Strong arms are a pre-requisite for most people trying to build a strong and chiseled body. Large peaked biceps are a dream come true for most, not a brawny body with scrawny arms or legs.
You might chicken out of the scenario and blame it on your genetics! The easiest thing to put the blame upon, really. But the truth of the matter is that you might be getting your training strategies wrong. Not something you considered, right?
If you want to get the right peak, shape and thickness, start going over your gym strategies and see if you are getting them all wrong! Are you doing the right arm workouts?
How Can I Increase my Arm Strength?
Strong biceps need not be a distant dream. Start training right to gain right. Focus on these strategies to get the right shape you want.
1. Higher reps are not the answer
So are you following the rule go higher or go home? To start off right make sure you are going over the most basic protocol the right way.
If you do not do it the right way, all your effort will go down the drain. People make the first mistake at the top of the range of motion.
If you are pulling your elbows forward and not sticking your arms to your sides, then you’re turning a single-joint curl into a multi joint exercise and focussing on your anterior delts.
It is not important to focus upon how high you lift the bar. Try to keep your elbows locked to your sides throughout the entire range of motion (ROM).
To add to the resistance, contract your biceps hard at the start of every rep. This helps maintain the tension on your biceps and does not allow you to rest when you do your arm workouts.
2. Stop bending your back, rather bend your elbows
Keep the tension on the muscle by keeping your arm flexed as you start the movement. If your arms hang straight down, you’re letting your biceps get off the hook.
If you completely extend your arms, you can end up placing additional stress on the elbows, especially if your arms are placed on a bench, as you do with a preacher curl.
3. Focus on the details
To get the arm peak, you have to focus on three things, namely, arm position, grip, and angle, you can manoeuvre a particular curl from the position of a long head (the outer biceps muscle) to the short head (the inner biceps muscle) and also includes the brachialis, the muscle that lies beneath the biceps brachii.
So do you have to train the brachialis at all? If it isn’t visible?
YES! You do, because the more you pump up the brachialis, the thicker your arms appear. Your arm-curling movements undergo a drastic change. The key strategy to ensure brachialis growth is to use a hammer (neutral) grip, which works on the biceps.
4. Increase the time under tension
You need to slow down the speed at which you lift by using the negative or eccentric training. Here, your partner helps you lift a weight up, and then you can take 4-5 seconds while you go back to the starting position and spend way more time under tension to help lengthen the muscle.
More and more studies are showing that increasing a muscle’s time under tension can help gain more muscle mass and strength as compared to normal training. A rapid rise in protein synthesis and anabolic hormone response can be a reason for this.
How to do Arm Workouts- Focus on the Right Muscles
Know about your arms and the intricate muscles, which if worked right can fetch you those mean big arms you want.
- Biceps Brachii- It is in the front part of the upper arm between the elbow and the shoulder. It helps in elbow flexion and makes the curling motion.
- Brachialis- This is a small muscle located over the lower portion of the upper arm that connects the bottom half of the bicep to the forearm. It helps in elbow
- Forearms- The pronator teres muscle is located in the underbelly of the forearm. The function of the muscle is to turn the hand in a way that the palm faces down.
- Brachioradialis- This is located on the top and outer portion of the forearm. The function of the muscle is to flex the arm at the elbow.
- Triceps- The Triceps Brachhi muscle is located in the back portion of the upper arm, which is between the elbow and the shoulder. It helps in the extension of the elbow.
The Right Rep Ranges with the Right Workout for Arms
OKAY! We know that the biceps are the part of your physique that you love to show off.
Well-developed bicepsare what you want, but it is also true that you have to ensure that you train the rest of your muscles too, both in the upper and lower arm with the sameintensity and uniformity as you do your biceps.
Muscle imbalances in your arms are a strict no-no!
For training your biceps and triceps, use different kinds of repranges, which are high, that is 15-20, to moderate, 8-12 then low, 4-6. You need to follow the entire gamut of ranges if you really want those insanely large arms.
The Best Arm Workouts
It is time to get down to the basics, start arm workouts and change your not so strong-arm to strong arms.
1. Teapot rows
This is a great exercise to tone up your arms and strengthen your back muscles.
- Pick one leg on a stable surface and activate your glutes and core to get a strong foundation.
- Let your shoulders and neck relax and bend the leg slightly, creating a soft knee.
- Place a medicine ball in one arm and bend at your hips and knees and then again lower your torso till it is almost parallel to the floor. Your medicine ball should hang at arm’s length right in front of your shoulders.
- Bend your elbow and pull the medicine ball to one side of your torso. As you attempt to row the medicine ball, bring the same side of your torso upward. Wait for a moment and then lower your body and the weight and bring it back to the start.
12-15 reps x 3 sets; keep a 30-second recovery between sets, one arm at a time.
2. Bicep Concentration Curls
If you want to isolate the biceps muscle, then try the concentration curl. Do 5 – 6 sets of 4 – 8 reps; and work your way to massive arms.
- While you sit on a bench, plant your feet firmly on the floor, place the back of your left upper arm on the inside of your thigh.
- Place your arm on your thigh throughout. To stabilize the movement, put your right hand on the right knee.First, do your curls on the left side and then again repeat on the other side.
3. Advanced push-ups
Try this challenging push-up variation, which can bean equivalent to an incline bench press. This challenging move helps transfer the load towards the upper chest. Do this – Sets: 3, Reps: 10, Rest for 2 minutes.
- Move into a push-up position, but instead of placing your feet on the ground, place them on an elevated object that’s about one foot high.
- Start with this position and bring your chest towards the ground, all the while keeping your forearms vertical and push yourself back to the start position.
4. Bench Dips
Bench Dips, also known as chair dips, are often regarded as one of the best triceps exercises. This is a great body weight workout if done the right way. It is also a great workout to isolate the triceps.
Getan elevated surface that’s approximately knee high for this workout, such as a bench press or a stable chair, or even a park bench. Stretch for push ups before you begin this workout.
- While you are seated on the edge your chair, place both hands just by your side and right next to your thighs and grab the edge of the seat.
- Use your arm to push your butt up off the chair and maintain a firm grip, while you do so.
- Extend your arms and take your butt off the chair.
- Extend your legs directly in front of you in a way that your knees are no longer bent. Take this as your starting position.
- Next, lower yourself by bending your elbows so that your triceps and forearms are perpendicular to each other (90 degrees). Ensure your feet aren’t sliding and hang your hips while you do so.
- Use your triceps to lift yourself to the starting position.
- Repeat the above sequence as many times as you can, till you hit fatigue.
5. Neutral-Grip Pull-ups
Neutral grip pull-ups are easier to perform than wide, overhand pull-ups. Your arms get stronger and you are able to complete more repetitions. As neutral grip pull-ups place less strain on your arm muscles, your bicep movements don’t get limited as they don’t get tired. This workout works your biceps, forearms and core.
- Get a pull-up bar with neutral or parallel grip handles.
- These handles enable hands to stay in a neutral position and your palms facing each other.
- Grab the bar with an iron grip with your hands shoulder-width apart.
- Start the exercise while your body hangs straight down and armsfully extended.
- Pull yourself up with a good amount of force until your chin is above the bar, pause for a moment then lower yourself again under control.
6. Incline Bench Press
The incline barbell bench press is a very effective workout for arms along with a great upper body strength exercise that works on the chest, shoulder, and triceps. When you perform this move on an incline, it emphasizes the upper portion of the chest. The incline makes it a safe and effective workout.
- Lie down on theincline Dismount the barbell from rack over the upper chest with a wide oblique overhand grip.
- Lower your weight to theupper Press the bar until your arms are extended. Repeat.
7. Push up on 1 Kettle bell
This exercise works your forearm strength/hand strength,lat, deltoid, back and core strength. This is a challenging workout, so make sure you add it to your list of best arm exercises.
- Take the push-up position with one kettlebell laying just outside your chest and reach across with the opposite hand, grab the kettlebell.
- Pull the kettlebell in a way that it is right below the chest and out to the side of the body and across the hip.
- Continue the pulling action,twist your shoulder girdle and pull around the side till you are able to flex the lat,completely.
- Return to the starting
8. Cable Chest Fly
This exercise works on your chest and arms, your athletic prowess and helps you play different sports like golf or racquet sports.
- Get hold of two opposing high pulley dumbbell attachments.
- Stand in a way that you have pulleys to each side.
- Bend ever so slightly and flex your hips and knees.
- Bend elbows slightly and rotate shoulders internally so elbows are back initially.
- Bring the cable attachments together as if you are hugging with elbows in fixed position.
- Keep the shoulders internally rotated so the elbows are pointed upward and out to sides at thebottom.
- Return to the starting position until your chest muscles are fully stretched. Repeat the entire procedure.
Once you are done with the workout for arms, don’t forget to keep a tab on the nutrition part of it. Yes, nutrition plays a major part in keeping your arms big and strong. Have you chalked out your fitness journey yet? If not, start right now!