Training

The Perfect Arm Workouts | Upper Body Workout

Written by Jack Boardman

How To Work Your Arm Muscles

In order to build your arms, you should focus on specific muscles, including your biceps, triceps and forearms. Here is an outline of the different muscles to target and where you should be able to feel them contracting and working on your arm.

The biceps brachii is on the front of your upper arm between the crook of your elbow and shoulder. You can work this muscle by flexing your arm at the elbow and making a curling motion. Common weight-lifting movements include curls with dumbbells, barbells and cables.

Your brachialis is the small muscle that connects the bottom of the bicep to the forearm. As with the biceps brachii, you can build this muscle with arm curling exercises, including hammer curls and reverse curls.

To develop your forearms, the pronator teres is the muscle along the underside of your forearm that turns your hand so that the palm faces down. To exercise this, you should focus on wrist curls with your elbow stationary and palm facing upwards.

The brachioradialis covers the top and outer part of your forearm and flexes your arm at the elbow. To exercise this, do the opposite to the pronator teres by performing wrist curls with your palm facing down.

Your triceps count for the largest part of your upper arm. If you’re looking to build monster guns this will be the most noticeable in size and definition.

The triceps brachii has three heads (lateral, medial & long). Your triceps brachii is the largest part of your upper arm between your elbow and shoulder. The lateral head of the triceps is found on the outer side of the humerus. This is the horseshoe shape that shows on the upper part of the back of your arm. The medial head of the triceps is found in the middle of the back portion of the upper arm. The long head of the triceps is the largest part of your triceps and is found running down the back of your arm.

The triceps are exercised by extending the elbow from a bent position. A couple of examples of exercise for this are the lying tricep press and close-grip bench press.

In order to build your arms, you should map out a plan that incorporates other body parts you’ll be hitting in the gym throughout the week. Many of them will already be worked by other exercises, which you can work out from the above information.

For the biceps, any exercise that involves a curling motion will also work your biceps. For example, pulling and rowing motions that involve bending your arm to complete a rep will build your biceps.

The different muscles in your forearms will be worked depending on which way your palm is facing when lifting, particularly when performing a curling motion in an upward lift, or a similar reverse movement when pulling down.

Triceps are worked by straightening the arm from a bent position, so to isolate the different heads of your triceps brachii you’ll need to alter your range of movement – something which is easily done using cables. Further to this, in the broader picture of your workout week, pushing motions will work your triceps, including press-ups, bench pressing and shoulder presses.

Strengthening and size are determined by isolating the muscles and the amount you overburden them throughout a week while ensuring plenty of protein and rest for growth and development.


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Faye Reid

Faye Reid

Writer and expert

Faye Reid has a Bachelor of Science in Sport and Exercise Physiology and a Master of Science in Exercise Physiology and Sports Nutrition. Faye has worked with numerous high-profile oranisations, such as Men's Health, Sky Sports, Huddersfield Giants, Warrington Wolves, British Dressage and GB Rowing, providing her expert sports science support. Find out more about Faye's experience here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/faye-reid-8b619b122/. She puts her passion into practice as goal attack for her netball team, and in competitive event riding.


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