Your 6 Secrets to Big Arms
Think building big arms is all about choosing the right exercises? Think again. Here are 6 keys to adding an extra inch to your bi’s.
Seated Dumbbell Curl
THE LOWDOWN: Supinate your hands by turning your wrists up from the neutral position as you complete the movement, which actually gives you a stronger biceps contraction.
GET SET: Sit erect on a bench with a dumbbell in each hand, palms facing inward. Keep your elbows by your sides and try to keep them there throughout the set.
DO IT RIGHT: Contract both arms to curl the weights up, slowly rotating your wrists and turning them up as you raise the weights. Squeeze the muscle hard at the top and lower the weights under control, turning your wrists back to the neutral position on the way down.
TRY THIS: To put more emphasis on the long head, which forms the biceps peak, do the same move on an incline bench set at about 60 degrees, remembering to keep your elbows back as you curl the weight.
AMP IT UP: Doing both arms at the same time is harder than alternating because you eliminate the short rest period each arm gets while the opposite side is working, and since you’re working both arms simultaneously, you can’t use body english by leaning to one side or the other. To really boost the intensity, start with the dual arm version; once fatigue starts to set in, alternate sides to muscle failure.
POWER POINTER: Start with your palms facing in and turn them up as you do the move for a stronger contraction.
THE LOWDOWN: Very much an isolation move because it’s difficult to use any sort of momentum to keep the weight moving.
GET SET: Sit on the end of a flat bench with your legs spread wide apart and your feet flat on the floor. Hold a dumbbell in one hand, palm facing up, and bend forward from the hips. Allow your arm to hang straight down from your shoulder and press your triceps into your inner thigh.
DO IT RIGHT: Curl the dumbbell straight up, keeping your upper arm perpendicular to the floor and your thigh steady. Hold the peak-contracted position for a count before lowering the weight under control.
TRY THIS: A number of old-time bodybuilders did this move without a bench in a bent-over position. It’s a slight variation to try when you want to change your workout a bit.
AMP IT UP: Don’t just stop when you can’t do any more reps; use your free hand to provide just enough assistance to keep the weight moving for 2–3 additional reps. Focus on the negative, too, as you’re stronger when lowering a weight than raising it.
POWER POINTER: Don’t roll your upper arm up your thigh, which makes the movement easier; keep your arm perpendicular to the floor.