Make Your Arms Stand Out In The Crowd
Arms are one of the first things people see on your body. They are at eye level and whether you are wearing a tank top, short sleeved shirt, or button down shirt, you can immediately see someone’s definition.
Two important factors to consider when working towards achieving better arms are less repetitions and more weight will help bulk them up, while standard number of reps and moderate to heavy weight will get deep definition. Either way, your arms will become more toned and you’ll be ready to show them off.
So what is the trick to getting arms that girls drool over or ones people will stop and look twice at? I have the answers!
What Makes Up the Arm Muscles?
When working out the arms, you are training your biceps, triceps, and forearms. These muscles are small, so they can recover faster than larger muscles, like your pectoral (chest) muscles. One should aim to train these muscles groups twice a week, giving a few days rest in between.
To get these muscles to grow and to increase definition, it is very important not to over train your arms. Proper form is also key to getting those much coveted cuts.
The biceps are located on the front of the upper arms. It is attached to the radius bone (forearm) and originates at the scapula in two places. The bicep muscle runs down the front of the humerus and makes up approximately one-third of the muscle mass of the upper arm. Their main function is to flex the elbow and rotate the forearm.
The triceps are the muscles on the upper back part of the arm. It consists of three heads that connect the humerus and the scapula to the forearm. The lateral head, most responsible for the horseshoe shape of the tricep, is located outward facing the side of the humerus. The medial head is located toward the midline of the body. The long head is the largest of the three heads and is located at the bottom of the humerus.
While training the arm muscles, it is vitally important to execute the proper form. These muscles are small and it is easy to recruit other muscles to help if the proper technique is not followed. When working the arm muscles we want to make sure we are targeting only the muscles intended to obtain the maximum results.
When working the biceps, there are two key factors you want to keep in mind, range of motion and placement of the elbows. Time after time I see people in the gym making the same mistake while doing their bicep curls. They never fully straighten their arms and their elbows come up and forward.
When your elbows come forward, you tend to arch your back, which in turn puts pressure on your spine. Also, you recruit muscles that are not ordinarily involved with bicep curls, and thus taking the work off the biceps — which is exactly the muscle you want to be working!
You really want to focus on keeping your elbows at your sides and allowing your arms to fully open and close. If you cannot do this with the weight you are using, then you should try a lighter weight. Only a full range of motion will work the whole bicep.
Just as it’s important to keep your elbows in while doing your bicep work, the same is true with tricep exercises. Some examples are overhead tricep extensions, skull crushers, and triceps dips. There are many more, but what is most important is to not let your elbows bow out. This allows other muscles to come in and start helping, which can also lead to back and neck problems. Remember, if you have to jeopardize form, then your weight is probably too high.
10 Great Exercises to Get the Arms You Want!
I’m giving you five bicep exercises and five tricep exercises that will get you on your way to those sleek, defined arms. Plan on training arms twice a week and using three exercises from each category. You should perform three sets and by the third set it should be hard to finish your number of repetitions. If you can do three sets, easily, then the weight is too light.
1. Arnold Curls – Start in a seated position working one arm at a time. Perform a bicep curl up, and then turn your hand so your palm is facing out and slowly lower it back down. Your hand should hold the weight on a diagonal with your body. Curl up and rotate your palm back in and curl down to start position. Repeat. Make sure your elbow stays close to your body and you get full range of motion.
2. Sevens – This exercise is my favorite! Standing up, use a barbell and start with your arms in a curled position and barbell at chest level. Let the barbell come down half way, so your elbows are at a 90-degree angle, then curl up keeping your elbows tight by your sides. Repeat seven times. Then let the bar come all the way down and perform seven half curls. Again the bar should stop when it is at 90 degrees. When you finish those seven , perform seven full curls (all the way up and all the way down). That is 1 set.
3. Double Biceps Curls on Cable Machine – Hold each stirrup handle in one hand. Keep the pulley at shoulder height. With arms extended straight out with palms facing out, pull the handles in towards your head. Think about bringing your knuckles to your ears, and then slowly let your arms go back to your starting position. The slow motion down is very important to this exercise. Make sure your upper arm stays parallel to floor throughout the movement.
4. Lying Cable Curls – Place a flat bench under a high pulley. Grab the lat bar with an underhand grip with both hands. Lay on your back on the bench with your head near the foot of the pull down machine, and your knees bent with your feet flat on the bench. Keeping your elbows firmly in place throughout the movement, curl the bar down until it touches your nose. Keep your elbows close together throughout the exercise. Slowly return to the starting position and repeat.
5. Alternating Hammer Curls – Stand with your arms by your side and feet shoulder width apart. With palms facing towards your body, curl the weight in you left hand directly up to your left shoulder, then slowly return to start position. Repeat with right hand and so forth.
6. Skull Crushers – Lay down with your knees bent and feet flat on the bench. Grip a barbell with close grip (hands less then shoulder width apart). Position barbell over your shoulders with arms extended. Lower the bar to your forehead by bending elbows, and make sure to do this slowly. Then extend arms and repeat.
7. Overhead Rope Triceps Extension – Face away from cable machine with pulley attached ¾ the way up. Grip the rope behind your head. Make sure elbow are in and lunge forward with one leg. Extend forearms forward until elbows are straight. Allow cable bar to return back over neck. Repeat.
8. Close Grip Push-Up — Lay down prone on floor with hands under shoulders or slightly narrower. Position body up off floor with extended arms, elbows close to sides, and body straight. A partner can place weight plate(s) on your back for added intensity. Keeping your body straight, lower to the floor by bending your arms, then push up until arms are extended. Repeat.
9. Dumbbell One-Arm Triceps Extension – Sit on seat with no back support. Keep abs tight and position dumbbell with one arm straight overhead. Lower dumbbell behind neck while maintaining upper arm’s vertical position throughout exercise. You can place the opposite hand on the arm you are working for additional support. Extend the arm until it’s straight. Return and repeat. Continue with the opposite arm.
10. Cable Push Down – Stand facing high pulley cable machine with a straight bar attachment. Grasp the bar with over hand grip and elbows close to your side. Extend arms down, keeping wrists flat, and then return until forearm is close to upper arm and repeat.
Well-defined arms are sought after by bodybuilders, fitness enthusiasts, and even those just mildly interested in working out. There is something about those muscle cuts and definition that makes us want to wear a tank top or tighter fitting shirt to show off all the hard work.
Training your arms two times a week will lead to developing and defining your arm muscles. Stick with these exercises to get maximum results!