6 Exercises For More Muscular Arms
Why do we exercise? What’s our motivation? For most of us, building muscle, injury prevention, losing a few pounds, and getting ready for an important event top the list.
Another popular reason is that folks simply want to look good. Some people might be hesitant to share that reason but they shouldn’t be. There is nothing wrong with wanting to look good and feel better about yourself. From a mental standpoint, looking better means feeling better which leads to a more confident outlook on life and more self-esteem. Who doesn’t want to feel good about themselves the next time they put on a sleeveless top or head to the beach?
Most people, especially males, will consistently train the “mirror muscles”, meaning just the muscles they can see when they stand in front of the mirror. Chest, abs, shoulders, and biceps top the list. While there’s nothing wrong with training those body parts, it’s traditionally more effective, and safer, to go with a full-body approach and work the muscles on the backside of the body as well. These include hamstrings, glutes, back muscles, and triceps, to name a few. This is extremely important as it provides you with a well-rounded and balanced strength training approach which helps combat any muscular imbalances and aids in “injury-proofing” the body.
Once you’ve got a solid full-body program in place, a simple approach is to pair up pulling movements (ex: pull-ups) with pushing movements (ex: dips). This is an extremely effective approach when focusing on arm training. A 15-20 minute “trip to the gun show” a couple times a week and you’ll have them ready for beach season in no time.
Method To The Madness:
Biceps – Upper body pulling movements will involve flexing the elbow that will target the biceps muscles. Compound pulling patterns like pull-ups and more direct isolated pulling movements like curl variations, are great ways to develop stronger and bigger biceps.
Triceps – Upper body pushing movements will involve extending the elbow that will target the triceps muscles. Compound pushing patterns like dips and more direct isolated pushing movements like extensions & press-downs, are great ways to develop stronger and bigger triceps.
Forearms – While we aren’t including any direct forearm exercises in this quick routine, the muscles of the forearms are definitely being worked. Our grip-intensive movements in this routine (see pull-ups and curls) will strengthen the flexor muscles of the forearms. This increased strength will transfer nicely to other big compound movements such as deadlifts and rowing variations.
The routine below includes three pushing movements that focus on the triceps (dips, extensions, and press-downs) and three pulling movements to target the biceps (pull-ups, curls, and hammer curls). Perform the first four movements in a circuit-style fashion. Once you complete all 4 exercises, repeat them again for 2-4 rounds.
Once you complete your desired number of sets, rest for 2-3 minutes and then complete movement 5 & 6 – 50 reps of band curls and 50 reps of press-downs. There are no specified “sets” and “reps” for this section…your goal is simply to complete the 100 reps in as few sets as possible.
Movement 1: Total Gym Pull-ups
Movement 2: Dips
Movement 3: Total Gym Biceps “21” Curls
Movement 4: Total Gym Triceps Extensions
2-MOVEMENT ARM FINISHER
Movement 5: Band Hammer Curls
Movement 6: Band Triceps Press-downs
Doug Balzarini, CSCS, MMA-CC, is a trainer, coach, presenter, and the founder of DB Strength. He is the co-owner of a fitness facility outside of Boston called, “Iron Village Strength & Conditioning”. He was the head strength and conditioning coach for the Alliance Training Center where he worked with many top professional MMA athletes. Visit www.DBStrength.com or www.IronVillageSC.com for more information.