Bodybuilding Arm Exercises
The muscles of the arms are one of the most flexed body parts in bodybuilding, so it is little wonder why many beginners tend to focus intensely on the arms. The arms should of course be trained as part of a well balanced training plan, reducing the chance of muscular size and strength imbalances, to create a well balanced, aesthetical pleasing and symmetrical physique. Building the muscles of the arms is achieved by the implementation of resistance training to stimulate hypertrophy, optimal rest, and correct nutrient intake to support muscular growth. The arm exercises which can be executed for optimal arm growth are outlined in this entry.
Biceps exercises for growth
The barbell curl is a simple and popular arm exercise for stimulating the arm flexor muscles, including the biceps brachii. The barbell curl should be performed in a strict manner, avoiding swinging or jerking with the weight, which could prove injurious and reduce stress to the target muscles. The barbell curl may not be a suitable option for those with wrist injuries, and such trainers may wish to try an EZ bar curl instead, which has a much more comfortable grip position.
The grip width for the barbell curls should be around shoulder width, although it is best to experiment to find a width which is comfortable on the wrist and allows for an intense set of curls.
More information regarding the barbell curl
Alternating dumbbell curls
The unilateral option for training the biceps- the dumbbell curls may also provide a better option for those with wrist issues due to there being no fixed grip during the exercise, unlike during the barbell curl. The unilateral characteristic of the dumbbell curl makes it an ideal exercise for those who have experienced arm muscle imbalances, with the dumbbells requiring each arm to work equally and independently to perform the exercise.
The dumbbell curl can be performed standing upright, or seated. The seated variation forces the trainer to perform the exercise in a stricter manner, with a decline bench offering another strict variation of the exercise.
More information regarding the dumbbell curl
Brachialis and brachioradialis exercises for growth
The hammer curl stimulates the brachioradialis to a great degree due to the neutral grip being used, and is an exercise which may be implemented to supplement overall arm development, with the brachioradialis running beneath the biceps brachii. The hammer curl can be performed with dumbbells, in a whole host of variations, including; preacher hammer curl, standing hammer curl, seated hammer curl, prone hammer curl, and decline hammer curl.
If seeking a cable variation of the hammer curl – the rope curl offers a similar brachioradialis exercise.
More information regarding the hammer curl
Overhand barbell curl
The brachioradialis is the main arm flexor muscle during the overhand grip, due to the biceps brachii (the usual main elbow flexor muscle) being mechanically weak during the execution. The overhand barbell curl, therefore, is a great exercise to stimulate the brachioradialis for muscle growth.
More information regarding the overhand curl
Triceps brachii exercises for growth
The French press is an overhead triceps extension, an exercise which stimulates the lateral head of the triceps greatly due to the upper arms being positioned above the head. The upper arms should remain stationary whilst above the head, with the upper arms being perpendicular to the ground.
The French press is commonly performed with a barbell, although the exercise can be performed with an EZ bar to relieve stress on the wrist. Another variation to the over head extension is to perform the exercise with a low pulley cable, ensuring continual tension to the muscle during the execution of the movement.
More information regarding the French press
Close grip bench press
The close grip bench press places stress on the triceps brachii, opposed to the chest and deltoids during the normal bench press. The upper arms should remain tucked to the side of the torso, opposed to flaring outwards. The grip used should be comfortable, with a grip of between five and fifteen inches being popular and effective.
More information regarding the close grip bench press
The dip exercise can provide great stimulus to the triceps, when performed with the torso upright and the upper arms tucked to the side of the torso during the execution. The dip can be performed on dipping machines, although it is advised to move onto the body weight exercise once the strength has been built up. The body weight dip can be used until the required number of repetitions can be performed, then extra resistance can be added to the exercise via a dipping belt.
More information regarding the triceps dips