Ask seven people about the seven best arm exercises of all time, and the answers will likely vary dramatically. Movements that trigger muscle growth in one person may not produce the same results in another. (This is another reason why you need to constantly change your choices, sets, reps, and rest times for exercise on a regular basis.)
Are the following 7 exercises the best arm movements ever? Yes, according to Eraldo Maglara NSCA-CPT – because they have most effectively helped him and his clients shape bigger and stronger weapons.
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Incline dumbbell curl
Oblique barbell curls are usually done on an – you guessed it – incline bench set at a 30 to 45 degree incline for maximum strain on the long head of the biceps.
"By allowing your arms to naturally expand on either side of the bench, the only beneficiary of that movement is your biceps," he says. "It's a great exercise to build rounded and defined arms."
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By Bernal / M + F magazine
Standing barbell curl
Standard barbell curls are good exercise for people looking to add meat to their arms. The reason? Barbell curls are known to produce serous results.
"It's effective because the movement requires control and proper technique throughout the exercise," explains Maglara. “Force your biceps to activate extra muscle fibers by holding on top of the curl for a second or two. This will lead to greater mass gains. "
If barbell curls have been a staple of your routine for a while, flip your grip to the close or wide, or do it from a sitting position.
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Sitting concentration curl
Performing this isolation move slowly, without relying on momentum, can help adjust the size to match your biceps peak.
"Your contraction is held throughout (movement) so your biceps are activated from the start, middle, and end positions of the curl," says Maglara. Alternatively, you can perform cable concentration curls. For both, remember to squeeze your biceps at the top of the movement.
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Hitting the deck and re-doing pushups is a great way to strengthen your core, pecs, triceps, and delts. However, if you want to pay more attention to the tris, switch to diamond push-ups (also called triangle push-ups). In fact, a study by the American Council on Exercise (ACE) found that diamond pushups are the most effective step in activating muscle activity.
“The diamond push-up is an excellent exercise for activating and strengthening the triceps muscles,” says Maglara. “By keeping your hands close together – like the shape of a diamond – your triceps are kept in tension both concentrically and eccentrically. This leads to a large burn. "
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mihailomilovanovic / Getty
Tricep dips require minimal equipment – a chair, bench, or parallel bars – but offer a high return on investment. In the above ACE study, dips were also named as one of the most effective triceps blasters.
"Looks can be deceiving with dips," admits Maglara. "You seem like an easy exercise, but you are lifting your own body weight, and the majority of my clients who have consistently trained with me have found this exercise both challenging and useful."
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As long as you are careful with the weight you choose and perform both the concentric and eccentric portions of the movement with strict control, the exercise does not live up to its name. Whether performed with a cord, barbell, dumbbells, or EZ curling bar, learning to use the skull breaker (or recumbent triceps press) can add bulk and definition to your triceps.
“Focus on the lower part of the movement by holding the bar for a second or two, then slowly bringing it back to the starting position. This enables the triceps to recruit additional muscle fibers. "
Another tip: move your arms back so they are at a 45-degree angle to the floor. This helps the muscles stretch better and keep them under more tension with each rep. You can also make the movement more difficult by placing her on an incline bench.
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Okay, okay, it's not a "gun" movement per se. However, your concentration depends directly on how you exercise. More focus means more muscle growth. Period. It's the ability to gut a few extra reps that make you someone who owns pipes instead of pipe cleaners.
“We concentrate more on our external influences than on our internal forces,” explains Maglara. "The only smart way up is how well you plan your strategy from within."
He continues, “The best advice a trainer should give you is to use the power of your mind to help you achieve your fitness goals. When Arnold Schwarzenegger won the Mr. Olympia competition in 1975, his main goal was to spiritually destroy his opponents and connect with himself to overcome obstacles. It worked! "