Big, strong arms brings confidence.
A muscular arm is viewed as powerful and athletic. It tells others you are disciplined and committed to lifting weights and building muscle mass. If you want big arms fast follow this guide!
Lets face it, everyone wants bigger arms. Fast. We want our shirts to fit tighter and our sleeves to hug our arms. We want bigger biceps and triceps.
Well good new is getting bigger arms is easier than you think.
The fact of the matter is that you don’t really need to do any direct arm work because the arms get enough stimulus through compound exercises.
Yet, if want to grow MORE muscle mass, we can add indirect arm work. But make sure any additional arm work is part of a well-rounded workout plan.
We can accomplish getting bigger arms by using machines and free weights. We will go into detail about the various arms exercises to perform so you can get to building muscle mass
In this guide, we will be going over the best excercises for getting bigger arms.
First, focus on compound exercises that work several muscle groups at once.
Second, we will supplement our arm training with isolation excersises to make sure we cover all our bases.
Third, make sure you’re eating enough protein and carbs to support muscle growth. This seems to be a sticking point for a lot of people so we will be focusing on churning out some diet related content here in the near future.
And finally, be patient – it takes time and effort to build big arms!
When it comes to building bigger, stronger arms, its important to rotate between using lighter weight for more reps, and heavy weights with less reps so you cover all the hypertrophy rep ranges.
There are a ton of different biceps exercises, triceps exercises, and compound movements that you can do to build muscle mass on your arms.
What Muscles Make Up The Arms
The biceps are made up of two muscles – the long head and the short head.
The long head is the most visible part of the biceps and is mainly responsible for shoulder flexion (bringing your arm up in front of you).
The short head is located on the inside of the biceps and helps with elbow flexion (bending your arm).
The triceps are made up of three different “heads,” or muscles – the lateral, medial, and long heads.
The lateral head is the most visible part of the triceps and is responsible for extending the elbow (straightening your arm).
The medial head helps with shoulder extension (pushing your arm down behind you) and the long head assists in both abduction (taking your arm out to the side) and adduction (bringing your arm in towards your body).
The long head of the triceps is the most important for overall size and development. It is responsible for more than two-thirds of the muscle’s size.
Therefore, it is important to focus on exercises that target this head specifically. Best worked with arms overhead such as overhead extensions and skullcrushers.
If you’re looking to add some size and strength to your biceps, there are a few exercises you should focus on.
Let me just say first that biceps are extremely easy to grow. Any pulling exercise you’re doing indirectly works the biceps (for example chin-ups).
Literally 1-2 exercises, 2-3 sets for 8-12 reps is all that’s required to stimulate growth on an individual level. This will activate both slow and fast twitch muscle fibers.
There are only so many bicep exercises to perform; there’s a limited number of ways you can curl. Choose the ones that make you feel the best mind-muscle connection and perform them.
When working biceps, we want to concentrate on getting the arms fully extended rather than keeping them bent at the bottom of the movement. We want to ensure full range of motion for better muscle activation during your training session. Now Lets get to it.
To do it, hold a barbell with an underhand grip, hands shoulder width apart and curl it up towards your shoulders, squeeze at the top, and slowly lower the bar back down.
Be sure to keep your back straight, knees slightly bent and your core engaged.
Sometimes using a straight barbell can make your elbows hurt so don’t be afraid to use a EZ-bar instead of a straight bar, as it is more anatomically friendly.
One variation you can do that will also target the forearms in addition to the biceps is to do a reverse curl. All you need to do is just grip the bar with your palms facing downward.
Another great biceps exercise is Hammer Curls.
To do hammer curls, hold a weight in each hand with your palms facing your thighs. Slowly curl the weights up towards your shoulders, keeping your elbows tucked to your sides.
Squeeze at the top, then slowly lower the weights back down. Remember to keep a neutral grip as this movement targets the biceps brachialis, which is part of the lower arm.
Remember to squeeze the muscle at peak contraction of the movement as this stimulates more muscle mass.
Hammer curls are great because they also activate the forearm muscles.
For those looking for an isolation exercise, the cable curl is a good option.
I love cable curls because you can do all sorts of variations by switching up the attachments.
This is done by attaching a weighted cable to a low pulley and standing facing the machine. Curl the cable towards your shoulder, using only your biceps muscles and hold for a second before lowering the weight slowly.
Incline Bicep Curl
Incline bicep curls are a great exercise to target the biceps muscle. They are similar to regular bicep curls, but are done on an incline bench which increases the range of motion and helps to better isolate the biceps.
To do incline bicep curls, you will need an incline bench.Set the weightlifting bench at a 45-degree angle and place the incline bench in front of it.
Sit on the weightlifting bench with your feet flat on the ground and your back pressed against the bench. Hold a weight in each hand with your palms facing outward (or as much as you can) and slowly curl the weights up towards your shoulders. Squeeze at the top and slowly lower the weights back down.
The preacher curl and its variations
They are great isolation exercise for the biceps. It is performed by sitting at a preacher curl bench with your elbow resting on top of the pad, and holding a weight in your hand with your palm facing upward.
Curl the weight up towards your shoulder, and squeeze at the top before lowering the weight back down.
You can also do variations of this exercise such as the incline preacher curl, which is done on an incline bench, or the hammer preacher curl, which is done with a hammer grip (palms facing each other).
The concentration curl
It is performed by sitting on the edge of a bench with your feet flat on the ground and your back straight. Hold a weight in one hand with your palm facing inward and slowly curl the weight up towards your shoulder. Squeeze at the top and slowly lower the weight back down. Repeat this for all reps before switching hands.
There are many other exercises that you can do.
If you’re looking to hit your triceps, there are a few great exercises that you can do.
Unlike the biceps, the triceps are a bit harder to train because there are 3 different muscles we need to activate to grow muscle mass (hence the term TRi-ceps).
Most pressing movements are perfect targeted exercises for the triceps.
But if we want maximum muscle growth we need to isolate the triceps we need to make sure we hit all 3 heads.
There are so many triceps variations I won’t go into detail with all of them here, but I will list one exercise for each tricep muscle.
In far too many cases, the problem was that someone couldn’t get a decent triceps workout because of their range of motion. Triceps adore the stretch and, as one of their most essential functions in the human body, all of the repetitions should be locked out.
Close Grip Bench Press (Lateral Head)
Hopefully you’ve read our post on our Garage Gym Esentials and bought a power rack. You can look up how to properly execute the close grip bench on YouTube.
But for now a few tips.
Laying on a flat bench, make sure you extend your arms straight up over your chest then slowly lower them back down to the starting position. Be sure to keep your core engaged and use slow and controlled movements and keep your shoulder blades pulled back (this helps stabilized the shoulders).
Skull Crusher (Long Head)
To do Skull Crushers, lie flat on your back on a weight bench with a barbell in your hands. Extend your arms straight up over your chest in almost a press up position then slowly lower them back down. Be sure to keep your core engaged and use slow and controlled movements.
You can do this with either an EZ-bar or a standard barbell. Use whatever gives you the best mind-muscle connection where you really feel the burn in the muscle you are trying to train.
Burn=>Blood Flow=> more muscle tissue.
This exercise can also be done with dumbbells.
Cable Pressdown (Medial Head)
The cable pressdown is a great exercise for targeting the triceps. It is performed by standing in front of a cable machine and grabbing the handle with your palms facing down.
Then, slowly extend your arms down until they are fully extended. Squeeze your triceps at the bottom and return to the starting position. Repeat for all reps before switching hands.
Make sure to keep your torso upright, hinge forward slightly, and keep hands shoulder width apart. Alternate between heavier weight and lighter weight throughout the week.
How to decied when to switch the exercise
The decision is based on answering just a few questions about the exercise you’re currently using:
Are you still gaining strength in reps?
Is there any discomfort or pain in your joints, muscles, or connective tissues? This discomfort/pain exacerbated by activity and accumulating over time?
Is the exercise’s intensity changing? In other words, is the activity suitable for the rep range you wish to use it for? Dips sets of 25 might overwork your forearms and irritate your wrists, but cable pushdowns for 25 stimulate your triceps as intended.
If you’re still hitting PRs on the exercise, you’re getting a solid mind-muscle connection, and there’s no other reason to alter it, don’t change it!
Many times it’s up to you to make a wise choice considering all the variables above.
Getting bigger arms is a goal that many people aspire to, but it’s important to be realistic. The most effective way of getting bigger arm muscles is through weight lifting and bodybuilding exercises.
If you’re new to working out, it may be a good idea to start with some basic arm exercises. Once you’ve mastered those exercises, you can start incorporating more advanced exercises into your routine.
One of the best ways to get bigger arms is to focus on compound movements. These are exercises that work multiple muscles at once, such as the bench press and the squat. By incorporating these exercises into your routine, you’ll not only build bigger arm muscles, but you’ll also improve your overall strength and fitness level.
It’s important to remember that getting bigger arms takes time
However, there are some less intense bodyweight moves you can do in the meantime like push-ups and pull-ups for when your energy levels are low or if you don’t want to work out with weights yet. But no matter what exercise routine you follow, remember: consistency is key!