Do you want to know how to grow your arms? I’m going to give you a few tips on building bigger biceps, triceps, and forearms. All of these arm exercises will engage the maximum amount of muscle fibers in one set, which will help spur growth. You’ll be surprised at how much power these simple pieces of exercise equipment can have in the right hands.
It’s not just about targeting bigger muscles like the chest and back. Your arms can also be a source of motivation for your fitness routine, so it’s important to give them the attention they deserve! Want to build arms that pop? You’ll need to work them from a variety of angles. And luckily, there are 18 arm exercises you should be doing- backed by research conducted by the Department of Health Science and Human Performance at the University of Tampa, Florida. Arm day shouldn’t just be about curls or extensions.
Below we offer a complete ‘how to’ that will help you perfect each repetition and explain the specific benefits of each exercise. This way, you’ll know which exercise to choose for every goal – whether it’s building muscle or toning your core. Say goodbye to flabby arms and hello to our new strong-arm tactics.
This workout includes some exercises that will hit all three muscle groups. You can use dumbbells or resistance bands depending on what equipment you have available to you
Best exercises for biceps
The biceps is a muscle in your upper arm that has two heads. They begin at the shoulder, run down the front of the arm, and attach to the ulna near the elbow. This muscle is responsible for pulling objects towards you using your arm. Additionally, it assists with turning your palm downwards which can be used when performing various tasks.
To properly do these exercises, you will need to use a weight that allows you to complete 12-15 repetitions of each exercise with proper form.
To start, do one set of each exercise two to three times a week. After 1 day of rest, do another set of those same exercises. As you build your strength, you can do up to two or three sets of each exercise.
Incline Bicep Curl
Muscles like the bicep are often isolated by other workouts. This can lead to imbalances in muscle symmetry and the inability to fully engage the muscle. By tucking your elbows toward the ground, you open up a new range of motion that is not available in other arm exercises. You can work the entire muscle with this move!
- How to do it?
To perform the incline bicep curl, you will need a bench and a set of dumbbells. Sit on the bench with your back in a slight upward angle, holding one dumbbell in each hand at arm’s length. Curl the weights upwards until they reach your shoulder, then return them to their starting position and repeat for ten repetitions.
The bicep curl is one of the most popular weight lifting exercises. It works your biceps by having you bend your elbow and raise your forearm towards your shoulder.
- How to do concentration curl?
To do this exercise, stand with your legs apart, feet shoulder-width apart, hold a dumbbell in each hand, palms facing forward. Bend at the waist until you are almost sitting on the bench, then lean back slightly to keep your balance. Sit down on the bench and rest your right arm against your right leg, letting the weight hang down. Curl the weight up, pause, then lower. Repeat with the other arm.
The bent-over lateral arm raise is one of the best exercises for isolating the arm flexors and hitting the lateral head of the biceps. If you want peak performance (and appearance), try this exercise!
Cable curl straight bar
Cable curls are one of the best exercises for working your biceps. But, there are two different ways to do them! Cable curls can be done on a cable machine (low pulley cable with handles) or using a resistance band (connecting one end of the band to something sturdy like a chair or a door handle).
- How to do it?
For a one-arm standing cable curl, stand in front of the machine with your foot opposite to your curling arm in front of the other for better balance. Grasp the handle with your palm facing down and your right arm close to your side. Slowly curl your arm bringing it across your chest towards your shoulder.
Hold the curl up for a moment and feel your bicep. Slowly, lower the handle to the starting position. Repeat 12-15 times, then switch arms.
Leant-forward EZ Bar Curl
Working out your hand muscles gets you a powerful grip for lifting, and it’s also great for targeting that stubborn belly fat. And did I mention the perfect form means no chance of injury? You’ll be getting one heck of a workout with this exercise!
- How to do it?
In a seated position, grasp an EZ bar with an underhand grip- your hands should be shoulder-width apart. Lean forward slightly, so your torso is 30 degrees from the hips. As you breathe in, curl the bar until your arms are flexed to 90 degrees in front of your chest. Extend the elbows and contract the biceps, then slowly lower back down with control.
Exercises for triceps Women and Men
Triangle push up
When it comes to triceps exercises, the triangle pushup is the best. All you need for this exercise is your body weight and a little bit of space. That’s right, there are no fancy gym memberships or workout equipment necessary to do this one! The triangle pushup engages all three muscles in the back of the arm – the triceps, the rear head of the shoulder joint, and the latissimus dorsi muscle.
- How to do it?
To get into a traditional pushup position, you’ll need to start by facing the floor. Your toes should be touching the floor while your hands should be placed on the ground below your face with your forefingers and thumbs touching – this will form a triangle between your hands. Now, to get into the move, remember to keep your back straight while keeping your torso and legs in place. Once in position, slide your nose towards your hands slowly to get into the move!
One of the most common arm workouts is the tricep kickback. This exercise can be done by sitting with your knees bent and feet on the ground, feet shoulder-width apart, and hands grasping something below your hips.
- How to do it?
To do a dumbbell row: Stand with your feet hip-width apart and hold a weight in each hand, palms facing inward. Bend your knees slightly and hinge forward at the waist, keeping your back straight and your core engaged, until you’re almost parallel to the floor. Now, as you hinge forward, pull the weights up along the side of your body until your arms are about parallel to the floor.
Overhead extension tricep
When you’re looking to build your upper-body muscles, it’s important to do exercises that target more than just your arm muscles. Overhead extensions are an excellent way to increase the strength of your entire back and shoulders as well as your arm muscles. You can perform these with a single dumbbell or kettlebell using a lighter weight at first and then gradually increasing the amount of weight you use as you get used to this exercise.
- How to do overhead extension tricep
Stand with your feet about shoulder-width apart, toes pointing straight ahead. Place one foot slightly in front of the other for balance. Bend over and place both hands around the dumbbell handle. Lift the dumbbell to your chest – keep your back straight and look forward.
Place a dumbbell behind your head with your elbows bent to 90 degrees. Once in this position, slowly straighten your arms above the weight.
This is a great exercise for your triceps. Keep in mind, don’t use your hands to push the weight up! It should be done by using only your shoulders and arms.
Dips on bench
Dips are a great exercise for the chest, arms, and abs. If you’re looking for a new way to work your core muscles without having to use a dip stand, try performing dips in front of a bench or chair with your hands behind you! You’ll still get a good workout and be able to give yourself some stability.
- How to do dips on bench?
Stand with your toes facing out at a 45-degree angle from the dip bar, then place your hands on each bar with your arms straight down by your side. Next, bend your knees to keep from touching the floor. Take a deep breath, and as you exhale, pull your chest up toward the bars and use the power of your abdominal muscles to push yourself up over the bars.
Slowly lower your body towards the floor by bending your elbows and lowering your upper arms to be almost parallel to the ground. Then, straighten your arms back up and repeat 12-15 times.
The bottom line
Countless exercises can help grow and define your arms, but you should never neglect the biceps and triceps. An important tip is to work these muscles at least two to three times a week with different exercises and repetitions. For instance, if you do one set of 10 push-ups today, try doing two sets of 15 push-ups tomorrow. With time and consistency, you will be able to strengthen these muscles for better arm development.
Strong shoulders, back, chest, core, and legs are just as important as the muscles that you see in the mirror. Just because you’re not looking at these areas during a workout doesn’t mean they should be neglected! Make sure to spend some time working on strengthening your hidden muscles with shoulder exercises like push-ups or overhead presses.