The type of weighted equipment men use when weight training doesn’t matter as long as it provides enough resistance to challenge their muscles. The standard cinder block weighs about 35 pounds, which for men is likely an adequate amount of weight to work the major muscles in the arms, which include the shoulders, biceps and triceps.
Men can use a cinder block in a variety of upper arm exercises. A single block will be heavy enough for some exercises, but as strength develops, a pair of blocks may be necessary. Working with a cinder block poses an additional challenge, because you need an adequate amount of grip and finger strength to pinch and hold the block. To support your grip and help you prevent losing control of the block, wear a pair of weight-lifting gloves. Also, because the block could slip from their grip, men should ask a partner to act as a spotter when doing exercises that involve holding the block over their head.
Exercises that are effective at working the shoulders include the shoulder press, upright rows and the close grip lying press. To perform the shoulder press, which also works the triceps, stand and hold the edges of the cinderblock at the chest with the elbows under your wrists. Press the block over your head and return to the start position. For upright rows, which also work the biceps, hold the ends of the block with both hands at the front of the thighs. Keep the block close to the torso as you pull it up towards the chin, flaring the elbows out to the side. For the close grip lying press, which also hits the triceps, lie on your back with the cinderblock held at the chest. Press the block towards the ceiling until the arms are fully extended.
Men can work the biceps with cinder block biceps curls. Stand and hold the block with both hands with palms facing forward. Keep the elbows into the torso and bend the elbows to lift the block up to the shoulders. Control the block back down to the legs. For men who have greater strength and find that one block isn’t heavy enough, they can hold a block in each hand by gripping the beam that splits through the center of the block.
To develop the triceps, men can incorporate the lying triceps extension into their workout. Lie on your back with the cinderblock held over the chest and the arms fully extended. Bend the elbows to lower the block behind the head and then extend the elbows to return the block back to its starting position. To increase the challenge, hold a block in each hand by gripping the center beam.
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