Usually, a beginner will pick up a dumbbell, then start doing biceps workouts. I’m not saying that what they’re doing wrong because getting a big arm is one of the popular first steps when you start weight training. But the question is, what are the best workouts to get bigger arms?
Well, having bigger and stronger arms can ease your daily work and give you confidence. In addition, muscular arms also allow you to have more muscle mass. That means, they boost your metabolism even when you’re not working out. Therefore, the simple answer to the question above is, follow the workout plan below to get bigger arms fast.
Table of Contents
- Best Workouts to Make Your Arms Bigger and Stronger.
- How Many Sets and Reps Should I Do to Get Bigger Arms?
- What to Eat to Get Bigger Arms?
Best Workouts to Make Your Arms Bigger and Stronger.
To get bigger arms, your workouts will focus on two types of exercises, compound, and isolation. Compound exercises will focus on building muscle mass for hypertrophy with pulling and pushing movements. While isolation exercises will train specific muscles in isolation. You’ll perform at a lightweight first, then increase the weight with progressive overload instead of being too heavy or too fast.
This is the most crucial thing before you get into the workout plan. If you miss it, you’ll hurt yourself. So make sure you perform this before you work with heavyweights. Since your workout targets the biceps and triceps area, your warm-up should hit the upper body. So it’s not recommended to do cardio exercises like running or exercise bikes as they do not target the muscles to be used for weight training.
Therefore, the best warm-up to activate the upper body muscles is dynamic stretching warm-up. The first warm-up you can do is jumping jacks. This exercise will pump your blood to your upper body and increase your heart rate quickly. After the first warm-up, switch your focus to the next warm-up like arm circles, band pull-apart, and this exercise.
2. Compound Exercises.
If you want to train multiple muscle groups at the same time, a compound exercise is an answer. They build the size and strength of your muscles with full-body workouts. In addition, this exercise keeps your heart rate, offers cardiovascular benefits, burns more calories, and of course, gains more muscle mass.
a. Close Grip Pull-ups.
How to: With an underhand grip, start by gripping firmly the pull up bar. While keeping your shoulders tense and aligned, brace your core, then pull your body up. Make sure your chest is pointing to the bar. To avoid your body swinging, cross your ankles. Next, lower your body to its starting position, then repeat the workout.
b. Tricep Dips.
How to: With an overhand grip, firmly grip the dip station bar on each side of your body. Bend your knees to make your body hanging from the ground. Now, lower your body by bending your elbows until your upper arm is almost parallel to the ground. Lastly, straighten your arms back to their original position, then repeat the workout with the recommended reps.
c. Diamond Push-up.
How to: Get into a traditional push-up position, then place your hands under your chest with your thumb and forefinger touching each other. Make sure your back isn’t curved and your legs stay straight. Now, brace your core, then lower your body by bending your elbows until your chest almost touches the floor. Push your body back to its original position, then repeat the motion.
d. Close Grip Bench Press.
How to: Prepare yourself under the bar, then grip the bar slightly over the shoulder-width apart. Now lift and point the barbell over your chest with your arms extended. Next, lower the barbell without touching your chest with your wrists stacked over your elbows. Hold this position for a while, push your barbell up, then repeat the movement.
e. Barbell Bent-over Row.
How to: With your feet hip-width apart, grab the barbell on the ground in front of you. Hinge your hips forward 45 degrees while bending your elbows, have the barbell hanging with your arms extended in front of you. With an overhand grip, brace your core with a neutral back. Now, squeeze your shoulder blades by pulling the barbell until it touches your lower ribs. Return the barbell to the front of your thigh, then repeat this motion.
3. Isolation Exercises.
As mentioned above, instead of going too heavy or too fast, you’ll start with a light set of weights, then work with progressive overload. This is an effective way when you want to gain muscle mass and build overall strength. Honestly, this isolation exercise can be very simple if you are used to compound exercises. That’s because you’ve got a good fitness base at the beginning. Therefore, isolation exercises are best used if you want to move to the next level. So if you’re ready to have bigger arms, just do the workouts below!
a. Incline Dumbbell Bicep Curl.
How to: Set your incline bench at roughly 45 to 55 degrees depending on your comfort. Hold the dumbbell on each hand with your palm up. Now take a deep breath, brace your core, then curl the dumbbell up towards your shoulders while squeezing your biceps at the top of the movement. Lower the weight to the starting position at a slower speed, then repeat for the desired rep.
b. One-arm Cable Curl.
How to: Stand back against the pulley machine a few feet. Grasp one of the cable handles with your left hand (palm facing forward) with your elbows close to your side. For better balance, place your right foot slightly in front of the other leg. Next, curl your left arm to bring your palm towards the shoulder, doing it slowly. Hold the curls for a moment, then lower your arms with control to the starting position and repeat the movement.
c. Tricep Kickback.
How to: Hold the dumbbell in both hands with your palm facing inwards. Bend your knees, then hinge your hips forward until your upper body is almost parallel to the ground. Bring your forearm close to your side, then bend your elbows until the dumbbell is next to your chest. Now, straighten your forearm without making your upper arm move. Hold this position for a while and feel the exertion in your triceps. Lastly, bend your elbow to the starting position, then repeat the motion.
d. Concentration Curl.
How to: Take one dumbbell with your left hand, then sit at the end of a flat bench with your legs open. Lean forward, rest your left elbow on the inside of the thigh (palm facing center). For stability, place your right hand or elbow on the other thigh. Next, curl the dumbbell towards the shoulders without making the upper body move. The palm should be facing the shoulder at the end of the curl, so turn your wrist when lifting the weight upwards. Lastly, slowly lower the dumbbell without touching the floor, then repeat the motion. Complete the workout with recommended reps, then switch sides.
e. Standing Barbell Curl.
How to: Prepare a barbell on the floor in front of you, then stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. With an underhand grip, grasp the barbell with your hands just outside your hips. Make sure your chest is up with your elbows tight to the side. While exhaling, curl the barbell towards your chest without moving your elbows. Squeeze your biceps for one second, then slowly lower the bar to the starting position. To get more muscle fiber, make sure your biceps stay tense and engaged during the workout.
Read more: The 5 Hardest Dumbbell Abs Workouts at Home
How Many Sets and Reps Should I Do to Get Bigger Arms?
The above workouts you can perform in 3 to 5 sets with a range of 8 to 12 reps per session if you want to train for muscle hypertrophy. But if you’re using heavier weights, perform less than 8 reps with the same set, you’re training to gain strength. Meanwhile, if you want to work out for a muscular tone, you can use a lighter weight by performing more than 12 reps.
What to Eat to Get Bigger Arms?
Workouts are extremely important to build bigger and stronger arms. But you shouldn’t neglect your nutritional needs because they are responsible for most of your overall progress. You’ll limit your workout results if you don’t give your body the right fuel. Therefore, optimizing your nutrient intake with a structured plan is crucial if you want to have a bigger arm. For reference, you could consider these pre-workout and post-workout meals to increase growth and maintain muscle mass.
To get the best results, it’s highly recommended to train your arms two to three times a week. As your strength increases, try to perform more sets and reps in each of your workouts. To get full-body workouts, gain overall fitness, and avoid muscle imbalances, you can add this landmine workout and some cardio sessions to your routine. Some of the above exercises may require you to access the gym. Therefore I realized that not everyone can go to the weight room at any time. So if you want to have bigger, stronger arms at home without weights, consider these bodyweight bicep workouts.