The development of arm strength began to be a necessity before it became a matter of aesthetics or health.
To survive, man needed strength, whether to fight, to hunt, to fish, or to build shelter.
Nowadays, arm strength continues to be valued both as a matter of necessity and as an aesthetic or health issue.
To increase your arm strength, there’s nothing like selecting the best arms workouts. We’ll help you!
Arms workout: benefits
Although arm training is usually more popular amongst the male than the female sex, it’s important for both.
It will help you to:
- Eliminate fats
- Tone and define muscles
- Increase muscle mass
- Give you more strength for day-to-day activities (whether in your profession or in your personal routine)
In this article we will unveil the top 5 of arm exercises with emphasis on the biceps and the triceps muscles.
These muscles are agonist and antagonist muscles at the same time. The agonist muscle contracts to begin the movement and the antagonist is elongated (or stretched).
In some exercises the agonist is the biceps and, when the action is completed, the triceps is antagonistic, but the opposite may also occur.
So, the same muscle can be agonist or antagonist depending on the type of exercise.
With biceps and triceps exercises you can boost strength and endurance. There are several techniques that you can use to enhance and optimize the results:
- Superseries: perform 2 exercises of the same muscle group or different muscle groups without a break in between the exercises (it will potentiate hypertrophy).
- Dropset: train with a heavy load and reduce the weight to withstand the exercise for longer periods of time without needing a break (it will potentiate hypertrophy).
- Pyramid: fewer repetitions and more weight (will boost the increase in force).
- Reverse Pyramid: less weight and more repetitions (will increase endurance).
Find out what the best arm exercises are that we’ve selected for you!
The 5 best Arms workout
Parallel Bar Dips
This is one of the most tested and recognized exercises in the world of bodybuilding where the triceps is activated in an explosive way.
Based on a parallel gym exercise, this exercise is considered quite effective.
According to Tudor Bompa, Mauro Di Pasquale and Lorenzo Cornacchia in the book Serious Strength Training, the back of the triceps is activated to 87% of its force which allows us to work it in a constant and effective manner.
Many do this exercise with a rope tied to a heavy disc, but try to do it with a lighter disc at a slower pace. Example: 2 seconds to go up and 2 to go down.
Try increasing your cadence from time to time and you’ll see the difference!
This exercise works the brachial triceps, the anconeus, large pectoralis and anterior and coracobrachial deltoid at the same time.
- Support the palm of the hand on the bench or on the equipment itself, always keeping the body upright a little ahead of the hands. Keep your arms stretched.
- Slowly lower until the biceps almost touches the forearm and inhale.
- Push up trying to stretch the triceps practically as a whole and exhale throughout the way up.
- You can always add more weight or moderate weight, but slower.
Cable Bicep Curl
This exercise consists of the application of negative force, where there’s an extension of the muscles and a descent in weight.
We can always change the stimulus by changing the handle (biceps handle, rope, unilateral handle, large handle).
This exercise works the biceps brachii, the anterior brachialis and the brachioradialis.
- Vertical position with the handle in the hands, arms at the side of the body, chest out, knees slightly bent and shoulders backwards.
- Pull the handle in an upward motion (flex the arms but keep the elbows close to the body) and raise the palms towards the chest. Follow the movement until the muscle reaches its peak.
- Slowly lower the handle to the starting position. Inhale throughout the movement.
It can be considered an easy exercise, but it’s possible to make it more complex: try counting up to 3 in the descending phase (when you lower the handle) and rise in 2 seconds.
Dumbell Alternate Bicep Curl
The muscles worked in this exercise are the brachial biceps, the anterior brachialis, and the brachioradialis.
It’s a good exercise to gain volume and strength, and in this exercise the arms are constantly pressed.
The advantage of dumbells compared to cables and bars is that they allow us to control the entire gravitational movement without the aid of other equipment.
- It’s recommended to use a bench (for maintaining a good posture) and to keep your back upright and well supported, looking forward with your neck aligned with your spine.
- Place a dumbell in each hand (palm facing inward), exhale and raise one arm towards the shoulder (approximately 45 degrees) with the elbows always close to the body.
- Inhale while you slowly lower the moving arm, and slowly raise the other. General rule: while one rises, the other is down.
Tip: moving slowly will optimize the results.
Decline EZ-bar Triceps Extensions
It’s considered as one of the best exercises for the triceps by many. According to the book Serious Strength Training (already mentioned), this exercise stimulates the muscle to achieve approximately 90% of its effectiveness.
Did you know that the EZ-bar helps us to work the triceps without damaging the wrist joints?
This exercise will help you to work your brachial triceps and anconeus.
- Lie belly up with the EZ-bar in your hands and the bench in a declined position. Make sure your back is aligned with the bench.
- Raise the arms (which must be perpendicular to the ground) keeping the wrists close together. This junction will allow a greater concentration of the triceps during the exercise.
- Keep the arm still and let the forearm (flexing) go down until it reaches the forehead area. You must inhale during the movement.
- In the ascending phase, the forearms return to the starting position, always with a slow cadence and exhaling.
Tip: Do it almost at the end of your training and with a slow pace. You will see results! Always remember to take the muscle to its limit. You can even do this exercise with a disc or cable.
This exercise is also famous for being one of the exercises in Arnold Schwarzenegger’s workout routine and because it’s very localized. The muscles worked with this exercise are the brachial biceps and the anterior brachial.
This exercise can be performed either on a bench, a chair, sitting in bed … the possibilities are several! It’s up to you.
- Sit on a flat surface, move your legs apart and lean your torso forward. The elbow should be supported on the inside of the leg. The arm should be still and only the forearm performs the movement.
- With the hand holding the dumbell, flex the forearm and rise it to the shoulder without moving the elbow. Only the forearm moves! Exhale while you make the movement.
- Slowly lower the arm to the initial position, always maintaining a slow cadence without the elbow leaving the area where it’s supported. You should inhale at the beginning of each cycle, whenever the arm goes down.
In arm exercises you should always pay attention to the technique and posture to get the most out of your training.
In your workouts, you must alternate muscle groups to give your body time to recover. So switch arm training with leg training, for example! Read our article about recovery to understand the importance!
After all this effort, you should always consume some supplements for a better muscle recovery.
Do you know what’s the best protein for you? Confirm in this article what’s the best option for you!