Is A 10 Pound Weight Gain Possible In 6 Months The 10 Best Arm Building Exercises for Beginning Bodybuilders

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The 10 Best Arm Building Exercises for Beginning Bodybuilders

Everyone has fun with “Top 10” lists, and they sometimes contain information that you can actually use to improve your life or achieve a personal goal. If you​​​​​​are serious about building big, muscular arms, this is the list for you! But before I give you my Top 10 list for arm building success, let me explain my selection criteria.

First, the exercises on this list are simple and for beginners who need to start with a solid foundation in the basics of arm building to achieve long-term success from their biceps, triceps, and forearm workouts. Although I have said that these exercises are simple, this does not mean that they are easy. Their simplicity lies in the intuitive benefits that come from each arm building movement and the fact that you can do these exercises with a minimal time commitment. Getting the most out of these exercises will still require careful attention to training technique and variety of training – the 2 keys to arm building success that aren’t always easy for novice bodybuilders.

In my experience you are a beginner if you have been training your arms once or twice a week for 6 months or less. You’re also a beginner if you’ve been trying to build your arms for more than 6 months with exercises other than the ones on my list. Why? Because if you don’t master the arm building exercises listed in my Top 10, you’re not ready for the intermediate or advanced workout methods you’ll eventually need to build truly Awesome Arms.

Second, to make my Top 10 list, the equipment needed for any arm building exercise must be universally available. That means you can do all these exercises with dumbbells, an EZ-curl bar and a basic workout bench that you can find in any gym or health club. You can also do these exercises at home with a very small investment in this equipment for your home gym. There is no need for fancy machines or trendy gimmicks here.

Ultimately, each of my Top 10 arm building exercises will help you build mass, shape and strength in your biceps, triceps and forearms at the same time. These muscle areas are directly targeted during each exercise to maximize growth and efficiency of your workouts.

Now that I’ve told you how I came up with my list, here are the Top 10 exercises for building the big, muscular arms you desire! They are not listed in any particular order, so there is no reason to think that one particular exercise is better than another. You have to decide what works best for you by experimenting with each exercise. But rest assured that any arm building program that includes all of these exercises will definitely add inches, symmetry and strength to your biceps, triceps and forearms.

1. EZ Bar Preacher Curls

The EZ bar preacher curl is one of my favorite biceps exercises of all time. The preacher bench is a great training tool because it forces the biceps to work in relative isolation from the back and shoulders. Unlike standing barbell curls that usually involve biceps-cheating torso swing, preacher curls keep your arms at an angle that forces your biceps to provide the leverage needed to lift the weight. The EZ curl bar offers both narrow grip and wide grip hand positions. When you use the narrow grip, your hands are in a semi-neutral position and therefore increase involvement of the brachioradialis in the curling movement. If you have no experience with preacher curls, you should probably start with the narrow grip position.

As you become more experienced with this exercise, you should move to the wider grip as it forces supination or a “palms up” position of your hands. Since the biceps function primarily as a hand-supinator, the more you supinate your hands, the more resistance you will place on your biceps. If you have the potential to build biceps peaks, EZ barbell curls are sure to tap into that potential.

2. Dumbbell Preacher Curls

The dumbbell preacher curl is another one of my favorite biceps builders. This exercise really allows you to make the mind-body connection so essential to arm building success. While many competitive bodybuilders use this exercise exclusively as a “shaper” during pre-contest training, the dumbbell preacher curl also works as a great mass builder when used in a pyramid cycle. In fact, this exercise is the best high-intensity bodybuilding movement for adding size and shape to your biceps at the same time.

3. Dumbbell Concentration Curls

As the name suggests, this exercise places concentrated resistance on the biceps when performed correctly. In addition to building your biceps, this exercise also emphasizes and develops the brachialis. The brachialis is a true forearm flexor. It originates on the lower anterior surface of the humerus, ends on the anterior surface of the coronoid process of the ulna (the large bone on the inside of the forearm) and is visible on the outside of the upper arm between the biceps and the lateral head of the triceps. Development of the brachialis and biceps gives the front of your upper arms that thick, dense look that says “mess with me at your own risk!!”

4. Seated Alternating Dumbbell Curls

This exercise is one of the best biceps builders ever, as long as you sit on a bench that has a back rest to prevent torso movement. Too many people do this exercise standing or sitting on a bench without back support. To ensure that your biceps get the most work from this movement, you need to stabilize your torso to avoid any tilting motion. Also remember to supinate your hands during each repetition to encourage maximum growth for your biceps.

5. EZ Bar Triceps Extensions

This exercise, also known as “Skull crushers” is a great mass builder for your triceps. For maximum growth, EZ-bar triceps extensions require you to keep your upper arms in a perpendicular position (90 degrees) to the bench during each repetition. If this position causes you any elbow strain or discomfort, you can lower the angle by moving your arms slightly forward to reduce the stress on your elbows. Don’t worry – making this small adjustment won’t hinder your ability to get the benefits of this exercise.

You should also place your hands in the narrow grip position on the EZ bar which, combined with proper arm position, ensures that each triceps head receives maximum resistance throughout the exercise movement. Lower and extend the weight in a smooth, continuous motion without shaking or swaying the bar with your back or shoulders. Done correctly, you can’t beat EZ bar tricep extensions for building big, muscular triceps.

6. Tricep Pushups

You are probably familiar with standard pushups which are performed with your arms in a shoulder width position. While standard pushups involve the triceps, chest and shoulders in the “floating” movement, triceps pushups are designed to minimize the involvement of the chest and shoulders to maximize training resistance on the triceps. This exercise is deceptively simple in that it looks to the untrained eye like just another pushup. But like every exercise on my Top 10 list, technique is extremely important and good hand position determines whether these pushups will add muscle inches to your triceps.

For good performance, take a standard pushup position with your hands and arms extended and shoulder width apart. Then slide your hands closer together until your thumbs almost touch. This is the starting position. With your hands in this position, slowly lower your arms under you and then push yourself back to the starting position as you would with regular pushups. Make sure to keep your back straight and your head up for maximum resistance on your triceps. When you​​​​are​​extending​​your​​arms,​​you​​mentally​​concentrate​​on​​maintaining​​good​​form​​and​​technique​​with​​each​​repetition. For added resistance or pyramid cycles, have a training buddy gently place a 5-10 pound barbell plate on your back to force your triceps to work harder and build greater mass.

7. Seated Triceps Dips

Seated triceps dips are another great triceps builder, yet I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve seen someone do them in the gym. Maybe people ignore them because, like triceps pushups, they look too simple to do well. Well, the proof, as they say, is in the pudding, and seated tricep dips have certainly added considerable strength and density to my triceps.

To do this exercise, sit on a workout bench with your legs together and extended on the floor in front of you. Your arms should be fully extended and shoulder width apart behind you. Slide your body slightly forward to hang yourself so that your arms support your body weight between the bench and the floor. With your arms extended, lower yourself as if sitting on the floor and then push yourself back up by extending your arms and returning to the starting position. This exercise, when performed correctly, will add tremendous strength, shape and definition to your triceps – guaranteed!

8. Single-Arm Triceps Extension

The one-arm triceps extension, also known as the “French dumbbell press” is a triceps builder that I recommend primarily as a shaping movement. Although it is possible to build mass with this exercise, the position of the elbows may prevent you from using enough weight to generate the type of power and mass-building potential available from skull crushers and triceps pushups. You should experiment with this exercise and use it in a way that gives you the best results. But remember, I don’t recommend using heavy weight with this movement because of the risk of shoulder injury. Consistent use of light to moderate weight will provide the best results from this triceps builder.

9. Reverse-Grip EZ Bar Curls

This exercise puts primary stress on the brachioradialis and extensor muscles of the dorsal or outer surface of your forearms. Since your hands are pronated in the narrow-grip position, your wrists are extended which forces involvement of the extensor carpi radialis and extensor carpi ulnaris. This pronated or “palms down” position of the hands also takes the biceps out of this exercise, which isolates the brachioradialis as the primary forearm flexor. If you​​​​​​are serious about building big, muscular forearms, reverse-grip EZ bar curls are a good first step.

10. Wrist Curls

Wrist curls work to develop the two large muscles on the inside of the anterior surface of the forearm. These muscles, the flexor carpi ulnaris and flexor carpi radialis, are the wrist flexors and combine to form a thick, muscular region from the elbow to the lower forearm. While these muscles do a lot of work during your biceps curl movements, wrist curls isolate these flexors to maximize resistance on this section of your forearms. If you want to add thickness and strength to your inner forearms, heavy wrist curls will do the trick.

So, there you have it – my Top 10 list of arm building exercises for beginner bodybuilders. Try them, have fun with them, and make sure you use safe amounts of weight and proper training technique with each exercise. You will be very happy with the results!

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