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1. How To Do Lateral Dumbbell Raises

Muscles worked in the lateral dumbbell raises:

The primary muscle group worked by the lateral dumbbell raise is the shoulder, or deltoid. Secondary muscles are the traps and forearms.

Equipment needed for the lateral dumbbell raise:

All you need for a lateral dumbbell raise is a set of dumbbells.

Execution of the lateral dumbbell raise:

Stand with your feet about shoulder-width apart. With your arms slightly bent, hold the dumbbells in front of your waist with your palms facing together. Keeping your arms slightly bent, raise the dumbbells outwards to your sides, to a level slightly higher than your shoulders. When your arms reach the top of their motion, your little fingers should be pointed slightly up and your thumbs pointed slightly down. Slowly bring the weights back down to their original position. Repeat for each repetition in your set.

Notes on the lateral dumbbell raise:

Make sure you don’t bring the weights much higher than your shoulders, or you’ll put too much pressure on your joints. Also, this exercise shouldn’t be done too rigidly -- if you’re a bit freer with your form, you’ll be able to handle heavier weights.

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2. How To Do Upright Rows

Muscles worked in upright rows:

The upright row works the middle head of your deltoid muscles.

Equipment needed for upright rows:

You’ll need a set of dumbbells or one barbell to do the upright row.

Execution of upright rows:

Standing with your feet about shoulder-width apart, hold your dumbbells or barbell with an overhand grip.  (Your palms should be facing you.) If using a barbell, your hands should be between 8 and 12 inches apart.
Slowly lift the weight(s) until your hands are at about chest level. Don’t shrug as you perform the lift. At the height of the motion, your elbows should be slightly higher than your shoulder level and your wrists should be straight.
Slowly bring the weight(s) back down to starting position. Repeat for each repetition in your set.

Notes on upright rows:

You shouldn’t do upright rows if you are a beginner, or if you have shoulder injuries. You can do serious damage to your shoulders if you’re not ready to perform this exercise.

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3. How To Do Shrugs

Muscles worked in shrugs:

Shoulder shrugs, sometimes referred to as simply “shrugs,” work your traps and neck muscles.

Equipment needed for shrugs:

Most people do shoulder shrugs with dumbbells, but you can use a barbell if you prefer.

Execution of shrugs:

Stand with your feet about shoulder-width apart, holding your weights at your sides. (If you’re using a barbell, the weight will be in front of you.) Inhale, and simply shrug your shoulders upwards in the direction of your ears. Keep your elbows straight and relaxed, and don’t rotate your shoulders during the movement.
Hold the position for a moment, and exhale while releasing your muscles and moving the weights to their original position. Repeat for each repetition in your set.

Notes on shrugs:

Being too enthusiastic with this exercise or rotating the shoulders during the shrug can cause neck pain and injury. Make sure to stay as relaxed as possible while performing shoulder shrugs.

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4. How To Do The Seated Bench Press Behind the Neck

Muscles worked in seated bench presses behind the neck:

The main muscles worked with the seated bench press behind the neck are your shoulders, but it gives the triceps a good workout as well.

Equipment needed seated bench presses behind the neck:

To perform the seated bench press behind the neck, you’ll need a weight bench and barbells.

Execution of seated bench presses behind the neck:

Straddle or sit at the end of a secure bench. Place the barbell behind your neck, with your hands supporting the barbell about 4-6 inches wider than shoulder width.
Slowly press the bar upwards, extending it to arms length. Next, bring, again slowly, the bar back down to your starting position. Repeat for each repetition in your set.
Depending on your flexibility, you may want to avoid bringing the bar any lower than your ears or the base of your skull.

Notes on seated bench presses behind the neck:

The behind the neck bench press requires a certain level of flexibility in the shoulders and neck. To avoid injury, start with a low weight to first determine whether you have the flexibility to do it.

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5. How To Do The Seated Dumbbell press

Muscles worked in the seated dumbbell press:

Primarily, the seated dumbbell press works the shoulders. It also uses the triceps and the traps.

Equipment needed for seated dumbbell presses:

To do this press, you’ll need a set of dumbbells and a seated bench.

Execution of seated dumbbell presses:

Take a seated position on your bench with your barbells resting on your thighs. Lift your barbells to the starting position at shoulder height. Your palms should be facing outwards and your elbows should be facing out.
With your feet firmly planted on the floor, lift the weights straight overhead, making sure to keep your elbows unlocked. Pause, and slowly return your weights to starting position. Repeat for each repetition in your set.

Notes on seated dumbbell presses:

To prevent injuries to your back and minimize stress to your shoulders, make sure to keep your ab (abdominal) muscles tight and don’t lock your elbows at the top of your motion.

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6. How To Do Front Raises

Muscles worked in the front raise:

The front raise works the shoulder muscles and the upper chest.

Equipment needed for front raises:

To do front raises, you’ll need a set of dumbbells of a relatively light weight.

Execution of the front raise:

Stand with your feet about shoulder-width apart holding the weights in your hands with your arms relaxed and hanging straight down.
Slowly raise your arms forward to shoulder level, making sure your elbows are slightly bent and not locked. Pause, and bring the weights back down to your starting position. Repeat this sequence for each repetition in your set.

Notes on front raises:

You should use a lower starting weight for this exercise than you would for comparable moves -- too much weight can put excessive stress on your shoulders. You can perform the front raise with both arms at the same time, or you can alternate arms. Most people perform this exercise using an overhand grip, but you can do it with a hammer grip holding the dumbbells end to end instead.

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7. How To Do Inverted Flyes

Muscles worked in the inverted flye:

The inverted flye -- also known as the bent over lateral raise -- works most of the upper body, including the back, shoulders and deltoids.

Equipment needed for inverted flyes:

The inverted flye simply requires a set of dumbbells of the appropriate weight.

Execution of inverted flyes:

Stand with your feet a little wider than shoulder width apart with the dumbbells in front of your ankles. Grip the weights with your thumbs pointing forward and bring your back parallel to the floor. Your arms should be hanging down with the weights slightly above the floor. This is your starting position.
Making sure you don’t lock your elbows, slowly bring the dumbbells up to about chest level. Your arms should be stretched out like wings. Slowly extend your arms back down to your starting position. Pause, and repeat for each repetition in your set. This exercise is the opposite of the regular flye, which works in the other direction.

Notes on the inverted flye:

A variation on the inverted flye uses the cable machine, although this puts your shoulders at risk of greater strain.

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8. How To Do The Bench Press

Muscles worked in the bench press:

The bench press primarily works the chest muscles, as well as the deltoids and the anterior deltoids.

Equipment needed for bench presses:

To do the bench press, you’ll need a workout bench and a barbell. If you’re lifting heavy weights, you might want to have a spotter.

Execution of the bench press:

Lay back comfortably on the bench, with your feet firmly planted on the floor. Hold the barbell on your chest, with your elbows at a ninety-degree angle and your wrists above your elbows.
Extend the barbell upwards until your arms are straight and your elbows unlocked. Hold that position, and slowly bring the barbell back down to your chest.
Repeat for each repetition in your set. At the end of your set, return the barbell to the pins on your bench or to your spotting partner if you’re using one.

Notes on the bench press:

The bench press can cause major injuries to your ribs or chest if you use too heavy of a weight, or if you use a bouncing motion when trying to gain momentum in lifting the weight. Be careful, and start with a weight that’s lower than the one you think you would use.

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9. How To Do The Dumbbell Bench Press

Muscles worked in the dumbbell bench press:

Like the original bench press, the dumbbell bench press uses the chest muscles (pectorals) but makes greater use of the deltoids, anterior deltoids, and stabilizer muscles.

Equipment needed for the dumbbell bench press:

To do the dumbbell bench press, you’ll need a weight bench and two dumbbells.

Execution of the dumbbell bench press:

Lay comfortably on the bench, with your feet firmly planted on the floor. Hold one dumbbell in each hand at chest level, with your elbows at a ninety-degree angle and your wrists above your elbows.
Extend the dumbbells upwards until your arms are straight and your elbows unlocked. Hold that position, and slowly bring the dumbbells back down to your chest.
Repeat for each repetition in your set. At the end of your set, return the barbell to the floor.

Notes on the dumbbell bench press:

Some people prefer the dumbbell bench press because it offers a lower chance of injury and allows for a higher weight level without needing a spotting partner. If you drop a weight when doing the dumbbell version of the bench press, it will fall to the side and not onto your chest.

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10. How To Do Flyes

Muscles worked when doing flyes:

Flyes primarily work the chest muscles, and give your shoulders a good workout at the same time.

Equipment needed for flyes:

To do flyes, you’ll need a workout bench and dumbbells of the appropriate weight.

Execution of the flye:

Sit on your bench, holding your dumbbells and resting them on your thighs. Lay down on your bench, and extend the dumbbells straight up. Your thumbs should be facing your head. This is the starting position.
Making sure you don’t lock your elbows, slowly bring the dumbbells down to about chest level. Your arms should be stretched out like wings. Slowly extend your arms back up to your starting position. Pause, and repeat for each repetition in your set.

Notes on flyes:

Make sure to keep your chest muscles tight throughout the exercise, and don’t let the dumbbells bang together at the top. This is not an exercise that uses momentum -- to avoid injury, keep your arms and elbows in position throughout.

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11. How To Do Incline Flyes

Muscles worked in incline flyes:

Like the original flyes, incline flyes work your chest muscles primarily, and secondarily your shoulders.

Equipment needed for incline flyes:

For incline flyes, you’ll need two dumbbells of the appropriate weights for your skill level and an incline weight bench.

Execution of the incline flye:

Set the incline on your bench to an angle of between 30 and 45 degrees. Sit down on your bench with your dumbbells rested on your thighs. Lean back to a laying down position, and stretch your arms and dumbbells straight upwards. This is the starting position.
Making sure your arms are straight but your elbows are not locked, lower the dumbbells outward following a circular path until they are at shoulder level.
Using the same motion, raise the dumbbells back up to the starting position. Pause and repeat for each repetition in your set.

Notes on the incline flye:

Once your elbows are in position -- and not locked -- make sure that you don’t move them throughout the exercise. Your shoulders are the only joints that should move. As with the original flye, make sure your dumbbells don’t bang into each other at the top of the movement.

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12. How To Do The Incline Dumbbell Press

Muscles worked in the incline dumbbell press:

The incline dumbbell press is a variation on the dumbbell bench press. The primary muscles worked in the incline bench press are the upper shoulders, and the secondary muscles are the front shoulders and triceps.

Equipment needed for the incline dumbbell press:

To perform the incline dumbbell press, you’ll need a weight bench with incline capability and a set of dumbbells.

Execution of incline dumbbell presses:

Set your incline bench between 30 and 45 degrees. A lower incline will work your chest muscles more, and a higher incline will work your front shoulders more.
Sit on your bench with dumbbells resting on your thighs. Lean back with your back against the incline and push the dumbbells vertically until your arms are extended. This is the starting position for the incline dumbbell press.
Lower your dumbbells in a triangle shape until they are at shoulder level. Pause, and push them back to your starting position. Repeat for each repetition in your set.

Notes on the incline dumbbell press:

Only lower your dumbbells as far as you can without putting strain on your shoulders. Also, make sure you don’t knock the dumbbells together at the top of the motion.

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13. How To Do The Incline Bench Press

Muscles worked in the incline bench press:

The incline bench press primarily works your upper chest. In addition, it also works the front shoulders and the triceps.

Equipment needed for the incline bench press:

To perform the incline bench press, you’ll need a workout bench with incline capacity and a barbell with the appropriate weight.

Execution of the incline bench press:

Set your workout bench to between 30 and 45 degrees. Hold your barbell with your thumbs facing in and your hands a little more than shoulder width apart. Remove the barbell from the clips and place it so that it almost rests on your chest.
Extend your arms and the barbell until your arms are straight but your elbows are not locked. Pause, and return to your starting position. Repeat for each repetition in your set.

Notes on the incline bench press:

Make sure you do not lock your elbows when extending your arms. Do not let the bar touch your chest when bringing it back down. If you’re lifting a heavy weight, you may want to enlist the help of a spotting partner.

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14. How To Do Cable Crossovers

Muscles worked in cable crossovers:

Cable crossovers work different areas of your chest, depending on the angle at which you perform the exercise.

Equipment needed for cable crossovers:

To perform cable crossovers, all you’ll need is a cable machine.

Execution of the cable crossover:

Standing with your back facing the cable machine, plant your feet a little bit wider than shoulder-width apart. Reach back and grasp each handle, keeping your elbows slightly bent.
While bending at the waist, flex your abdominal muscles and bring your arms forward so your hands meet in the middle.
Hold for a moment, keeping your chest muscles tight. Slowly and carefully bring your arms back to the starting position. Repeat for each repetition in your set.

Notes on the cable crossover:

Some popular variations of the cable crossover involve crossing your hands in front of your chest, or alternating one hand on top of the other in front of you.

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15. How To Do Dips (THIS IS A REDO OF THE FIRST SET.)

Muscles worked in dips:

Primarily, dips work your triceps, but also work your shoulders, chest, and the rest of the muscle groups in your arms.

Equipment needed for dips:

If you’re at a gym, you can use a workout bench set up specifically for dips. At home, you can do bench dips – they don’t require any special equipment.

Execution of the dip:

Stand in front of the bars on the machine and grasp them in an overhand grip. Bend your knees and cross your ankles up near your backside, extending your arms above the bars. Make sure not to lock your elbows. This is your starting position for a dip.
Slowly lower your body until your elbows are at a 90 degree angle. Pause, and extend your arms back to the starting position. Repeat for each repetition in your set.

Notes on the dip:

If you lean forward during this exercise, you’ll work more of your chest muscles and your triceps will get less of a workout.

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16. How To Do The Pec Deck

Muscles worked in the pec deck:

The pec deck (pec = pectoral muscles) works the entire set of chest muscles, and also your posterior deltoids.

Equipment needed for pec decks:

Pec decks are done on the pec deck machine at the gym.

Execution of the pec deck:

Making sure you select an appropriate weight, take a seat on the pec deck machine. Reach back and place your hands and elbows on the pads of the machine.
Squeeze your forearms and elbows together, working your pecks throughout the motion, ensuring that the sides of the machine almost touch in the middle.
Hold for a count, and slowly return your arms to the starting position. Repeat for each repetition in your set.

Notes on the pec deck:

If you are using a machine with handles but without pads, you can use a spotting partner to watch your wrists and elbows. Make sure you’re performing this motion with your chest and not with your arms.

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17. How To Do Bent Over Rows

Muscles worked in the bent over row:

The bent over row works your back muscles, as well as your biceps, your shoulders, and your neck.

Equipment needed for the bent over row:

Traditionally, the bent over row is done with a barbell, but a variation uses dumbbells instead.

Execution of the bent over row:

Put the barbell on the floor, right in front of your feet. Bend at the waist and knees and hold the bar with your palms facing down. Your back should be nearly parallel with the floor and your knees should be only slightly bent.
Staying in this position, pull the bar upwards to your chest, flaring your elbows out wide as you do so, just like rowing a boat. Hold for a moment, and slowly return the bar to the floor. Repeat for each repetition in your set.

Notes on the bent over row:

If you have back problems, be very careful with this exercise or avoid it entirely. Resting your head on a padded bench at head height when you are bent over can reduce the strain bent over row may put on your back.

 

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18. How To Do One Arm Dumbbell Rows

Muscles worked in the one arm dumbbell row:

The one arm dumbbell row works the entire upper back region, as well as your biceps.

Equipment needed for one arm dumbbell rows:

To perform one arm dumbbell rows, you’ll need a workout bench and a dumbbell of appropriate weight.

Execution of the one arm dumbbell row:

Place the dumbbell on one side of the bench. Place the opposite knee and palm on the bench, and reach down to grasp the dumbbell, the back of your hand facing out. Your back should be near parallel to the bench and the floor.
Bring the weight up to your side, bending your elbow back through the motion. Return your arm back downwards until your arm is outstretched. Repeat for each repetition in your set, and then place the dumbbell back on the floor.

Notes on the one arm dumbbell row:

This exercise should be performed slowly, and you shouldn’t use momentum to bring the weight up. Make sure you keep your back and shoulders still throughout the exercise to reduce the risk of injury to your joints.

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19. How To Do Seated Rows

Muscles worked in the seated row:

Like one armed dumbbell rows, seated rows work your entire back and your biceps.

Equipment needed for the seated row:

The seated row is performed on the seated rowing machine.

Execution of the seated row:

After selecting your appropriate weight, take a seat on the machine and place your feet on the foot rests with your knees slightly bent. Reach forward and grab the handles, sit upright and hold the handles with your arms outstretched. This is your starting position.
Pull the handles towards you until they almost touch your chest. Hold for a moment, and slowly bring the handles back to the starting position. You should look like you’re rowing an invisible boat. Repeat for each repetition in your set.

Notes on the seated row:

Make sure that you don’t use momentum to bring the weights toward you. As you’re pulling the weights toward your chest, squeeze your shoulders together like you’re trying to hold something between the blades.

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20. How To Do a Long Cable Row

Muscles worked in the long cable row:

The long cable row will work out your shoulders and middle back.

Equipment needed for the long cable row:

To complete the long cable row, you will require a cable machine and a pulley handle.

Execution of the long cable row:

Sit on the bench and place your feet ahead of you on the supports, keeping your knees bent slightly. Lean forward with your hands stretched out -- your thumb should be on top and your pinkie finger on the bottom, as if you were shaking someone’s hand.
Grasp the pulley handle with both hands making a fist. Keeping your back straight, pull the handle towards your stomach while at the same time leaning back at the waist until your back is perpendicular to the floor.
At the end of this movement, squeeze your shoulder blades together, then slowly bend at the waist and return to the starting position. Repeat for each repetition of your set.

Notes on the long cable row:

As the name implies, this exercise should look like a rowing motion.

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21. How To Do T-Bar Rows

Muscles worked in the T-bar row:

The T-Bar row mainly works your middle back. Secondary muscle groups are your biceps and lats.

Equipment needed for the T-bar row:

Generally, the T-bar row is done with a barbell but there are machines available at the gym that let you perform the same motion.

Execution of the T-bar row:

Straddle the bar with your feet more than shoulder width apart. Lean forward at the waist with your knees bent and your chest above your feet, and grip the barbell with both hands, one on top of the other.
Starting with your arms fully extended, lift the barbell up towards your stomach area. Pause, and return the barbell to where your arms are fully extended again -- around shin level. Repeat for each repetition in your set.
Be sure to keep your head up and shoulders back throughout this exercise to keep your back in a firm and stable position.

Notes on the T-bar row:

Make sure you have a lot of floor and air space available for this exercise, and watch how far you bring the barbell up. (You could hit yourself in the groin if you don’t watch it.) Keep your back stable by keeping your head and shoulders up.

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22. How To Do Pull Downs

Muscles worked in the pull down:

The pull down primarily works out the upper and lower back muscle groups.

Equipment needed for the pull down:

The pull down requires a wide lateral bar, as well as a bench with a padded bar.

Execution of the pull down:

Sit comfortably on the bench, hooking your legs under the padded bar so that the bar is touching your knees.  Reach up, and with a wide, overhand grip, slowly pull the lateral bar to the top of your chest.
Hold for a moment and then extend your arms back to the top using a controlled, fluid movement. Repeat for each repetition in your set.

Notes on the pull down:

If you are using a spotter, he or she should stand behind you and help by pulling the bar down to your hands. Using too much weight with this exercise can cause injury to both you and your equipment, so be sure to start slowly.

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23. How To Do Pull Ups

Muscles worked in the pull up:

A pull up primarily works the middle back, with other muscle groups assisting.

Equipment needed for the pull up:

Often referred to as a “chin up”, the only equipment required for a pull up is a bar secured to a frame and your own body weight.

Execution of the pull up:

Reach up and grasp the bar with an overhand grip. Once you know your grip is secure, lift your body off the floor until your head is higher than your hands.
Lower yourself back to the floor, and repeat for each repetition in your set.

Notes on the pull up:

Variations on the exercise include grasping a dumbbell with your feet, using a dipping belt for extra weight, the one-handed pull up and the muscle up. The muscle up is completed in the same manner as the pull up, but instead of stopping when your head is above the bar, you continue until your waist is at bar level.

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24. How To Do Weighted Pull Ups

Muscles worked in the weighted pull up:

The weighted pull up works the same muscles as the original, non-weighted pull up, primarily the muscles in your middle back.

Equipment needed for the weighted pull up:

To complete a weighted pull up, you will require a bar secured to a frame, and either a dumbbell or a dipping belt.

Execution of the weighted pull up:

The execution of the weighted pull up is the same as the execution of the standard pull up. Standing underneath the bar, grasp the dumbbell with your feet or attach the dipping belt to your waist. Grasp the bar with an overhand grip, and lift your body until your head is higher than your hands.
Lower yourself back to the floor and repeat for each repetition in your set.

Notes on the weighted pull up:

A dipping belt is a belt worn around the waist to which you can attach various weights. Don’t try this exercise until you are comfortable with traditional, non-weighted pull ups and can regularly lift your own weight without strain.

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25. How To Do Back Extensions

Muscles worked in the back extension:

Back extensions work the erector spinae, the group of muscles and tendons that sit next to your spine.

Equipment needed for the back extension:

To complete the back extension exercise, you will require a hyperextension bench. A hyperextension bench like any bench but has a padded bar at one end above the bench.

Execution of the back extension:

Lie face down on the bench with your feet hooked under the rear bar and your waist at the other end of the bar.
With your arms folded across your chest, slowly lower your upper body until it is perpendicular with the floor. Pause, and then raise your body back to the parallel starting position. Repeat for each repetition in your set.

Notes on the back extension:

For added difficulty, you can add a dumbbell or weighted plate, which you would hold in your hands while performing a traditional back extension.

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26. How To Do Bicep Curls

Muscles worked in the bicep curl:

Bicep curls will primarily work out -- you guessed it -- your biceps, the large muscles at the front of the upper arm that flexes the forearm.

Equipment needed for the bicep curl:

To complete a bicep curl, you will require either a dumbbell or a barbell of an appropriate weight.

Execution of the bicep curl:

Start in a standing position with your feet about shoulder-width apart, holding the barbell or dumbbell in an underhand grip at your side, or in front of you if you are using a barbell.
Keeping your entire body as stiff as possible, raise your arms at the elbows until they form a 90 degree angle with your shoulders.
Lower your arm(s) back to their original position, making sure you stop before your elbows are straight. Repeat for each repetition in your set.

Notes on the bicep curl:

Take care to ensure that the raising and lowering of your arms is done in a smooth, controlled motion. It will be tempting to rock your body when raising the weights to add momentum to your lift – but don’t…try to keep your body as still as possible.

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27. How To Do Preacher Curls

Muscles worked in the preacher curl:

A variation on the traditional bicep curl, the preacher curl will also work out your biceps.

Equipment needed for the preacher curl:

To complete a preacher curl, you will require a preacher bench and either a dumbbell or barbell.

Execution of the preacher curl:

Start by sitting on the preacher bench with your arms resting on the padded surface. The seat should be adjusted so that your armpits are close to the top of the pad.
Grasp the dumbbell or barbell with an underhand grip and raise your arm (or arms if you are using a barbell) so that your hands come close to touching your shoulders.
Lower your arms stopping just before your elbows straighten. Repeat for each repetition in your set.

Notes on the preacher curl:

As with any bicep exercise, make sure you never lock your elbows while doing a preacher curl so that you can avoid putting too much stress on your joints.

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28. How To Do The One Arm Preacher Curl

Muscles worked in the one arm preacher curl:

Like the traditional preacher curl or the one arm bicep curl, the one arm preacher curl will work out your biceps.

Equipment needed for the one arm preacher curl:

You will require a preacher bench and a dumbbell to complete the one armed preacher curl.

Execution of the one arm preacher curl: 

The execution of the one arm preacher curl is the same as the preacher curl, except you’re only working out one arm at a time. Start by sitting on the preacher bench with your arm resting on the padded surface. The seat should be adjusted so that your armpit is close to the top of the pad.
Grasp the dumbbell with an underhand grip and raise your arm so that your hand comes close to touching your shoulder.
Pause and lower your arm stopping before your elbow straightens. Repeat for each repetition in your set.

Notes on the one arm preacher curl:

As with any bicep exercise, make sure you never lock your elbows while doing a preacher curl so that you can avoid too much stress on your joints.

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29. How To Do Alternate Dumbbell Curls

Muscles worked in the alternate dumbbell curl:

The alternate dumbbell curl will work your biceps.

Equipment needed for the alternate dumbbell curl:

To complete the alternate dumbbell curl, you will require two dumbbells.

Execution of the alternate dumbbell curl:

Stand straight with your feet about shoulder-width apart. Ensure that your body is as still as possible, and lock your hips and legs into place. Hold both dumbbells at your sides with an underhand grip.
Bring one dumbbell up to shoulder height while keeping your arm as close to your side as possible. Keep the rest of your body and your other arm still.
Lower the dumbbell and then repeat with your other arm. Repeat this set of two for each repetition in your set.

Notes on the alternate dumbbell curl:

As with the bicep curl, it will be tempting to rock your body in order to gain momentum while lifting the weight during the alternate dumbbell curl. Make sure that you’re holding your body still and lifting the weight in a controlled motion.

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30. How To Do Barbell Curls

Muscles worked in the barbell curl:

A variation on the bicep curl, the barbell curl will work out your biceps.

Equipment needed for the barbell curl:

This one’s easy -- all you’ll need is a barbell to complete the barbell curl exercise.

Execution of the barbell curl:

Stand with your feet about shoulder width apart and grasp the barbell in an underhand grasp. The barbell should be at about hip height.
Keeping your entire body as stiff as possible, raise your arms at the elbows until they form a 90 degree angle with your shoulders.
Pause, and lower your arms back to their original position, making sure you stop before your elbows are straight. Repeat for each repetition in your set.

Notes on the barbell curl:

It is important to keep your body as still as possible to ensure you are not “cheating” by using a rocking motion to assist you as you raise the barbell. Raising and lowering the barbell in a controlled fashion will ensure you complete the barbell curl safely.

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31. How To Do Cable Curls

Muscles worked in the cable curl:

The cable curl will work out your biceps.

Equipment needed for the cable curl:

To complete the cable curl you will require a cable machine and a low pulley cable bar.

Execution of the cable curl:

Stand with your feet about shoulder-width apart and grasp the cable bar with both hands in an underhand grip.
Keeping your body as still as possible, raise the bar until your arms are parallel with your body. Pause and slowly lower your arms back to your starting position, until your elbows are almost straight but not locked. Repeat for each repetition in your set.

Notes on the cable curl:

Keeping your body still is important to ensure you are not using a rocking motion to assist you when lifting the bar. Ensure you are moving the bar with a controlled motion to avoid injury and to ensure you are getting the maximum benefit from this exercise.

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32. How To Do Nose Crushers

Muscles worked in the nose crusher:

The nose crusher, despite its unorthodox name, will target your tricep muscles.

Equipment needed for the nose crusher:

To complete the nose crusher, you will require a workout bench and a barbell.

Execution of the nose crusher:

Start by laying down face-up on the bench with your feet planted flat and firmly on the floor. The barbell should be behind you, either on your weight rack or the floor, depending on the height of your bench.
Begin the exercise by grasping the barbell in an overhand grip and extending your arms straight out. In a controlled motion, keeping your elbows in and straight, lower the barbell until it gently touches your nose. Raise the barbell up and back to the starting position and repeat for each repetition in your set.

Notes on the nose crusher:

As you may have gathered from the name of this exercise, the use of a spotting partner may come in handy. This exercise is not for the inexperienced or uninitiated.

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33. How To Do Tricep Pushdowns

Muscles worked in the tricep pushdown:

The tricep pushdown works out your tricep muscles.

Equipment needed for the tricep pushdown:

For the tricep pushdown you will need a pull down machine with a high pulley and a bar.

Execution of the tricep pushdown:

Attach the bar to the high pulley (the bar can be straight, v-shaped or cambered). Facing the high pulley, grasp the bar with your palms out and slightly less than shoulder-width apart. The bar should be at about chin height.
Keeping your arms tight to your side, pull the bar down below your waist. Pause, and raise it back up to your chin level. Repeat for each repetition in your set.

Notes on the tricep pushdown:

Keep your body still and make sure you are not letting your wrists bend. This will ensure you are only using the targeted muscle group. Variations of this exercise include changing your hand position, which will target slightly different muscles.

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34. How To Do Seated French Presses

Muscles worked in the seated French press:

The seated French press will work out your triceps.

Equipment needed for the seated French press:

To complete the seated French press, you will require a tricep machine.

Execution of the seated French press:

Begin by sitting on the tricep machine, making sure to keep your back flush against the back pad. Your elbows should be on the elbow pads, slightly less than shoulder-width apart.
Grasp the handles of the tricep machine and push down until your arms are almost parallel with the floor. Pause, and bring your arms back to your starting position. Repeat for each repetition in your set.

Notes on the seated French press:

As with any machine exercise, make sure to execute this motion slowly and in a fluid and controlled motion. Failure to be deliberate and controlled will almost surely injure (or at least embarrass) you when you drop the weight and alert the entire gym.

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35. How To Do Tricep Extensions

Muscles worked in the tricep extension:

As its name implies, the tricep extension works out your triceps.

Equipment needed for the tricep extension:

To complete the tricep extension, you will need one dumbbell and something to sit on. Your workout bench, dining room chair or even your couch will work.

Execution of the tricep extension:

While sitting, grasp a dumbbell with both hands under one of the plates so that the dumbbell is perpendicular, not parallel, to the floor. With your elbows overhead and pointed straight, hold the dumbbell behind your head. This is your starting position.
Raise your forearms so that the dumbbell is above your head, making sure not to hit your head on the way up.  Pause, and lower your arms back to the starting position. Repeat for each repetition in your set.

Notes on the tricep extension:

It is highly recommended when doing this exercise that you use a seat with back support. The back support should not interfere with the motion of the dumbbell but still provide you with support to reduce the risk of injury.

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36. How To Do Bench Dips

Muscles worked in bench dips:

Primarily, bench dips work your triceps, but also work your shoulders, chest and the rest of the muscle groups in your arms.

Equipment needed for bench dips:

In a gym, you can use a workout bench for dips. If you don’t have a bench, you can use a dining room or kitchen chair or any sturdy seat of comparable height.

Execution of the bench dip:

Sit on your bench or chair with your hands on either side of your hips. Your palms should be on the seat and your fingertips should hang off the edge.
Move your backside off the seat, leaving your hands in place. Lower your hips as far as you can, keeping your elbows bent and your arms close to your sides. When you have gone down as far as you can go, pause, keeping your abs tight.
Using only your arms, lift yourself back up to seat height, but do not sit back down. Repeat for each repetition in your set.

Notes on the bench dip:

You can position another chair or workbench to rest your feet on to prevent you from using your legs to support your weight. Make sure to keep your abs tight throughout your bench dip exercises to prevent injury to your back.

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37. How To Do Wrist Curls

Muscles worked in the wrist curl:

The wrist curl will work out your wrist flexors.

Equipment needed for the wrist curl:

To complete the wrist curl, you will need a dumbbell and something to sit on.

Execution of the wrist curl:

From a seated position with your knees bent at a 90 degree angle, place your arm on your leg with your wrist overhanging your knee. Grasp the dumbbell in an underhand grasp and your forearm straight.
Lower your wrist so that your hand is pointing at the floor. At the bottom of the motion, allow the dumbbell to roll out of your palm and into your fingers.
Pause, and grasp the dumbbell back into your palm. Flex your wrist to bring the dumbbell back to the starting position. Repeat for each repetition in your set.

Notes on the wrist curl:

Start with a smaller weight on this exercise as the wrist flexors are a seldom worked muscle. Too much weight will cause injury to your wrist and forearm.

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38. How To Do Crunchers

Muscles worked in the cruncher:

Also known as crunches, crunchers work out the center abdominal muscles.

Equipment needed for the cruncher:

No special equipment is required for crunchers, although some people prefer to do them on a floor mat for more back comfort.

Execution of the cruncher:

Lie down on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Keep your hands somewhere comfortable. Some people keep them at their sides, on their stomach or under their head.
Roll your upper torso forward, pausing for a second at the top of the movement. If placing your hands under your head, make sure you are not pulling on your head and having your arms do the work.
Lower your body back to the starting position, and repeat for each repetition in your set.

Notes on the cruncher: 

When lowering your body back to the starting position, try to do so as slowly as possible so that you can increase the workout for your abs. Time is not of the essence with this move, so don’t be in a hurry to complete each rep.

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39. How To Do Squats

Muscles worked in the squat:

The squat will work out your thighs, hips, lower back and hamstrings.

Equipment needed for the squat:

Most people perform squats with a barbell, but beginners can get a good workout using only their body weight.

Execution of the squat:

Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and position the barbell at the base of your neck and across your shoulders. Your posture should be straight. This is your starting position.
Look straight ahead and slowly lower your body to a sitting position with your thighs parallel to the floor, making sure to keep your back straight throughout the motion.
Stand up by slowly straightening your legs. Repeat for each repetition in your set.

Notes on the squat:

While doing a squat, inhale while lowering your body and exhale while pushing yourself back to a standing position. It’s easy to let your back do the work in this exercise, which is something you don’t want. Make sure that only your lower body is doing the lifting and lowering.

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40. How To Do Deadlifts

Muscles worked in the deadlift:

The deadlift will work your erector spinae, the collection of muscles and tendons that run along the side of your spine.

Equipment needed for the deadlift:

To complete a deadlift, all you need is a barbell of the appropriate weight.

Execution of the deadlift:

With your feet about shoulder-width apart and under the bar of the barbell, squat down and grasp the barbell with an overhand grasp. This is your starting position.
Keeping your back straight, extend your hips and knees until you are fully standing. Pause at the top of the motion, and slowly squat down again to complete the exercise. Repeat for each repetition in your set.

Notes on the deadlift:

Don’t let your arms or legs do the work for you with this exercise -- make sure that you isolate your back muscles and keep your abs tight to avoid unnecessary strain.

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41. How To Do Leg Curls

Muscles worked in the leg curl:

The leg curl exercises your hamstrings and some supporting muscles in the legs.

Equipment needed for the leg curl:

To complete the leg curl, you will require a leg curl machine.

Execution of the leg curl:

Lie face down on the leg curl machine with your hands gripping the hand grips. With your legs straight, hook your ankles under the padded bar. This is your starting position.
Bending at the knees, raise your legs back so that they are perpendicular to the floor. Hold for a moment and lower your legs back to the starting position, making sure not to lock your knees. Repeat for each repetition in your set.

Notes on the leg curl:

Make sure you are raising and lowering your legs in a controlled manner. It will be tempting to use the momentum of this exercise to help you along, but this will result in jerky movements and, in turn, a less effective exercise. Also, make sure your hips do not come off the bench when you are lifting your legs up. This will take tension off the hamstrings and place it on the lower back instead.

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42. How To Do Leg Extensions

Muscles worked in the leg extension:

Leg extensions work the quadriceps muscles -- the muscles at the front of your thighs.

Equipment needed for the leg extension:

To complete a leg extension, you will require a leg extension machine.

Execution of the leg extension:

Sit on the leg extension machine with your back against the back pad and the top of your ankles against the ankle pads. Your upper calves should be about half an inch from the edge of the seat and your knees should be even with the pivoting arm of the leg extension machine.
Keep your arms at your sides and grab the seat or hand rests. Slowly straighten your legs, squeezing your quads as you get to the top of the movement. In a controlled motion, lower your legs back to the starting position. Repeat for each repetition in your set.

Notes on the leg extension:

Make sure you are raising and lowering your legs in a controlled manner. It will be tempting to use the momentum of this exercise to help you along, but staying in control will help you avoid jerky movements that will make the exercise less effective.

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43. How To Do Seated Calf Raises

Muscles worked in the seated calf raise:

The seated calf raise will work your calf muscles.

Equipment needed for the seated calf raise:

To complete the seated calf raise, you will require a seated calf raise machine.

Execution of the seated calf raise:

Sit on the seated calf raise machine with the pads positioned just above your knees. Place your toes on the platform and lift your ankles up in a “tippy toes” motion. This is your starting position.
When your heels and ankles are raised as high as they can go, hold the position for a one count and lower your ankles back down. Repeat for each repetition in your set.

Notes on the seated calf raise:

If you’re working out at home and don’t have access to a machine for this exercise, you can get the same benefits from the standing calf raise with only a weights and a step.

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44. How To Do Standing Calf Raises

Muscles worked in the standing calf raise:

The standing calf raise will work your calf muscles.

Equipment needed for the standing calf raise:

To complete the standing calf raise, you will require a dumbbell and a step. It is also recommended that you position the step somewhere where there is a support you can hold for balance.

Execution of the standing calf raise:

Hold the dumbbell with an overhand grasp with your left hand. Stand on the step with both feet with your arches and heels overhanging the step. Hold on to a support for balance, and lift your right leg off the step towards your backside.
Raise your left heel by extending the ankle as high as possible, pause and then lower your left heel until your calf muscle is stretched. Repeat for each repetition in your set, making sure to switch legs in between.

Notes on the standing calf raise:

To isolate the calf muscle, keep your knees straight when performing the exercise.  By bending the knee slightly, you will also work out your quadricep muscle.

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45. How To Do Donkey Raises

Muscles worked in the donkey raise:

The donkey calf raise will work out your calf muscle.

Equipment needed for the donkey raise:

To complete a donkey calf raise, you will require a donkey calf raise machine or a partner you don’t mind getting very close to.

Execution of the donkey raise:

Position your toes and balls of feet on the calf block with your arches and heels extending off the calf block. Place your forearms on the supports and position your lower back and hips under the back pad.
Raise your heels by lifting your ankles as high as you can. Pause at the top of the motion and then lower your heels back to the starting position. Repeat for each repetition in your set.

Notes on the donkey raise:

If you do not have access to a donkey calf raise machine, another version of this exercise exists. Position your feet on a calf block as mentioned above, with your upper body parallel to the floor and your forearms rested on a support. Have a partner sit on your lower back and hips, and raise and lower your heels in the manner described above.