Biceps & Triceps Exercises: 18 Best Arm Workout

arm workout

Kaitlin Floyd

Kaitlin Floyd
Kaitlin Floyd

Updated on 12/7/2022

Do you get frustrated with your T-shirt sleeves blowing in the wind every time you wear them? The moment you click on this article, you will be on your way to building bigger biceps, triceps, and forearms. There is no doubt that each of these arm exercises targets maximum muscle fibers to help spark the growth you want and proves that any piece of equipment - when used correctly - has the potential to build bigger, thicker arms.

Suppose you wonder why you need to know 18 arm workout. In that case, I'll tell you that you have to hit them from various angles to build arms that pop, according to a muscle-building theory that has been validated by research conducted by the University of Tampa's Department of Health Science and Human Performance.

To achieve your goals, you'll need this detailed 'how to' to help you complete each rep in perfect form and explain each exercise's benefits. Say hello to your new strong-arm tactics.

Here are 18 of The Best Arm Exercises

Here are 18 of The Best Arm Exercises

 

It would be best if you target your biceps, triceps, and forearms to build big arms, which is why we have selected exercises that target all three muscle groups to help you achieve this goal.

1. The Incline Bicep Curl

The Incline Bicep Curl

How To: 

With dumbbells in each hand, sit on an incline bench. Curl the dumbbell using your biceps until it reaches your shoulder, then return it to your side and repeat.

Why: 

You need to be careful here: The biceps are isolated in this position, and other muscles cannot share the load with them. As you turn your wrists out slightly and keep your elbows pointed towards the floor throughout the repetition, you will be able to work the entire muscle, which you cannot achieve with other arm exercises.

2. Curl for Concentration

Curl for Concentration

How To:

Letting the weight hang down, rest your right arm against your right leg. Curl the weight up, pause for a moment, and then lower the weight back down. In the same way, repeat the process with the other arm.

Why: 

By doing this, you will isolate the arm flexors and hit the lateral head of the biceps for maximum performance (and appearance).

3. Curl Dumbbells Twisting

Curl Dumbbells Twisting

How To: 

Your palms should face each other while holding a dumbbell in each hand. With your biceps, curl the dumbbells alternately up to your shoulders, twisting your palms as you lift them so that they meet your chest as you lift them. Similarly, lower the dumbbells back down to your side and repeat.

Why:

As a result of the twist, your forearm is brought into play. In terms of bicep work, although it won't be as tricky as other arm exercises when you're squeezing in sets over lunch, this move will give you a better shot at hitting more of your arm in less time.

4. The Underhand Seated Row

The Underhand Seated Row

How To:

Start by bending your knees and holding the bar in an underhand grip, shoulder-width apart. Lean back slightly, ensuring that your back remains straight, and use your back muscles to drive the bar towards your belly button. Afterward, return the bar to its starting position and repeat the process.

Why: 

If you're looking for bigger biceps, you can go one step further than bodyweight moves — and you don't even need to invest in a squat rack to do this.

5. Straight Bar With Reverse Curl

Straight Bar With Reverse Curl

How to: 

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and grasp the barbell with an overhand grip at shoulder width. Bend your elbows and rotate the barbell upwards, using only your forearms, until the barbell is in line with your shoulders, as you turn the barbell upwards. Slowly bring it back down and repeat the process as often as you need.

Why: 

It works the brachialis, an invisible muscle lower down your arm — a vital force to building bigger biceps. If you train it well, the brachialis will push the peak of your bicep muscle up higher, creating a more impressive flex and a bigger-looking arm.

6. Curl with EZ Bars Leaning Forward

Curl with EZ Bars Leaning Forward

How to:

Underhand, shoulder-wide grip the EZ bar in front of your thighs. You should lean forward slightly, so your torso is about 30 degrees away from your hips. When you take a deep breath, raise the bar to your shoulders. You must squeeze your biceps and lower them under control after packing them.

Why: 

With this exercise, you will work the primary flexor muscle involved in finger strength. The result will be a vice-like grip for heavier lifts and a bone-crushing handshake. In addition, swinging up the final few reps with your hips is not recommended due to the forward tilt. For perfect gains, you need ideal form.

7. The Reverse-Grip EZ Bar Curl

The Reverse-Grip EZ Bar Curl

How to:

Place the EZ bar in front of your thighs while holding it with an overhand, shoulder-width grip. Taking a deep breath, curl the bar so that your hands are at your shoulders as you breathe. Squeeze your biceps, and then lower them slowly.

8. Dumbbell Spider Curl Prone

Dumbbell Spider Curl Prone

 

On an incline bench, hold a dumbbell in each hand underneath your shoulders. Using your biceps muscles to curl the dumbbells toward your shoulders would be best. Reverse the process and return to the starting position.

Why: 

The extraordinary thing about lying against the bench is that you can master the proper curling technique - which is extremely useful for various arm exercises. When your chest lifts off the bar, that is cheating, but if you keep it flat for every rep, you know you have nailed another set in the quest for bigger biceps.

9. The Diamond Press-Up

The Diamond Press-Up

How to: 

Lie on the ground with your body straight, and your hands forming the shape of a diamond. As you lower your body, your chest should almost touch the ground. While squeezing your triceps and chest simultaneously, return your body to the starting position by pressing your body back up.

Why: 

By narrowing your grip, you work all three heads of your triceps, as well as your chest, to give your arms a defined look.

10. Press Javelin

Press Javelin

How to: 

Take an EZ bar in your right hand and hold it just above your shoulder with your right hand. As you extend your arm, raise the bar above your shoulder and lower it again.

Why: 

You will achieve even gains by working the triceps unilaterally (one arm at a time). The added instability resulting from ungainly equipment will help activate the smaller shoulder muscles responsible for protecting the joint from injuries. As a bonus, you will look like a pro next to the guys carrying dumbbells when you are doing this.

11. Tricep Extension With One Arm (Seated)

Tricep Extension With One Arm (Seated)

How to: 

Take your dumbbell, hold it in one hand, and position it directly behind your head, so that your elbow is bent and pointing towards the ceiling as you do this. The dumbbell should be directly above your head, so extend your arm through your elbow until it is straight and your arm is straight. Repeat the exercise by lowering your arm back to its starting position and then raising it again.

Why: 

This exercise will help you build arm strength and add stability to your shoulders and elbows. Plus, if you work unilaterally, you will be able to eliminate any muscle imbalances that may be present.

12. Skullcrusher with Close-Grip EZ Bar

Skullcrusher with Close-Grip EZ Bar

How To: 

You will need to lie back on a bench that has been set to a 30-degree decline. Make sure you grab the EZ bar on the innermost grips, straighten your arms and palms facing your feet, and tightly grip the bar. When you lower the bar, keep your elbows tucked in and fixed as you lower it to about an inch from your forehead. Then slowly extend your arms back to their starting position without locking your elbows as you do so.

Why: 

Don't be scared of the name of this exercise, as this is one of the arm exercises that will help you build your ultimate triceps. When you set the bench to decline, your range of motion will increase, resulting in increased muscle activation.

13. Press Tate

Press Tate

How To: 

Hold two dumbbells above your shoulders while lying on the court and a bench. Bring the dumbbells to your chest with the palms of your hands facing outwards and the dumbbells pointing up. Repeat the process by raising the dumbbells back to their starting position and lowering them again.

Why: 

By working at this angle, you are putting more emphasis on the long head of the triceps, which allows you to see more clearly the muscle separation at the back of your arms. Sadly, it is against the rules for you to wear a vest at work to show them off.

14. Barbell Triceps Extensions Standing

Barbell Triceps Extensions Standing

How To: 

Take a barbell and hold it with both hands, palms facing forward, almost touching, with the barbell over your head. As you lower the bar behind your head, bend your elbows slowly while keeping your upper arms stationary. As soon as your elbows have reached 90 degrees, pause and then return to the initial position by flexing your triceps.

Why: 

By using a barbell overhead instead of dumbbells, you will be able to grip the barbell better. Try to snap the barbell at the top of the rep to activate the most muscle fibers possible.

15. Bench Press With a Close Grip

Bench Press With a Close Grip

How to: 

Get a barbell and grab it using an overhand grip that is shoulder-width apart, place it above your sternum, and ensure your arms are completely straight as you lift it. The bar should be lowered straight down, paused for a moment, and then pushed back to the starting position.

Why: 

This is one of the best exercises for your triceps as it works both your chest and core muscles. If you place your hands closer together, you will force your triceps to work harder, resulting in stronger muscles.

16. Dips of The Triceps (Advanced)

Dips of The Triceps (Advanced)

How To: 

Raise your torso perpendicular to the floor by hoisting yourself on parallel bars. You should lower your body slowly until your shoulder joints are below your elbows. Push your elbows back up until they are nearly straight but not locked. You should not perform this exercise if you have shoulder problems.

Why: 

If you lift your entire body weight, your triceps will work against a much heavier load than if you isolate your tri's, which means you will work harder.

17. Wrist Curls With a Straight Barbell Palms-Up

Wrist Curls With a Straight Barbell Palms-Up

How To:

You should lie on a bench or sit on the court with your palms facing upward and hold a barbell with your hands.
With your forearms on your knees, lower the bar as far as you can toward the ground.
Slowly reduce your wrist by curling it upward, pausing, and dropping it again.

Why: 

When it comes to your forearms, you will have them on display for a long time after your beach body has gone back into hiding, so you should take good care of them. When it comes to deadlift day, your grip strength will also improve.

18. Wrist Curls With a Straight Barbell Palms-Down

Wrist Curls With a Straight Barbell Palms-Down

How To:

Lie on the court with a barbell in your hands facing down. Rest your forearms on your knees as you lower the bar as far as possible. It would be best if you curled your wrist upward, paused, and slowly lowered it.

Why: 

There isn't anything showy about this subtle move, but don't skip it. To minimize wrist and elbow injuries during other movements, it targets the extensor muscles to help reduce these injuries.

Arm Building Tips From PT

Arm Building Tips From PT

 

Listed below are four tips from Jamie Inzani, a strength, and conditioning specialist at One Personal Training, on how to build bigger arms in no time.

The Use of Heavy Drop Sets

The Use of Heavy Drop Sets

 

For best results, Inzani recommends loading up a bar with a weight you can hold for five strict reps before dropping it to a rep-out weight. Using rigorous, unilateral movements (with one arm at a time), perform eight to ten repetitions in each component, keeping the elbows close to the body and keeping your back straight and without rocking. The form is essential here - wait until the other arm has finished its rep before moving the resting arm.

Multi Grip Drop Sets

Multi Grip Drop Sets

 

Switching between weaker and stronger grips, double arm movements, and single arm movements, Inzani overloads his muscles. Why is that? Studies have shown that changing from double-arm to single-arm activities creates more 'neural' drive when you have only one arm, engaging the nervous system in a way that recruits and works more muscle fibers in that arm than in conventional sets. Switch between hammer grips, cross-body grips, regular grips, and reverse grips constantly while cranking out eight repetitions with both arms and then the same with both arms on their own.

Apply The Zottman Curl

Apply The Zottman Curl

 

Building up a big, thick upper arm is not just about the biceps - this exercise also works the oft-overlooked elbow flexors. To begin, take a couple of dumbbells and sit on a flat bench, extending your arms fully downward, with your palms facing forward and your hands in front of you. It is essential to keep the palm away from the body, not to recruit the forearm flexors when curling - if necessary, bend your wrist backward to avoid recruiting the flexors. 

At the top of the movement, rotate your palms so they face downwards, ready to perform the eccentric (downward) portion of a reverse dumbbell curl before slowly lowering the dumbbells down to the ground. You should use less weight if your elbows tend to flare out. Keep your elbows pinned to your side the entire time. You should perform three sets of eight to ten reps.

Use Chin-Ups

Use Chin-Ups

 

The correct form is crucial when turning this gym staple into a lethal weapon in your arsenal regarding arm-building. As a rule, a proper chin-up is performed by holding the bar with straight arms, pulling the chin up over the bar with your hands spaced approximately 6 inches apart, and engaging your lats to get the movement going. 

To hold the contraction for two seconds, you need to deploy your biceps at the peak of the contraction. Perzani points out that the best way to train muscles is to use their natural 'elastic potential' by exploding up at the bottom of the movement rather than dithering during it. The result? You squeeze out an extra set of reps to add size to your biceps.

You have learned the best arm exercises, and you are ready to test your arm strength with these arm workout.

Frequently Asked Questions