Those triceps of yours do so much work!
They help you smash the bench press, throw up the dumbbells for shoulder presses and then allow you to rep out sets of skull crushers and tricep pushdowns!
But you want them bigger, right? You want your arms to be pushed to their maximum and bursting from the t-shirt seams!
Good! This blog post will tell you how to add strength and size to your triceps and push your arm development to a new level!
By the time you finish reading this blog post, you will know what the dumbbell french press is, why you need to do it, how best to do them and what to expect!
So let’s get straight to it!
The French press is not to be confused with skull crushers!
Contrary to popular brotherhood wisdom, the french press and the skull crushers are two different exercises. The French press is performed seated or standing with the weight above the head, whilst skull crushers are performed on your back with the weight pressed to the chin or head.
Back to the French press, whilst it can be performed with a barbell, our focus is on the dumbbell. Why? As it allows you to focus on each arm.
The dumbell french press is an isolation exercise that targets the three heads of the muscle group; long, lateral and medial head. As the dumbbell will be above the head, the exercise primarily works the long head through the entire range of motion, with some parts hitting the other two heads.
I couldn’t write this article without referring to the three heads of the triceps!
Knowing your triceps brachii, long head, lateral head, and medial head will enable you to visualise how your arm works during exercises!
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I want you always to perform all exercises with strict form, ensuring you know how to do them in the first place.
Training any muscle with poor form increases the risk of injury and cheats you out of the results.
Below are the steps to perform this french press:
1. You can perform this exercise standing or seated, but I want you to do these seated.
2. Get a dumbbell that will enable you to perform ten slow reps.
3. Locate a bench (recommend a preacher bench) with low back support, or use a flat bench.
4. Place the dumbbell on the floor before you and sit on the bench.
5. Pick the dumbbell up and place it vertically on your thigh.
6. When ready, tighten your core, shoulders down and back, take the dumbbell, and move it up and over your head so it’s behind you. Both of your hands should be under the dumbbell weight plates
7. Your elbow should be pointing to the ceiling, and you should be feeling a slight stretch on your tricep.
8. Now press the dumbbell up till your arm is straight and flex the tricep for a count of 2 seconds.
9. Return it to the starting position over a count of 4 seconds.
10. Congratulations! You have completed one rep! Now let’s get nine more!
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I want to share the top four benefits of why you need to do this exercise. This will validate just how good this tricep builder is and why you shouldn’t ignore it:
1. Stronger Tri and Arms: This french press variation will add strength and size to your triceps and upper arms, and this will help you push more weight when training your chest and shoulders.
2. Improved Shoulder Stability: This exercise works the shoulders, so you can expect them also to feel fatigued post-workout.
3. Versatility: You can perform the french presses with dumbbells, barbells, cables and resistance bands. This enables your muscles to work with various intensities and movement levels.
Recommended Read: >>> 7 Best Resistance Band Tricep Exercises To Grow All Three Heads! <<<
I want you to get the most results from this exercise, so I want to share the most essential tips with you.
These have been collated by me over 20 years and have stood the test of gains and time!
1. Start with a Light Weight: The dumbbell French press exercise can be challenging, even with light weights. So, starting with a comfortable weight and gradually increasing it as you build strength and confidence is essential. Don’t lift too heavy too soon, leading to injury and poor form.
2. Reps and Sets: The triceps comprise two-thirds of your arm size, so hitting them with the right reps and sets is key. I recommend that you don’t perform more than ten sets of 10 reps per week for the triceps. So for this exercise, limit to three working sets of 10 reps and always aim to get more reps or more weight every workout
3. Focus on Proper Form: Like any exercise, proper form is essential when performing the dumbbell French press. Keep your elbows close to your head and your upper arms stationary throughout the exercise. Also, use a controlled, slow motion when lowering the dumbbells towards your head to avoid any potential injuries.
4. Incorporate Variety: While the traditional dumbbell French press exercise is fantastic, adding variety to your routine can help you avoid hitting a plateau and keep things interesting. Consider using different variations, such as an incline bench or changing the dumbbells’ grip to keep your muscles challenged and engaged.
5. Increase Intensity: Throw in some super sets or drop sets with ease by just switching to lower-weight dumbells and just “running the rack” this will hyper-stress the triceps and force them to grow.
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You may recall that I had said arm size is 2/3 triceps! So to get bigger arms, work on your triceps!
Following a balanced tricep workout plan can easily put on 0,5 inches to the upper arm and a 10% strength increase in as little as eight weeks! The dumbbell french press and its variations will quickly deliver you these results!
Recommended Read: >>> The 7 Best Dumbbell Push Ups Exercises You Should Do <<<
I will assume you already train your triceps and are on the growth train!
But I want you to add these dumbell french presses sooner, so below are some tips to get you going on the tricep gain train!
1) Add 3 or 4 sets of 10 reps to your current workout and focus initially on learning how to perform the exercise strictly.
2) Use a 2-second up, 2-second flex and 4 seconds down tempo.
3) If you need to, then remove one of your current exercises and gauge progress every four weeks
4) Feel free to add the sets at the workout’s beginning or end.
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I want your triceps to continue growing and never stagnate! To do this, I want you to take note of the following:
Don’t hesitate to try new things with this exercise
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I want you to be injury-free and grow your triceps and arms quickly! Therefore please take note of the following:
By avoiding these common mistakes, you can ensure your tricep workouts are safe and effective.
Recommended Read: >>> Mastering Tricep Workouts with Dumbbells: A Comprehensive Guide to Strengthen Your Arms<<<
This exercise targets the triceps by extending the arms while holding a dumbbell or barbell above the forehead. The movement mimics the motion of a skull crusher, hence the name. To perform the exercise, lie flat on a bench with your arms extended above your chest, holding the weight with your palms facing each other. Lower the weight towards your forehead, keeping your elbows in place, and then extend your arms to the starting position.
This exercise targets the triceps by holding a dumbbell or weight plate above the head and extending the arms to lift the weight. To perform the exercise, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, holding a dumbbell or weight plate with both hands, and raise it above your head. Lower the weight behind your head, keeping your elbows in place, and lift it back up to the starting position.
This exercise targets the triceps by using a narrow grip on the barbell, which places more emphasis on the triceps than a standard bench press. To perform the exercise, lie flat on a bench with your hands close together on the barbell, shoulder-width apart or less. Lower the bar towards your chest, keeping your elbows in place, and then push the bar back up to the starting position. This exercise can also be performed with dumbbells if you can’t access a barbell.
Dumbbells for the french press should allow you to perform ten strict reps; This will be enough to initiate muscle mass and strength gains.
The dumbbell french press has several variations, including the french cable press, barbell french press and resistance band french press.
You can perform the dumbbell single-arm french press.
Limit your tricep french press workout routine to four sets of ten reps.
Are you ready to blast your triceps and force them to grow even bigger?
Add this exercise to your current workout for four sets of 10 reps. Learn the form, benchmark your strength, and aim to get stronger every workout! It is that easy!