A discarded cinder block is a strength-training tool waiting to be discovered.
Not having access to a gym doesn't mean you have to miss your planned workout. In fact, all you need is some space, some time and a cinder block to stay in shape. You can pretty much work every part of your body using a cinder block, including your biceps and triceps. Because cinder blocks are rough to handle, wear work gloves to protect your hands while exercising.
Before You Start
To get the most from your workout and minimize any risk of injury, spend a few moments warming up by performing some light cardio and stretches for the muscles you are about to exercise. Also, if you are new to working out, have been unwell lately or are normally sedentary, check with your doctor before starting a new exercise program. As cinder blocks are not adjustable, do more or fewer reps as your personal strength levels dictate. The last couple of reps should be challenging but still completed in good form.
Cinder Block Two-Handed Curl
The two-handed curl works your biceps -- the muscles on the front of your arms that bend your elbows. Hold the sides of your cinder block so your thumbs are pointing upward. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart for balance and the block in front of your thighs. With your chest up and shoulders back, bend your arms and curl your block up to chest-height. Lower it and repeat. No swinging and swaying -- keep the tension on your biceps by tucking your elbows into your ribs and keeping your torso still.
Cinder Block Standing Arm Extension
Standing arm extensions target your triceps -- the muscles on the back of your arm. Your triceps make up around two-thirds of your total arm mass, so they are very important. Holding the sides of your cinder block, raise your arms above your head so your biceps are close to your ears. Keeping your upper arms vertical and a firm grip on your block, bend your elbows and lower the block behind your head. Push it back up to full arm extension and repeat. Do not over extend your lower back as this can lead to injury. If you need more back support, perform this exercise seated.
Cinder Block Curl and Press
Your third and final cinder block arm exercise works your biceps and triceps simultaneously, so it's very time-efficient and a good way to finish your arm workout. Hold your block in front of your thighs and stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Bend your arms and curl the block up to chest-height. Next, push the block straight up and over your head to full arm extension. Lower the block back to your chest and then down to your thighs -- that's one rep. Keep going, but avoid swinging or jerking the block up as that merely takes the tension off your muscles.
Sets, Reps and Workout Frequency
Perform two to four sets of eight to 20 repetitions of each exercise, resting 30 to 90 seconds between sets. Repeat this workout two to three times a week on nonconsecutive days. As you can't make your cinder block heavier, try and do more repetitions week-by-week to continually improve the condition of your muscles.