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
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
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
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
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.
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!