Top 10 Best Exercises for Your Arms

Your arms are constantly in use throughout the day, so make sure you keep them strong with these simple exercises.

Top 10 Best Exercises for Your Arms
Top 10 Best Exercises for Your Arms
Guidelines from the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommend at least two to three nonconsecutive days a week of strength training the entire body, which includes the arms.You can train arms between 2-6 times per week. The more frequently you train arms, the less you should do per day. … If you train arms 6 days per week, you’ll do one exercise per muscle group per day, with only 2 sets per workout.

When training your arms, it is important to remember that you have many muscles and these muscles interact with several joints including your wrist, elbow, and shoulder.

Using lighter weights during arm exercises will boost endurance, while using heavier weights will build muscle strength.

Muscles That Make Up the Arms

There are 3 main sections of the arms, namely the anterior (front), posterior (back), and shoulders, and you want to make sure you’re training all three sections.

  1. In the front, you’ll find the biceps brachii (also known as the biceps), the brachialis muscle, and the coracobrachialis muscle
  2. The back of the arm contains the triceps brachii (or triceps).
  3. The deltoid muscle sits at the top of the shoulder.
  4. And the backside of the shoulder is where you’ll find the rotator cuff, which consists of four small muscles: the supraspinatus, the infraspinatus, the teres minor, and the subscapularis, according to another

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FOREARMS

The forearm is made up of 20 muscles, which can be categorized by flexors, extensors compartments, with sub-divisions of superficial and deep compartments. In short, the forearms can be train using flexion and extension, gripping movements, and simply holding loads and are often stressed doing other movements (rows, curls, pull ups, deadlifts, etc).

Any pushing, pulling, reaching, or swinging movement of the arms requires a different set of muscles, and training those muscles can help you do everything from carrying a bag of groceries and picking up your dog to holding a plank pose in yoga and opening a heavy door.

 

How to Make the Most of Your Arm Strength Training

  •  For general muscle strength, no matter what part of your body you’re training, the ACSM recommends 2 to 3 sets of 8 to 12 repetitions per training session, but you can modify it further, depending on your specific goals.
  • Using lighter weights and doing more reps and sets will help build muscular endurance (how long you can work a muscle without fatiguing.) (10-15 reps)
  • If you want to build muscle strength increase the weight and decrease the reps (6-10 Reps)

Helpful Tips  to keep in mind any time you do upper body exercises to avoid injuries:

Avoid locked elbows. Locking your elbows creates a chain reaction in your body, forcing other joints (namely the wrists and shoulders) to be locked too.  Use the fullest range of motion to work muscles to their fullest potential.

Check your posture. When you get tired, your posture can start to suffer. Leaning forward causes the shoulders to internally rotate, which could lead to rotator cuff issues and lower back problems.

Don’t be afraid to choose a lower weight. Don’t add too much weight too quickly but choose a weight you can lift while maintaining proper form but [that’s] slightly heavy enough to challenge you, If you’re arching your back to finish a curl, holding your breath, or having to inch up onto your tiptoes to complete the exercise, try switching to a lighter weight.

The Top 10 Best Exercises for Strengthening the Arms

Ready to get those arms in shape? Below are 10 exercises for strengthening the arms plus a sample workout that incorporates all of them.

Here are the Top 10 Best Exercises for Your Arms

1.BICEP CURLS

The Top 10 Best Exercises for Strengthening the Arms-bicep-curl
  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, holding a weight in each hand.
  • Starting with the weights by your thighs, palms facing forward, and elbows glued to hips
  • Lift weights toward shoulders.
  • Release to start; that’s one rep.
  • Repeat.

2.CABLE TRICEPS EXTENSION

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Preparation

  1. Sit upright with feet shoulder-width apart and pointed straight ahead.
  2. Grasp two cable handles, with your elbows flexed.
  3. Keep your shoulder blades retracted and depressed.

Execution

  1. Push your hands toward the ground until your arms are fully extended. Do not allow your shoulders to elevate toward your ears during the exercise.
  2. Hold for 1-2 seconds
  3. Slowly return to the starting position.

Technique

  • Using a cable attachment when performing cable pushdowns will allow your elbows to track through their natural path of motion versus having your hands closely fixed on a bar.
  • This may help decrease stress on your elbows.
  • Do 3-5 sets and 6-12 repetitions.

3.DUMBBELL HAMMER CURLS

How to prepare

  1. Stand with your feet flat on the floor, pointing straight ahead.
  2. Hold a dumbbell in each hand with arms at your sides; palms facing each other.

Movement

  1. Perform a hammer curl by performing elbow flexion while keeping your palms facing each other.
  2. Keep your shoulder blades retracted throughout the exercise.
  3. Slowly return dumbbells to their original position.

4.WRIST SUPINATION/PRONATION

Procedure

  1. Sit on a bench or stability ball with one arm comfortably rested on a table or other sturdy object.
  2.  Hold a lightweight object with your palm facing upward and slightly hanging off the table.

Movement

  1. Perform wrist pronation by turning your lower arm from a palm-up position to a palm-down position
  2. Reverse the movement to perform wrist supination.

Do 3-5 sets and 6-12 repetitions.

 

5.Bent-Over Tricep Extension

best-exercises-for-stronger-arm-muscles-bent-over-tricep

How to do bent-over tricep extension 

  1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart, holding a dumbbell in each hand and arms hanging at your sides.
  2. Palms should be facing in.
  3. Hinging from your hip with your knees slightly bent, lean your torso forward until your body is at a roughly 45-degree angle with the ground.
  4. Keeping your upper arms by your torso with your elbows at your sides, extend your forearms behind you until they are parallel to the floor, then release them to start for one rep.
  5. Repeat.

6.BENCH DUMBBELL TRICEPS EXTENSION

Preparation

  1. Lie on a flat bench.
  2. Your feet should be flat with toes pointing straight ahead.
  3. Hold dumbbells in both hands with elbows flexed.
  4. Extend your elbows until your arms are straight.
  5. Hold.
  6. Slowly lower each dumbbell toward your forehead by flexing your elbows. Be sure to keep your low-back in a neutral position throughout the exercise. Do not let it excessively arch off the bench.
  7. Repeat.
  8. Opt to have your hands shoulder-width apart to decrease joint stress on your elbows.
  9. Do 3-5 sets and 6-12 repetitions.

7.Tricep Dip

best-exercises-for-stronger-arm-muscles-tricep-dip

Procedure

  1. Sit on a stable chair or bench with your hands grasping the seat, positioned about shoulder-width apart and fingers facing forward.
  2. Extend your legs in front of you, placing feet flat on the floor so your knees form 90-degree angles (with knees over ankles).
  3. Slide your butt off the chair or bench so only your hands and feet are supporting you, and extend your arms almost straight.
  4. Bend your elbows and, while keeping your back close to the chair or bench, and slowly lower your body toward the floor until your elbows are at about a 90-degree angle.
  5. Press into the chair or bench and return to start to complete one rep and repeat.

8.Shoulder or Military Press

best-exercises-for-stronger-arm-muscles-shoulder-military-press

Execution

  1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart, dumbbells in each hand, arms at your side.
  2. Lift the dumbbells just above your shoulders, with your palms facing forward and elbows bent at about 90-degree angles.
  3. From this starting position, extend through the elbows and press dumbbells above your head.
  4. Release to start to complete one rep and repeat.

9.Front to Lateral Raises

How to perform Front to Lateral Raises

  1. Stand with feet hip-width apart.
  2. Hold a dumbbell in each hand, with arms in front of your body at thigh level and your palms facing your body. Keeping a slight bend in your elbows and your palms down, lift the weights straight in front of your body to shoulder height.
  3. Hold for a second and then move your arms out to the sides so they’re slightly below your shoulders. Release your arms to side and repeat, this time reversing the move, so that you first lift arms straight out to the side, then draw them in so they are extended straight in front of you, and finally lowering them back down in front of thighs.
  4. That’s one rep

 

10.Rear Delt Fly

Dumbbell Rear Delt Fly: Benefits, Muscles Worked, and More - Inspire US

Here’s how to do a dumbbell rear delt fly

  1. Stand with your feet about hip-width apart and a dumbbell in each hand.
  2. Bend your knees and hinge forward from your hips, extending your arms straight down, wrists below your shoulders with your hands facing each other.
  3. Keeping your back flat, lift your arms to your sides while your hands face the floor.
  4. As you do this, squeeze your shoulder blades together.
  5. Keeping your torso hinged, release your arms to the starting position to complete one rep and repeat.

Sample Arm Workouts

WORKOUT #1: BEGINNER ARM WORKOUT ROUTINE

3 Exercise Circuit – 3 Rounds

  • Dumbbell Bicep Curl: 3 sets of 11 reps
  • Dumbbell Kickbacks: 3 sets of 5 reps
  • Hammer Curls: 3 sets of 13 reps

3 Exercise Circuit – 3 Rounds

  • Seated Tricep Press: 3 sets of 12 reps
  • Concentration Curl: 3 sets of 9 reps
  • Single Arm Dumbbell Tricep Extension: 3 sets of 11 reps

3 Exercise Circuit – 3 Rounds

  • Biceps Curl To Shoulder Press: 3 sets of 7 reps
  • Zottman Curl: 3 sets of 9 reps
  • Hindu Push Up: 3 sets of 8 reps

WORKOUT #2: INTERMEDIATE TO ADVANCED ROUTINE

3 Exercise Circuit – 3 Rounds

  • Incline Dumbbell Curl: 3 sets of 10 reps
  • Seated Tricep Press: 3 sets of 10 reps
  • Reverse Barbell Curl: 3 sets of 10 reps

3 Exercise Circuit – 4 Rounds

  • Bench Dip: 4 sets of 6 reps
  • Dumbbell Skullcrusher: 4 sets of 9 reps
  • Concentration Curl: 4 sets of 11 reps

3 Exercise Circuit – 2 Rounds

  • Palms-Down Barbell Wrist Curl: 2 sets of 5 reps
  • Barbell Curl: 2 sets of 13 reps
  • Close-Grip Bench Press: 2 sets of 12 reps

Circuit 3 for Body-Tone

Use a moderate weight for each of the following exercises. You may want a slightly lighter weight for the rear delt fly. Repeat for 3 sets total, resting for 30 to 60 seconds between sets.

  • Wide curl: 12 reps
  • Tricep dips: 20 reps
  • Rear delt fly: 10 reps

References

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16095407

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