A Look at the 6 Best Arm Exercises with Weights
Previously, we took a look at building chest muscle. Now, we’re going to take a look at another one of the most enjoyable muscle groups to work is the arms. This group of muscles includes the forearms, biceps, and triceps. It’s important to target all three of these muscle groups to develop arm muscle that looks awesome. After all, muscular arms never go unnoticed.
The great thing about working the arms is that you can get a full arm workout with just a set of dumbbells. The arms are easy to work from home or the hotel gym when you don’t have time to get to the gym.
We’ve compiled our list of the 6 best arm exercises with weights that are sure to explode your arm gains in no time.
#1: The Barbell Biceps Curls
There is a reason why the barbell curl has been a bodybuilding staple for years now. It is one of the best arm workouts you can do. This exercise enables you to build strong biceps when done correctly. There are two types of barbell curls which include the E-Z bar barbell curls and the straight bar bicep curls. Although they target, more or less, the same muscles, the E-Z bar variant reduces the stress experienced on the wrists and elbows when you’re lifting heavy weights. When performing this exercise, it is important to maintain a good posture as bending forward or backwards while doing the exercise might strain your back and could put you out of commission with an injury.
Barbell Biceps Curl Technique
In a standing position, hold the barbell with equal weights on each side of the barbell. Bend your arms in such a way that the arms bend 90 degrees. Then stretch the arms once again. Repeat this technique and aim for at least 8 reps. Always ensure that your elbows are close to your ribs.
To try different variations, you can do modify the basic curl position to either a close grip or a wide grip technique. This slight variation with target the biceps just a little differently and help to avoid plateauing. You can also try the seated barbell curl. The advantage of the seated barbell curl is that is really isolates the biceps and minimizes your ability to ‘help’ your biceps with other muscle groups.
#2: The Hammer Dumbbell Curls
The hammer dumbbell curls targets the biceps brachialis. This is a smaller muscle that helps in giving your biceps a visual boost and makes your biceps look bigger. On top of giving your biceps that visual boost, the hammer curls also target the forearm muscles. This means that as you continue working out the biceps, the forearm will also benefit from the hammer effect. Hammer dumbbell curls kill two birds with one stone.
The Hammer Dumbbell Curl Technique
In a standing position with your feet shoulder-width apart, hold a dumbbell in each hand and place the weights in front of your hips or thighs. Then bend your left arm at a 90 degree angle. Curl your right hand towards your shoulder and then lower it back down while resisting the gravitational pull. Do this with the left arm and alternate as you do the curls.
#3: The Incline Dumbbell Curls
The incline dumbbell curls is performed using an incline bench. This exercise is a must-do for serious results because you will not have the momentum issue that occurs while performing other arm exercises in the standing position. This exercise restricts the back movement. It is not easy to perform this exercise with heavy weights as maximum tension is experienced on the biceps’ muscle. It is crucial to use a challenging weight but one that you can lift with proper form.
The Incline Dumbbell Curl Technique
Lie on an inclined bench that’s positioned at a 45 degree angle while holding dumbbells in each hand. With your head a little bit raised from the surface of the bench, slowly raise one dumbbell at a time. Perform as if you are doing regular curls. Aim for at least 8 reps.
#4: The Dumbbell Seated Overhead Triceps Extension
If you want ripped triceps, this is the exercise you need to do on a regular basis. This exercise is the best triceps workout as it gives you the chance to overloading the triceps. Remember if you want to have big arms you need to go heavy on them. However, do this progressively with weights you are able to press or lift comfortably. Unlike other triceps exercises, the dumbbell seated overhead triceps extensions solely engage the triceps muscles. No other muscle group is involved in this exercise. This is important as the effect will go directly to the triceps.
The Dumbbell Seated Overhead Triceps Extension Technique
In a seated position, hold a dumbbell with both of your hands. Let your hands hold one side of the dumbbell not the grip area. Raise the dumbbell above your head then carefully lower it to the back part of your head until your elbows are 90 degrees. Then raise the dumbbell again above your head. Repeat this technique until muscle failure. For comfort, use a bench that can support your back as you do the exercise.
#5: Lying Triceps Extensions
Most bodybuilders love this exercise because of its ability to build huge triceps muscles. It is undoubtedly the ultimate triceps workout in any bodybuilding program. You can perform this exercise with the E-Z barbell, the straight bar or dumbbells. However, most beginners and some experienced trainers avoid this exercise because it can cause pain in the elbows, especially if done with poor form. It’s important to ensure that you use the best technique and form before performing this exercise.
Lying Triceps Extensions Technique
This exercise requires you to lie on a flat bench facing upwards. Hold the barbell with weights on either side as if you were going to do a barbell bench press. Then instead of lowering the weight towards your chest, lower it behind your head. This is done by folding your arms in such a way that the elbows form a 90 degree angle. Then straighten your elbows again raising the barbell above your body. Aim for at least 8 reps per set.
#6: Cable Pull-Down Triceps Extension
The cable pull-down triceps extension is another great way to isolate the triceps and build muscle arms. Just be sure that you don’t use your shoulders to ‘help’ you push the weight down. If you’ve been to the gym before, you’ve definitely seen this exercise done.
Cable Pull-Down Triceps Extension Technique
The technique is very simple. On a cable crossover machine, find the rope that allows you to pull it straight down with both hands. Adjust the machine to its highest height. Grab the rope in both hands and pull straight down. Control the rope on the way back up, and then repeat.
This exercise can also be done single handedly, using a handle, or the cable crossovers rope. This is a great way to take the exercise to the next level and isolate the left and right triceps for maximum results.
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