Thursday, October 28, 2021
The Best Muscle Workouts


These 20 Exercises Will Keep You Flexin’

If the idea of sweating it out at the gym or waiting in line for a fitness class has you…

By admint10m , in Arms , at June 17, 2021

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If the idea of sweating it out at the gym or waiting in line for a fitness class has you skipping your arm workout, you’re not alone. While exercising outside of the home might be a good fit for some people, others say it’s why they can’t seem to fit resistance training in at all.

Fortunately, you don’t need a gym membership to get an excellent arm workout. By combining dumbbell, kettlebell, exercise band, and bodyweight exercises, you can strengthen and tone your arms while targeting your core muscles — all from the comfort of your own home.

Some of the exercises included in this article not only work your arm muscles but also your core.

Your arms are home to the biceps brachii, brachialis, and coracobrachialis, which are all in the front of your arm.

The back of your arm contains the triceps brachii. And don’t forget your forearm muscles, which include the muscles in your lower arm. These muscles work together to perform flexion, extension, abduction, and adduction (1).

Your core muscles comprise several muscle groups around your midsection, including the internal and external obliques, rectus abdominis, erector spinae, multifidus, quadratus lumborum, iliacus, and psoas major (2).

Some of the exercises included below rely on your body weight only, while others use external resistance like a set of dumbbells, resistance bands, or kettlebells.

You can always swap out one piece of equipment for another. For example, if the exercise calls for a kettlebell, use dumbbells if that’s all you have.

To maximize muscle gain, aim to train your arms at least 2 days per week. Hitting each body part at least twice a week promotes better hypertrophic outcomes compared with training only once a week (3).

This article is broken up into sections or mini-workouts. Each section can serve as one workout, or you can choose a few exercises from each section to create a longer routine.

Triceps dips

Dips are a versatile bodyweight exercise. They primarily target the triceps but also recruit the shoulders and chest muscles. You can perform dips while sitting on the floor or using a chair, stair, or bench. If you have shoulder issues, it’s best to avoid this move.

  1. Sit on the edge of a chair with your feet firmly touching the floor. Your hands should be palms down and under your shoulders, resting on the edge of the chair next to your hips.
  2. Tighten your glutes and lift your hips off of the chair until your arms are straight.
  3. Bend your elbows and lower your body as low as you can until you start to feel your shoulders or back start to round forward.
  4. Press your hands into the chair and use your triceps muscles to push yourself to the starting position.
  5. Do 2–3 sets of 10–12 reps.

Inchworm

Consider the inchworm your one-stop move for maximum total-body benefits. It not only strengthens your arms, shoulders, core, and lower body but also boosts your heart rate. Plus, you get a nice stretch in your hamstring muscles.

  1. Stand tall with your feet hip-width apart and place your hands on the floor.
  2. Keeping your spine as neutral as possible with your core tucked in tight, walk your hands forward. Your heels will lift off of the floor, and your legs will stay straight as you walk your hands forward into a high plank position.
  3. Pause and reverse the movement by beginning to walk your hands back toward your feet.
  4. Do 2–3 sets of 10 reps.
  5. Stand up in between sets.

Chaturanga (low plank)

The Chaturanga is a variation of the standard plank that targets the biceps muscles more than other plank positions.

  1. Start in a traditional plank pose with your core engaged, hands under your elbows, and your elbows close to your body.
  2. Roll forward on your toes and bend your elbows until your arms form a 90-degree angle. Your elbows should lightly touch your rib cage, and your body should be in a straight line.
  3. Hold for 20–30 seconds, then press back up to a high plank position.
  4. Perform this pose 1–2 times.

Kickboxing punches

Cardio kickboxing moves like punches increase cardiovascular health, boost upper body strength and stamina, and give your core an excellent workout.

  1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your arms at your sides.
  2. Slightly bend your knees and bring your arms in front of your body with your elbows bent and your hands in a fist. Your hands should be right below your jawline.
  3. Engage your core, tighten your fists and biceps, and extend your right arm across your body in a punching motion. Once extended, pause and tighten your tricep muscle.
  4. Pull your arm back toward your body, keeping your bicep muscle engaged, then punch on the other side.
  5. If you want to fully fatigue one arm at a time, punch with your right arm 15 times before changing to your left arm.
  6. Do 2–3 sets of 15 reps on each side.

Standing overhead triceps extension

The tricep extension is an isolation exercise that targets the back of your arm (aka the triceps).

Performing this move while standing also pulls in your core muscles to help promote balance and stability, but if balance is an issue, you can do this exercise while sitting on a bench. Keep the weight light and focus on the number of reps.

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your arms at your sides, holding a dumbbell in each hand.
  2. Bring both arms up to the ceiling, and then bend your elbows to 90 degrees. The dumbbells will point down, and your elbows will point up.
  3. Engage your core muscles and squeeze your triceps to press the dumbbells overhead until your arms are fully extended.
  4. Pause at the top.
  5. Slowly return the weight to behind your head and repeat.
  6. Do 2–3 sets of 10–12 reps. To further challenge balance and core stability, do a single-arm extension on your right side before changing to your left side.

Zottman curl

The biceps are a big player in arm strength. But targeting the muscles a bit lower — the forearm muscles — can make daily tasks like opening a jar or carrying a heavy suitcase easier by increasing your grip strength.

Doing so also helps boost your lifting power in the gym. This move requires strict form. Avoid going heavy and focus on a higher number of reps.

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, your arms at your sides, and a dumbbell in each hand.
  2. Keep your elbows close to your body and your palms facing out.
  3. Curl the dumbbells toward your shoulders.
  4. Pause and flip your hands so your palms are facing down (overhand grip), and slowly lower the dumbbells to the starting position. You will feel this in your forearms.
  5. Turn your hands back to a palms-out position (underhand grip) and repeat.
  6. Do 2–3 sets of 10–12 reps.

Bicep curl to overhead press

Combining two moves into one exercise saves time and increases the intensity of your workout. The biceps curl and shoulder press are an excellent combination to add to an upper-body routine.

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your arms at your sides. Hold dumbbells of a light to moderate weight in each hand with your palms facing out.
  2. Curl the weights toward your shoulders, keeping your elbows close to your body. When the dumbbells reach shoulder height, rotate your hands so your palms face out.
  3. Press the weights overhead, directly over your shoulders.
  4. Slowly lower the dumbbells back to shoulder height and turn your palms toward you. Continue lowering the weights until you reach the starting position.
  5. Do 2–3 sets of 10–12 reps.

Close-grip dumbbell press

A traditional chest press movement relies on the pectoral (chest) muscles to do most of the work. Yet, when you move your hands to a closer grip, you change the emphasis to the triceps muscle. That said, make sure to choose a lighter weight than you would use for a chest press.

  1. Lie down on the floor and grip a dumbbell in each hand. Bend your knees and rest your arms at your sides.
  2. Bend your arms and bring your hands toward your shoulders, stopping at chest level. Your palms should face each other with a close grip.
  3. Squeeze your triceps and extend your arms overhead.
  4. Pause at the top.
  5. Slowly lower to the starting position.
  6. Do 2–3 sets of 10–12 reps.

Walk-out pushups with shoulder taps

Traditional pushups pack a serious punch for your triceps and shoulders, but this variation adds a walk-out and shoulder tap to increase your heart rate and challenge your upper-body muscles.

  1. Stand tall with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Hinge at your hips and place your hands on the floor. Walk your hands out until you’re in a high plank position.
  3. Pause in this position, then do 3 pushups. Make sure your body is in a straight line from head to heels.
  4. Tap your left shoulder with your right hand, then tap your right shoulder with your left hand. Do this 2 times on each side.
  5. Walk your hands back to the starting position, stand up, and repeat.
  6. Do 2 times for 30 seconds each.

Standing band incline press

Using a resistance band to strengthen your chest muscles also involves recruiting your triceps, shoulders, and core, making this an excellent upper-body move.

You can use a lighter band and focus on higher reps or go with a heavier band and keep the reps low. If you have a band with handles, those work best. However, you can always wrap the ends of a resistance band around your hands to create a secure anchor.

  1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart and place the center of the band under your right foot while holding a handle in each hand.
  2. Take a big step forward with your left foot, so your feet are in a wide, straddled stance with your left foot forward and knee bent.
  3. Bring your hands to shoulder level and push diagonally forward and out as far as you can, keeping your elbows slightly bent.
  4. Release back slowly and repeat.
  5. Do 2–3 sets of 12–15 reps.

Single-arm, offset dumbbell press

Unilateral work allows you to isolate each arm and helps with pressing strength. It can also address muscle imbalances and help with rehabbing upper-body injuries. Just remember to go light. This is not an exercise that increases power.

  1. Lie down on the floor or a bench and grip a dumbbell in your right hand. Bend your knees and rest your feet on the floor. Reach your left arm to the ceiling.
  2. Bend your right arm and bring your hand toward your right shoulder, stopping at chest level. Your palm should face out.
  3. Squeeze your chest and tricep muscles and extend your right arm overhead.
  4. Pause at the top.
  5. Slowly lower to the starting position and repeat on the same side. Do one set on the right side before changing to the left side. Alternate sides between sets.
  6. Do 2–3 sets of 10–15 reps.

High-to-low plank

The high-to-low plank is an active version of a traditional plank.

Instead of holding a pose for a specific time, you’re moving during the entire exercise. This boosts your heart rate and increases your upper-body strength. It also relies on your core muscles and lower body to help with balance and stability.

  1. Get into a high plank position (this is similar to a pushup position).
  2. Keeping your body in a straight line and your core tight, bring your right arm down until your forearm is touching the mat, similarly to when in a forearm plank position.
  3. Do the same thing with your left arm until both forearms are resting on the mat.
  4. Reverse the movement by pressing your right hand into the mat to push up and straighten your arm, then do the same thing on your left side until you’re back in a high plank position.
  5. Do two 30-second sets.

Standing band bicep curl

Exercise bands are an excellent tool for beginners. They’re inexpensive and easy to store, and they provide variable resistance.

The standing band bicep curl is one of the most popular moves included in a resistance band workout. You can determine the amount of resistance by using a heavier band or taking a wider stance.

  1. Stand on an exercise band with your feet shoulder-width apart. Grip the end of the band in each hand. If you have a band with handles, grip them.
  2. Place your arms at your sides with your palms facing out and up, and your elbows glued to your sides.
  3. Bend your elbows and curl your hands toward your shoulders, keeping tension in your biceps the entire time.
  4. Pause at the top.
  5. Slowly lower your arms and repeat.
  6. Do 2–3 sets of 12–15 reps.

Standing band tricep kickbacks

Standing band tricep kickbacks require strict form to keep the tension on the back of the arms. When done correctly, this is an effective isolation exercise to strengthen and tone the triceps.

  1. Stand on an exercise band with your feet shoulder-width apart. Grip the end of the band in each hand. If you have a band with handles, grip the handles.
  2. Turn your hands so your palms face behind you.
  3. Keep your arms close to your sides with your elbows behind you and pointed up, and hinge forward at your hips.
  4. Extend your arms back (kickback) until your elbows are fully straight.
  5. Pause and squeeze your triceps.
  6. Slowly return to the starting position and repeat.
  7. Do 2–3 sets of 10–12 reps.

Lying triceps extension

The lying triceps extension is an isolation move that targets the back of the arms. Given that it’s an isolation exercise, make sure to start with a very light weight and progress slowly. You should not feel any pain in your elbows.

  1. Lie down on the floor or a bench and grip a dumbbell in each hand. Bend your knees and rest your arms at your sides.
  2. Press the dumbells up toward the ceiling directly over your shoulders, with your palms facing each other.
  3. Bend your elbows and slowly lower the dumbbells toward your ears.
  4. Extend your arms back to the starting position and squeeze your triceps.
  5. Do 2–3 sets of 10–12 reps.

Bicep curl to lateral raise

Combining two moves like the bicep curl and lateral raise saves time and increases the intensity of your workout.

The bicep curl to lateral raise strengthens the triceps and shoulders, specifically the middle deltoid muscle. Start with light resistance and focus on form before adding weight.

  1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your arms at your sides.
  2. Grasp a dumbbell in each hand with front-facing palms.
  3. Engage your core and curl the dumbbells toward your shoulders.
  4. Pause, then lower your arms to the starting position.
  5. Rotate your palms in so they’re facing each other, and lift the dumbbells to the sides into a lateral shoulder raise. You will form a “T” with your arms.
  6. Pause, then lower your arms to the starting position.
  7. Alternate between the biceps curl and lateral shoulder raise.
  8. Do two 30-second sets.

Farmer’s walk

The farmer’s walk is a compound exercise that requires upper- and lower-body strength. It also boosts your heart rate and burns calories. Specifically, this move targets the legs, glutes, abdominals, shoulders, and arms.

Make sure to have enough space to walk. The farmer’s carry works best with kettlebells, but you can also use dumbbells.

  1. Grasp a kettlebell or dumbbell in each hand. Choose a weight that is challenging but does not put too much strain on your shoulders.
  2. Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your arms at your sides.
  3. Engage your core muscles, lower your shoulders, and begin walking. Keep your head up, and your gaze forward.
  4. Walk for 20 seconds, then reverse and return to the starting point.
  5. Do 2–3 sets lasting 40 seconds each.

Squat to overhead press

The squat to overhead press is a full-body integrated exercise (aka compound move) that targets the legs, glutes, abs, triceps, biceps, and shoulders.

You can do this exercise with a set of dumbbells or a single kettlebell. When using a kettlebell, hold it in front of your body at chest height during the squat portion of the move.

  1. Hold a dumbbell in each hand. Choose a weight that is challenging but light enough to execute the move with strict form.
  2. Place your arms at your sides and stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  3. Squat down, keeping your elbows close to your body. As you straighten back to standing, bring the dumbbells up to shoulder height.
  4. Pause for a few seconds, then press your hands overhead until your arms are extended.
  5. Pause at the top of the shoulder press.
  6. Slowly lower the dumbbells to shoulder height and repeat.
  7. Do 2–3 sets of 10–12 reps.

Lateral plank walk

The lateral plank walk is a full-body exercise that challenges the core and strengthens the upper and lower body while also increasing your heart rate. If you have any wrist or shoulder issues, avoid this exercise.

  1. Begin in the high plank position (pushup position).
  2. Keeping your core tight, move your right arm and leg out and bring your left arm and leg in.
  3. Take two steps in this direction and then two steps in the other direction.
  4. Repeat this sequence for 30 seconds.
  5. Do 2 times for 30 seconds each.

Plank position hammer curls

This challenging twist to the traditional plank will blast your core, strengthen your biceps, and recruit the rest of your muscles for support.

  1. Grasp a dumbbell in each hand.
  2. Get into a high plank position with the dumbbells directly below your shoulders and fists facing each other.
  3. Keep your core tight and widen your feet for balance.
  4. Curl the right hand toward your shoulder in a hammer curl position while using your left side for support. Keep your torso still, back flat, and hips stable.
  5. Lower your right hand and repeat on your left side.
  6. Perform for 30 seconds, alternating your right and left sides.
  7. Do 2–3 sets lasting 30 seconds each.

Working out your arms at home is a simple and effective way to improve muscle strength and increase lean muscle mass. Plus, most of the exercises listed above also recruit the shoulders, abdominals, and lower body, so you’ll be training multiple muscle groups simultaneously.

While your body weight provides some resistance, you’ll need to include external resistance, such as dumbbells or resistance bands, to continue to see improvements in strength over time.

If you have any chronic injuries that may worsen from these exercises, make sure to talk to your doctor before trying them out. It’s also helpful to work with a certified personal trainer or physical therapist, especially if you’re new to resistance training.

With these exercises, you’ll never have to miss an arm day again!

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