Let’s not beat around the bush — everybody likes muscular arms. Now, nobody expects you to measure 20+ inches in girth but stretching the sleeves of an otherwise loose shirt is quite an accomplishment. Not to mention it feels great!
Some bicep exercises work on the details of the arms while other arm exercises are excellent at adding some size. Take a day off your regular routine and put these monstrous movements to work.
Bicep & Triceps Exercises For Mass
1. Hammer Curls
Even the name of this exercise roars manliness. The beautiful part about this exercise is that it makes the outside of the biceps look nice and sleeve-busting thick.
Grab a dumbbell in each hand. Keep your palms facing each other the entire time. Unlike a regular dumbbell curl, your wrists will NOT rotate. Now curl some big weights and pump them arms up.
Do 4 sets of 20.
2. Lying Triceps Extensions
The largest part of the arm is the triceps. It is the muscle group you really need to beef up for big guns.
Lie down on a flat bench. Get an EZ or cambered bar. Slap some plates on each side and press the bar by only moving at the elbows. On the way down your hands should stop just above the top of your forehead.
Do 4 sets of 10-12
3. Straight Barbell Curls
No arm workout is complete without some heavy curling. The straight barbell curl is the king of biceps strengthening among arm exercises.
Grab a straight barbell. Slap some plates on either side and curl! Try not to sway back and forth, that’s just bad form. Keep your back as straight as possible. Oh, you can’t seem to lift that much weight without swaying? Well then you have some work to do!
Do 4 sets of 8-12
4. Preacher Curls
You need to go to church after all this unholy weight abuse. Since you’ve been launching metal to and fro, the preacher curl is a good way to get grounded and focus on your biceps. The fixed position prevents any cheating.
Find a preacher bench. Take an EZ or cambered bar OR a straight bar. Curl the weight nice and steady and watch your biceps explode in size during this arm exercise. For a slight variation, try the cable preacher curl.
Do 3 sets of 10-12
5. Overhead Rope Extensions
The overhead rope extension creates that lower, hanging part of the triceps. You know, the part that looks like you’re carrying a beef leg on your arm.
On the cable machines, attach a rope to the lowest part of the pulley. Grab the rope with both hands, stand straight up, and reach your hands over your head. From there, bend only at the elbows and let the triceps do the talking.
Do 4 sets of 10-15
The final ordeal for arm exercises. Your arms should be pumped beyond belief by now.
This can be performed on a dip machine or at the dip bars. If you want to stay away from training your chest too much, using a machine is a better. Or you can keep your body as perpendicular as possible during your dips, as opposed to leaning forward and using your chest.
Take this one to failure for 4 sets.
Matthew is a personal trainer and nutritionist from Pasadena, California. For more great tips and training ideas for arm exercises, check him out at Pasadena Muscle Company.