Two tickets to the gun show, madam? Well, perhaps not until you’ve reached the end of this article…
If you’re starting on a program which focuses on muscle building and those elusive, revered ‘gains’, we’re sure that bigger biceps are a motivating factor. Among the different muscle groups, the biceps are the ones that seem to be prioritised, aesthetically, at least.
But as bodybuilders, gym bunnies and exercise enthusiasts will all attest, focusing too heavily on what is, actually, a relatively small muscle, is a rookie error. In fact, for those looking to get bigger arms, it’s just as important to give attention to the triceps (a larger muscle than the biceps with more potential for growth) and the brachialis, which runs under the bicep. This holistic approach to building muscle will result in greater strength and a fuller, more realised appearance.
And that’s why you’re here, right? With that in mind, here are 4 exercises you should do to build arm muscles holistically.
BARBELL BENCH PRESS
The bench press has long been one of the most popular and important basic exercises for the upper body, and is the focal point for so many’s gym routine.
No matter which gym you attend, in what part of the world, there will always be an out of proportion person grunting on the bench. That’s not to dismiss the bench press’ effectiveness; each time you perform this type of exercise, you’re strengthening multiple muscles at the same time.
Though much of the focus falls on the chest here, the barbell bench press can also target your biceps when done properly, as well as your back, neck, and even your core. For an all-encompassing strength-based exercise, it can’t be beat.
BARBELL BICEP CURL
Should you be starting out on your bicep building journey, using a barbell (rather than dumbbells) for bicep curls is a smart move, since it provides more stability and encourages you to learn and hone better form. Once you’ve mastered this exercise, and gotten used to the correct posture required to avoid back injury, then you can move onto single and double dumbbell routines.
Pull-ups are a relatively simple exercise that can help you increase your body’s overall muscle mass, with a particular focus on the arms. Pull-ups are done by bending the elbows and making a crunch motion while holding on to a bar, harnessing the power of callisthenics to help you build strength, not only in the arms, but also in your core, back and shoulders.
Should you be intending to work on your arm muscles at home, then there are decent, durable pull up bars available online for around the £50 mark, which can be attached to the insides of your door frame.
To perform a pull-up, you need to grasp onto the bar and pull yourself up to the starting position. Make sure to hold the position for a few seconds before you slowly lower back down. To get the most out of this workout, you should lower yourself as gradually as possible, and explode back up until your chin is level (or better yet, above) where your hands hold the bar.
A wonderful way to build up the triceps and brachialis, this one. With a diamond push-up, you’ll begin in the normal push-up position. However, your thumbs and index fingers should be touching their respective counterparts, forming a ‘diamond’ shape beneath your face.
As you lower yourself down with each repetition, the aim is to use your hands to bring your body’s centre back up, keeping your back straight, and hold it there for a few seconds. As you bring your body back up to its original position, repeat the whole process until you reach your maximum repetitions for a set.
As a general rule of thumb, according to Men’s Health, beginners should ‘’take the number of perfect pushups you can complete, and divide that in half. Then perform five sets of that number of pushups, resting 60 seconds between each set’’.
Diamond push ups aren’t only useful for building chest and arm strength. Doing them regularly can also help you achieve and maintain proper posture, improve your coordination and balance. and even lower heart disease risk, especially in men. But for the purposes of today, they’re particularly awesome at carving your triceps!
If you’re new to muscle building, there are a few things that you can do to help you get started and perform these essential exercises correctly. Firstly, it’s vital you eat the right kinds of food to boost your energy levels and feed your muscles for growth. Secondly, you should always take the time to warm up before a workout by doing some light stretches exercises. Not doing so, and you run the risk of injury. Remember, a little soreness is okay, but if you feel pain, consider it a warning sign to stop. Check out our article on good versus bad pain explained for more!
Finally, remember that without regular work, building muscle isn’t sustainable; you need to be committed to this thing, and in it for the long haul, if you’re to see results. Good luck!