You are here
Effective arm training
Most men would love to wrap their arms around a beautiful woman. Most women would love to have their toned arms on display in a sleeveless dress. In the case of men, it might be quite a turn off for the woman, if the arm that is being wrapped around her, is soft and noodle-like in appearance. Or what might be even worse, is if her arm is bigger and more toned than yours. In the case of women, you would love to have a toned arm on display, but you certainly would not want to show off one (an arm) that has a big blob of fat frantically moving about on it, as if the blob has taken on a life of its own. Whether it is for pure aesthetics or for function such as pulling or pushing, arm training is vitally important.
Your upper arm is divided into three main muscle groups—the biceps, the triceps and the brachialis. Most times when you are showing off your arms to friends, you flex your biceps. However, the triceps belong to a larger muscle group and is in fact the muscle that really gives you substantial arm size. In other words, the biceps gets the fame, but the triceps is the real workhorse. The brachialis runs under the biceps and is only visible when looking at the arm from the side; but it makes your arm appear much larger from that angle.
The key to effective arm training is to stay basic. It never ceases to amaze me, how some gym members, on entering into a facility for the first time, immediately begin arm exercises like preacher curls and seated concentration curls, which are considered detailing exercises. Remember, to detail an arm, you must first build an arm! This means your first priority is to pack that arm with some pure, unadulterated muscle. Listed below are some of the best exercises for the biceps, triceps and the brachialis:
• Barbell curls—This is a very basic bicep exercise, but it is extremely effective for adding muscle mass to your biceps.
• Dumbbell curls—This is also a very basic bicep movement that ensures you develop equal strength in both arms.
• Supinated Chin-ups—Although your latissimus dorsi (lats) does a lot of the work, your biceps are also under tremendous stress when you perform a chin-up.
There are quite a variety of effective tricep exercises, but there is one superset routine that is my all-time favourite:
• Tricep superset—Lie on a flat bench and perform ten reps of lying triceps extensions with adequate poundage. In local parlance this is known as “the busshead” exercise; without resting, keep the same grip you used for the “busshead” and perform ten reps of narrow grip bench press; immediately after the narrow grip, put both feet up on another bench and perform ten reps of dips between benches. Perform four sets of these giant sets.
The brachialis is effectively worked even when you are performing exercises for other body parts. For example, barbell bent over rows target the lats, rhomboids and trapezius muscles in the mid to upper back, but the pulling action towards your body, whereby your elbows have to be bent, will engage the brachialis as well. This principle also applies to many other exercises.
Brian Chin Leung
is a certified personal trainer
User comments posted on this website are the sole views and opinions of the comment writer and are not representative of Guardian Media Limited or its staff. Guardian Media Limited accepts no liability and will not be held accountable for user comments.
Please help us keep out site clean from inappropriate comments by using the flag option.
Guardian Media Limited reserves the right to remove, to edit or to censor any comments. Any content which is considered unsuitable, unlawful or offensive, includes personal details, advertises or promotes products, services or websites or repeats previous comments will be removed.