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The elbow is a joint that allows for two movements: flexion and extension. The former movement is done by the biceps brachii, brachialis and brachioradialis. These muscles are called the elbow flexors. The other movement, elbow extension, is done by the triceps brachii and anconeus, which are called the elbow extensors. You can strengthen the elbow muscles by doing elbow flexing and extending exercises. Work the elbow muscles equally to maintain balance in the elbow joint. For example, perform two exercises for the elbow flexors and two for the extensors.
Standing Dumbbell Supinated Flexion
Stand holding a dumbbell in each hand with a supinated, or underhand, grip.
Flex your elbows until the dumbbells are near the front of your shoulders.
Extend your elbows until the dumbbells return down to the beginning position.
Standing Dumbbell Pronated Flexion
Grasp a dumbbell in each hand with a pronated, or overhand, grip.
Flex your elbows to raise the dumbbells toward the front of your shoulders.
Extend your elbows to lower the dumbbells downward to the start position.
Seated Dumbbell Overhead Extension
Sit on the bench with your back up against the upright seat, hold a dumbbell in both hands, and position them overhead.
Flex your elbows until the dumbbells are behind your head.
Extend your elbows to bring the dumbbells upward to the initial point.
Lying Dumbbell Extension
Grasp a dumbbell in each hand with a pronated grip, lie down on the flat bench, and position the dumbbells over your chest.
Flex your elbows to lower the dumbbells behind your head.
Extend your elbows to move the dumbbells upward to the start.
- For each exercise, do three sets of 10 to 12 reps to failure. This rep range will allow you to effectively strengthen the elbow flexors and extensors, and will also increase their muscle mass. Do not hold your breath during any exercise. Inhale during the first half of the movement, and exhale in the second half. For example, during the standing dumbbell supinated flexion, inhale when you flex your elbows, and exhale when you extend them.