I don’t think that I have to explain anybody where our arms are situated. Everybody knows it. They are essential in general day to day life and every sport or martial art. We use arms to pick up objects, throw them, punch, pull, push, hug, cover ourselves, eat and do loads of other daily activities.
Anatomy of Arm Muscles
Our arms consist of 3 main muscles:
There are also another two more, smaller muscles in our arms called Brachialis and Brachioradialis however these are less visible then the rest.
The best muscle mass building exercises for biceps:
- Barbell Biceps Curls,
- Drag Curls,
- Dumbbell Alternated Biceps Curls.
There are also few isolation exercises for this muscle: preacher curls, concentration curl and incline dumbbell curls.
The most effective exercises for triceps are:
- Close Grip Bench Press,
- French Press,
- Bench Dips (behind back).
Additional movements: cable press downs, overhead extensions (dumbbell or cable) and dumbbell kickbacks.
Triceps is the biggest muscle of an arm. It usually forms 2/3rd of its size.
Forearm muscles are located below the elbow. Their main function is flexing (curling motion) and extending the wrist. Besides they are also responsible for the grip. They work always during any upper body training.
- Wrist Curls,
- Reverse Wrist Curls.
Because forearm muscles play a key role in the strength of a grip we should try to work them out in a different way as well. To train them accordingly to this function we can do farmer walks or perform hanging on a chinning bar with both, single hand or even with an extra weight.
4. Brachialis and Brachioradialis
Brachialis is the muscle underneath the biceps. It’s not very visible. Brachioradialis is the muscle on the top of the forearms, near to an elbow. They both help to flex our arms. You might not hear about them before but training these muscles can increase the size of your arms and make them look much more impressive.
These muscles are activated when we perform any curling or pulling exercise with supinated grip (palms facing each other or down) for example pull ups with neutral grip.
- Reverse Barbell Curls,
- Dumbbell Hammer Curls.
Brachialis is probably the strongest flexor of an arm, stronger than the biceps. Although it’s not so visible it’s very beneficial to work it out. Arms look much more muscular when brachialis is big and well developed.
Example of Workout for Arm Muscles
Here is direct workout for the muscles of the arm depending from experience.
- Barbell Curls 15/15,
- French Press 15/15.
- Barbell Curls 12/10/8,
- Incline Dumbbell Curls 10/8/6,
- Bench Dips (behind back) 12/10/8,
- French Press 10/8/6.
Forearms: Wrist Curls 15/12/10, Reverse Wrist Curls 15/12/10
- Drag Curls 12/10/8
- Dumbbell Hammer Curls 10/8/6
- Preacher Curls 12/10/8
- Dips 12/10/8
- French Press 10/8/6
- Press Downs 12/10/8
Forearms: Farmer Walks 3-4 sets of 30-45 seconds. Choose the weight that you’ll not be able to walk longer than prescribed time. If you don’t have the right equipment – use heavy dumbbells for this exercise.
- Barbell Curls 4×12-6,
- Dumbbell Alternated Curls 3-4×10-6,
- Reverse Barbell Curls 4×12-Failure,
- Close Grip Bench Press 4×12-6,
- Standing French Press 3-4×10-6,
- Bench Dips 4×12-Failure.
Forearms: Reverse Wrist Curls superset with Wrist Curls – 4 sets (15-8 reps); Hanging on a chinning bar (single hand) 3 sets for as long as you can – till failure.
This is direct workout for arms (biceps, triceps and forearms together). If you want to train each of these muscles separately simply divide this routine into parts and use it different days.
If you decide to train triceps with chest or shoulders and biceps with back make sure you’ll take away 1 exercise from each muscle (perform just two). It is too many sets for smaller muscle groups when they work together (cooperate) with big ones.
Arm muscles are extremely important. We use them always when we train the upper body. They are even essential when we train legs – we couldn’t do barbell squat without using arms.
Many people believe that direct arm training is not needed. They think that arm muscles will be growing from heavy presses and pulls (during chest, shoulders and back training) and they quiet right but not completely. It is true that our arms will get bigger when we progress in heavy compound exercises but they will get much bigger when we hit them directly as well.
One way or another arm muscles are a crucial body part. If your arms are weak you’ll not be able to get strong in other upper body exercises so make sure they are not underdeveloped. Make sure also that you train your triceps and forearms as hard as your biceps. If you want your arm to look really big and proper developed you have to train all of its muscles. To make a good impression every single part of your arms has to be big, especially forearms. They will never look muscular if you focus only on the biceps.