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Best Arm Exercises

best arm exercisesWhen you begin a mass building program for big arms, you have to be aware of how to structure the workout.  Building up the arm muscles requires a multi-discipline approach.  Modifying the workout variables such as the rep range, amount of weight lifting and the exercises is essential for  structuring an effective muscle building program for the biceps and triceps.  Compound movements, such as chin-ups and reverse grip bent over rows should be done with heavier weights and performed with a lower repetition range, somewhere around 6-10.  In addition, more isolated movements such as preacher curls, alternating dumbbell curls and straight barbell curls with fat gripz should be performed with a higher repetition range, such as 8-15.


The goal of this balanced routine is to provide a high impact workout to stimulate massive arm growth.  If you are stuck in a rut and haven’t seen any progress, this routine will jump start your arm workouts again.  In this workout, we are going to combine heavier compound exercises (integrated movements) with higher repetition isolation exercises.  This will provide the perfect combination of intensity and volume for the biceps and triceps to grow.


1)         Chin-ups

2)         Dips

3A)       Alternating DB Curls (Standing)

3B)       Decline Neutral Grip DB Tricep Extensions

4)         Plate Pinch

* Note:  Exercises 3A and 3B are done in an alternating fashion

Exercise 1:  Chin-ups, 4 sets of 8-10 reps, Rest 90 sec-120 sec

Exercise 1 Tip: You’ll want to use a pretty narrow grip width (less stress on elbows and wrists) and overload this movement with extra weight if you can easily hit the required reps.  A dip belt, weight vest, chains or elastic bands can be used to provide additional resistance.  To increase the difficulty even further, a towel can be wrapped over the bar to increase the grip component (and hand / forearm strength recruitment).

Exercise 2:  Dips, 4 sets of 8-12 reps, Rest 90 sec-120 sec

Exercise 2 Tip: Try to overload this movement with additional resistance.  As stated, you can use a dip belt, chains, bands or a weight vest.   Initiate the movement by learning forward and ensure a full range of motion by lowering until your triceps are parallel to the ground.  If you can’t perform dips due to shoulder issues, close grip bench press can be substituted for this movement.

Exercise 3:  Alternating DB Curls (Standing), 3 sets of 12-15 reps, Rest 45-60 sec

Exercise 3 Tip: Try not to swing the weights and ensure you don’t fall back or shift side to side when performing repetitions.  As fatigue sets in, this will be more of a challenge.  You also want to ensure your elbows do not drift forward as you curl the weight.  This will target the biceps more and keep more tension on them throughout the exercise.  Squeeze the biceps at the top of each repetition.

Exercise 4:  Decline Neutral Grip DB Extensions, 3 sets of 12-15 reps, Rest 45-60 sec

Exercise 4 Tip: This movement is unique because of the angle of the bench.  You can engage a greater range of motion and keep constant tension on the triceps, lats and shoulders throughout each set.  Also, make sure each repetition is locked out and the triceps are squeezed hard at the top.

Exercise 5:  Plate Pinch, 4 sets of ALAP*, Rest 90 sec

*ALAP – As Long As Possible

Exercise 5 Tip: To finish the workout, we will perform this very simple grip strengthening exercise.  This will tie everything together and give you balance in your arm strength and size.  Plate pinch is where you take 2 Olympic plates and put them back-to-back with the smooth sides facing out.  Grab over top of the plate stack with both hands; pick up and hold (with the thumb side facing your body).  Ensure that the weights are not touching your waist as this will provide assistance.  Hold for as long as you can.  Start with 2-10’s and progress to; 3-10’s, 4-10’s, 2-25’s, 2-35’s and 2-45’s.

By on August 27th, 2011


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