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Dumbbell Curls Superset With Overhead Dumbbell Extensions

This is a great upper arm building exercise combination. It’s a pretty simple set up that allows you to perform two very effective exercises without too much complication. The dumbbell curl will allow you to strengthen and develop the front of your upper arms (biceps) and the overhead dumbbell extension allows you to strengthen and develop the back of your upper arms (triceps). I enjoy performing this combination because of the simple nature of this combination. Simply perform your dumbbell curls and once you’re done, move the dumbbells upwards and perform the extensions.

If you don’t know what a superset is, please see our page called “what is a superset”.  

Superset Exercise #1 - Standing Dumbbell Curls

Position for the standing dumbbell curl exercise

Grab a pair of dumbbells in each hand. Keep your arms fully extended with your back straight, head level and eyes forward. It is important that you position your shoulder girdle correctly so that you get the most benefit from exercising your biceps (front of your arms). Retract your shoulder blades using your back muscles while puffing your chest out proud. Bend your legs slightly and turn the dumbbells so that your palms are forward facing.  

Execution of the standing dumbbell curl exercise

Slowly curl the dumbbells upwards towards the ceiling. Stop once the dumbbells are just above chest level and contract your biceps (front of your upper arms). Pause for a moment and allow the dumbbells to descend back to the start position. Repeat this movement for the prescribed amount of repetitions.  

Once you’ve completed the prescribed repetitions for the standing dumbbell curl, immediately move onto the overhead extension exercise.

Superset Exercise #2 - Overhead Dumbbell Extensions

Position for the overhead dumbbell exercise

Curl the weight up and press both dumbbells up over your head. Turn the dumbbells so that your hands are facing each other. Keep your back straight, head level and eyes forward.

Execution of the overhead dumbbell exercise

Slowly bend your arms at the elbow and lower the weight to ear level, just behind your head. Pause for a moment and using your triceps (back of your upper arms), bring your arms back to the start position, fully extending your arms. Contract and squeeze the back of your upper arms in the top position. Repeat for the desired amount of repetitions.  


Standing dumbbell curl: Breathe in as you curl the weight up and breathe out as you lower the weight back to the start position
Overhead extensions: Breathe in as you lower the dumbbells and breath out as raise your arms back to the starting position.

Important points.

·         This is a superset exercise so no resting once your completed the first exercise (dumbbell curls) – immediately perform the second superset (overhead extensions).

·         Try not to look down as this will affect your posture. It is important to keep your shoulders retracted.

·         Your feet should be spaced at shoulder width

·         Don’t look upwards, this will affect your balance and form. Keep your head level and eyes forward. Try picking a spot on the wall and stare at it for the duration of the exercise.

Video for the standing dumbbell curl / overhead dumbbell extension superset

Over his 30 plus years of experience, Blake Bissaillion has worked with nationally ranked body builders, power lifters and fitness professionals. In this time he has picked up volumes of applied knowledge that he openly shares with his clients. Mr. Bissaillion’s objective is to help as many beginners to weight training and fitness to achieve their weight loss and fitness goals while getting into their best possible shape. Mr. Bissaillion owns and operates Belly Be Gone, a fitness company that offers fitness and nutritional guidance and products.

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