Suns out guns out, right? Well it seems to be the season again where tank tops and sleeveless shirts find their way into our daily wardrobe so you may as well possess a massive set of arms to coincide with this practice. Larger than life arms are really a sight to be seen and it takes a tremendous amount of work to get to that point. Often times what you’ll see is someone who has either massive biceps and decent triceps or the other way around, so the goal of this article is to provide you with exercises that will give you growth in both areas so that your arms take on that 3D look that everyone is after. If you can accomplish the feat of packing on massive amounts of muscle that is evenly distributed between both the biceps and triceps, you will have secured your position as top dog in the arms race.
Top 3 Biceps Exercises
Straight/Cambered Bar Curls:
This exercise has proven to be the gold standard for building biceps mass. It is considered a compound lift, which means the amount of weight you are able to handle within it should be considerable in comparison to other biceps exercises. Take a grip at about shoulder width apart, keep your elbows back as you engage the movement, forcefully raise the barbell up towards your chest allowing for a slight forward movement of your elbows at the top of the movement to allow for a peak contraction of the biceps. Slowly lower the barbell back down into the starting position and then repeat until desired rep count has been met.
The freedom that dumbbells offer you when you use them allows you to move freely through your most powerful planes of motion so that you can exert the most force possible. The option of supinating and pronating your wrist to induce peak contractions is also an excellent source for growth as well. The nice thing about dumbbells is that it requires each arm to work independently of the other meaning that no side-to-side compensation occurs and each biceps gets a proper stimulus.
Something that many forget about when building biceps is that it’s just not all about the height that you can accrue in size. Yes, a huge peak looks awesome, but so does a thick and wide biceps too. For that reason, including hammer curls is necessary for overall size. You can do them out in front of your body or cross body; either way will be enough to pack on muscle on the lateral sides of your biceps.
Top 3 Triceps Exercises
This has become one of my favorite movements for building triceps mass as you can handle a ton of weight and get crazy contractions when doing so. My best advice here is to use a machine that allows you to increase weight significantly (versus the body weight version with your feet up on a bench or on parallel bars) and position yourself so that your hands are almost behind your back by your sides. Keep your elbows tucked in tight, make sure you squeeze the triceps hard and go heavy.
This exercise is what I consider to be the bread and butter movement for triceps size. You can’t beat the stretch in the triceps that it offers and the amount of blood that it drives into the area. If you go too heavy, you may end up having issues with elbow pain so go just heavy enough to induce hypertrophy without the worry of injury. Set yourself up on a flat or slightly inclined bench, keep your elbows tight and lower the bar down to either your forehead or just beyond the top of your head, make sure you feel that stretch and then drive back up on a bit of a backward angle to keep the resistance on the triceps and not the shoulders.
Close Grip Bench Press:
The close grip bench press is another power movement that will allow you to handle heavier loads than both the dip and skull crusher. I like putting it nearer the end of the workout, however, for the simple reason that I think you’ll get more out of it when you’re not thinking you have to use a ton of weight like you would if you were to begin with this exercise. Sometimes when pushing max weight overrides the purpose of feeling it in the triceps, too much chest and shoulders get involved and it loses its focus on the triceps. So for that reason, keep it towards the end instead. Again, keep your elbows tight to your sides, lower the barbell to about mid pec level or even a little higher than that and then explode up.
So there you have it my friends, six great exercises that will help you build massive arms that you can be proud of and show off whenever you’d like. Once you’ve attained them, the only thing you will be missing to complete your look is a fresh pair of shoes and that will always come by way of Heyday Footwear and I think if you’re going with big arms then you gotta go with shoes with a big attitude and my pick for that is the Triple Black Super Shifts. Stay well and be huge!
Author: Dana Bushell
AST Sponsored athlete/writer, sponsored by Schiek Sports Inc.