In our continuing effort to bring you the best possible workouts for every part of the body, Health Fitness Revolution has found the all-time greatest exercises to build strong arms. To strengthen your arms you will need to work on both your biceps and your triceps. Luckily, you’ll find plenty of great lifts for both on this list! So implement these exercises into your strength training routine, and try and target both your biceps and triceps at least once a week. Here are the top 10 arm exercises:
- Bicep Dumbbell Curls
The classic and most recognizable bicep workout is the standing curl. This wildly popular lift can be preformed either with dumbbells or a barbell. Stand with your feet firmly planted and the dumbbells hanging by your side. Bring both up at the same time, keeping your elbows and torso still. Lower slowly until your arm is fully extended. If your elbow is moving or you are swaying, then use less weight. Make sure that the biceps are doing the work.
This compound bodyweight exercise is one of the best tricep workouts out there. Start out with your hands placed on two dip bars. Raise yourself up until your arms are completely straight. Lower your body by bending your arms, leaning slightly forward with your torso. Pause when your shoulders get below your elbows. Your elbows remain locked and stationary throughout the exercise. Raise your body back up to starting position and lock out your arms. If you can’t do bodyweight dips from the start, use the tricep dip machine at the gym.
- Concentration Curls
Sit on a bench with your legs spread wide apart. Place the back of your upper arm on your inner thigh. Pick up a dumbbell from the floor and curl your lower arm upwards, while your upper arm remains stationary. Keep your idle arm locked on your opposite leg to maintain your balance.
Pushdowns are the best tricep isolation exercise in town. They are easy to do and immensely satisfying because they add tricep strength like no other exercise. One word of warning: if the weight is too high your core will tighten up and do some of the lifting for you. Attach a straight bar or rope to a pulley that is adjusted so that is higher than your head. Stand straight and, leaning slightly forward, bring the bar down until it touches your thighs. Hold the bar or rope in the contracted position for a moment, then raise it back up to starting position.
- Overhead Tricep Extensions
You just need one dumbbell for this one. Stand with your feet shoulder length apart and raise your dumbbell with both hands. Use your palms to cusp one end of the perpendicular dumbbell and lower it in a semicircular motion behind your head. Stop when your forearms and biceps touch. Make sure to keep your upper arms stationary throughout the process. Lift the barbell back up to resting position.
- Skull Crushers
Are not as scary as they sound, though having a spotter never hurts! Skull crushers are a great tricep exercise that can be done with any kind of resistance training equipment, from barbells, to the EZ-curl bar, to cables (which are the safest of all for your skull). Lie with your back on a flat bench reach to the floor behind you to grab the dumbbells/ez curl bar/cables. Keeping your upper arm straight, raise the weight by pivoting your elbows until it is perpendicular to the ground, usually stopping just above your forehead.
- Close Grip Chin-up
In a close grip chin-up, you are effectively curling your body weight. Sure, your delts are shouldering some of the load, but your biceps are doing the lion’s share of the lifting. Place your hands together on a pull-up bar with your palms facing towards you. Lift yourself until your chin is above the bar, hold for a second and then lower yourself. Repeat as many times as you can.
- Hammer Curls
This variation of the classic curl also builds biceps. Stand up in the same position you are in for your standing bicep curls. Hold the barbells with your palm facing your torso. Raise the weight but do not rotate your wrists; keep them facing the torso. The dumbbell should go in a perpendicular semicircle. Hold for a moment then return to start.
- Preacher Curl
This is another great bicep curl variation to compliment the classic standing curl. Sit at a preacher bench (the one with a giant foam pad at about chest height) and grab an EZ-curl barbell. Raise it up while exhaling and contracting the bar.
- Underhand Kickback
Grab two dumbbells and lock out your legs so that your feet are shoulder length apart. Bend your hips and lower your upper body until it is about parallel to the floor. As you do so, turn your palmist face in front of you and keep your upper arms against your sides.