Big arms are not only great for being a balanced bodybuilder, but will make you generally look more muscular in every day apparel. Many gym goers focus too much on only working the biceps, as well as doing too many isolation exercises and using poor form. Here you will find a list of the top 5 exercises that will increase the general size of your arms, including exercises from both your biceps and triceps.
#5 Tricep Push-Downs
Some will hiss about the idea of putting a cable movement in a list of best arm exercises, but push-downs performed on machines can really give a unique stretch to the triceps that are great for topping off an arm or tricep workout. Whether you use the rope or straight bar attachment is totally dependent on preference, but this exercise should be added to every routine where the triceps are being worked.
#4 Concentration Curls
Improving your biceps peak will create the illusion that your arms are bigger than they actually are. Creating these bicep peaks can be done by doing concentration curls, seen more commonly performed by Arnold Schwarzenegger in Pumping Iron. Concentration curls can be performed by resting the upper-back of the arm against one leg while sitting, or by simply leaning over and stretching out the arm, curling the weight while the arm hands stretched out.
#3 “Skull Crushers”
Skull Crusher’s are a great way to overload the triceps and provide resistance that is different than a close grip bench press. Keeping the elbows tucked allow for maximal triceps contraction. Using an EZ bar is most popular for wrist comfort but this exercise can also be done using an olympic barbell or even individual dumbbells.
#2 Barbell Curls
The classic, straight bar barbell curls are a great exercise for building the biceps. The reason this exercise is valued higher than the easier-to-grip EZ bar is because studies have been shown that using a straight bar allows for both heads of the biceps to receive stimulation. By doing this exercise correctly (meaning eliminating swinging and helping with the shoulders), you can use more weight, which will improve the development of muscle by providing more overload to the muscles.
#1 Close Grip Bench Press
The close grip bench press, when done properly, will greatly increase the size of your triceps. Because your triceps make up 2/3 the mass of your arm, increasing the size of this muscle is most likely a more important factor in increasing the size of your arms. The close grip bench press allows you to use heavy weight to hit the triceps hard, and the close grip allows the triceps to be worked more than in a traditional bench press. Keep your elbows tucked in and get a full range of motion for this exercise and your arms will grow.