Nothing says power like big arms. From the shoulders, to the upper arms, to the forearms – you’ve got to have it all. Getting there will take some time, like anything worthwhile (hey, it’s what makes us – the go-getters – stand out!) but by following some simple routines you can ensure no time is wasted, and every ounce of sweat and effort you put in is going into building the best arms you can, from top to bottom.
I’d like to share with you what I believe to be the ultimate exercises for each element of the arm, starting with the shoulders and working our way down to the forearms…
The shoulders are comprised of the deltoids, which are 3 separate heads – each requiring a different exercise to be worked sufficiently. I’ll now list the exercises you need to perform to build each of the heads of the deltoid muscles:
Front (Anterior): Military press, or bench press.
Side (Medial / Lateral): Lateral raises, or upright rows
Rear (Posterior): Rear lateral raises, or bent over rows
The upper arms are comprised of the biceps and the triceps. Although viewed as the ‘poor cousin’ compared to the ever-fascinating bicep, training the triceps is particularly important for upper arm size – more important than the biceps in fact. This is because the triceps take up 2/3 of the upper arm size, so there is more scope for muscle growth – so don’t neglect them.
Triceps: Close grip bench press, French curls, or skull crushers
Biceps: Barbell curls (straight bar), or incline dumbbell curls (palms kept supine – no twisting.)
For maximum (and proper) forearm development you need to hit both the top and bottom of the forearm. One tip I’ll give you here is to always hit the top part first (the bit which is aligned to the back of the hand). The reason for this is, this is the weakest position, compared to the far more powerful underside of the forearm. And, if you’ve never tried it the other way around before, I’ll tell you now: once you’ve exhausted the powerful underside of your forearm, the chances of gripping – let alone lifting – with the top side is slim and none.
The forearms are also worked by virtue of having to grip consistently heavier weights during you training session, so by rights, they are getting stronger and slightly bigger anyway – but if you wish to do some direct arm work, the choices are pretty limited, it’s some form of curl and reverse curl, using a barbell with two hands or dumbbells singularly.