26 Exercises For Creating Big Arms And Being The Envy Of Other People

Posted by Nigel Jeal | Posted in Articles, Fitness | Posted on 30-01-2013-05-2008

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Ever Wanted Big Guns?

 

 

Now You Can With These Cool Moves!

 

 

Yes, It’s True, Isn’t It?

 

Adding mass to your biceps, triceps and forearms has never been easier.  Complete these simple moves with perfect form and you’ll see quick results FAST.

1. The Chin-Up

Although best known as a back exercise, the chin-up is just as much about your biceps.  Pull up, hold at the top to create static tension in your muscles, then lower.  This is a genuine test of strength and power.

2. TRX Scull Crusher

Don’t let the name put you off – this simpler version of the classic skull crusher (you know the one – where you’re lying on a bench holding a heavy weight right above your face) is safer and easier.  Plus, using your bodyweight will put even more emphasis on your triceps.  Hold the stirrups at head height and lean forwards.  Keep your body straight, lock you upper arms and push the stirrups away from your head.

3. Overhead Extension

This standard move burns for good reasons due to the way it isolates your triceps and creates maximum load at the lowest part of the movement.  Hold a dumbbell with both hands directly above your head.  Bend at the elbows to lower the weight behind your head, then straighten your arms once more.  Focus on lowering the slowly because it will feel heavier the lower you go.

4. Lying Overhead Extension

Consider this move a stepping stone to the more challenging French Press (see exercise 25).  Lie on a flat bench and hold a dumbbell with both hands above your chest.  Rotate at the shoulders, moving your arms behind you so your upper arms finish the move beside your head.  Pull back up again.

5. Assisted Pull-Up

The pull-up is about as simple as moves come, but can be a tough one to perform if your back needs strengthening.  For an easy boost, place a box beneath your feet of use your gym’s pull-up assist machine.  Give yourself enough assistance to get you chin above the bar, but no more.

6. Close-Grip Press

This grip style allows for a greater load to be placed on your triceps, which in turn will speed up your rate of muscle building.  Holding the bar with hands less than shoulder width apart.

7. Press Lock-Out

Because you perform only the final stage of the press, you are able to shift 20-30% more than your regular 1RM, leading to more muscle growth.

8. Floor Press

The limited range of movement focuses more of the work on your triceps.  Lie flat on the floor and press the bar up until your arms are straight.  Repeat.

9. Yates’ Bent Row

This is the ultimate bicep-builder.  Named after colossal bodybuilder Dorian Yates, it mixes a drag-style row with isometric contractions to hit every muscle fibre harder.  Pause as the bar reaches the crook in your hips, and lower.

10. Barbell Curl

Gravity’s not always helpful.  During a curl, the pull of gravity means that in the lowering phase there is little tension in the muscles, making it easier.  But by changing body position throughout the movement you can maintain tension in the muscles.  Start by leaning back.  As you curl the bar, lean forwards, then as you lower, lean back.

11. Reverse Drag Curl

This adaptation creates far more tension than the tradition barbell curl, and that tension tension remains throughout the move.  The aim is to drag the bar up your thighs and along your body, so that it brushes past your torso, then curl it up to eye level.  Lower back down slowly.

12. Seated Dumbbell Curl

It’s likely that this is one of the first exercises you ever tried.  It’s simple, yet an effective muscle builder.  Sitting on the edge of a bench, grasp two dumbbells with an underhand grip and curl them up to shoulder height.  Alternate arms or perform simultaneously.

13. Seated Dumbbell Half Curl (Lower)

This variation on the regular seated curl uses your legs as a brace to specifically target the bicep.  Simply lower the weight until it’s near your feet, then curl it back up to hip height with a controlled motion.  Keep your upper arm close to your body.

14. Seated Dumbbell Half Curl (Upper)

This movement hits the second phase of the bicep contraction.  Perform as with the lower half curl (exercise 12 above), but this time start at hip height and curl up to shoulder level.  Pause at the top, then lower the weight back down slowly.

15. Seated Dumbbell Hammer Curl

The hammer curl is an ideal variation if you want to add extra inches to your arms.  Twist your wrist so that you palms are facing in towards your body.  Start with your arms by your thighs, then raise both dumbbells until your forearms are above horizontal.

16. Parallel Bar Dip

A bodyweight move that hits your, chest, shoulders and triceps hard, building strength and size.  Start with your arms locked out at the top to stabilise you, then lower your body until there is a 90-degree bend at your elbows and push back up to the starting position. For big muscular gains, try lowering slowly and rising back up explosively.

17. Leaning Bar Dip

Perform as with the Parallel Bar Dip (above), but this time pull your legs further back and lean your body forwards. This engages more muscle fibres in your deltoids and pecs giving you a more complete upper-body workout.  To increase the difficulty further, add resistance by attaching weights to a dip belt, or hold a dumbbell between your feet.

18. The Deadlift

This hero move creates massive tension in your biceps and forearms, as well as building your lats and legs.  Bend down and hold the bar with hands just wider than shoulder width.  Keep your back straight and drive up to a standing position.

19. Medicine Ball Throw

Throwing an object requires your upper body to generate maximum force at speed – and that means you become powerful.  This creates huge neural response, stimulating fast muscle growth.  It doesn’t get simpler than this: hold a medicine ball behind your head, and then throw it forwards as hard as you can. Try not to take out any of your fellow gym-goers as your triceps gain power and strength.

20. Diamond Press-Up

Forming a diamond shape with your hands on the floor changes the mechanics of the move and forces your triceps to take most of the burden of the press-up.  Keep your elbows tusked in throughout the movement to accentuate the load on your arm’s largest muscle group.  Employ normal press-up form through the rest of your body by maintaining a straight line from your shoulders to your ankles.  Sink down until your chest is as close as possible to your hands, then press back up.

21. Military Press

A traditional no-frills move that builds your shoulders and triceps while engaging your core for stability.  Hold the barbell with an overhand grip and rest it across the top of your chest.  Now explode upwards with your arms until they are extended overhead.  Contract your muscles at the top of the movement to increase tension.  Lower with a steady, controlled motion.

22. Tricep Pull-Down

If you want to feel instant effects (eg. pain) from a tricep move, this is one to choose. Stand in front of a cable station and hold the handle at shoulder height, elbows close to your sides.  Now push your forearms down to your hips, pause and return to the start position.  That burning sensation in the back of your arms is the prelude to growth, honest.

23. Barbell Squeeze Curl

Gripping the bar hard as you can curl it up will create high levels of muscle tension throughout the move. This action also recruits more neighbouring fibres, promoting growth.

24. Prone Curl

Lying on an inclined bench and curling with dumbbells changes the angle of the upper arm and removes any rocking motion from your upper body, for improved efficiency.

25. Dumbbell Squeeze Curl

Hold two dumbbells and push them together as hard as you can.  Maintain the pressure and curl up and down.  This creates tension in two directions, working your biceps even harder.

26. French Press

This exercise has the highest EMG score (measuring the electrical activity from muscles) of any tricep movement – it’s the best. Set an incline bench to 45-degrees.  Hold the bar above your chest, then lower it back behind your head.

Now what?

You’re now armed with 25 really powerful arm moves that will help you build muscle mass like nothing you’ve seen before.

If you incorporate some of these into your workout routine you truly are going to get big results FAST.

Dedicated to your success,

–Nigel

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Tell us about your arm workout routine and how much muscle you’ve added to your arms—let’s get 20 COMMENTS, and we’ll be back soon with another awesome post.

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