Get bigger arms now with these 30 upper body exercises.
MEN'S FITNESS Editors 1 / 31
The 30 Best Arms Exercises of All Time
Doing compound barbell movements is necessary for getting strong. However, squats and deadlifts alone just won't get you signficantly bigger arms because they aren't targeting the triceps, biceps forearms and shoulders. For massive strength and size gains, you'll have to use a combination of compound and targeted assistance exercises. Regardless of how you train, you'll feel an awesome pump and get jacked in no time with these 30 arms exercises.
Hold a dumbbell in each hand with palms facing your sides and arms extended straight down. Keeping your upper arms against your sides, curl both weights at the same time, minimizing momentum used during the curl.
Use dip bars if available, or place your palms on a bench, chair or floor and extend legs in front of you. Lower your body until your upper arms are parallel to the floor, but no lower. Extend your elbows to come up.
Grab the bar at (or slightly inside) shoulder width, with a supinated grip. While keeping core tight, pull yourself up until your chin is over the bar. Try not to use momentum to get your chin over the bar.
Lengthen the straps and stand underneath the suspension trainer’s anchor point. Lean your weight forward and bend your elbows so you feel a stretch in your triceps. Your palms should face each other behind your head. Keeping your body straight and abs braced, extend elbows, rotating palms so they face down while extended.
Get into pushup position but place your hands close together so your thumbs and index fingers touch. Keeping your body in a straight line with abs braced, lower your torso until your chest is just above the floor and then press back up.
Lie back on a bench or the floor holding a dumbbell in each hand with palms facing each other. Press the weights over your chest and then bend your elbows to lower the weights toward your face until you feel a stretch in your triceps. Extend your elbows. Keep your elbows facing the ceiling the entire set.
Hold the handles and lean back with arms extended so that your body is supported by the suspension trainer and only your feet are on the floor. Brace your core and hold your body in a straight line. (The lower you set the handles, the harder the exercise; you can elevate your feet to make it even harder.) Start with your palms facing your feet, and as you row your body up, twist your wrists outward so that your palms face up in the top position.
Attach a D-handle to the low pulley of a cable machine, grasp the handle in your left hand, and step forward (away from the machine) until there is tension on the cable and your arm is drawn slightly behind your body. Stagger your feet so your right leg is in front. Curl the handle but do not allow your elbow to point forward.
Sit at a preacher bench and adjust the height so that your armpits touch the top of the bench. Grasp an EZ-curl bar at shoulder width with arms extended (but allow a slight bend at the elbows). Curl the bar, keeping the backs of your arms against the bench. Take three seconds to lower the bar back down.
Set the bar up in a squat rack or cage, and grasp it just outside shoulder width. Take the bar off the rack and hold it at shoulder level with your forearms vertical. Squeeze the bar and brace your abs. Press the bar overhead, pushing your head forward and shrugging your traps at the top of the movement.
Hold the bar with an overhand, shoulder-width grip while lying on a flat bench. Press the bar toward the ceiling and then reach it back over your head while bending your elbows until you feel a stretch in your lats. Then pull the bar back over your chest and extend your elbows. That's one rep.
Grasp bar with a closed supinated grip at slightly wider than shoulder-width with feet shoulder width apart. The bar should be in front of thighs with elbows extended downwards. Flex elbows to move bar towards shoulders. Keep upper arms stationary and knees slightly bent. When bar is close to shoulders, let elbows move back to the starting position.
Attach two bands to sturdy objects at shoulder height that face each other. Stand between them and hold an end in each hand. Raise your arms out 90 degrees with elbows extended—you should still feel some tension on the band in this starting position. Curl the bands toward your ears and hold the contracted position for two seconds.
Set an adjustable bench to a slight decline (around 30 degrees) and lie on it with a dumbbell in each hand. Hold the weights over your chest, palms facing each other. Bend your elbows and lower the weights to the sides of your head. Choose a weight you can do 12 reps with on the first set, and use it for every set.
Grasp the bar with your index fingers on the inside edge of the knurling (the rough part of the bar). Arch your back so there’s space between your lower back and the bench. Pull the bar off the rack and lower it to your sternum, tucking your elbows about 45 degrees to your sides. When the bar touches your body, drive your feet hard into the floor and press the bar back up. On your last set, use half the weight and perform as many reps as possible.
From the end position of your last rep of the neutral-grip press, allow your arms to drift back until the weights are over your face. Keeping your upper arms at that angle, bend your elbows and lower the weights behind your head. Extend your elbows, keeping the same angle with your upper arms.
Attach a rope handle to the top pulley of a cable station. Grasp an end in each hand with palms facing each other. Step back to place tension on the cable. Pull the handles to your forehead so your palms face your ears and your upper back is fully contracted.
Stand holding a dumbbell in each hand and bend your hips back, lowering your torso until it’s almost parallel to the floor. Turn your palms to face in front of you and, keeping your upper arms against your sides, extend your elbows until your arms are parallel to your torso.
Lie back on a bench or surface with dumbbells in each hand, arms extended over your chest and palms facing your feet. Point your elbows outward and bend them to lower the weights almost to your chest, so they make L shapes. Extend your elbows.
Grasp the bar with hands about double shoulder width and hold it in front of your thighs Bend your knees and hips so the bar hangs just above your knees. Explosively extend hips as if jumping and pull the bar up to shoulder level with elbows wide apart, as in an upright row.
Get into pushup position. Push your hands into the floor to drive your weight back so your hips rise into the air. Your back should be straight and your head behind your hands. Lower your body in an arcing motion so that your chest scoops downward and nearly scrapes the floor. Continue moving forward as you press your body up so your torso is vertical and your legs are straight and nearly on the floor. That’s one rep.
Hold a dumbbell in each hand and sit on the edge of a bench. Keeping your lower back flat, lean forward. Explosively straighten your body and shrug the weights so your arms rise. Allow the momentum to flip your wrists so you catch the weights at shoulder level.
Hold a dumbbell in each hand by your sides. Without shrugging, use your upper body to swing the weights up a few inches. Your arms and torso will form an upside down V shape. Think of it as a lateral raise with momentum but without full range of motion.