Looks can be deceiving when it comes to arm workouts that appear simple. Sure, it appears as if all you have to do is pick up a dumbbell and start curling it. However, if you want to get the most out of your time in the gym, arms training is a little more complex than that. You have to do it again and again while keeping proper form during each execution.
While I could simply tell you what exercises to do and walk away, this isn’t how I roll. Let me show you small changes to some of the most common arm exercises so that your bicep and triceps are maximumly stimulated. More growth can be achieved by increasing the levels of stimulation, activation, and challenge. Incorporating the below exercises your next arm workout is going to be all the better thanks to these simple tidbits.
Alternating Dumbbell Curls While Standing
Hand rotation is the secret ingredient in this time-tested biceps exercise. The internal and exterior rotation of your hand during the curl may appear insignificant, but it’s crucial for stretching and exercising the muscle.
Begin this exercise by placing the dumbbells on either side of you with your hands facing you. Raise the dumbbell to a horizontal position while rotating your hand outward so that it faces the ceiling.
You’ll get a pump as you’ve never felt before with this simple rotation of your biceps muscle fibers. Curl the dumbbell with one arm after lowering it with the other in a controlled manner and return to the starting position.
2 barbell curls
Barbell curls are also basic arm exercises, however, most people don’t realize this important tip: keep your shoulders back when performing the exercise. All biceps exercises should be performed with your shoulder blades pulled back and retracted toward the ground.
The elbow joint is the only joint that moves during this exercise, which helps to isolate the biceps. Maintaining a neutral position of your upper body prevents your muscles from accidentally aiding in the movement. Ultimately, the idea is to focus the barbell curl’s tension on your biceps, not your entire body.
The biceps curl while seated in an inclined position.
A variant on the classic dumbbell biceps curl, the adjustable incline bench alters the angle at which the biceps are attacked. To get the most out of the incline bench, lower it by one or two notches.
To isolate the biceps, keep your shoulders back and pressed on the bench when you sit back down. This is not an exercise for the chest or front delts, so as you fatigue, you may find yourself leaning forward and using those muscles. To target the targeted muscle, keep your shoulders back and your elbows pinned to your sides while performing this exercise.
I prefer the regular biceps curl to the hammer curl, which most people do since I get a better contraction from this position on the bench.
Skull Crushers/Overhead press
If you’re looking to target your upper arm muscles, you can’t go wrong with the skull crusher. Because of the way they do each repetition, I see a lot of people flaring their elbows out as they do so, which puts a lot of stress on their elbow joints and associated tendons.
Your elbows should be steady and pointing toward your legs at all times when you’re standing. In this exercise, the only movement should come from your elbow joint, allowing your muscles to tense. Refrain from locking your elbow at the peak of each rep to maintain triceps tension throughout the exercise.
The Dumbbell Kick-Back Exercise
Your triceps are targeted in kickbacks but a little-known trick can help you get the most out of them. An often-overlooked part of the triceps, the outer head, is highlighted by this exercise.
Freeze your shoulder joint and pin your elbow to one side to allow for as little movement as possible from the top half of the arm (the humerus) while the triceps stretch to “kick back” the dumbbell, just like in the skull crusher.
The triceps will be working hard if you keep the movement gradual and controlled.
Triceps Push-Down Using Rope
Set up a pulley machine with a rope attachment and be ready to do a basic external rotation to maximize triceps contraction quality. Keeping your shoulders back and your elbows locked in is critical, and I cannot stress this enough.
Turn your palms toward the ground so that your hands externally spin as if you were spreading the two ropes apart while you pull the rope down with a neutral grip. Adding weight to your triceps is an excellent way to maximize the benefits of this workout.
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