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Speed Alternating Dumbbell Curls and High-Speed Squats

By RealJock Staff

This exercise provided courtesy of Billy Polson, founder and co-owner of DIAKADI Body training gym, voted best personal training gym in San Francisco by CitySearch in 2006.

For a muscle-busting cardio burst, push as quickly as you can through sets of dumbell bicep curls alternating with squats. You never set the weights down; just hold them at your shoulders as you do the squats.

Muscles Worked

Starting Position
Stand upright with feet about hip-width apart and dumbbells held in each hand at your sides with your palms facing away from you (see Photo 1).


  1. From the starting position, do a full bicep curl with one arm, keeping your elbow bent as you bring your hand up toward your shoulder. As you begin lowering that arm from the top of your curl, start curling with the other arm, such that the hands pass each other at the midpoint of the curls, one going up and the other going down. Curl as quickly as you can for a set of 10 alternate curls, making sure that in your effort to generate speed you don't swing your shoulders side to side, or take your elbows wide (see Photos 2 to 4).
  2. After you have finished 10 bicep curls, end by bringing the weights at your shoulder level at the top of the curl, with your palms facing inward. Move directly into a set of speed squats: As quickly as you can without compromising your form, do a set of 10 squats, keeping your back flat and pressing your hips back behind you as you sit as deep as possible. As you descend, keep the majority of your weight back on your heels while still applying pressure through the balls of your feet. (see Photos 5 to 7).
  3. After your 10 speed squats, return to the starting position, and repeat the sequence of 10 alternate curls and 10 squats for two more sets, so that you have done three sets of 10 of each. Each set should be done quickly, but only as quickly as you can manage without sacrificing good form.
About Billy Polson: Billy Polson is the founder and co-owner of DIAKADI Body training gym, which was voted the best personal training gym in San Francisco by CitySearch in 2006. A competitive swimmer and triathlete in his own right, Polson has over 15 years of experience working as a coach and trainer, and was recently named by Men's Journal Magazine (December 2005) as one of the Top 100 Trainers in America.