Proportion and symmetry are the two most important features of a perfectly toned body and bodybuilding will remain incomplete without achieving the perfectly toned and ripped arms through weight training. Dumbbells and kettlebells are two most popular kinds of free weights that are used widely in strength training and the exercises using these weights not only promote the growth of lean muscle mass, but also help in boosting the strength and conditioning of the muscles.
Importance of Strength Training
Arm strength is important for both men and women because, it allows one to do i=just about any task one wants to do without asking for nay one’s help. Basic arm exercises make the daily activities easier, while strength training using free weights tones the muscles, increases lean muscle mass and protects the bones.
- Build Muscles and protect the bones – The best way to enhance the quantity of lean muscle mass in the body is through strength training sing free weights. Free weights are the perfect equipment for isolation exercises that are most effective for bodybuilding. Strength training also helps in enhancing bone density and bone strength.
- Promotes Weight Loss – Strength training is not only useful for muscle building, but also for weight loss because it promotes the calorie burning mechanism of the body so that you can have a lean, chiseled
- Increases Strength – Strength training tones the muscles of the body through resistance and contraction and the isotonic strength training moves using free weights enhances power, strength and stamina.
- Boost the Energy Level – Intense strength training increases the level of endorphins produced by the brain that helps you feel relaxed. The endorphins reduce stress and depression so that you remain in a good mood and even sleep better.
- Better Body Mechanics – Strength training can also help you look great by correcting posture, improving balance and coordination. Strength training also enhances flexibility and agility which reduces the risk of injury caused by falls.
5 Best Dumbbell Exercises for Ripped Biceps and Triceps
Dumbbell exercises are the best way to work the major muscle groups of the arm. The exercises with free weights not only increase muscle mass and strength, but also help in enhancing overall fitness and athletic performance.
Hammer curls are one of the best dumbbell exercises to get ripped forearms. It is an auxiliary arm workout that targets particularly the outer head of the biceps, forearms brachioradialis, shoulders and traps. What makes the hammer curl different from standard dumbbell curl is the neutral wrist angle that reduces stress and fatigue of the arms. The appropriate angle of the hammer curl targets both sections of the forearms which makes it a well-rounded arms workout to develop solid muscles.
Hold two dumbbells of equal weight in both arms; stand tall with your arms on your sides and chest pushed out slightly. Hold the dumbbells in such a way that the knuckles face away from the body and the thumb leads the motion of the hand. Now, contract the biceps and raise the dumbbell upward till the biceps are fully contracted and at shoulder level. Hold the stance for a few seconds and inhale and slowly lower the dumbbell to the starting position. Repeat 15 to 30 times with both hands.
Decline Seated Bicep Curls
The decline seated biceps curl is a killer arm exercise with dumbbells that promotes fast growth of the muscles. This move with the dumbbells completely activates the biceps brachii. Adjust the bench to a 45-degree incline angle and seat on the bench. Hold two equal-weight dumbbells with both hands and extend them freely at your sides.
Keep the elbows close to the body and slowly curl your right arm to bring the dumbbell towards your shoulder and let the biceps contract fully, hold on for a few moments and then slowly lower the dumbbell to your sides. Repeat the same with the other arm. Do 15 to 30 repetitions with both arms.
Overhead Triceps Extensions
The overhead triceps extension is one of the best dumbbell exercises that help in increasing strength and muscle mass. It is an effective isolation exercise that targets just one joint. It works specifically the long head of the triceps muscle that runs the back of the arm starting at the shoulder and ending at the elbow. This move also strengthens the wrists and makes it more flexible. You can do this workout in gym either standing or sitting on a bench that is elevated at an angle of 45 degrees.
Stand upright with your feet placed shoulder width apart. Hold a dumbbell directly over your head with your arm extended. Now slowly fold the elbow and lower the dumbbell down behind your head and again raise it back to the starting position. Repeat it 15 to 30 times with both arms.
The French Press is an effective arm workout that is often included in home gym exercises because it can be performed standing, seated or by lying down on a bench. It targets the triceps muscles and also strengthens the biceps, elbow and shoulder.
Lie down on a bench holding two dumbbells right above your chest, palms facing inward. Now, lock the shoulders and fold the elbows to raise the dumbbells up to the side of the head and returning back to the starting position. Repeat the move 15 to 30 times at a slow pace.
Concentration curls are the best isolation exercise with dumbbells that concentrates on the biceps and works specifically the lateral head of the biceps brachii and outer biceps or brachialis. The concentration curl forces the biceps to work harder because the upper arm is rested on the inner thigh that prevents the use of momentum to curl the dumbbell.
Sit on the edge of a bench and hold a dumbbell of suitable weight in your right hand. Now, rest the upper arm of the right hand against the right inner thigh. Engage your abdominal muscles and curl the dumbbell towards your chest while keeping the back straight. Slowly lower the dumbbell back to the starting position. Repeat 20 to 30 times with your right hand and then switch arms.
5 Best Kettlebell Exercises for Explosive Power and Muscle Building
This cannon ball shaped fitness equipments are the best way to fire up the muscles of the arms and the abdomen. The moves with kettlebell tones the muscles and speeds up the calorie burning process.
Russian Kettlebell Swing
The Russian style kettlebell swing is one of the most effective kettlebell exercises that help in correcting the form and working out the muscles of the shoulders, hips, legs, glutes and back. This workout is a combination of cardiovascular conditioning and strength training that enhances efficiency of movement. Stand straight with your feet placed a bit more than hip width apart. Hold the handle of the kettlebell with both hands and place it in front of the body, with palms facing towards the body.
Now, lower the body slightly by bending the knees and pushing back the hips. Then swing the kettlebell up in a swift motion by pushing back the hips and keeping your abdominal muscles engaged. Lower down the weight and come back to the starting position. Repeat this move 15 to 20 times at a stretch.
The Turkish Get-Up
The Turkish Get-up is a slow and conditioned movement that makes it the perfect kettlebell workout to work the entire body. This move helps in enhancing stability, strengthening the abdominal muscles, activating a large group of muscles and integrating the entire body. Lie down flat on the floor and hold the kettlebell with the right arm keeping it straight.
Bend the right leg from the knee and place out the left arm at 45-degree angle. Sit up slowly and push your hips up in the air, bring the left leg to a half kneeling position. Stand up straight and look forward. Lie down again and repeat it by holding the kettlebell with the other hand.
Working out with kettlebells is incomplete without including The Clean in the list of kettlebell exercises. It is an explosive weight training exercise that helps in total body conditioning and enhanced strength. It improves the leg drive that is essential in a wide range of sports such as gymnastics, sprinting and basketball. This movement channelizes the energy from the lower body to the upper body.
Place a kettlebell between your feet. Stand with your feet placed a bit more than hip width apart. As you bend down to lift the kettlebell with your right hand, push your hip backward. Now clean the kettlebell to your shoulder by extending your legs and hips. Now place back the kettlebell to the ground and return to the starting position.
The Snatch is a multi-jointed and functional kettlebell workout that works almost all the major muscle groups. It is an amazing cardio exercise as well that pumps up the heart rate and speeds up the fat burning mechanism of the body. Stand with your hips placed slightly more than hip width apart grabbing a kettlebell in your right hand, palm facing the body and the left hand stretched on the side.
Now bend down to swing the kettlebell between your legs and then swing it upward right overhead by raising the right arm straight over your head. Now, bring back the weight to the starting position with a controlled motion. Immediately begin the next repetition. Repeat the move 15 to 30 times with both arms.
The Goblet Squat
Squat is a fundamental part of various forms of exercises and squatting with a weight is even more effective to tone and strengthen the muscles of the legs. The goblet squat is a total body exercise that helps in increasing mobility and conditioning. Stand with your feet placed hip-width apart holding a kettlebell with both hands close to your chest.
Now, squat down with the kettlebell till the hamstrings are over the calves. Hold your chest and head high and keep your back straight at all times. Pause in this squatting position for a few seconds and push yourself up to the starting position. Continue for 20 to 30 repetitions.
The essence of bodybuilding is having ripped arms and solid biceps and triceps which you can develop effectively with these 10 power-packed dumbbell and kettlebell exercises.