All of your muscles need training if you want to make them look really impressive. This is the case for your arms as well, and their biceps and triceps. In order to put on a lot of muscle on them you will need to utilize compound movements with a lot of weight, in combination with proper form and a complete range of motion. All of this, together with the necessary amount of rest and the right food, and you’re on your way to building big arms that will awe anyone who looks at them.
Your triceps have a key role in stabilizing the shoulder joints and they are an extensor of your elbows and shoulders. When these muscles get stronger, so will your shoulder stability and strength – this is your goal if you want to embark on the journey that this article suggests. Your arm will become more functional, more flexible and it’ll have a larger range of motion as you work on your triceps and they become stronger.
This will result in improved athletic prowess and a boost in the performance of pretty much any task or sport that requires you to do arm movements and utilize upper body strength. If you want to really take things to the next level, you want to look at some supersets as they usually result in hypertrophy, a state where your muscles are expanding beyond their normal range. This is because the supersets help prime your bodily environment for building more muscle by creating a biological and hormonal environment for it.
I suggest you start with three supersets for arm building – in this article there are supersets consisting of two exercises each that will activate both your triceps and biceps. But, what is a superset, you ask?
Well, it’s when you do multiple exercises one right after the other with little or no recovery period in between. This means that even though these exercises might affect different muscle groups and use entirely separated movement patterns, they will still have a great effect. Also, you can do supersets on antagonistic muscles, muscles that don’t interact with each other during exercise such as biceps and triceps. You’ll be doing pushes and pulls, which activates each muscle, but not both at the same time. Doing a superset like this will take its toll on your upper body, but the muscles you exercise first will have a period of rest in the second exercise, and so on. This way, only one muscle group is worked on at any given period of time, but since blood is pumping in your upper body, you get an added effect.
First of all, let’s look at the big movements that will help you put on more meat and increase the power of your upper arms. After that, we need to observe the higher rep movements that will culminate in hypertrophy as you work out.
Here are the six most effective exercises combined in an even more effective way, which will put on more muscle on your arms than anything else.
1. CLOSE GRIP BENCH PRESS – 3 sets of 5 to 6 reps, superset with
2. CLOSE GRIP CHIN-UPS – 3 sets of 5 to 6 reps.
3. TRICEPS DIPS – 3 sets of 10 reps, superset with
4. EZ BARBELL CURLS – 3 sets of 10 reps.
5. DUMBBELL TRICEPS EXTENSIONS – 3 sets of 12 to 15 reps, superset with
6. SEATED DUMBBELL CURLS – 3 sets of 12 to 15 reps.
1. Close Grip Bench Press
Close grip bench presses are likely the most effective exercise if you want to become stronger and put on muscle mass in your triceps. This exercise permits you to use a lot of weight, so make sure to boost the amount of weight with every set that you perform, and you will need to use a really heavy weight in your last set – one that you can only lift five to six times before reaching muscular failure. Have 30 seconds of rest after each set and then switch to close grip chin-ups.
Here are some tips to get your close grip bench presses up to par, step by step.
- Take a close grip, which is somewhere around your shoulder width, as you lie on a flat bench. Lift the bar from its resting position and hold it right over you. Lock your arms.
- Breathe in and lower the bar down until it reaches the skin on your chest.
- Have a moment of pause and push the bar back up to its starting position while breathing out. Make sure to use your triceps and concentrate on them while doing it. Lock your arms as you reach the height of the contraction and keep them there for just a second before bringing the bar down once more.
- Repeat for the necessary number of reps.
- When you’ve done all of your reps, put the bar back in its place.
2. Close Grip Chin-Ups
Regular chin-ups are a back exercise like no other, but close grip chin-ups will do wonders for your biceps. You will need to concentrate so that you don’t swing around and pull with your arms, not your back muscles. Here’s how to do this exercise.
- Take a grip that’s narrower than your shoulders and grab the bar with the palms pointing towards you.
- With both of your arms extended and holding the bar at the selected grip, make sure your body is as straight as it can get, but you will need your lower back to be curved and your chest to be sticking out.
- If you keep your torso straight, your biceps will be additionally stressed while your back will not be involved at all.
- Breathe in and pull up until your head is at the same horizontal as the bar. Focus on your biceps and feel them doing the work necessary to do these exercises, but also make sure that your elbows are close to your body’s vertical plane.
- Squeeze your biceps at the height of the contraction and calmly lower yourself down to the position from which you started and your arms are completely straight.
- Take a breath and do it again for as many reps as you’ve thought necessary.
3. Triceps Dips
Triceps dips are the penultimate exercise that will help you shape your triceps into big, strong, shapely balls of meat. Make sure that your grip is narrow and that you don’t allow your shoulders to go below your elbows when you are going lower. Know that you always have the option of the dip machine, should the regular ones turn out to be too difficult.
Here’s how to perform triceps dips with proficiency.
- You will first need to get into your starting position, so keep your body at arm’s length of the bars while standing above them. Your arms should be almost locked.
- Take a breath and go down, but remember to keep your torso straight and vertical, and your elbows close to it. By doing this, you are being certain that your triceps will take the brunt of this workout instead of other muscles.
- Keep lowering yourself until your elbows are the centers of 90 degree angles between your upper arms and your forearms.
- Breathe out and push yourself back up with your triceps, which will bring you to the starting position.
- Repeat this for as many times as you’ve planned.
4. EZ Barbell Curls
It’s better to use an EZ bar than a straight bar for the simple reason that your elbows and your wrists take a more natural grip. Every set of EZ barbell curls that you perform needs to be heavier than the last, so with the last one you want to do 10 reps before reaching muscle failure – make sure you pick the right weight!
Here’s how to do EZ barbell curls.
- Stand up with the EZ curl bar in your hands, being held at the wide outer handle. Your palms should be directed forward and a little inward because the shape of the bar requires it. Your elbows will need to stick to your torso!
- Keep your upper arms stationary while breathing out and curl the weight in front of you. Keep contracting the biceps and concentrate on your forearms and nothing else.
- Keep lifting the EZ curl bar until your biceps have reached their peak contraction and the EZ bar is at your shoulder level.
- Keep the bar there for a second while you squeeze your biceps to get the most out of the exercise.
- Breathe in and lower the bar to its previous position.
- Repeat for as many reps as your find necessary.
5. Dumbbell Triceps Extensions
Dumbbell triceps extensions are an isolation exercise, perfect for the end. This will be your final set so make sure the weight isn’t too heavy and keep your triceps pumping with blood!
Here’s how to do this one.
- Take two dumbbells and hold them in front of you while lying on a flat bench. Your arms should be completely straight and pointing towards the ceiling at a 90 degree angle. Position your palms so that they are facing inwards and keep your elbows close to your body.
- Inhale and keep your upper arms immobile and your elbows in, but lower the dumbbells slowly until they are by your head.
- Keep your position and focus on your triceps so that you are able to lift the weight up and back in the starting position. Exhale.
- Do this for the necessary number of reps.
6. Seated Dumbbell Curls
This exercise is awesome at being one-sided since it’s capable of producing an amazing pump in your biceps. Your weight needs to be kept low, so do three sets with 10 to 12 reps in each. Here’s how.
- Take two dumbbells and hold them at arm’s length while sitting on a flat bench.
- Keep your elbows close to your body and your palms should be pointed towards you as well.
- Keep your upper arms immobile and then curl the dumbbells towards you, all the while rotating your wrists when the weight passes your thighs. This way, your palms will be pointing towards your body at the peak of the rep. You will need to contract the biceps when exhaling, but also make sure that your forearms are the only moving piece of your muscular puzzle.
- Keep going until your biceps are completely contracted and the dumbbells are at the same height as your shoulders.
- Continue holding the fully contracted position by squeezing the biceps.
- Lower the dumbbells down to the starting point as you inhale and turn your wrists into a neutral grip again.
- Repeat for the necessary number of reps.
All muscle groups require a lot of work to grow but also a lot of rest and recuperation – your arms are not exempt from this. Make sure that you let all of your muscles rest well before training them so much since overtraining isn’t a positive thing and your body can suffer. Also, your arms are tired from much more than just these exercises – they participate in all of the upper body movements that you perform, so rest them well and grow them big and strong.