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Biceps and Triceps

This intermediate/advanced workout targets the muscles of the biceps and triceps with tough, challenging exercises. Each series includes 4 exercises for each muscle group with a focus on strength, which means you'll be doing 10 reps per exercise.  Choose a heavy enough weight that you can ONLY complete 10 reps and be sure to use a spotter for safety as needed.  You can complete this workout in about 30-60 minutes, depending on how many sets you do.  This workout is great for both intermediate and advanced exercisers and works into a 3-day split with this Chest and Back Workout and this Legs and Shoulders Workout.

See your doctor before trying this workout if you have any injuries, illnesses or other conditions and modify any exercise that causes pain or discomfort.

Equipment Needed
A barbell, various weighted dumbbells, an exercise ball and a step or bench.

How To

  • Warm up with a few minutes of light cardio or the warm up exercise below
  • Complete the four exercises listed in each series, one after the other, resting briefly between exercises
  • Repeat each series once for a lighter workout, or 2-3 times for a more intense workout
  • To modify, use lighter weights, do fewer reps or reduce the number of exercises
Pyramid Tricep Press (Warm up)
tricepextension.jpg (92142 bytes) tricepextension2.jpg (99811 bytes)
Collect 4 dumbbells ranging from light-medium to heavy.  Sit on a ball or chair with the weights nearby and hold the lightest weight in both hands with arms extended overhead, elbows next to ears, arms straight. Bend the elbows and slowly lower weight behind you until elbows are at 90 degrees--keep the elbows in and right next to ears. Contract triceps and straighten elbows to beginning and continue with the following rep pattern:
Set 1:  Light-medium weight for 14 reps
Set 2:  Medium weight for 12 reps
Set 3:  Medium-heavy weight for 10 reps
Set 4:  Heavy weight for 8 reps
1.  Skull Crushers

Lie on a bench and hold a heavy barbell in a narrow grip (hands about shoulder-width apart). Begin with the bar straight up over the chest, palms facing out. Bend the elbows and lower the weight down towards the head, stopping when the elbows are at 90 degrees. Push the weight back up and repeat for 10 reps.  Be sure to use a spotter for safety if needed.
2.  Kickbacks

Hold heavy weights and bend forward to 45 degrees or parallel to the floor, elbows bent and next to ribcage. Contract triceps to straighten elbows, bringing weight up slightly above hips. Lower and repeat for 10 reps.
3.  Close Grip Bench Presses
Close Grip Bench Press
Lie on a bench or ball and hold a heavy barbell with hands shoulder-width apart, palms face out. Bend the elbows, keeping them close to the body, and lower them to just below the torso, bringing the bar to a hover over the ribcage. Contract the triceps to push the weights back up, keeping the weight centered over the torso. Repeat for 10 reps.  Be sure to use a spotter for safety if needed.
4.  One-Arm Triceps Extensions

Lie with your left side on the ball, lower leg down on the floor for balance and the right leg extended. Hold a medium-heavy weight in the right hand and extend the arm straight up toward the ceiling. Keeping the move slow and controlled, bend the elbow and lower the weight behind the head until the elbow is at 90 degrees. Squeeze the triceps to straighten the arm, without locking the elbow. Repeat for 10 reps on each side.
Repeat 3 Times
1.  Barbell Curls

Hold a heavy barbell with hands shoulder-width apart.  Contract the biceps to curl the weight towards the shoulder.  Lower back down and repeat for 10 reps.
2.  Concentration Curls

Sit on a step or bench and hold a heavy weight in the left arm, elbow propped on the inside of the left thigh.  Contract the bicep to pull weight towards the shoulder.  Lower and repeat for 10 reps before switching sides.
3. Seated Barbell Concentration Curls
Seated Concentration Curls Seated Concentration Curl
Sit in a chair or on a bench and hold a medium barbell with hands about shoulder-width apart.  Bend over, keeping the back flat and the abs engaged, propping the elbows on the inside of the thighs.  Beginning the move with the arms straight, curl the barbell up as high as you can (the range of motion will be small due to your position) and lower back down, repeating for 10 reps. 
4.  Preacher Curl
One-Arm Preacher Curl
Kneel on the floor with your body supported on the ball or a preacher bench and hold heavy weights in both hands with elbows positioned on the ball in front of you.  Contract the biceps to curl the weights towards the shoulder.  Lower back down, avoiding both hyperextension and keeping to much of a bend in the elbow, and repeat for 10 reps.
Repeat 3 Times
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