Biceps brachialis
• Brachioradialis

Maureen’s tip
Don’t be afraid to lift weights and build muscle; using the weights I suggest will not make you look bulky. You can gain muscles and still have lean, slightly sculpted arms.

Read more:
7 ways to blast arm fat
10 ways to sneak exercise into your day
Practical weight loss strategies

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Arm exercise: Work your biceps and triceps