It’s no secret; strong is the new beautiful! Bigger, stronger bodies not only look incredible but are optimal for health. People with more muscle mass are almost half as likely to develop diabetes, have a much faster metabolism, and are less likely to fall victim to muscle and bone injuries than people with very little muscle mass.
One of the most common body parts people like to train is their arms. Toned, well-defined arms are not only super attractive but also incredibly useful. Imagine being able to carry all of your groceries in just one trip. Building arm muscles is the way to achieve that small yet significant dream.
There are many different exercises you can do in order to grow your arm muscles, but some of the best arm workouts include:
- Bicep curls
- Tricep extensions
- Lateral raises
- Chest press
- Overhead Press
The standard bicep curl is one of the most common exercises to build bigger arm muscles. Biceps are obviously the targeted muscle in this exercise, but they also work your brachii, brachialis, and brachioradialis muscles in conjunction with your biceps.
You can use dumbbells, an EZ bar, or even a barbell to complete a bicep curl, but choose whichever you feel most comfortable using. Dumbbells are good for home workouts as they are easy to store. Still, they are for people who are more advanced with working out as they use stability muscles to keep the elbow in line while lifting the weight.
If you use an EZ bar or barbell, the straight line of the bar takes less mind-body coordination and is easier to control for beginners. Purchasing a barbell and custom weight plates is a great investment if you like to work out at home.
Tricep extensions are another great workout for people looking to build their upper body strength. The tricep is the muscle attached to the bicep but on the posterior side of your body. It’s a smaller muscle, and usually, one that is often overlooked in the gym. Building a strong tricep will help aid in bicep strength and reduce that “flabby” arms look that women hate seeing in their arms as they age.
A tricep extension is a simple movement, usually done with a dumbbell, but resistance bands can also be used in some cases. When performing a tricep extension, lift the weight above your head, slightly behind your back. Holding the weight with your palms facing upwards, simply lift the weight above your head, keeping the elbows in line with each other.
If you decide to use a resistance band instead, you simply anchor the resistance band behind your body underneath your heels. With your palms facing up and elbows at ear-length, extend your arms to tighten the band.
Lateral raises work your shoulders or lateral delts. The deltoid is a smaller muscle that connects to your scapula and collarbone. If you’re trying to get bigger arms, lateral raises are a great way to do it.
Using dumbbells, you hold the weights by your side with your palms facing inwards toward your body. Then, lift the weights straight up, making a T with your body, hold for a few seconds and then slowly lower the weight back down to your sides. Do this as many times as you can before feeling too fatigued to maintain proper form.
If you aren’t sure what weight is the best for you to use, start out with a 5-pound dumbbell, and if that is too easy, slowly increase by increments of 5 until you aren’t able to lift the weight to shoulder height.
The chest press is exactly as it sounds; it works the chest muscles (pectorals). Having proper form when doing a chest press is crucial because otherwise, you could injure your back, neck, or spine.
One of the best pieces of equipment to use when doing the chest press is a barbell with weight plates. Laying on your back, palms facing upwards, lift the barbell above your body using your chest muscles and biceps. Be careful not to lock your elbows, as this could cause pain and make it more difficult to lower the weight back down.
If you’re doing this exercise at home, be sure to have a spotter in case the weights slip or become too heavy. Dropping heavy weights on your chest is dangerous and could result in serious injury. Also, be sure you’re using weights that are appropriate for your current fitness level, as you don’t want to risk overtraining your muscles.
Finally, the overhead press is an excellent exercise when working towards gaining bigger arm muscles. This workout is a combination move that works your chest, delts, back, and triceps all at the same time. This exercise also helps with balance and stability, and is one of the best moves for people that want to gain better mind-muscle coordination.
You can complete an overhead press using dumbbells, but it is more commonly done with a barbell and weight plates. To perform this exercise, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, and raise the bar and weight plates above your head, keeping your elbows in a parallel line with each other. When you reach the top of your extension, hold the stance for a few seconds before slowly lowering the weight back into starting position.
Be careful not to strain your neck muscles too much or lock your elbows, as this could cause injury and will make this exercise much more challenging.
Enjoy your Muscle Gains
Training your arm muscles using any of these exercises will help you build, and maintain muscle mass in your arms. Having more muscles in your arms makes daily activities easier, increases your metabolism, and helps you to avoid muscle and bone injuries as you age.
If you don’t like going to the gym, no problem! Purchase your own home gym equipment such as dumbbells, a barbell, and weight plates, and start seeing them gains today!