Killer Arms Workout: Top Arm Exercises & Tips for Building Muscle and Toning Your Arms!

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...

 Discover the Secrets to Developing a Perfectly Balanced, Ripped Physique (95% of Gym Rats Have No Clue About This)

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.

Arm Exercises

Buzzy Curl

- 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 manner.

 Hammer Curls

- 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.

Preacher Curls

- 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

Pullups Palms-in

- Place hands on pull-up bar, palms in.
- Slowly pull chin up to bar and lower back down.
- Repeat

Bar Dips

- Place hands on dip bars, elbows bent.
- Push down, raising body upward.
- Lower and repeat.

Overhead Extension

- 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.
-Straighten elbows.
- Lower and repeat

Triceps Kickback

- 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 stable.
  • 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 & medial.
  • 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 arms. 

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.

 Discover the Secrets to Developing a Perfectly Balanced, Ripped Physique (95% of Gym Rats Have No Clue About This)


Upper: Abs | ArmsBack | Chest | Shoulders | Forearms | Biceps | Triceps | Lats | Full Upper
Lower: Quadriceps | Hamstring | Glutes | Calves | Full Lower