With that, here’s all the info you need on an awesome back and biceps workout with dumbbells that you’ll definitely want to slot into your workout plan. Let’s get to it!

The Workout

What you need: Two sets of dumbbells, including one light set (about 5 to 15 pounds) for the rear delt raise and the reverse fly, and one light to medium set (about 8 to 20 pounds) for the hammer curl, bent-over row, and renegade row. Of course, scale the weights up or down as needed based on your current strength level.

Exercises

  • Eccentric Hammer Curl
  • Single-Arm Row
  • Quadruped Single-Arm Rear Delt Raise
  • Renegade Row
  • Reverse Fly

Directions

  • Do 10–12 reps of each exercise. For the single-arm bent-over row and the quadruped single-arm rear delt raise, do 10–12 reps per side.
  • Move from one exercise to the next without much rest, though definitely take a longer break if you feel like you can’t maintain proper form or you’re unable to catch your breath.
  • After you’ve completed all five exercises, rest for 60 seconds, then repeat for 2 to 4 rounds total.

Demoing the moves below are Nathalie Huerta (GIF 1), coach at the Queer Gym in Oakland, California; Jamie Song (GIF 2), NASM-certified personal trainer based in New York City; Lanoa Curry (GIF 3), a group fitness instructor in NYC who teaches classes at Mile High Run Club and Crunch Gym; Amanda Wheeler (GIF 4), host of the Covering Ground podcast; and Tray Drew (GIF 5), MPH, owner/operator of Body By Tray

Eccentric Hammer Curl

  • Hold a medium dumbbell in each hand, arms relaxed by your sides, and palms facing each other in neutral grip.
  • Curl the weights to your shoulders.
  • Bend your elbow to slowly lower the weight back down over the course of about 3 counts. This is 1 rep.
  • Do 10–12 reps.

Dumbbell curls, in some form or another, are pretty much a must in any arm workout—they’re one of the best biceps exercises out there. The hammer curl, which uses a hammer grip (palms facing in), puts your shoulders and wrists in a neutral position, making the range of motion a little easier than the traditional curl, which uses a supinated or underhand grip, says Jamison. The move targets your forearms and biceps, and the eccentric tempo (meaning, you slow your pace as you lower the weights back down) delivers an added challenge. As you perform reps, try not to hyperextend or overarch your upper back, says Jamison. If you feel that, your weight is likely too heavy, in which case you should opt for lighter dumbbells, she advises.

Last Updated on September 25, 2023 by shalw

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