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5 Best Arm Exercises to Build Muscle

DMOOSE

5 Best Arm Exercises to Build Muscle
Table Of Contents
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Building arm muscles is a common goal for most fitness enthusiasts. Not only do more muscular arms look impressive, but they can also help with everyday activities and movement. By incorporating arm exercises into your fitness regimen, you'll start reaping the rewards like improved upper body strength.

Let's get into the best arm exercises to help you build stronger arms.

Top Workouts to Build Stronger Arms

When building arm strength, you’ll want to use progressive load and not push yourself too hard or too fast. To avoid injury, start with a lower weight and fewer sets. As you build your strength, you can increase the weight and number of sets.

Before you start your workout, we recommend doing a dynamic warm-up to increase blood flow to the muscles and activate them. This can also help you prevent injury and strained muscles. Generally, you should incorporate between 5 to 10 minutes of dynamic stretching before your workout and static stretching afterward. For an upper body workout, focus your stretches on your neck, arms, shoulders, chest, and back.

1. Push-Ups

    Push-ups are one of the best exercises for building strength in the upper body. They recruit the chest, shoulders, triceps, and core. 

    • Reps: 6 - 12
    • Sets: 3 - 4
    • Rest: 1 - 2 minutes between sets

    How to do a push-up:

    • Start in a high plank position, with your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Keep your feet about hip-width apart (or slightly narrower).
    • Keep your core engaged and your body straight from your head to your heels.
    • Slowly lower your body down to the ground by bending at the elbows. 
    • When your chest is above the ground, push yourself back up by straightening your arms.
    • Repeat.

    If traditional push-ups are too challenging, try modifying push-ups by starting on your knees instead of your toes. If they’re too easy, challenge your balance and do them on a BOSU ball, medicine ball, or paddle board.

    2. Bent-Over Rows

      Balance out the muscles in your push-ups by following them with bent-over rows. Rows target the upper and lower back, as well as your biceps. You can do rows with dumbbells or a barbell. Start with a comfortable weight, then gradually increase as you get stronger.

      • Reps: 6 - 12
      • Sets: 3 - 4
      • Rest: 1 - 2 minutes between sets

      How to:

      • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and a dumbbell in each hand at your side.
      • Bend slightly at the hips and knees, but keep your back straight. Your body should be bent at a 45-degree angle, allowing the weights to hang in front of you with your arms straight.
      • Engage your core and pull the dumbbells towards your hips, squeezing your shoulder blades together.
      • Hold the position for a second before lowering your arms down. 
      • Repeat.

      The seated row is an excellent modification of this exercise. You can use a resistance band, cable, or a rowing machine to activate the same muscles. 

      3. Bicep Curls

        Target the bicep muscles by doing curls. You can do this exercise using dumbbells or a barbell.

        • Reps: 6 - 12
        • Sets: 3 - 4
        • Rest: 1 - 2 minutes between sets

        How to:

        • Stand with your feet hip-width apart, holding a barbell or dumbbell in each hand with your palms facing forward.
        • Keep your core engaged, elbows close to your sides, and relax your shoulders.
        • Slowly raise the weights toward your shoulders, bending at the elbows. Squeeze your biceps at the top of the movement.
        • Pause briefly, then slowly lower the weights to the starting position.
        • Repeat.

        To make this movement easier, alternate arms to curl one arm at a time, use a hammer curl movement with your palms facing one another, or use lighter weights. Use heavier weights and balance on one leg while performing the movement to progress.

        4. Tricep Kickbacks

          Target your triceps with tricep kickbacks. You can use dumbbells or resistance bands for this exercise.

          • Reps: 6 - 12
          • Sets: 3 - 4
          • Rest: 1 - 2 minutes between sets

          How to:

          • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold the dumbbells in your hands.
          • Hinge at your hips to lean forward slightly, letting the weights hang in front of you.
          • Bend your elbows to a 90-degree angle, keeping them close to your body. Your palms should be facing inwards.
          • Without moving your elbows, straighten your arms by extending the weights up behind you. When fully extended, your arms should be level with your shoulder blades. Squeeze your triceps at the top.
          • Slowly lower the weights back to the 90-degree angle.
          • Repeat.

          To make this movement easier, use one arm at a time, use a lower weight, or increase your rest time between sets. If you use a resistance band, place the center of the band under your feet and pull from the ends.

          5. Overhead Press

            Overhead presses engage the shoulders, arms, upper back, and chest. They can be done with a resistance band, dumbbells, cable machine, or shoulder press machine. We explain how to do them with dumbbells below.

            • Reps: 6 - 12
            • Sets: 3 - 4
            • Rest: 1 - 2 minutes between sets

            How to do an overhead press:

            • Stand tall with your feet shoulder-width apart and a dumbbell in each hand.
            • Hold the dumbbells at shoulder level with your palms and forearms facing away from you.
            • Slowly raise the dumbbells above your head and towards each other by straightening your arms. 
            • Hold the dumbbells at the top for a second before slowly lowering them back to the starting position.
            • Repeat.

            If a standard overhead press workout is too tricky, you can modify the exercise by using alternate arms or a hammer grip.

            Summary

            Plenty of exercises can help you build up your arm strength. The above mentioned are some of the classic movements to get you there. 

            Just remember that building muscle takes time and consistency, so be patient and (most importantly) stay committed. Progressively add more weight, resistance, or challenge to the movements as you get stronger to keep your body challenged. With dedication, you'll start seeing results in no time.

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