When it comes to building muscle, there are at least three areas that people tend to focus on: chest, abs, and the subject of today’s blog, arms. Few things can say “Jacked” better than a pair of sleeve stretching, muscled up arms. It certainly helps that the warmer weather is going to make sure that you’ll be keeping your sleeves shorter, showing off more of those muscles more frequently. Of course, as much as most of us would wish otherwise, you can’t just grow arm muscles overnight. You’ll have to work for them. With that in mind, you might now be asking yourself, “Where do I start”? Read on for our picks for some of the best workouts for your arms. As always, don't try to go heavier than you can comfortably handle, and always make sure to use proper form.
This is the quintessential arm workout. No arm workout routine is complete without at least one variation of the bicep curls. It also helps that this workout is easy for anyone to learn and do. Simply pick a weight that you can comfortably lift while still challenging your muscles, and, as the name indicates, slowly curl your your arms at the elbows. You can do this for however many sets/reps you find gets you the best results. Make sure that the only movement in your body is the bending of your elbows; you won’t be getting much in the way of results if you’re moving your whole arm.
D-Line Overhead Dumbbell Skull Crush
This workout is great for building up your triceps. For this exercise, you’ll need to be lying down, like you would if you were bench-pressing. It doesn’t really matter whether you hold the dumbbells in a neutral grip (where you hold the dumbbells in a vertical position) or an EZ bar grip (where you hold them in a horizontal position), just go with whichever one’s the most comfortable for you. To start the workout, bring the dumbbells back behind your head (try positioning yourself right at the edge of the bench to get maximum range of motion and avoid hitting the bench with the dumbbells), and start extending your arms so that the dumbbells are above you, before lowering the dumbbells back behind your head. Repeat this for however many reps you need. Like the bicep curl, the only movement in this exercise should be in your elbows as you extend your arms. Likewise, you should try to keep your elbows narrow.
Standing Cable Press Down
Another great triceps workout, though you’ll need a machine for this one. This exercise works kind of like an inverse of the bicep curl; instead of curling your arms upwards from an extended position, you’re extending your arms downward from a curled position. To get a little bit more out of this exercise, try leaning your torso slightly forwards with your shoulders back. This gives you a greater range of motion, as you won’t be hitting yourself with the bar on the way down. Since this is a workout that focuses on your triceps, you should try not to use your whole body for this exercise. Keep your shoulders back, arms at your side, and only move your arms at the elbows.
Pretty much all of the exercises on this page focus on strengthening your biceps and triceps. This exercise is no different, though it does come with the added perk of working the muscles in your forearms as well, a muscle group that doesn’t often get much attention. You can think of this exercise as a sort of more advanced bicep curl. Just like a normal bicep curl, you curl your arms in with your palms facing towards you, but when you extend your arms back down, you rotate your wrists 180 degrees so your palms are facing away from you, and then rotate them back 180 Degrees when you curl your arms back up. Repeat this for however many reps you have set for this workout. Like with the other workouts on this list, make sure to keep your arms fixed at your side, and only move your arms at the elbows, with the addition of rotating your wrists.
Here we have another exercise requiring you to lie down on a bench, though this one focuses more on your biceps and front delts. For this exercise, your arms should be below parallel with your body to start, with you curling your arms upwards. Due to the positioning of your arms during this exercise, you should use a lighter weight, so as to avoid injuring yourself. Don’t worry, the positioning of your arms ensures that you’re still putting some pressure on your muscles, so you won’t be seeing fewer muscle gains. To get a full range of motion during this exercise, keep your shoulders back, and as always, make sure that the only movement in your arms is in your elbows.
Plate Pinch Curl
Another great arm exercise that helps you build muscle in your forearms. For this exercise, all you’ll need is a barbell plate. To start, grip the plate at the edge, and start bringing the plate up and down for as many reps as you’ve set for the workout. Because you’re gripping the plate with your fingers, you’re forcing your body to make use of the muscles in your forearm as well as your biceps, which makes this exercise a must-try for anyone trying to bulk up their arms. Since you’re lifting a large weight that you’re gripping at the edges, pick a weight that you can comfortably lift to start with, just so you won’t lose your grip. And finally, the golden rules of pretty much all arm exercises, keep your arms at your sides, and flex your arms at the elbows.
And there you have it, our list of some great arm exercises to try the next time arm day rolls around. If you’re looking for something to help you with your muscle recovery afterwards, be sure to check out our protein collection.