More Useful Stuff
Which muscles make your arms look impressive? How do you do the perfect bicep curl? What is the best way to supersize your triceps? Our Arms A-Z will provide you with all the answers you need.
Q/ What does the perfect bicep curl look like? The most important factor: it’s all about maintaining high tension levels. Focus on working your arms in front of your body – if they drop closer to your back, you risk lifting from an unstable shoulder position. Keep your back and head in a neutral, straight position, and keep your shoulders and upper arms locked in place. It’s important that you never completely lock your elbows out. Rather keep a slight bend and your elbows tucked into your sides – this will help keep tension on the muscle and make the movement harder (and more effective) while making sure your joints are safe. Keep your wrists in line with your elbows.
Q/ What’s the quickest way to get an arm “pump”? Use what’s called the “flushing effect”. Direct alternation between the muscle protagonist and antagonist (in this case, your bicep and tricep) pumps extra blood into the muscle and increases the size of the muscles in your arm. Alternate between a set of curls and a set of dips, and do three rounds in total with only one minute of rest between rounds.
Q/ How do you increase the “peak” height of your biceps? It can be manipulated with some fine tuning. Concentrate on the outer part of the bicep, which is best activated by using a narrow grip position. If you’re using dumbbells, make sure that your elbows stay tucked into the sides of your body. Don’t use a hammer grip – rather keep your thumbs pointing outwards while doing curls. Using a barbell means you’ll automatically have the right grip. Most biceps exercises in this workout plan can be modified to concentrate on the outer side of the biceps: just use this grip variation at least once a week in one of your workouts.
Q/ How can I protect my joints while training my arms? The foundations for strong, big arms are healthy, flexible elbows and wrists. You’ll use them in almost every lift, so look after them. The most important rule: only use as much weight as you can control with good form. Any exercise that causes immediate wrist or elbow pain should be skipped. Ask an experienced coach to check your technique and ensure that you’re not cocking your wrists or engaging your muscles incorrectly. (Note: wrist wraps might give you some support, but they’ll also decrease the workload of the supporting muscles and, in the long run, might create weaknesses in certain areas.)
Q/ Which muscles should I concentrate on to get a pair of XXL arms? Focus on these five areas: your biceps, triceps, the crook of the arm, your forearm and upper arm. The good news is that most of these muscles are brought into play by any of the common upper body exercises. Your goal is to find exercises that combine work on all of these five areas.