The quest for bigger, stronger arms can feel like searching for the holy grail. Well, search no longer, and get ready to wrap your soon-to-be sculpted arms around these seven exercises! Since your arms are used in every exercise that requires a bend in the elbow, they can be used to doing the standard “do one set and then rest” format. To combat that you can do super sets (bicep exercise followed by a triceps exercise) or compound sets (multiple exercises back to back of the same muscle group) with any of these. That will enhance the potential of these already effective arm blasters while keeping these exercises fresh with variety. See which combination is most effective for you!
Biceps – 12-15 Reps
Using the preacher bench with dumbbells is a great way to isolate each arm while focusing on an optimal stretch in your biceps which maximizes muscle tear (thus muscle growth). Be sure to keep your elbows on the bench at all times to keep control of your body and stay in proper form. If you can’t do the exercise without lifting your elbows, lower the weight and start over!
Triceps – 12-15 Reps (w/ 20 Rep warm-up)
You can do this one with either isolated hand grip attachments OR an ez-bar using the outer angle grip with your palms facing inward. If using the isolated hand grips, start with your palms facing your chest and as you extend your arms downward, end with your palms facing each other. If using the ez-bar keep your grip strong, get a full extension, and be careful not to bend your wrists too much when they start getting fatigued.
Biceps – 10 to 12 Reps
With this exercise, you’re going to work every aspect of your bicep in one smooth movement while enhancing your grip in the process. Focus on curling all the way up with a quarter twist ending with your palms facing the ceiling. Once at the top, keep the full squeeze as you twist your forearms so your palms are now facing downward. Then control the dumbbell all the way down.
Triceps – 15-20 Reps
This movement maximizes the stretch in your triceps while sticking with traditional strength practices. Be sure to use an upright bench to support your back. Remember to do your best to keep your back as pressed into the support as you can to avoid arching in your spine.
Biceps – 12-15 Reps
This one can be done with either free weights or cable attachments but what’s most important is you need to use a “curved” bar when doing this one. The reason being is your elbows move much better when the palms are angled slightly inward. Reverse curls work heavily on the head of your bicep thus leading to a “full” bicep look while beefing up your forearms in the process.
6 & 7. Plank-to-Push-Up followed by Overhead Cable Triceps Extension
Triceps – 10-20 Reps/12-15 Reps accordingly
These exercises by themselves are tough but when put together they are sure to shred.
- Plank-to-Push-Up: You can keep your knees down if your back starts to bug you as long as you alternate each arm your push up with alternating left to right.
- Overhead Cable Triceps Extension: Set your cable apparatus all the way up with the rope attachment. Your back will be to the weight stack and you will be in a split stance similar to a lunge position. Keep your “elbows in your ears” to avoid whacking yourself in the head and if your back starts to flare up in a bad way simply leaning forward at the waist a bit more until the tension is relieved.
Final word… Remember to do all of these with intention. Controlled and deliberate movements beat out momentum and “too much weight” strain every single time so if you come correct then bigger arms you’ll get.