Build strength in the upper body pull muscles with this quick and effective back and bicep workout. This home workout uses dumbbells to build strength in the back and biceps while incorporating cardio and core work, too.
Today’s workout is the perfect follow up in a split training workout routine. We’ll give the “push muscles” a break as we target the upper body “pulling muscles” or the back and biceps.
If you’re working on pull ups at home, this back and biceps workout will help you get there. Reach for those heavy weights and challenge yourself today.
Back and Bicep Workout FAQs
Should You Train Back And Biceps Together?
Yes! Back and biceps are two arm muscles that you use for ‘pulling movements.’ Your back and bicep muscles contract when you pull the weight towards you. So it’s ideal to pair these two muscle groups together in a back and bicep workout.
What Are The Benefits Of Back And Biceps Workouts?
Dumbbell arm workouts have many benefits. Strong back and bicep muscles are essential for daily movements such as lifting, reaching, and twisting. The back is a large metabolic muscle – which means training it can burn more calories and boost the resting metabolism. Pairing dumbbell back exercises with biceps exercises is efficient because these muscle groups often work together.
25-Minute Back and Bicep Workout
Stronger 25: Day 2
Build strength in the back and biceps using just a set of dumbbells at home.
Today’s workout is made up of two strength circuits, one cardio and back circuit, and an abs and core burnout. The exercises in this pull workout are designed to target the back and bicep muscles from multiple angles to create strength and definition.
I suggest doing this advanced back and biceps workout routine once a week as part of a well-rounded fitness routine.
A medium-to-heavy set of dumbbells. I suggest anywhere from 8-25 lbs. We used 10-20 lb dumbbells in this workout. Option to add a towel.
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I’m using 10, 15 and 20 lb dumbbells in this workout.
Targets: Latissimus dorsi (or lats; the largest back muscle known for its large, flat “V” shape).
How To Do A Batwing Single Arm Dumbbell Row
Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent. Option to keep feet parallel or take a slightly staggered stance to better support your low back (stepping your left leg slightly behind your right leg).
Hold a dumbbell in each hand, palms facing in (narrow grip).
Bend forward at the hips maintaining a flat back, belly button pulled back towards your spine.
Pull the dumbbell in your right hand back towards your right hip and keep it there in an isometric hold throughout the interval.
Then pull the dumbbell in your left hand back towards your left hip (think of pulling from your elbow joint versus your wrist), as if you were starting a pull-start lawnmower. Stop once your elbow is in line with your rib cage, making a straight line from shoulder to elbow. Hold the row at the top for a moment squeezing your shoulder blade in.
With control, lower the dumbbell back to the starting position and repeat, performing a single arm row on the left arm for the entire circuit. Again, maintain the isometric hold on the right arm throughout the set.
Single Arm Bicep Curl and Isometric Hold
Targets: The biceps (the front of the arm).
Keeping constant tension on the biceps fatigues the bicep muscles to the point of failure (and that’s how true muscle growth happens).
How To Do A Single Arm Bicep Curl and Isometric Hold
Start in a standing position, feet under hips, core engaged, holding a dumbbell in each hand, palms facing out away from the body, dumbbells at hip height.
Keeping elbows locked at your sides, perform a half bicep curl on your left arm, pausing when your elbow is bent at 90 degrees. Hold this half curl position on the left arm.
Then, curl the dumbbell in your right hand up towards your right shoulder, performing a bicep curl on the right arm. Repeat three times.
After performing three bicep curls on the right, switch sides – this time holding the dumbbell in your right hand at 90 degrees and performing three bicep curls on the left side.
45-Degree Wide Row and Straight Arm Pullback
Targets: Upper back (rhomboids and traps), mid-back, lower back, back of the arms including the triceps, lats, and rear deltoids (shoulders).
How To Do A 45-Degree Wide Row and Straight Arm Pullback
Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent.
Hinge forward at the hips with a neutral spine, core engaged.
Grip a set of dumbbells, palms facing in towards your body (wide row position).
Pull your elbows wide (45-degree angle) towards the ceiling, squeezing your shoulder blades together as you bring your elbows parallel to shoulders. Control the dumbbells back down to the starting position.
Then keep your arms straight as you pull both dumbbells back to your hips (just past your hips).
Control the dumbbells back down. Return to the starting position, trying not to let the dumbbells touch at the bottom.
Alternating Bicep Curls
Targets: The biceps brachii (upper arm). This move hits both heads of the biceps muscle.
I’d encourage you to pick up heavier weights for isolation exercises like this one. Challenge yourself!
How To Do Alternating Bicep Curls
Start standing, feet shoulder-width apart and core engaged. Hold a dumbbell in each hand at your sides, palms facing in towards each other (hammer curl grip, or neutral grip).
Rotate your right hand so the palm is facing outward and squeeze your bicep muscle to curl the weight in your right hand up to your right shoulder, before lowering it with control, performing a single arm bicep curl. Keep the upper arms stationary as you curl.
Then repeat on the left side, curling the dumbbell in your left hand up to your left shoulder before lowering with control and returning to starting position.
Bird Dog Single Arm Back Fly
Targets: Upper, mid and lower back muscles (entire erector spinae), biceps, glutes, hamstrings, abs and core.
How To Do A Bird Dog Single Arm Back Fly
Find a quadruped position on all fours with your knees hip-width apart and hands firmly on the ground, about shoulder-width apart. Engage your core. Have one dumbbell on the ground in front of your left hand. Option to place the dumbbell just behind your right hand for greater range of motion.
Find a bird dog position by sending your opposite (right) leg back, floating it off the ground.
Perform a single arm back fly by opening the left arm, squeezing the shoulder blades together as you raise the dumbbell to shoulder height.
Control the dumbbell back down behind the right hand, returning to the starting position.
Modification: Option to omit the bird dog and keep both knees on the ground in a quadruped position for more stability.
Kneeling Flip Grip Bicep Curl
Targets: The long and short heads of the biceps muscle.
How To Do A Kneeling Flip Grip Bicep Curl
Start in a kneeling position, shoulders stacked over hips and core engaged. Hold a dumbbell in each hand at your sides, palms facing outward (underhand grip or supine curl).
Keeping your elbows locked by your sides, squeeze your bicep muscle to curl the weights up to shoulder-height.
At the top of the movement, rotate your hands so palms face in towards each other (hammer curls). With control, slowly lower the dumbbells down to your sides.
At the bottom of your movement, flip your grip so palms face out again. Return to the starting position and repeat this movement; alternating a standard bicep curl on the way up and a hammer curl on the way down.
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