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Weight Training Fitness Arms

Updated on September 19, 2009

Gym Work-Out For Arms

 

This hub is geared towards working out the arms in a gym.  There are many exercises to do for arm workouts in a gym.  The arms are made up of two major muscle groups and one minor supporting muscle.  The two major muscle groups of the arms are the bicep and the triceps.  The minor supporting muscle group is the forearm.  Since the forearm is a supporter of every exercise you will do that requires you to hold something and move it with your hands, we won’t work it in this hub.  I never work the forearms and they are just as strong as the rest of me.

The Alternating Bicep Curl

Click thumbnail to view full-size
The Start position for both armsFirst ArmSecond Arm, end of one repetition
The Start position for both arms
The Start position for both arms
First Arm
First Arm
Second Arm, end of one repetition
Second Arm, end of one repetition

The Biceps

 

The biceps are the muscles on top of your arm and control the lifting of objects toward the body.  So naturally, every exercise done for the biceps are going to be lifting a weight towards your body.  Some of the major exercises to be done for a bicep workout are: the alternating bicep curl, the e-z bar curl, the preacher curl, and the hammer curl.

The Alternating Bicep Curl

The alternating bicep curl is done with a comfortable weight (a comfortable weight is one where you can perform ten repetitions and reach failure at the end of the tenth rep).  You can choose whether or not you will sit or stand, either way doesn’t matter.  Grasp one weight in each hand and curl the weight to your chest.  The fundamental of the curl is to avoid momentum.  Curl the weight using your bicep only.  Alternate each arm, curl the left then curl the right.  At the end of the second arm curl that is one repetition.  Perform ten repetitions, rest for one minute, and finish two more sets.  If you find yourself rocking back and forth as you curl the weight you are cheating your body.  Although cheating is necessary periodically you do not want to cheat the whole time.  If you do this you might as well pack up your stuff and leave the gym.  Always remember that form comes first, then function and strength.

The E-Z bar curl

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The start position The up position
The start position
The start position
The up position
The up position

The E-Z Bar Curl

 

The e-z bar is a wavy barbell that is about three feet long.  The e-z bar is wavy for hand placement.  As this exercise uses both arms at the same time you can pile on more weight with it.  First thing to do is load your weight onto the bar, test the weight with one repetition to see if you need to make adjustments.  Once you are comfortable with the weight pick up the bar and hold it down.  Your feet need to be a little more than shoulder width apart.  While you lift the weight you want to avoid any leaning, forward or backwards as this is cheating.  Using just your arms curl the weight in towards your chest, at the top of the repetition squeeze your biceps, and then slowly lower the weight using just your arms.  During the movements of this exercise you want to keep your elbows tucked in against your side, but if you get a little stuck just move your elbows out some to get the weight up.  Never lean backwards as this could also cause injury.

The Preacher Curl

 

The preacher curl is done on a bench that has a supportive pad for the elbows.  This is an isolation type of bicep curl and is better for form than the e-z bar curl.  As you won’t be able to cheat at all, I recommend lowering the weight to a more manageable level.  Once the correct weight is loaded onto the e-z bar, take a seat on the preacher bench and make the adjustments to the seat height.  Now that everything is perfect grab the bar off the platform and adjust your elbows.  Curl the weight up towards your chest, flexing at the top of the repetition, and then slowly lower the weight.  Do not lock out your elbows; it is way harder to unlock them once they are loaded with weight.  If you get to four or five and can’t do anymore, simply lower the weight by five pounds and complete the set.  Do ten repetitions, rest for one minute, and complete two more sets.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
All the way upThis is the point of no return, don't go any lower than this.
All the way up
All the way up
This is the point of no return, don't go any lower than this.
This is the point of no return, don't go any lower than this.

The Hammer Curl

 

The hammer curl is simply where the weight is turned so the head of the dumbbell is facing your chest.  You can do this is one of two ways: standing, or concentrated.  The standing method is where you alternate each arm by bringing the head of the dumbbell to your shoulder, after the second arm reaches the shoulder that is one repetition.  Do ten repetitions, rest for one minute, and then complete two more sets.  The concentrated method is where you use a seat back to hold your elbow in place.  Once again with this method, after the second arm reaches the shoulder one repetition is complete.  Do ten repetitions, rest for one minute, and then complete two more sets.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
First ArmLast Arm
First Arm
First Arm
Last Arm
Last Arm
Click thumbnail to view full-size
UpDown
Up
Up
Down
Down

The Triceps

The triceps are the muscles on the back side of the arm and help in the pushing away of items from your body. Naturally, each triceps exercise will be you moving a weight away from your body. Some of the best triceps exercises are the overhead triceps extension, the cable rope pull-down, the skull crusher, and the triceps push down.

The Overhead Triceps Extension

The overhead triceps extension is done by holding a weight over your head. The dumbbell is right behind your head and your elbows are pointed to the ceiling. The action of the exercise is simply lifting the weight up over your head. That is a count of one. Do ten repetitions, rest for one minute, and then do two more sets. This exercise you will want to watch out how you lower the weight. I don’t know how many times I have hit myself in the head with a weight while doing this exercise; also make sure you have good control of the weight when you bring it up over your head. You definitely don’t want to slip when doing this exercise

The Cable Rope Pull-Down

The cable rope pull down is done on a machine.  The machine has stacks of weight plates on it and you can select the weight you desire to workout with.  Place the rope attachment on the pulley, and place the pulley at the top position.  Grab the rope by the rubber balls and pull the weight all the way down to your thighs.  At this point you will separate your hands to squeeze the triceps muscle, and then return your arms to waist height.  Once you are back to waist height that is one repetition.  Perform ten repetitions, rest for one minute, and then complete two more sets.

 

The Cable Rope Pulldown

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Up to about waist high  Down with an outward movement to squeeze the triceps
Up to about waist high
Up to about waist high
Down with an outward movement to squeeze the triceps
Down with an outward movement to squeeze the triceps
Click thumbnail to view full-size
Up positionJust lower your forearms to above your forehead
Up position
Up position
Just lower your forearms to above your forehead
Just lower your forearms to above your forehead

The Skull Crusher

The skull crusher is performed with an e-z bar. Find a flat bench to workout on and load an e-z bar with enough weight to present a challenge. I highly recommend using a moderate weight or a spotter for this exercise. Lie down on the bench and bring the weight off your chest and straight up, then lower the weight slowly, keeping your elbows up, to your forehead. Once you bring the weight back up over your chest that is one repetition. Complete ten repetitions, rest for one minute, and then complete two more sets.

The Triceps Push Downs

The triceps push downs are done on a machine. The machine has a seat and handles that move a weight at the end of the bars attached to the handles. Load up a good amount of weight on the weight racks, then sit down and strap yourself in. This machine has the ability to lift you off the seat so being strapped in prevents that. Push the weight down so your elbows almost lock out, and then return to the start position, that is one repetition. Conduct ten repetitions, rest for one minute, and then perform two more sets.

 

Tricep Push Downs

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The Up positionThe Down position
The Up position
The Up position
The Down position
The Down position

Hubchallenge

Hubchallenge number 9
Hubchallenge number 9

Authors Note:

As with other hubs in this series, this list of exercises is not all there are. There are many different exercises that can be done to workout your biceps and triceps. This list is however the most effective way to build strength and mass, at least for me it is. Before you start any exercise regimen get a physical done be a doctor if you are over thirty years old. Be careful when doing these exercises to avoid injury. As always if you forget how to properly perform an exercise at a gym, they are staffed with personal trainers that know how to do the exercises correctly. Use the resources the gym provides to ensure you have a safe and effective workout.

Copyright 2009 by Wesley Cox

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    • profile image

      retina61 

      6 years ago

      preacher curl one of the most important biceps training tips i can see your photo thanks sharing with us. in preacher curl only biceps muscle working this is the difference than the other biceps exercises (other biceps exercise also works shoulder muscles too). since 10 years i have been working with weights my opinion about arm (biceps training) a person who works biceps muscle should do all biceps muscles (mean he should do different type biceps exercises in biceps muscle working day include hamme r curl preacher curl and other bar and dumbell exercises). especially i advice you pentagon chanell's fit for duty video workout series our dear USA's series yes im Turkish and im living the Turkey but i know (yours) F?T FOR DUTY SER?ES especially season 3 bodybuilding series my favourite. Especailly Staff sergeant mr. Ken weichnert's series he seems like a bodyweight training specialist you should watch on the internet that series our friends. bye from Turkey our dear USA's friends

    • profile image

      getgoingcanada 

      7 years ago

      Hi Wes. Good article. I make sure to always do the four core weightlifting exercises: squat, deadlift, pull-up & bench press.

    • wesleycox profile imageAUTHOR

      wesleycox 

      8 years ago from Back in Texas, at least until August 2012

      Thank you for reading and enjoying this article.

    • julianardian profile image

      julianardian 

      8 years ago from Indonesia

      very informative Wes.. The preacher curl is my favorite..

      keep writing.

    • wesleycox profile imageAUTHOR

      wesleycox 

      9 years ago from Back in Texas, at least until August 2012

      Thanks for visiting ethel.

    • ethel smith profile image

      Ethel Smith 

      9 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      Go Wes

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