Athlean-X’s Jeff Cavaliere breaks down essential bicep and tricep builders, no gym equipment required.
Continuing his comprehensive guide to home workouts that hit all the major muscle groups, Athlean-X expert Jeff Cavaliere C.S.C.S. just posted a video breaking down his top choices for moves that can keep those arm gains coming in quarantine, even without access to dumbbells, barbells, or cable machines.
Home Exercises for Biceps
You don’t need a weighted vest to attempt this exercise at home; simply load up a backpack with whatever’s handy to give it some weight, and put it on for 2 to 3 sets.
“The underhand supinated grip is going to target [the bicep] really well,” says Cavaliere, recommending that you add sufficient weight to “get you in that 6 to 8 rep range before failure.” This will vary, of course, depending on your level of progression.
Cavaliere explains that the bicep chinup recreates the motion of a bicep curl, achieving peak contraction on the long head of the muscle. He recommends taking this move to failure rather than using a prescribed rep range, to ensure that you’re training as hard as you can for your ability.
If you’re a beginner when it comes to this move, you can start by doing seated chinups, placing a bar across two tables or chairs and performing the move with the bottom half of your body on the floor.
This move, which places maximum tension on the biceps by minimizing the activation of the wrists and forearms, traditionally uses a single barbell—but you can just substitute that weighted backpack again, remembering to keep your hands open and facing upwards as they lift the straps.
Lip Buster Curls Into Negative Chin Hangs
Cavaliere demonstrates how you can fashion your own cable machine at home by attaching a couple of dog leashes to that weighted backpack, opening up a whole range of exercises you can do—including lip buster curls.
This move combines shoulder flexion and elbow supination to create really tight contraction in the bicep. After 12 to 15 reps (20 if you’re at a more advanced level), drop your improvised cables and jump back up onto the bar for a negative hang, an isometric exercise where you try to hold your position for as long as possible, and then elongate the negative eccentric contraction.
Home Exercises for Triceps
This exercise just requires two chairs. “Bend your knees, outward pressure on your hands, push down and out on the chairs so they don’t go anywhere, and you can do your dips just like this,” says Cavaliere. “The more upright you stay, the more you shift the focus away from your chest and more towards the triceps.”
If you’re a beginner, you can keep your feet touching the ground to keep some of the weight off during the assisted version of exercise. Conversely, if you want to make this move more difficult, put that backpack on for extra weight. Or, for a shoulder-friendly alternative, try close-grip pushups.
A popular exercise in the gym, the triceps pushdown can be completed using the same improvised cable machine setup as before.
“We can recreate the strength curve that we would have on a cable machine,” says Cavaliere, prescribing 2 to 3 sets of 10 to 12 reps.
Simply turn around and use the same straps for this move. “The tricep pushaway gives us a unique advantage to be able to get a unique stretch on the long head of the tricep,” says Cavaliere. “All I have to do is let the elbows drift high on the way up. Every time they drift up, I’m getting more of a stretch.”
Tricep Pushup Trio
“Advanced people are going to stay on their toes for the duration of this trio,” says Cavaliere. “The beginners are going to be able to drop down.”
Up first is the pancake pushup, which start with your elbows tucked beneath you and your forearms flat against the ground. “It’s like an isolated tricep pushdown, except this time done with your own bodyweight,” he says.
Then you go straight into the modified planche pushup, with your hands facing outwards from your body. This opens the arms up, allowing tight contraction of the tricep. (A slightly easier version of this move can be performed with your knees on the ground.)
Third and finally is the diamong cutter pushup, which is performed with your hands placed with your thumbs and forefingers touching in front of you to form a diamond shape. “This is the easiest version, but after doing those other two steps it becomes pretty difficult,” says Cavaliere.
Author: Philip Ellis
Source: Men’s Health: 8 Arm Day Exercises You Should Include in Your Home Workout