You can build your arms in a variety of ways, and in terms of how you train them you will receive your desired goal: whether that is to have huge biceps and triceps or toned and defined muscles.

In terms of arm workouts at home or at the gym, it isn’t all down to biceps, triceps, and preacher curls. There are many more exercises that you can do that will build all of the muscles in and around your arms that will allow you to show them off at every angle.


The key reasons for doing arm exercises

What is equally important about arm exercises (it’s not just a superficial thing) is that having muscular arms gives you more ability to perform other strength training exercises.

Many chest and back exercises also rely on you having strong arms because of the push or pull force being applied.


Best arm exercises to tone and build lean muscle

1. Push ups

The push up has numerous variations allowing the usage of a variety of muscle groups. ​The standard push up works your chest, shoulders, triceps, and core -utilising stabilisers.



2. Bicep Curls

The most commonly used exercise for the bicep muscle that can be done weighted or with a resistance band and even a kettlebell.   

Single arm bicep curl isolates the bicep muscle in a singular movement, whereas barbell bicep curls can assist with utilizing heavier weights as both bicep muscles can handle higher levels of stress together.

When single arm or isolated movements are used, you utilize only strengthen the muscle group in a single plane, whereas with compound movements can increase strength in numerous plans and utilize various muscle groups assisting with a greater strength in a functional pattern.

A compound set would look this this:


3. Underarm Chin ups

The under arm chin ups utilizes more the bicep and the back then its counterpart the pronated wide arm pull up.

This exercise can be done weighted or just body weighted, depending on training status.

Eccentric pull ups will assist the beginner to build up strength to actually produce more than one pull up and could be seen as a cheat to better pull ups.


4. Monkey bar climbing

Monkey bar climbing allows not only over all muscle utilization it is relatively easy and can be incorporated into the basic of routines. From the playground to the gym this is an overall upper body exercises that utilizes the forearm, bicep, latissimus dorsi, deltoids, abdomen and obliques


5. Kettlebell push up row(Advanced)

Stabilizes the upper body and your midsection together with the biceps tricep.



6. One arm dumbbell row

Single isolated movement placing strain on several muscle groups. This exercises optimises focus on the target muscle, assists with balance and stability of the torso and upper body. Stability and balance allows you to freely focus on achieving the best contraction possible. Increases strength and also assist with decreasing injury risk.

Variation can include two arm dumbbell row (lower back stability required to perform this movement).


7. Seated bent-over two-arm dumbbell kickback

Isolates the tricep muscle, the tricep muscle making up the largest part of the arm  should not be dismissed when training as the tricep allows for retraction and extension of the forearm and allows for ​stability of the shoulder joint at the top of the humerus.

Variation - Standing Two arm Dumbbell kickback

8. Cable push downs and extension

Usually used with the ​straight short bar and gripping utilizes the tricep that assists with stabilizing the shoulder.



9. Tricep Dips

Isolate the tricep muscle, however, assists with shoulder mobility, stability and strength.



10. Band Back fly

Main muscle group is the posterior deltoid, rhomboid and middle trapezius muscles that assist with stabilizing the shoulder and creating better upper body posture. The muscles built while performing this exercise will help prevent shoulder injury as well as make the shoulders more balanced and proportional in appearance.



11. Handstand push up

Incorporates both upper body and stabilizers throughout the entire body and should only be performed when adequate strength gains have already been reached. Beginners should not try a handstand push up from the get go.

If you’re looking to make the most out of your time spent in the gym and optimise your workouts efficiently, then download our guide, Optimising your gym workout for maximum results. It will give you tips, tricks and solid advice regarding how you can take your fitness regime to the next level.

Download eBook


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