8 Tricep And Bicep Exercises You Can Do At Home
Don’t you just love arms that are sculpted and well defined? I know I do. Did you know that your triceps comprise about two-thirds of your upper arm. That’s pretty significant, and underscores the importance of paying attention to this important muscle. Then there’s those awesome bicep muscles that make your arms look so darn fabulous! Muscles don’t increase in strength on their own so we need to do targeted exercises to keep them in tip-top shape. Below are 8 tricep and bicep exercises you can do at home to make sure your arms look terrific. Let’s get started!
Toned arms are visually appealing, and we all want them, but having strong arms isn’t just about aesthetics. They make performing daily tasks easier and more efficient, and also prevent injuries.
Benefits To Working Out At Home
Many people love working out at the gym. It keeps them motivated and accountable, and they love the sociability it provides. I, on the other hand, really enjoy working out from home. I find it more time and cost effective, and in my opinion, this inexpensive option offers many advantages:
- Working out at home is both time and cost effective as no travel is involved, and you save money on gas.
- There’s no need to look presentable in the comfort of your own home – this is a time saver as well!
- No one is around so you don’t need to feel self-conscious, especially if you don’t like how you look.
- Other people can be distracting. When working out at home, this element is eliminated.
- You won’t have to worry about being exposed to germs, especially in the winter.
- You can listen to what you want, and have it as loud as you want, without worrying about bothering others.
Why You Should Lift Weights
Lifting weights offers many advantages. Improved body composition is among the top reasons to lift weights consistently. This increases self-esteem, and the confidence that goes along with it. Other benefits include:
- Builds strength, which reduces the risk of injury while performing daily tasks.
- Reduces cardiovascular and diabetes risk.
- Boosts immunity while reducing anxiety and stress.
- Increases human growth hormone and testosterone.
- Improves bone density, decreasing the risk of osteoporosis.
- Increases range of motion and flexibility, two measures of aging.
- Stronger muscles lead to better balance. This is, particularly, important as we age.
- Better posture, which is essential for the nervous system to function properly.
Exercise Your Triceps
Make sure to exercise both your triceps and biceps, as they antagonize each other, meaning they have opposing actions on the joints they move. You want them equally strong to achieve optimal balance and symmetry. Consistency is key when building strong tricep and bicep muscles. Make a commitment to perform these exercises at least two times per week.
Really focus on the quality of the movement. The amount of weight to use depends on your individual degree of fitness, and whether you’re a man or a woman. Men will, obviously, require a heavier load. If you’re a beginner, start with a lower weight, and gradually increase as your fitness improves.
The 8 Exercises
Exercise #1: Tricep Dips – You’ll need a sturdy chair or bench for this exercise. With your palms facing down, place them on the edge of the chair with your knees bent, and your feet on the floor. Your hands should be hip-width apart. Keeping your back close to the edge of the chair, slowly lower your body towards the floor. Now push up with your arms to your original position. Begin by doing 12 repetitions. Repeat this three times.
Exercise #2: Tricep Extensions – Choose weights or bands that you can comfortably lift above your head, and lower without losing your form or injuring yourself. Men can do this exercise using heavy weights. As a woman, I prefer using bands instead. Focus on keeping your core tight, and your elbows fairly close to your ears. Slowly raise and lower the bands or weights by bending your elbows. Do approximately 12 repetitions, repeated three times.
Alternatively, this exercise can be done lying down, which is called the lying dumbbell tricep extension. You’ll need a bench where your arms can hang over.
Exercise #3 Single-Arm Dumbbell Shoulder Press – This exercise is effective at increasing shoulder strength and stability. Perform this exercise one arm at a time. Begin by bringing a dumbbell to shoulder height with your elbow bent, and your palm facing towards your chest. Your feet should be shoulder-width apart. Lift the weight above your head until your elbow is straight. Slowly lower the weight to the beginning position. Engage your core while keeping your back straight. Repeat. Strive for three sets of 12 repetitions.
As a variation, instead of performing this exercise with one arm, you can alternate arms. This is called the alternating dumbbell shoulder press.
Exercise #4: Tricep Kickbacks – This exercise is awesome for creating sculpted arms, and to combat sagging of the upper arm that is so unsightly. Begin by placing your feet a few inches apart. Engage your core, and sit back into a slight squat. Your arms should be bent at a 90-degree angle with the dumbbells or bands on either side of your chest. Press the weights or bands past your hips, and close to your body. Repeat. This exercise also works the shoulders and quads. Aim for three sets of 12 reps.
Build Up Your Biceps
These exercises can be done using both arms, or if you prefer, you can alternate arms. All exercises should be carefully controlled to avoid injury. Always exercise smart!
Exercise #1: Bicep Curls – What would a bicep workout be without bicep curls? These can be done standing or sitting. Pay attention to your form, and control your movements so they aren’t jerky. Keep your elbows at your side, and bring the weights slowly to your chest. Choose a weight you can comfortably lift for at least 8-12 repetitions. Perform three sets, while breathing deeply. This exercise doesn’t have to be done with weights. Any heavy object will do.
Exercise #2: Hammer Curls – Hammer curls are similar to bicep curls, but the hand position is different. Your palms should be facing each other. Focus on keeping your back and neck straight and relaxed. The motion should be fluid – don’t swing the weights or arch your back. This type of curl is great for developing your forearms.
Exercise #3: Kitchen Counter Curls – All you need for this exercise is a countertop. With your palms facing up and shoulder-width apart, place them underneath the counter. With the heel of your hand, press up for 30 seconds, while squeezing and contracting your biceps. This exercise mimics a barbell curl. Repeat until your muscles are fatigued.
Exercise #4: Push Ups – I love this exercise because it targets both the biceps and triceps, and is a variation on traditional push ups. Instead of keeping your hands shoulder-width apart, you’re going to bring them in and out. Place your hands a few inches out from your shoulders. Do a push up. Now, bring your hands in while hugging your elbows close to your side. Do another push up. Repeat this sequence, while engaging your core. If this is too difficult, place your knees on the floor instead. For an added variation, when you bring your hands in, have your fingertips facing each other. Your elbows will be facing outwards instead of at your side.
My Final Thoughts
If you’re looking for a solution to boost your fitness, reduce cardiovascular risk, prevent diabetes, while saving time and money, consider lifting weights at home. It doesn’t take much time, and the rewards will more than make up for the investment in time and energy. These eight exercises can be performed in the comfort of your own home two or three times weekly.
How do you keep your triceps and biceps toned? Do you have a favorite exercise that I left out? Please share your suggestions and comments below.