Arms are typically one of the first muscle groups that people aim to grow when they start working out. When it comes to growing muscle, you need to lift heavy, and make sure you're eating plenty of muscle-building proteins. Glenn van der Veen of UFIT guides us through a 6 move workout to take your guns to the next level.
Complete all the sets in each exercise before moving on to the next movement. We are focusing on a specific muscle group here so this is not a circuit. Complete 10 reps for the first 3 sets and this should be at approximately 80% of your 1 Rep Max. Then finish off with a 20 reps on a fourth set at 60% of your 1 Rep Max. Remember to it is more important to keep proper form than to left heavy for the sake of it, and most importantly be safe and feel free to adjust the weight and amount of sets based on your personal capacity.
1. Incline Dumbbell Curls (10 Reps x 3 Sets + 20 Reps x 1 Set)
Tip: Remember to keep your back flat on the bench and not to involve your shoulders too much. Remember to keep your feet flat on the floor.
Benefits: The incline dumbbell curl is an alternative exercise to the traditional seated alternate curl. Done on an incline bench, this exercise attempts to eliminate cheating or body movement in order to make the biceps do all the work. Also, the incline makes it a little harder to curl the dumbbells up.
2. Standing Reverse Curl (10 Reps x 3 Sets + 20 Reps x 1 Set)
Tip: Don’t go in thinking that you can lift a similar weight to what you can with an underhand grip, the short answer is: you can’t. Start with around half of the weight that you’d usually use for a regular barbell curl. Of course, you can increase it after a set or two but it’s important to get your form right, so a lighter weight should suffice to begin with.
Benefits: Reverse curls work a muscle in the arm that isn’t that visible (the brachialis located on the lower aspect of the upper arm, just below the bicep muscle). When that is well developed it pushes the peak of your bicep muscle up higher, this makes for a more impressive flex and bigger looking arms.
3. 1 Arm Preacher Curl (10 Reps x 3 Sets + 20 Reps x 1 Set)
Tip: Keep the chest upright and leaning straight onto the preacher bench at all times and avoid any twisting movements from the torso. Make sure the entire back is aligned straight throughout the entire range of motion and do not round the back or tuck the hips forward. Feet placement is also essential for keeping the whole movement secure and controlled so keep both feet in a solid stance and do not lift your feet off the ground while you are performing this exercise.
Benefit: Whiles developing and targeting your biceps, this movement also engages the stabilizing muscles of the front deltoids (shoulders), triceps (back of the arm) and the forearms. This is important because all of these muscles are necessary to keep the entire upper and lower arm intact.
4. Cable Pressdown (10 Reps x 3 Sets + 20 Reps x 1 Set)
Tip: You need to always keep squeezing those triceps throughout the entire movement, especially at the bottom part of the movement. Remember to keep your hands level with your chest and not your chin when starting this execise.
Benefit: This is a great exercise to really stimulate and work the triceps area. Since this exercise uses cables, the triceps muscles are under constant tension.
5. Reverse Pressdown (10 Reps x 3 Sets + 20 Reps x 1 Set)
Tip: To ensure a healthy back, keep your chin parallel to the floor. Keep your elbows stationary throughout the movement.
Benefit: Whiles targeting your triceps, reverse pressdowns also strengthen your upper back and rear shoulder muscles.
6. Overhead Tricep Extension (10 Reps x 3 Sets + 20 Reps x 1 Set)
Tip: Its easy to let your elbows drift away from the head, which takes focus away from the triceps. Keep your shoulders down and the elbows as close to the ears as possible.
Benefit: Triceps help stabilize your shoulder joint and they act as an extensor of the elbow and shoulder. As your triceps become stronger with these exercises, the strength and stability of your shoulders and elbows increase.
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- Jonathan Kay