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Arm Exercises

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Strength training is an integral part of building and toning our muscles. It is important when building muscle to work both muscles front and back to strength the muscles equally. Unfortunately, in most circumstances people who start strength training by themselves don’t know how important this is. So ultimately they end up building up the muscles disproportionately. They work only the muscles on the front side of the body leaving the muscles in the back weak and untoned.

            The arms are an integral part of working out. Many exercises use the arms to balance while working other areas of the body. Even though the emphasis is not on the arms, they are still getting a workout because the muscles are being engaged to hold or balance the body. However, when it comes to toning the muscles of the arm, many people only engage the biceps because this muscle is seen while working out. Plus the biceps are the muscles that people show off, so people want this muscle to be big and look good.

            The rest of the muscles in the arm are usually forgotten about, the triceps and the forearm. If you only work on the biceps, the other muscles of the arm are left weakened and susceptible to injury. Therefore the best way to work the arms, is to work each muscle equally to strengthen both the front and back of the arms.

            The arm contains three groups of muscles. The biceps brachii is the most well known of the three groups. The biceps as they are commonly known is made up of two muscles at the front of the upper arm.  The biceps attach at the shoulder and insert at the elbow. The triceps brachii is made up of three muscles opposite the biceps. The triceps run the length of the back of the upper arm. The triceps attach at the back of the shoulder and insert on the backside of the elbow. Lastly, the forearm is made up of several small muscles.  The muscles are used in flexion and extension of the wrist and originate at the elbow, and insert at the wrist and hand. 

            Now that you know the basics of the arm muscles you can determine the best exercises to tone each group. It is important to work each muscle group equally to build and tone evenly and avoid the risk of injury. To build muscle you must understand that the muscle has to be worked until exhaustion and allowed the appropriate time to rest. Because the biceps and triceps have 2-3 muscles within the group, each muscle has to be worked to build it up.

            Most arm exercises require the use of external weights or resistance. An average person who is lifting weights will always use the same grip to build up the muscle. However, by using the same grip each time you workout you are only working one muscle. For example, when doing barbell curls, most men will use a wide grip which works the short head of the bicep. If you continually take a wide grip you will only ever work that one muscle making it disproportionate to the other muscles in the arm. However, if you change and use a narrower grip you will also work the long head of the bicep. So remember to change grips and widths when using weights.

            Here are some of the best arm exercises to build muscle and tone those arms:

  1. Push-up/Tricep Push-up
  2. Reverse Plank Pull-up
  3. Bicep Curl/Shoulder Press Combo
  4. Tricep Dips

girls working arms with weights

girl doing pushups, arm exercises