The Four Best Arm Exercises for Buff, Well-Toned Arms Using Weights

What are the best arm exercises to achieve buff, well-tone arms? I will share with you the four arm exercises using weights or a weight machine that have worked best for me over the years and can work for you. These can easily be worked into your weekly workout routine.

You can use a weight machine or barbells and dumbbells. Use whichever is more comfortable and available to you. I use a Bowflex machine the most now but I still like to use the barbell and dumbbells. I will give you four of the best arm toning exercises using either method that have worked for me. Always change it up to keep it interesting.

The Main Arm Muscles We Need to Exercise

Triceps

This is the muscle that is responsible for extension of the elbow joint (straightening the arm). It is called the triceps because there are three bundles of muscles that joint together at the elbow. The triceps makes up 2/3 of the muscle mass of the arm, so it is very important to exercise this muscle group.arm-muscles

Biceps

This is the muscle that is reasonable for flexing the elbow joint and it also supinates the forearm. It is a two headed muscle that is located on the upper arm. This is the muscle most people associate with arm strength. Everyone likes to show a well shaped bicep.

The forearm muscles. The forearm contains many muscles which include flexors, extensors, pronators and supinators. These are responsible for all of the movements of the hand and fingers. The forearm muscles are very important for a well-toned arm.

What is the Difference between the Best Arm Exercises for Men and for Women?

The best arm exercises for men are much the same as the best arm exercises for women. Men are usually working for more strength and definition and will use heavier weights than women. The problem is that you should exercise to tone the whole body instead of just spot-exercising.

You can, however, concentrate more on certain areas of the body.

To concentrate on upper arm exercises, you will need to use heavier weight and be willing to push yourself. You should use weight that will make you max out around 8-10 repetitions if you are going for bulk. Use lighter weights for the lean look with 12-15 repetitions. Do 2-3 sets of these exercises for each session.

Diet and nutrition is also a very important factor in toning the body. Remember that a healthy diet is also for the body as a whole. A good diet will enable you to work your muscle groups to their max and thus see the results that you want to achieve.

The Four Best Arm Exercises with Weights

Remember, the four exercises that I am listing here can be used with both free weights (barbells and dumbbells) or with a weight machine (such as a Bowflex which is what I use).

Standing biceps curl

Main muscle; the biceps. Secondary muscles; lower biceps, inside forearms.

Starting position: Stand gripping the weights or handles with your hands, palms facing upward.

Action: Pull the weights by curling them towards your shoulders and then allow them to slowly return after a short pause to the starting position.

Tip/Caution: Keep your upper arms and back still throughout the movement.Dumbbell curl Starting Position and Extended

French Press

Main and Secondary muscle; the triceps.

Starting Position: Sit on a flat bench or chair. If you are using a weight machine, you usually sit with you back facing the vertical structure. Grasp the dumbbell or handles with your hands on top of your shoulders, palms facing up.

Action: Pull the handles or lift the weight by straightening your arms and then allow them to slowly return to the starting position after a short pause.

Tip/Caution: Keep your upper arms still and perpendicular to the floor throughout the movement.Fench press starting and extended positions

Lying biceps curl

Main muscle; the biceps. Secondary muscle; inside forearms.

Starting position: Lie on your back on a flat bench. Grasp the handles if using a machine or grasp the barbell or dumbbells, palms up and arms straight.

Action:  Pull the weights by curling them towards your shoulders and then allow them to slowly return after a short pause to the starting position.

Tip/Caution: Keep your upper arms aligned with your body throughout the movement.Lying biceps curl starting positionLying biceps curl extended position

Triceps kickback

Main and Secondary muscle; the triceps.

Starting position: Kneel on a flat bench or chair with one knee. If using an exercising machine, grasp the handle or grasp the dumbbell with your hand, palm facing back.

Action: Pull the handle or weight by straightening your arm and then after a short pause slowly return it to the starting position.

Tip/Caution: Keep your upper arm perpendicular to the floor throughout the movement. After complete, change sides and do with the other arm.Tricep kickback starting and extended positions

Additional tips for doing these arm exercises:

  • Always breath while exercising. Don’t hold your breath. It is best to exhale during the extension part of the exercise. Inhale when returning to the starting position.
  • Always do warm up exercises before and cool down exercises after any exercise routine. This should also include stretching exercises, like shown below. Stretch gently, never so hard or fast that you experience pain while stretching. This will help avoid injuries and pulled muscles.

Stretching is important before and after exercising

Remember, always check with your doctor before you begin any exercise routine.

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