Best 5 exercises to Develop your Arm Muscles
Let’s look at the arms, known as the bicep (front) and the triceps (back) and how we can develop these.
Having an impressive pair of arms, personally for myself is more important than having a six pack. Yes, a
six pack is great but a big pair of guns looks great in a t-shirt and you’ll only be having your top off for a
quarter of the year anyway.
The arm muscles are not the biggest muscles in the body but do contribute/assist in a lot of upper body
pulling and pushing movements, so ensuring these muscles are strong, they can help improve
benching/pull up performance and other compound lifts.
The arm muscles cross the shoulder joint and the elbow, so you need to consider this when training them
and different angle positions, to hit different heads of the arm muscles. The biceps, bi meaning two – are
made of two muscles and the triceps, tri meaning three, is made of three muscles.
The biceps have a short head and a long head and the triceps have lateral, medial and short head.
A few tips that you need to remember while performing the exercises to really maximise results.
- Lock your shoulders in and down while performing each rep
- Work on your upper back/shoulder mobility and strengthen these muscles to.
- Work within your active range
You may have noticed by now that these are consistent throughout the training series as stability is key to
muscle growth. To quote the late and great Charles Poliquin – “You can’t fire a cannon from a canoe.”
Now let’s get to the best exercises that will help you develop your arm muscles.
Number 1) Close Grip Bench Press
- Close grip bench press is a very good exercise to pack on mass on your triceps. It is performed like a standard BB press but the hands a closer together, around shoulder width apart. As you lower keep the elbows close to the body to restrict the chest muscles from becoming active. Lower to a point where you can feel triceps working, then drive back up and squeeze the back of the arm as hard as you can. You can also use dumbbells for the exercise as well.
Number 2) EZ bar or BB Curls
- Very challenging exercise for your biceps and helps pack on a lot of mass. When performing this exercise, make sure you are locking your elbows into side of the body and limiting any movement through the shoulders. This will then isolate the bicep muscles a lot more, therefore more strength and growth.
Number 3) Skullcrushers – also known as Laying Triceps Extension
- Everyone in the fitness industry or a gym fanatic would of heard of skullcrushers, another excellent exercise to really build muscle in the back of the arms. Make sure when performing skullcrusters that your shoulders are locked in and very little movement occurring, as this can take the load of the triceps. Lower the bar with control down to the forehead (be careful not to hit your head, as it hurts) or behind the head then back up squeezing the triceps as hard as you can.
Number 4) 45 Degree Bicep Curl
- Very challenging exercise for your arms, therefore the weight you are using shouldn’t be that heavy, focus more on tempo and really feel that burn in the biceps. Set the bench up at a 45 degree angle and keep your head, shoulders and lower back in contact. Key thing is to keep shoulder still while curling the weight up and slowly lower back until arm is straight. If this is uncomfortable position for you, lift the bench up one and work on mobility through the shoulder to progress.
Number 5) Rope Extension’s
- Rope extensions are a classic in the bodybuilding world and I have no doubt that any regular gym goer would have done these before. Watch out for too much shoulder movement here, keep the shoulders drawn back and down, to limit movement and keep tension on the triceps.
These are my top 5 exercises and the different variations of each one, most should be included within your
workout weekly. If you are doing full body sessions then included 2 of the above, sometimes, you don’t
need to include specific arm exercises when doing full body unless you wish to develop that muscle group.
Send me an email from the website or DM me on social media @davidlloydambition, this also goes for any
advice or questions you may have.
Train hard and be ready to change!!