Killer Arms Workout: Top Arm Exercises & Tips for Building Muscle and Toning Your
The arms get a TON of attention from people who lift weights, but much too often the
approach to training the arms is incorrect. Men are obsessed with big loaded guns, while
women love to have that shapely, slender look to their arms...
So Men will often curl away for hours while women tend to focus on very high reps. The truth is, proper arm
development requires a solid, balanced routine, and what you're about to learn on this page applies as much to
bodybuilders as it does to those going after the "toned" look.
Think of the arms as a package deal, biceps, triceps AND forearms to create that stunning look
you're after. Besides the appearance, strength & endurance in the arms can be a huge benefit
in athletic activities as well as making everyday tasks a lot more enjoyable.
An important thing to remember is that specializing and really focusing on the Arms should only
be done after you've reached a certain strength level in the major upper body compound exercises. So basically you
should have consistently lifted weights for up to a year before specialzing on a bodypart...
Quick Tip: The best approach to training your Arms is to
include them in a well-structured, total body workout program that scientifically plans
all of these things for you: 1) volume, 2) intensity, 3) frequency, 4) progression, 5)
exercise selection, 6) periodization & MUCH more...
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Here's an outline of the rest of this page:
1) Introduction of the muscle groups on the Arms
2) Arm exercises
3) Quick training tips
4) Sample Arm workout
Introduction & Basic Anatomy
The bicep muscle is two-headed, comprised of a long head and a short head. Both of these heads
need to be targeted and emphasized equally for the best overall look. The 2 most common methods of emphasizing each
head are changing the grip and adjusting the arm positioning, which you'll learn about later.
An often overlooked and under-trained component of the bicep is the brachialis, which sits very
deep and shows itself mainly on the top of the forearms. Developing this segment is critical to adding the
"peak" effect to your biceps and improving the look of the forearms.
The tricep muscle is three-headed, comprised of a long, lateral and medial head. As with the
biceps, proper development can only occur with equal emphasis on each head. By adjusting your elbow position and
using a variety of overhead vs push exercises, you can effectively target the entire tricep.
- Begin with feet about hip distance apart.
- Hold weights in hands at sides, palms inward.
- Bend elbow, lifting one weight up and across to center of chest with
palm facing chest.
- Lower weight while raising other weight in the same
- Stand with feet hip distance apart.
- Begin with weights in hands, palms inward.
- Bend elbow of one arm, bringing weight up and out slightly to
outside of shoulder. - Keep palms inward.
- Lower while raising other weight in same manner.
- Sit with upper arms supported on
preacher curl bench.
- Hold bar on the angle portion, palms downward.
- Lift bar upward, bending elbows.
- Return to start position and repeat
- Place hands on pull-up bar, palms in.
- Slowly pull chin up to bar and lower back down.
- Place hands on dip bars, elbows bent.
- Push down, raising body upward.
- Lower and repeat.
- Stand with feet hip distance apart.
- Begin with weight straight overhead in both hands.
- Lower weight to center of upper back.
- Keep elbows close to ears and pointed up.
- Straighten and repeat.
- Stand with barbell in hands overhead.
- Bend elbows, lowering bar behind head.
- Lower and repeat
- Stand, leaning over chair or table, arm back, elbow
bent, as shown.
- Hold weight in hand.
- Straighten elbow through available range.
- Return to start position.
See More Arm
Exercises, Videos & Training Tutorials
Quick Training Tips
- For the biceps, it is important to choose exercises that target the inner(short) & outer(long) heads,
as well as the brachialis(around forearm). In general, closer ez-bar grips emphasize the outer head, while
wider straight grips target the inner head.
- Incline Dumbbell Curls and Barbell Curls are 2 highly effective exercises that, when used together, hit all
3 of the above regions for complete bicep development (including the "peak").
- It is critical to maintain wrist stabilization through any bicep exercise. Excessive flexion &
extension can lead to wrist and elbow pain. Choose a weight that allows your wrists to be straight and
- For the triceps, exercises should be chosen to target all 3 heads, long, lateral & medial. In general,
overhead extension type exercises target the long head, while push/press type exercises hit the lateral &
- French Presses and Tricep Kickbacks are 2 very effective exercises that, when used in conjunction, promote
maximum development of the triceps.
- During any tricep move, keeping your elbows tucked in VS flared out can change the emphasis of the region
being emphasized. However, the elbows should not be "wiggly"(flaring in & out) during a repetition, they
should be fairly stable.
- For any Arm exercise, it is typically a good idea to use a slower tempo on the eccentric(lowering) motion
and more of an explosive tempo on the concentric(lifting) motion, while slightly pausing and "squeezing" the
muscle at the top of each rep.
- An advanced technique to train the arms is to use Supersets, when 1 bicep exercise is paired with 1 tricep
exercise, to be performed consecutively without taking any rest in between. The completion of both exercises
would equal 1 set.
- Keep in mind that many shoulder, back & chest movements recruit the biceps & triceps quite heavily.
Chin-ups and Dips are two excellent compound exercises that target multiple muscle groups including the
Sample Arm Workout
As we said earlier, the optimal way to train your Arms is to include them
in a well-structured, total body workout program...
But, if you feel that you've been training long enough and have decent strength in the
major upper body compound lifts, then you can try the sample Arm workout below to further
specialize on that area:
Lying French Press(SkullCrushers): after warming up, 2-3 sets of 8-10 reps
Barbell Curls: after warming up, 2-3 sets of 8-10 reps
Rope Pressdown: 2-3 sets of 10-12 reps
Incline Dumbbell Curls: 2-3 sets of 10-12 reps
Bar Dips: 2-3 sets of 12-15 reps
Preacher EZ-Bar Curls: 2-3 sets of 12-15 reps
Depending on your full weekly routine and how your train your upper body,
this Arm workout can be done once a week and no more than twice. Rest times should be between 90-120
seconds between sets if you want to get the most growth.
Secrets to Developing a Perfectly Balanced,
Ripped Physique (95% of Gym Rats Have No Clue About This)