The sight of your t-shirts loosely covering your arms can sometimes be demoralising. Instead, if your arms were stronger, bigger and bulging, your t-shirts would be hugging your arms tightly – something that would do wonders to your self-esteem. But apart from the aesthetics, bigger arms come with plenty of other benefits too. So how to get bigger arms? You can get bigger arms by exercising them regularly. Now the question arises – what exercises make arms bigger?
What exercises make arms bigger?
Any activity that requires you to use your upper body – lifting heavy boxes or your kids – works your arms. The primary muscles in your arms are the biceps and the triceps. Your forearms and shoulders are the secondary muscles.
In this article, we will focus on exercises that work the primary muscles – biceps and the triceps. Most of the exercises will also utilise the shoulders and the forearms as secondary muscles and therefore, help in their growth. To make it easier, we will group the exercises according to muscle group they are aimed at.
Best bicep exercises to increase arm size
The bicep muscle consists of two muscle heads that stretch from the elbow to your shoulder muscles. You use this muscle every time you pull or lift something. Now let’s look at the best bicep exercises –
Concentration curl is renowned because it leads to maximum bicep muscle activation when you perform it. This is because this exercise can isolate the bicep muscle the most compared to other exercises.
In this exercise, you sit on the edge of a bench and hold the dumbbell with one hand. Lean slightly and place the elbow against the insides of your thigh. Keep your body still and curl the dumbbell towards you. Then slowly lower it back. That’s one repetition.
The chin-up is probably one of the hardest bodyweight exercises there is. This exercise does not require any exercise equipment other than a fixed bar that is at least a feet higher than you. It’s very simple to perform too – you hang from the bar with your palms facing you and then pull your chest over the bar. Once you reach the top, you slowly lower yourself to the original position. That’s one repetition.
The barbell curl is a classic bicep exercise. In fact, most gym advertisements include an image of an athlete performing a bicep curl. The exercise requires a barbell with plates on either side. Choose a weight you are comfortable with and stand with your back straight.
Then use an underhand grip to lift the barbell off the floor and stand straight. Keeping the back straight, slowly curl the barbell towards the chest. Then slowly lower it to the starting position.
Best tricep exercises to increase arm size
The triceps are present at the back of your arm and consist of three heads. Their function is to straighten the arm and keep the shoulders stable. The best tricep exercises are –
What exercises make arms bigger? Definitely a triangle pushup. A complete bodyweight exercise, a triangle pushup requires you to start from the pushup position. However, your forefingers and your thumbs will touch forming a triangle, unlike a regular pushup. Once you are in position, simply bend your elbows to lower your chest to the floor and then come back to the push-up position. That’s one repetition.
An overhead extension requires a single, relatively heavier, dumbbell. This exercise is known for providing an instant pump to your triceps. Sit on a bench with a dumbbell held over your head with both your hands. Slowly bend the elbows so that the dumbbell is at the back of your head and then straighten your arms – that’s one repetition.
Note that these exercises have the maximum impact if you do three sets of 8-12 repetitions, thrice a week.
Your diet is also important. Along with exercise, you also need to pay attention to your diet to increase muscle mass. Here are some dietary tips if you are looking to increase your arm size –
- Increase your protein intake. When you work out, your muscles develop tears. Protein helps the body repair these tears and force the muscle to grow stronger and bigger.
- Eat more complex carbohydrates. Complex carbohydrates like brown rice and whole wheat supply your body with a steady supply of energy to fuel your workouts.
You can get bigger arms if you stick to your diet and workout plan strictly. Remember to analyse your progress periodically and make changes to your routine if needed.