How to Do One Arm Dumbbell Extension Properly

One arm dumbbell extension is a great isolation exercise that targets mainly the triceps. It is referred to as an isolation exercise because the movement is generated from just one joint,which is the elbow joint.

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to do it:

  • Start with your feet shoulder-width apart and take a dumbbell in your left hand
  • Raise the dumbbell above your head. The grip should be such that the palm faces forward
  • Bend your elbows slightly. For added stability, wrap your right hand across your chest to hold your body in place
  • To begin the movement, bend the elbow and slowly bring the dumbbell behind the neck
  • Take it as far down as it can go without compromising your stability then bring it back up to the position you started with
  • Take care not to lock your elbow when you get to the top of the movement
  • Do as many reps as you wish then switch hands.

ONE ARM DUMBBELL EXTENSION MUSCLES WORKED

The primary muscle worked by this exercise is the triceps. This muscle is found at the back of your upper arm. The triceps has three heads, the long head, medial head and the lateral head.

These three heads are responsible for the forearm extension at the elbow joint.

 ONE ARM DUMBBELL EXTENSION BENEFITS

ARM STRENGTH

This exercise build the triceps and to a lesser degree, the biceps. These two muscles are very integral to arm strength. Working them also improves the shape and appearance of the arms.

If you are one for bulging muscles, this exercise is definitely you. While there many exercises that work multiple muscles in the arm  and upper body area, this exercise is special in it pays special attention to the triceps and builds it effectively.

STABILIZES SHOULDER AND ELBOW JOINTS

One good thing about having strong triceps is that the ripple effect of this strength is felt all the way to the shoulders and elbow joints.

Strong joints come in handy when moving in the course of your day, pushing heavy doors and lifting heavy items. The elbows and shoulders do not have to compensate when you are doing any of these things if the triceps are strong.

MOTOR ACTIVITIES

Do you sometimes feel strain on your arms and hands after writing. Or do you experience strain in the arms when you swim or do something as simple as throw a basketball? That’s it. Your triceps need some bit of work. Strong triceps not only improve fine motor skills, but also improve athletic performance.

AESTHETICS

But who does not appreciate fine looking arms? Strong triceps have this look to it, whether in a shirt or without it. Moreso, as you age, the muscle on this area tend to loosen up.

If you want to keep the appearance firm and defined, an exercise like this would be great.

SEATED ONE ARM DUMBELL EXTENSION

This exercise is very similar to one arm dumbbell extension. The main difference is that you will be seated instead of standing up. You can sit on a chair, balance ball or weight bench while lifting the dumbbell over the head.

One advantage this exercise has over the standing variation is that it is much easier to maintain good posture. The lower body is at rest and your hips are stable, thus, you do not have to worry about stability much. Tighten your core when doing this exercise still, as your torso will be aligned this way and it won’t take so much  to stabilize the upper body.

When doing the seated variation, it is much easier to do this exercise with two dumbbells. You just take one in either arm.

How to do this exercise:
  • Get yourself a ball or a bench, whichever you prefer, and sit on it with the feet shoulder-width apart
  • Tighten your core and make sure the back is straight
  • To begin the movement, bend the elbow and slowly bring the dumbbell behind the neck
  • Take it as far down as it can go without compromising your stability then bring it back up to the position you started with
  • Take care not to lock your elbow when you get to the top of the movement
  • Do as many reps as you wish then switch hands.

LYING TRICEPS EXTENSION

This exercise is also known as the skull crusher, and true to its name, one wrong move and you will be dealing with a crushed skull.
The difference between this exercise and the other two is that you do this one while lying down o n a flat surface.

Here is a step-by-step guide one how to do it

  • Lie on a mat or a weight bench
  • Hold the dumbbell with both hands and in from of  your chest
  • Bend the elbow and bring the weight towards the back of your head
  • Bring it back up and do as many reps as you wish

ONE ARM DUMBBELL EXTENSION MISTAKES TO AVOID

HEAD MOVEMENT

If you are new to this, the whole concept of bringing the dumbbells behind the head may seem alien, if not a little bit awkward.
But remember that this is an isolation exercise, as such, the movement should be confined to the elbow joint. Keep you head still and your neck aligned for best results.

 INCOMPLETE RANGE OF MOTION

As important as they are, triceps tend to be ignored when working out and as result, they tend to be weaker than other muscles of the body.
For this reason, most people tend to make up for this weakness by not bringing the dumbbell as low as it can go and not exploring the complete range of motion. Go for at least 90-degree bend of the elbow, just don’t hit your head while at it.

CONCLUSION

The one arm dumbbell extension is a good isolation exercise that works muscles that is often times very overlooked. Isolation exercises in general are great for correcting any existing imbalances.

For best results, start with warm ups before beginning this exercise.