The Best Arm Workouts You’ve Never Done

If you’re ready to pump up your guns like never before, it’s time to try some arm workouts you’ve never done. These exercises can be integrated into your normal fitness routine, and it’s recommended to do them two to three times per week for optimal results. If it’s mass you’re after, go for a heavier weight and fewer reps. To build muscle tone and endurance, do the opposite — more reps with less weight.

Check out our picks for the best arm workouts you’re probably not doing — but should be!

Reverse Grip Barbell Curls

Reverse Grip Barbell Curls

This exercise is simple, yet effective. Reverse grip barbell curls are performed just like regular barbell curls; the difference is, of course, the reverse grip. Rather than using an underhand grip, go overhand. This exercise can be performed from either a standing or seated position, either way, the forearms will get an excellent workout.

Squat Concentration Curl

Squat Concentration Curl

The squat concentration curl combines two exercises — the squat and the concentration curl. Hold a dumbbell in each hand and squat; thighs should be parallel to the floor. From this position, curl one arm for 60 seconds (if this is too difficult, start with 30 seconds). Repeat the 60 seconds of curls with the other arm, then return to a standing position.

Lying Dumbbell Triceps Extension

Lying Dumbbell Triceps Extension

This exercise is performed on a weight bench. Lie on your back with palms in and arms extended. Lower the dumbbells until they reach face level, then complete the exercise by straightening your arms. For best results, elbows should be kept in a stable position and motion should be slow and fluid.

Parallel Bar Tricep Dip

Parallel Bar Triceps Dip

The parallel bar tricep dip isn’t a popular exercise, but it is one that can make a real difference in arm strength. When done correctly and carefully, the parallel bar tricep dip helps build arm mass and gives the triceps an incredible workout. First, position yourself on the parallel bars, then push your arms up until they’re straight but not locked. From there, lower yourself down. When arms become parallel with the ground, raise yourself back up to complete one rep.

Spider Curl

Spider Curl

The spider curl was made famous by Larry Scott, who has the distinction of being the first Mr. Olympia. The reason it’s called the spider curl is because Scott performed this exercise on a bench with eight legs, however, a vertical preacher bench will work just fine. Lie on your stomach with triceps positioned against the padding and arms kept straight. To complete one rep, raise the barbell to shoulder level then slowly lower arms back down.

Tips for Arm Workouts

Slow and steady wins the race when it comes to arm workouts; keep your movements controlled and resist the temptation to go too fast or to give in to momentum. When combined with a regular cardio workout and a proper muscle-building diet, these exercises can help you achieve the attention-getting arms you’ve always wanted. Practice makes perfect, so don’t get discouraged if you can’t do as many reps or handle as much weight as you’d like. Just put in the work, and you’re sure to see the results!

Seven Best Shoulder Exercises for Strength

It doesn’t matter how often or how effectively you work your arms and chest; you won’t obtain the bulk or strength you’re seeking without also working the shoulders. The shoulders are comprised of three deltoid muscles — the anterior deltoid, the medial deltoid, and the posterior deltoid. It is important to pay equal attention to all three delts; if you neglect one or more it will be noticeable. Try 10 reps of each exercise with a challenging amount of weight; work up to more reps — and more weight — gradually.

Try these seven exercises to strengthen and build your shoulders:

Dumbbell Floor Press

Dumbbell Floor Press

This exercise is similar to the bench press in how it’s performed. One main difference is that it’s done on the floor instead of a bench. This minimizes shoulder strain while maximizing results. Holding a dumbbell in each hand, lower them to the floor then extend arms up. Lower back down for one rep.

Overhead Shrug

Overhead Shrug

This exercise works both the delts and the trapezius muscles, making it an extremely effective shoulder strengthener. The overhead shrug can be performed with a barbell or dumbbells depending on your preference. Press the weight over your head so that your shoulders nearly touch your ears, then shrug your shoulders to lift the weight toward the ceiling.

Military Barbell Press

Military Barbell Press

The military press is great for working out the shoulders and the chest. Hold the barbell at shoulder-height, then press it over your head. Lock your arms while lifting the barbell over your head; return to the starting position to complete one rep.

Dumbbell Shoulder Press

Dumbbell Shoulder Press

Another exercise for strong shoulders is the dumbbell shoulder press. Hold a dumbbell in each hand with palms facing forward. The dumbbells should be at about ear level. Press the dumbbells up until they nearly reach above your head, then lower to the starting position. Keep your movements slow and fluid to effectively work your muscles.

Dumbbell Front Raise

Dumbbell Front Raise

This shoulder exercise can be performed from either a seated or standing position. Hold a dumbbell in each hand with palms facing the floor; to begin, raise one arm until it is parallel with the floor. Lower your arm slowly, then repeat the action with your other arm. If you prefer, you can lift both arms at the same time.

Dumbbell Lateral Raise

Dumbbell Lateral Raise

The dumbbell lateral raise is yet another effective shoulder exercise that can be done either seated or standing. This exercise is quite similar to the dumbbell front raise, except instead of raising the arms to the front, you’ll raise them to the sides. To engage muscles most effectively, raise the arms slightly past the parallel position.

Barbell Rear Delt Row

Barbell Rear Delta Row

The barbell rear delt row is a shoulder exercise that is performed using a weight bench. Kneel on the bench with one knee; the other leg and arm are to the side. Lift the dumbbell up and out until it’s perpendicular with your torso, then lower it down, straightening your arm; this completes one rep.

Ensure that you include targeted shoulder exercises into your fitness routine, and you’ll see lasting improvements to your upper body strength.