Bodybuilders have always considered massive arms the most impressive body part along with the chest and back as an indication of outstanding strength and size. if your goal is to build big arms, then you need the best arms workout for this.
Usually, arms are the most popular body part a beginner bodybuilder seeks to develop. No other part of the body signifies impressive strength and superior growth, as arms do like with other muscle groups.
They are the most apparent whether clothing or just bare body. Who wouldn’t want jacked peaked biceps and horse shoe triceps bulging out of their skin tight shirt sleeves?
But before we can better understand how to train arms, its best to understand their anatomy first.
The anatomy of arms
As the name implies, the biceps brachii consist of two heads; the short head and the long head. The long head emerges from the glenoid of the shoulder joint and the short head attaches to the coracoid process.
The biceps brachii causes flexion at the elbow joint such as when the hand is lifted towards the face. It also causes supination of the fore-arms such as when rotating the hands so the palms faces up.
This muscle lies deep down from the lower half of the humerus to the biceps brachii and connects to the upper bone just below the elbow joint. The brachialis acts to flex the forearm.
This brachioradialis muscle rises from the outer aspect of the lower end of the humerus and runs down the forearm to attach to the radius just above the wrist joint.
The triceps brachii is named similarly, also have 3 heads namely the long head, medial head and the lateral head.
Long head: This arises beneath the glossa fossa of the shoulder joint.
Lateral head: arises from the outer surface of the humerus.
Medial head: arises from the medial and rear surface of the humerus.
All three heads originate at the same place but all insert into the elbow. The long and lateral head of the triceps create the horse shoe shape where the medial head is a deep muscle.
The triceps main function is to extend the elbow such as when moving the hand away from the face.
The muscles of the fore arm are equally divided between those that cause movements of the wrist and those that moves the fingers and hands.
Wrist flexors: composed of many muscles, curls the knuckles back and up.
Wrist extensors: curls the palm down and forward.
Pronator teres: these are the muscles located in the forearms that pronates and flexes the fore arm.
Anconeus: a small muscle located at the posterior surface of the elbow that stabilizes the elbow joint and assist in extending the fore arm.
Before we get into the making of the big arms, there are principle you must know. They are like the bread and butter of building big arms.
The best arms workout tips
Emphasize compound movements
Compound movements are a must, this will build overall mass not just for the arms but the whole body generally. Emphasizing on compound movements that hit the biceps such as deadlifts and rows while compound movements that hits the triceps such as close-grip bench press, military, dips.
Eat more calories
You need to have a good diet and a high calorie intake if you want to build big arms. Adequate nutrition combined with the best arms workout will make you reach your goals faster.
Rest and recovery
When you sleep, your body produces growth hormone that will help you recover from your workout session. For growth and recovery, sleeping at least 7-8 hours a day is enough.
Progression is key
No matter what workout routine you do, progression is important it’s going to make you bigger and stronger. Start by adding small increments each week or monthly in your workout session, as long you are progressing you will grow.
Achieving arm perfection means knowing which muscles to train with each exercise that will best hit the muscles. There are ways of approaching arm training, Include the best arms workout in your routine and watch your biceps and triceps grow.
The best arms workout
For the biceps
Standing barbell curls
The standing barbell curl is the corner stone of any bicep’s workout. This exercise is also one of the best arms workouts which is one of the most recognized exercise in all of bodybuilding. It allows for heavier loads to be used than many other curl variations.
Training with different grips on this exercise can shift focus to different areas of the biceps such as taking a close grip focuses on the outer head of the biceps while a wider grip allows for more weight to be used and puts focus on the inner head of the biceps more.
How to do the standing barbell curl
- Stand with feet shoulder width and grasp the bar with an under-hand grip taking a wide grip or a close grip.
- Curl the bar out and up, bringing it up as high as you can with the elbows close to the body.
- Fully flex at the top, lower the weight slowly resisting the weight all the weight down until the arms are fully extended.
There is high possibility that you don’t have the proper form when you are doing the standing barbell curl. The preacher curl is stricter than the barbell curls, it takes away any way for cheating voluntarily or in-voluntarily. Preacher curls are a great way to keep good form. To do a preacher curl you need a preacher bench which can be done with using a barbell, dumbbell or an E-Z bar.y
How to do the preacher curl
- Position yourself on a preacher bench with your chest against the bench. Your arms extending over it.
- Take hold of a barbell with an under-hand grip.
- Hold your body steady, curl the bar all the way up and then lower it to full extension, resisting the weight on the way down.
This is one of the best arms workout for creating biceps peak, it maximizes the focus on the long head of the biceps. This is a very strict movement, so you can be limited by the amount of weight you can use on this.
How to do the concentration curl
- In a standing position, bend over slightly and take a dumbbell in one hand, rest your free arm over your knee or any other stationary object to stabilize yourself.
- Curl the weight up to the shoulder without moving the upper arm or the elbow, make certain not to allow your elbow rest against your thigh.
- As you lift, twist the wrist so that the little finger ends as higher than the thumb.
- Tense the muscle fully at the top of the curl then lower the weight slowly resisting it all the way down to full extension.
Incline dumbbell curl
This exercise develops mass and biceps peak at the same time, it stretches the long head of the biceps which runs over the shoulder joint.
How to do the incline dumbbell curl
- Sit back on an incline bench, keeping your back straight with a dumbbell in each hand by your sides.
- Keeping the elbows forward throughout the movement, curl the weights forward and up to shoulder level.
- Lower the weight again fully under control and pause at the bottom.
For the triceps
The triceps is a larger muscle than the biceps and it needs training from all angles. The triceps makes your arms look massive and impressive whether your arms are relaxed or flexed. With the triceps every part of this muscle needs to be fully developed.
Starting with a multi-joint exercise allows you to engage the muscle with heavy weight and also incorporates compound movements such as the close-grip bench press.
Close-grip bench press
This primarily will target the medial head and the lateral head of the triceps. It’s really a great mass building exercise for the triceps.
How to do the close-grip bench press
- Using a flat bench, lie flat on the bench using a close grip
- Lift the bar with assistance from the rack, arms locked and holding the bar straight over you.
- Inhale and slowly bring the bar down towards your chest keeping the elbows close to the body.
- Exhale and push the bar up using the triceps muscles and locking the arms at the top of the exercise.
Dips are one of the exercises that work all three heads of the triceps muscle all at once. This develop the thickness of the triceps.
How to triceps dips
- Taking hold of a parallel bar, start by raising your arms with your arms straight, raise yourself up and lock out your arms.
- From there, start by bending your elbows and lower yourself between the bars, try to stay upright as possible.
- From the bottom of the movement, lift your body up by straightening your arms.
Note: you can increase the effort involved in this exercise by using a weight hooked around the waist.
Lying triceps extension
The long head of the triceps is the largest part of the triceps muscle which makes up for most of the mass of the triceps. Any exercise that involves going overhead hits the long head more.
The lying triceps extension or also known as the skull crusher is one of the best exercises that emphasize the long head very well.
How to do the skull crusher or lying triceps extension
- Lie along a bench, your head just off the end with knees bent and flat on the bench.
- Take hold of a barbell (preferably an E.Z curl bar) with an over-hand grip.
- Press the weight up until your arms are locked out but not straight over your face, the weight should be back behind the top of your head.
- Keeping the elbows stationary, lower the weight down past the fore-head, and then press it back up to the starting position.
Note: keep control of the weight at all times in this movement to avoid banging yourself on the head with the bar.
For the fore arms
Fore arms should be taken just as seriously as any other body part, if you want to develop a top quality physique, strong fore-arm development is necessary and important which allows you to train with heavier weight, gives you the capacity to train hard and put more stress on other muscles such as in a deadlift. Grip can be a limiting factor in lifting and holding the weights so strong fore arms are needed to successfully perform the exercise.
Barbell wrist curl
This is one of the best arms workout for developing the wrist flexors muscles of the fore arm (inner fore arm).
How to do the barbell wrist curl
- Take hold of a bench with an underhand grip, hands close together.
- Straddle a bench with your fore arms resting on the bench but with your wrist hanging over the end, elbows and wrists the same distance apart.
- Lock in your elbows to stabilize them.
- Bend your wrists and lower the weight toward the floor.
- Roll the weight back into your hands, contract the forearm and lift the weight as high as you can without letting your forearms come off the bench.
While having to build big arms may be your number one goal bodybuilding goal, but don’t ignore other muscles in your body. It will be a good idea to train your body as a whole, working other muscles groups too, so you will have a more proportioned physique.