How To Do The Lying Dumbbell Extension Properly

With just a bench and dumbbell, anyone can perform the lying dumbbell extension including you. This is a perfect muscle-building exercise if you’re looking to work those triceps.

Grab a dumbbell of reasonable weight so as not to injure yourself during this exercise. You can use one or two hands during this workout depending on your comfort and experience.

  • Lay flat on a bench with your feet planted on the ground.
  • Your shoulder plates should stay back and your butt should remain on the bench throughout.
  • Hold the dumbbell with your thumb locked around the dumbbell
  • Extend your arm and slowly raise your dumbbell directly above your shoulder while squeezing the triceps
  • Your upper arm should remain still through this exercise
  • Lower your dumbbells until they are at ear level then slowly raise your dumbbell again
  • You can steady one arm with the other by gripping your upper arm in case you feel a slight strain
  • You can do eight reps to start but remember to switch arms in case you do a single-arm extension

MUSCLES WORKED BY THE LYING DUMBBELL EXTENSION

TRICEPS

The triceps brachii is a three-headed muscle of the arm that is made of the medial, lateral, and long head. It’s found at the back of the upper arm and rises from the shoulder blade.

Despite being crucial to the extension of the elbow joint and adduction of the arm, the does not receive enough attention which is why this workout is so important.

DELTOID

This is a triangular muscle found in the shoulder that gives the shoulder its round structure. This muscle spans the clavicle, acromion and scapula.

Its functions include flexion, abduction and extension of the arm at the shoulder.

THE PECS

The pectoralis major and pectoralis minor (commonly known as the pecs) are the muscles found in the thoracic area of your body.

These convergent muscles make up a large part of the chest. Movement of the shoulder is made possible through these muscles.

More specifically, their functions include rotation, adduction and flexion of the humerus.

BENEFITS OF THE LYING DUMBBELL EXTENSION

STRENGTHENS MUSCLES

The triceps are the main muscle engaged in the lying dumbbell extension.

Although the triceps make up a large part of your arm tissue, most people choose to focus their work outs on the biceps.

This exercise, luckily, will help build that muscle to give you a sculpted and well-toned upper body.

STABILIZES SHOULDER JOINT

Keeping proper posture as you do the lying dumbbell extension allows you to snap your shoulder muscles into the right position and strengthen those muscles.

This stabilizes the shoulder joint and makes you less probe to injury.

INCREASES RANGE OF MOTION

The lying dumbbell extension allows you to target the shoulder and elbow which are responsible for abduction and rotation of the arm.

This work out, therefore, increases your range of motion in these joints and lowers your risk of injury.

IMPROVES FLEXIBILITY OF THE ARMS

Strong stable triceps, joints and shoulder muscles will help you move your arm comfortably throughout the day.

ALTERNATIVES TO THE LYING DUMBBELL EXTENSION

CABLE LYING TRICEP EXTENSION

The cable lying tricep extension is a slight variation to the lying dumbbell extension which makes use of a cable pulley machine

  • Lay flat on your back on a bench in front of a low pulley machine
  • Feet planted on the ground, grab the bar handle with an overhand grip and extend your arms straight over your head until your hands are aligned with your shoulders
  • Bring back the cable to the back of your head and repeat
  • Your torso should not move and your hips should stay on the bench at all times

BENCH DIPS

With only a bench, whether a gym bench or a regular one, you can perform this simple work out.

  • Sit on a bench with your hands beside your thighs
  • Walk your legs forward until your butt comes off the bench
  • Bending your elbows, lower your weight towards the ground
  • Straighten your arms and bring your arms to bring your body up and repeat
  • Keep your legs straight to prevent holding your weight on your feet

JM PRESS

This is a hybrid between the triceps extension and the close grip bench press

  • Lay on your back on a bench with the racked bar behind your head
  • Grip the barbell at shoulder width and raise your hands, extending your arms straight
  • The bar should be directly under your wrists
  • Hinge at the elbow as you lower the bar straight down
  • Raise the bar again when your forearms become parallel to the ground

COMMON MISTAKES WHEN DOING THE LYING DUMBBELL EXTENSION

MOVING THE UPPER ARM

The upper arm should stay still during this workout and the arm should hinge at the elbow. Keeping the upper arm still targets the triceps which are the primary muscle group engaged in this workout.

Moving the upper arm takes away from this. Instead, you can steady the arm that is raising the dumbbell using your hand.

USING GRAVITY TO LOWER THE DUMBBELL

Not only do you risk hitting your face with the dumbbells by pulling off this stunt, but you also lose out on the benefits of this exercise.

This is because your triceps will not be fully engaged. Keep your movements controlled so you feel the exercise all through your arm.

EXTENDING THE ELBOWS OUTWARDS

Moving the elbows and positioning them too wide may make the lying dumbbell extension easier but it fails to fully work the triceps.

This position is usually a way to engage the back muscles and reduce the effort put into the muscles that are actually targeted.

Rather than that, keep your elbows and hands vertically above your shoulders with your arm straight. Then only hinge at the elbow when lowering your dumbbell.

TOO HEAVY OF A WEIGHT

You may feel quite confident at the beginning of your workout, especially if you have done a good amount of bicep exercises however, do not overwhelm yourself.

You would rather do more reps with a lighter weight than strain to complete even five. Not to mention you risk injuring yourself in case you lose your grip.

CONCLUSION

Isolation workouts are bound to enable you to achieve more specific exercise goals. This is just one of the many reasons why the lying dumbbell extension is a great fit for you.

It zeroes in on the triceps and shoulders to give you stronger arms.