Get full access to Outside Learn, our online education hub featuring in-depth fitness and nutrition courses and more than 2,000 instructional videos when you sign up for Outside+.
Flat-Bench Dumbbell Press
Target Muscles: pectoralis major, anterior deltoid, triceps brachii
Set Up: Lie face up on a bench with your legs shoulder-width apart, feet flat on the floor. Hold a dumbbell in each hand and position your upper arms parallel to your shoulders with your wrists above your elbows.
Action: Without locking your elbows, press the weights upward until your arms are extended above your chest. Your lower back should maintain contact with the bench throughout the move, and your chin should never tuck into your chest. Pause for one count before slowly lowering the weights back to the starting position. Repeat.
Two-Arm Bent-Over Dumbbell Row
Target Muscles: latissimus dorsi, trapezius, biceps brachii
Set Up: Stand with your feet hip-width apart, grasping a dumbbell in each hand. Bend your knees slightly and lean forward at your waist until your torso is at a 45-degree angle. Extend your arms in front of you, palms facing each other, until you feel a stretch in your arms and upper back [A].
Action: Pull the dumbbells toward the sides of your torso [B]. Lower the weights back to the starting position, keeping the tight contraction in your arms and back by angling the dumbbells in front of your body. Repeat.
Seated Overhead Dumbbell Press
Target Muscles: anterior deltoids, triceps brachii
Set Up: Sit with your legs shoulder-width apart on the end of a bench, knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Hold a dumbbell in each hand and raise both weights directly above your elbows with your upper arms in line with your shoulders.
Action: Retract your shoulder blades as you press the dumbbells up, stopping short of the weights touching above your head. Pause before lowering the dumbbells in a controlled manner and returning to the starting position.
Alternating Dumbbell Curl
Target Muscles: biceps brachii
Set Up: Stand with your feet hip-width apart, legs straight but unlocked, holding a dumbbell in each hand. Position your arms alongside your body, palms facing forward [A].
Action: Keeping your upper arm tight to your side, bend your left elbow and raise the dumbbell toward your shoulder [B]. Pause, return to the start, then repeat with your right arm. When both weights have been raised and lowered, one rep is counted. Repeat.
Two-Arm Lying Triceps Extension
Target Muscles: triceps brachii (emphasis on the long head)
Set Up: Lie face up on a bench, knees bent with feet flat on the ground. Hold a dumbbell in each hand, palms facing each other, and raise your arms so that your wrists, elbows and shoulders are aligned but unlocked.
Action: Slowly bend your elbows to bring the dumbbells toward the sides of your head. Pause for a moment before extending from the elbows to straighten your arms.