Arnold Schwarzenegger trained his arms hard, heavy and intense. If you also want to build big arms, then stick these basic time-tested arm exercises.
Here is a list of eight of Arnold’s favorite biceps and triceps exercises that work for building overall arm size and strength.
1. BARBELL BICEPS CURL
The barbell biceps curl is the king of biceps mass building exercises. It’s a highly effective biceps exercise that targets both heads of the biceps. You can perform the exercise with a straight bar or an EZ bar.
The barbell biceps curl allows your biceps muscles to curl the heaviest weights, providing a high amount of tension on your biceps muscles for maximum stimulation. While the barbell biceps curl is an isolation movement, performing the movement also stimulates the abdominal and lower back core muscles.
The key with this exercises is to perform it with proper form. You want to maintain tension on the biceps muscles at all times. If you cheat on the movement then you won’t get the most out of it. Perform 3 sets of 6-10 reps.
2. INCLINE DUMBELL CURL
The incline dumbbell curl is a highly effective yet underutilized exercise. The advantage of curling on an incline bench is that it heavily targets the largest head of the biceps muscle – the long head. The long head is responsible for most of the mass of the biceps muscle. Perform 3 sets of 6-10 reps on the incline dumbbell curls.
3. REVERSE BARBELL CURL
The reverse barbell curl is a great exercise to build both the biceps and forearms. Go all the way up, contract and slowly bring the bar back down. Perform 3 sets of 6-10 reps of the exercise.
4. PREACHER CURLS
The preacher curl is a great exercise to build biceps peaks. The preacher curl primarily stimulates the short head of the biceps. The short head is what gives your biceps the peak. Perform 3 sets of 6-12 reps of the preacher curl.
5. CLOSE GRIP BENCH PRESS
When it comes to the triceps, the close grip bench press is the best mass builder in the gym. When done with proper form, the close grip bench press allows you to load and stress all three heads of the triceps muscle with heavy weights. Perform 3 sets of 6-10 reps of this exercise.
6. PARALLEL BAR DIP
The parallel bar dip is another excellent compound exercise for the triceps. The dip will target the lateral head of your triceps more and the long head less. Stay more upright to target the triceps versus the chest muscles. Perform 3 sets of 6-10 reps of the exercise.
7. OVERHEAD TRICEPS EXTENSION
The overhead triceps extension can be performed using dumbbells, barbells or cables. This is an important exercise for complete triceps development. Training your triceps from the overhead position builds the long head of the triceps, which is responsible for most of the triceps mass. Perform 3 sets of 6-10 reps of the exercise.
8. CABLE TRICEPS PUSHDOWN
The cable triceps pushdown is an exercise almost everyone does to train the triceps. It’s a great exercise to target the lateral head of the triceps muscle. You can do this exercise with either the rope attachment or the handle bars. Perform 3 sets of 6-10 reps of this exercise.