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7 of the Best Arm Workouts for a Stronger and More Tone Body

By AK, 4 July 2019


Last year, there were over 6 billion gym visits in almost 40,000 facilities.

That’s in the US alone. And it doesn’t even include hotel gym visits!

Clearly, people are pumped up (literally) when it comes to going to the gym these days. Rarely have so many been so motivated to get stronger, fitter and healthier.

Of course, everyone has different goals at the gym.

But for people looking for the ‘perfect body’, their arms are a particularly popular body part to build. Old hands at the gym may have this covered already. However, newbies may want a bit of guidance on how to do it properly.

Looking for some arm exercise ideas to get those triceps and biceps bulging?

Keep reading to learn 7 exercises for the best arm workouts.

1 Barbell Curls


Barbell curls are a classic arm exercise.

There are different types. However, the simplest entails standing up straight with a barbell held in front of you. Hold it with both hands shoulder-width apart.

Your palms should be facing away from the body.

From there, simply curl the barbell upwards (slowly) to shoulder height. Squeeze the bicep at the top to make it work extra hard. Then lower back down to the starting position.

Breathe out as the biceps contract. Breathe in on the way down.

Make sure you keep your body still and practice full extension. Many people start and finish the movement too early. This makes it easier to curl but only works a smaller section of the muscle.

Be sure to keep elbows tucked in and extend the barbell right up. Lower it all the way back down to the body. That’s one proper rep!

2Dumbbell Curls


One thing’s for sure:

As you read this, countless blokes will be stood in front of mirrors in gyms around the world, pumping out one dumbbell curl after another!

They’re another classic.

Stand up straight with a dumbbell in each hand down at your sides. Keep elbows tucked in and palms facing inwards toward the body.

From there, the form is essentially the same as the barbell curl.

Keeping your upper arm in position (i.e. you only move the forearm) and elbows tucked, slowly curl the dumbbell upwards, rotating your palm outwards. Breathe out as you do.

The top of the movement is when the dumbbell reaches shoulder height. Squeeze the bicep further at this point.

From here, gently reverse the movement until the dumbbell is back where it started. Repeat with the other hand. That’s one rep down!

3Hammer Curls


Hammer curls are a variation on your standard dumbbell curl.

The practice is essentially the same! The form is exactly the same.

However, a key difference is in the direction of your palms in the movement. Start in the same way: holding the dumbbells at your side, with palms facing inwards towards the body.

Keep your elbows tucked in and slowly move the upper arms, contracting the biceps on the way up.

Now, rather than twisting your palms outwards, keep them in position (exactly like hammering a nail). Equally, there’s no need to alternate. Bring both hands up and down at the same time.

4Preacher Curl (Using EZ-Bar)


Preacher curls are a seated exercise.

Place your arms over the top of the bench in front of you. Your armpits should sit comfortably on the top (adjust the height of the seat accordingly).

Grasp the EZ-bar at shoulder width. Doing so will extend your arms out in front of you, in line with the bench.

From here, simply curl the bar upwards towards you. Your upper arms should remain on the bench. Breathe out on the way up and squeeze the biceps, as usual, at the top. The bar will be in front of your face. Then lower the bar back down again to complete the rep.

It’s important to leave your elbows slightly bent from start to finish. Failing to do so, and extending the arms fully for each rep, can do damage over time.

5Chin Ups


Chin ups provide an epic work out.

You probably know how to do them already.

The exercise is nice and easy (though actually doing it can be hard!). Find the horizontal bar above you and grasp it (you might have to jump) using a supinated grip. Your palms will be facing towards your body.

Put your hands approximately shoulder width apart and pull yourself up so that the bar finishes below your chin. That’s the top of the movement. Lower yourself down and repeat. Try not to swing on either the way up or the way down.

Breathe out on the way up and in on the way down.

Don’t confuse chin-ups with pull-ups.

These use a pronated grip (palm away from you on the horizontal bar) and require your hands to be further apart.

Pull-ups also work your arms! However, they’re better for working your lats.

6Barbell Bench Press (Close Grip)


On to the triceps.

Start with a close grip bench press.

Lying horizontally, grasp the barbell above you with your hands at or just below shoulder width.

Lift it from the frame and lock your arms. Be careful to keep your wrists strong here (allowing them to bend backward can damage your wrists over time).

To perform the movement, lower the bar slowly to your chest, with elbows close to your body (this is different from an ordinary bench press). Breathe in as you go.

Just as it touches, press the bar upwards into the position you started in. Breathe out as you press.

That’s one rep! Importantly, it should take about half the time to press upwards than it does to lower it.

There are all sorts of press exercises to build your arms. The overhead press is one example. Find out more about it using this link.

7Push Ups and Dips


You can’t beat a good old-fashioned push up.

There are dozens of varieties. However, the basic form has you lying face down on the ground. With palms down, you push yourself away from the earth, breathing out. Lower yourself back into position, breathing in. And repeat!

For a bigger challenge move to the dip bar. Lower yourself down slowly and explode upwards.

It’s a similar sensation to the bench press, except you’re lifting your body weight instead!

The Best Arm Workouts

There you have it: 7 epic arm exercises for the best arm workouts out there.

Gym-going is more popular than ever before. Millions of people go to the gym every day to reach their personal fitness goals.

Newbies to the gym often aim to get their biceps and triceps bulging. If that’s you, then we hope this guide will come in handy.

Want more health-related advice? Head over to the health section of the blog now!

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