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Five Essential Exercises for Bigger Arms

Swap out your biceps curls and pressdowns with these five new moves.

You’ve done about a thousand curls in the past week and the same number of triceps extensions, yet your arms are still not growing. The fact is, there needs to be variety in your workouts, but the age-old question is how? Try out these five moves and watch your arms inflate like balloons.

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Exercise 1: Dead-Hang Chinup

Grasp a pullup bar with an underhand, shoulder-width grip, kick your legs behind you, cross your feet, squeeze your glutes, and pull your shoulders down and back. This is the start position. Pull yourself up so your collarbone is in line with the bar, pause, and take four seconds to lower yourself back to the start position.

PRO TIP: Too easy? Wear a weight vest or a weight belt to up the intensity.

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Exercise 2: Rolling Skull Crusher with Press

Lie back on a bench holding a dumbbell straight above your chest. Slowly allow your elbows to bend and your upper arms to come back as you lower the dumbbell. It should end up behind your head. Reverse the motion to return the dumbbell to its original position, then lower it to your chest and press it back up. That’s one rep.

PRO TIP: Do it on a Swiss ball to challenge your abs at the same time.

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Exercise 3: Drag Curl

Hold a barbell with a shoulder-width, underhand grip and pull your shoulders down and back. Drag the bar up the front of your body, pulling your elbows back, and when it reaches your solar plexus, slowly lower the barbell.

PRO TIP: Try to mimic the motion with dumbbells for even bigger gains.

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Exercise 4: Grasshopper Pushup

Get into a pushup position, hands shoulder-width apart, and rest your knuckles on the floor instead of your hands, palms facing in. Keep your elbows tucked in and slowly lower your chest so it touches the ground. Brace your abs and push yourself back up.

PRO TIP: If your knuckles hurt, just turn your hands to point your fingers outward to achieve the same motion.

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Exercise 5: Supinated Cable Row

Set up a straight bar at the low pulley of a cable station. Grasp it underhand, hands shoulder-width apart, and push your hips back with soft knees so your torso is at a 45-degree angle to the vertical. Row the bar to your belly button and slowly return to the start position.

PRO TIP: If this is too easy, try doing it with a barbell and your back totally horizontal.

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