Along with a shapely posterior, toned and sculpted arms are a highly sought after fitness goal. You’ve likely been attempting to get your arms to Michelle Obama’s level, but haven’t had much success. If you’re struggling to tone your arms, doing heavy, compound, upper body exercises such as rows and presses will help fix this issue quickly.
Because your arms are always going to assist with any upper body exercise, performing compound ones that can be progressively overloaded with heavier weight will ensure arm development along with the rest of your upper body. Try this fix out first and see what happens…
Still struggling to develop your arms? Then keep reading.
If compound exercises alone are not developing your arms, you will need to incorporate direct arm training into your fitness routine. However, many people perform direct arm training and exercises improperly resulting in injury or mediocre results. In order to get the toned, sculpted arms you’ve sought, there are four rules you should follow when training them:
When training arms, you should always superset a Bicep exercise with a Tricep exercise. Training your Biceps and Triceps together will work the entire arm during your training session leading to faster results. It will also fill them with blood and lubricate your joints lessening the stress on your elbows and minimize the injury risk to them.
Additionally, alternating a Bicep exercise with a Tricep exercise will allow one muscle group to recover while the other one is working. This will allow you to train hard while minimizing fatigue as doing two Bicep or Tricep exercises one after the other will cause exhaustion and limit your ability to perform the sets without having to take extra breaks or lower the weight.
Many fitness professionals recommend that you perform compound exercises first in a workout before performing isolation exercises. This recommendation does not apply to arm training. Because it’s easier to stress and injure your elbows when doing arm exercises, you should aim to get as much blood into your arms as possible by performing isolation exercises with lighter weights before doing compound exercises.
Not only will this help shuttle nutrients to your arms after a workout speeding up recovery, it will also help warm them up as well as lubricate your elbow joints so that they do not have as much stress placed on them. Training your Biceps before your Triceps will also help lessen potential elbow strain.
When training Biceps, start with the brachialis muscle as this is the primary muscle responsible for elbow flexion. Not only will training it first help warm up your elbow joint more effectively, it will also help push the Bicep and Tricep apart resulting in a more defined looking arm. The best way to train the brachialis is with exercises that use a neutral grip, where your palms are facing each other. Example exercises to use include Dumbbell or Kettlebell Hammer Curls, Dumbbell or Kettlebell Reverse Grip Curls, Dumbbell or Kettlebell Zottman Curls, and Cable Rope Hammer Curls.
Next, move on to the biceps brachii. This is the main Bicep muscle located on the front of the arm, and the one that is most prominently visible. The reason you should train this muscle second is because it’s susceptible to strains and tears when loaded too heavily. These are less likely to happen after training the brachialis, because the muscle will be pumped with blood and warmed up thoroughly. Example exercises include variations of Dumbbell or Kettlebell Bicep Curls, and Dumbbell or Kettlebell Preacher Curls.
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