How to Train Arms (Effectively)May 12, 2020
Summer is coming and we'll be emerging with some serious cabin fever!
Now is the time to spend some focused attention on getting your arms ready for tank top season.
Listen, even the fittest body in the world deals with some degree of arm jiggle.
And no one likes the arm jiggle.
For me, there were times when I was super fit, and still, I’d get bothered when I felt the back side of my arm (triceps area) move and wiggle when I waved or raised my arm.
And….there are few things better than knowing your arms are tight, lean and look FIT.
So today I’m sharing my best secretes for EFFECTIVE arm training.
Because the truth is…the arms are a bit harder to train than other body parts.
Because the shoulder is a ball and socket joint, the muscles of the arms need a variety of resistance moves in order to become tighter.
If you want your arms to look great, it’s not as simple as bicep curls and tricep dips.
You can do those all day long, but great arms need moves that incorporate the shoulder.
One of my best secrets is this….
If you want your arms to look great, spend more time working on your shoulders.
Remember how incredible Brad Pitt looked in Fight Club? I literally studied his physique because I wanted my client Adrian Grenier to have the same look when he was shooting Entourage.
Brad Pitt’s bod looked incredible because of his deltoids (shoulders). That's it.
The deltoids have an incredible ability to make anyone look fitter. And, full and rounded deltoids create an illusion that your ARMS are fit. Even if they aren’t. (Don't get me wrong, Brad Pitt was fit AF in Fight Club)
When you have well-trained deltoids, a little bit of bicep and tricep work goes a long way.
So, if you’re ready to get some great looking arms for summer, check out these nuggets of info to help you create your best arms ever.
A good arm-focused training program should include:
- Isolation exercises for your triceps
- Isolation exercises for your biceps
- Isolation exercises for your deltoids
- Compound exercises for the entire arm and shoulder complex.
Compound exercises are a powerful and efficient way to improve the strength, function and appearance of the arms because they demand more time under tension than most isolation moves.
This is one reason why yoga teachers often have such awesome arms. Every upper body move in yoga is a compound exercise.
Before we get into the details there are some things you’ll want to keep in mind that will help make your training far more effective.
The first thing to know is…“Shoulders back and down”
You may have heard me say this before, and it is the #1 rule when performing arms exercises.
Before beginning any move, consciously draw your shoulder blades towards each other. This is called retraction and it moves your shoulders BACK in space.
Then, consciously press your shoulders DOWN away from your ears, and towards your hips. This is called depression and takes the work off of your traps.
Strong traps look nice and fit, but overly developed traps aren’t the look that most women are going for.
I cannot stress enough to...
“Get your shoulders BACK and DOWN” before you begin every exercise.
The second thing to know is…
Good arms first start with good shoulders. If you have fussy shoulders, please first spend 4-6 (or longer) weeks working improving your shoulder health.
So…on to the good stuff…
2 Steps to Great Arms
Improve your shoulder health by performing the exercises in my article Healthy Shoulders (Rehab Rx).
- Complete the workout 2-3 times every week for 4-6 weeks
- Use weight loads where your shoulder alignment is great
- Aim for 2-3 sets of 10-15 reps for each move
Once your shoulders are happy, add the exercises below in to your existing weekly strength training.
- Aim for 2-3 sets of each move
- Aim for 10-15 reps per set
- 1-2 sessions per week
Top Exercises for Great Arms
In just a few weeks you'll notice that your arms are tighter. In just 1-2 months you'll notice less jiggle.
It's time to get out the tank tops.
I'd love to hear from you. Does this article help? Please give me some love by leaving a comment in the section below!
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