A bigger arms workout will help you increase the size and strength of your biceps and triceps muscles.
If you struggle to build arm size this workout can be exactly what you were looking for.
For me, building arm size is one of the most difficult tasks. I have long arms and legs. When I’m bulking up, my arms are last to gain size. When I’m cutting, my arms will lose their gains first.
It’s a vicious cycle.
Since my arms are the lagging part, I use this training as an addition to my common training cycle. Lately, I’m mostly using push / pull / legs training split. I usually add this arms workout after my leg day.
Bigger Arms Workout Problem
Most online sources you can find don’t cover the most important thing for building your arms. When it comes to bigger arms workout you have to consider how it fits your overall workout schedule. You may train consistently and still struggle to build your arms. When this happens you should examine how often your work your arm muscles.
You must not work your arm muscles too often. But you should also avoid working them rarely.
If you work your arm muscles too often, your performance will get worse after a few workouts. You will overwork your muscles. They will not have enough time to recover. This will make you lose the strength and size of your arms.
If you on the other side of the spectrum do not work your arms often enough, your muscles will not have enough stimulus for growth. They will not be loaded enough, so they will not grow while you rest.
Correct Bigger Arms Workout Approach
How do you find a correct way to add arms workout to your regular workouts?
There are basically two approaches you can take.
- Add this entire workout once a week
- Add four exercises to two of your standard workouts
In the first approach, you will add this workout after your leg day. Bear in mind that you must have at least one day of rest. This rest comes after this workout and before your next upper body workout.
In the second approach, you will add four exercises from this workout to two of your weekly regular workouts. You will add two biceps and two triceps exercises. You will add those exercises from this workout to your standard workouts.
Try the first approach for at least 30 – 90 days. After that, check your measurements. If nothing changes, try a second approach for 30 – 90 days. Take measurements again.
One of the options will work better for you. Stick with it. If it stops working, try mixing things up.
Bigger Arms Workout: Muscles Involved
I guess everyone knows when we talk about arm muscles we are primarily thinking about biceps and triceps. There are also forearm muscles involved in each exercise. But we will mostly target the biceps or triceps with this workout.
Biceps & Brachialis
On the front of your arm, there are two muscles: The biceps brachii and brachialis. The brachialis is the muscle located below the biceps. It may be visible to the sides underneath your biceps. You already probably know that the biceps is the muscle located on the front of your arm.
Biceps and chest muscles are the muscles the majority of gymgoers concentrate on. They are also called mirror muscles. Because you can easily see those muscles when you look at yourself in the mirror.
Biceps brachii or short just biceps has two heads:
- Short head
- Long head
The short head is located on the inner part of your arm. The long head is located on the outer part of your arm.
Both short and long heads attach to your forearm at one side. More precisely to the radial tuberosity.
The short head attaches to your scapula on the other side. To be more precise it attaches to the apex of the coracoid process of the scapula.
The long head is attached to the supraglenoid tubercle above the glenoid cavity of the scapula.
The biceps spans through two joints:
It has different functions in the elbow and in the shoulder joint.
In the elbow, the biceps bends your forearm. It also externally rotates your forearm.
In the shoulder, the long head of your biceps moves the arm away from your body. It also turns your arm inwards. The short head moves your arm towards your body in the shoulder joint.
The brachialis is located beneath the biceps. It spans between your upper arm and your forearm. It’s attached to the humerus at your upper arm and the tuberosity of the ulna on your forearm.
Since the brachialis is only one joint muscle its only function is your forearm flexion.
The triceps muscle is located on the back of your arm. The main function of the triceps is extending your arm in your elbow. So it’s the opposite of the function of the brachialis. You can learn more about triceps anatomy and function in the push workout article.
Bigger Arms Workout: Equipment
To perform a bigger arms workout you will need to have access to some basic equipment. The more equipment you have the more options you will have. But, you can also find an easy substitution if you can’t find something from this list. This can be something easily found in your home or in nature.
- Pull up bar
- Dip bars
- Low bar
- Resistance band
Bigger Arms Workout
As explained above, one of the options is doing this workout after your leg day. You should take one day of rest afterward. This is a workout for lagging parts of your body. So, it will have fewer sets and reps than your usual workouts.
Here is an example of a bigger arms workout with sets and reps:
- Biceps & brachialis
- 3×5-8 chin ups
- 3×10-15 overhand grip curls
- 3×5-8 dips
- 3×8-10 lying triceps extensions
- Biceps & brachialis
- 3×8-12 low bar chin ups
- 3×10-15 biceps curls
- 3×10-15 bench dips
- 3×10-15 overhead band extensions
In this workout, you will be doing two exercises targeting your biceps and brachialis. It’s followed by two exercises targeting your triceps. Do this twice and you are done.
You can also add exercises to your existing upper body workout. Choose the first two sets of biceps/brachialis and two sets of triceps exercises for the first workout. In your next workout use the last four sets. This is if you are doing push / pull / legs split.
If you are doing an upper / lower split, it will be a bit different. Add the first four sets in your upper workout and the last four sets in your lower workout.
Lastly, you may add those exercises to a total body workout. Add the first four sets in one of your workouts and the last four sets in the next. Don’t add exercises from this workout in your third weekly total body workout.
I guess now you can see how easy it is to add this workout to your standard workout routine.
Bigger Arms Workout: Exercises
Here’s a more detailed view of all exercises in this workout. You will be able to see how to do each one.
Chin ups are a great exercise that will help you develop your biceps. This is not the easiest exercise. You would want to perform it when you are fresh. So, chin ups will be great for starting your arm workout.
How to perform chin ups
Find a pull up bar from which you can hang freely without your feet touching the ground. Grab a bar with your hands at around shoulder width. Your palms should be facing toward you (underhand grip).
To start moving up, bend your arms at your elbows. Pull your body up towards the bar. Aim to touch the bar with your chest.
To move back down, extend your arms at your elbows. Lower yourself down slowly with control. Keep on extending your arms until you are back in the starting position.
Overhand Grip Curls
If you want to involve your brachialis, there is no better way than using overhand grip curls.
How to perform overhand grip curls
Take two sides of a pull up assist resistance band and place the band around the low bar. Pull one side of the band through the other keeping a bar inside the loop you just created with the band. Pull this side of the band all the way through and tighten the band around the bar.
Place your hands inside the band loop with your palms facing down. Grab the band with your palms facing down.
Stand straight with your feet at around hip width or a bit wider.
Pull the band up towards your chest by bending your arms in your elbows. Release the band back down by straightening your elbows.
Repeat for reps.
To target your triceps, one of the best exercises you can do is dips.
How to perform dips
Find dip bars that are high enough to do this exercise easily. Those bars should allow you to do dips without your legs touching the ground in the lowest position. Jump up with your hands grasping the dips bars. Your arms should be completely straight in the uppermost position.
Lower yourself down by bending your elbows. Keep on lowering down until your forearms and upper arms form a 90 degree angle (or as close to 90 degrees as possible).
To come back up straighten your elbows slowly. Keep on straightening your arms until they are straight.
Repeat lowering and raising motion for reps.
Lying Triceps Extensions
This is another great exercise for developing your triceps strength and size.
You can perform lying triceps extensions by using a resistance band or dumbbells. Everyone knows how to do this exercise with dumbbells. Here’s how to perform lying triceps extensions using a resistance band.
How to perform lying triceps extensions
Tighten the band under the bench. Lay down on the bench. You should be laying on your back. Grab a band with your arms.
Extend your arms up in the air by extending your elbows. Keep on extending your arms until they are straight.
Slowly bend your arms by bending your elbows.
Repeat extending and bending your arms for reps.
Low Bar Chin Ups
This is another exercise for developing your biceps. It’s similar to regular chin ups, only performed on a low bar.
How to perform low bar chin ups
Get under a low bar facing up. Grab a low bar with your hands around shoulder width. Your palms should be facing toward you and your body should be in a straight line.
Pull yourself up to a bar by bending your arms at your elbows. Pull up as high as you can. If your position allows it, pull yourself up until your chest touches the bar.
Lower yourself down until you are back in the starting position.
Repeat raising up and lowering yourself down for reps.
I can’t think of a more well known and common exercise for developing biceps than biceps curls. You can do it using a resistance band, dumbbells, or barbell.
How to perform biceps curls
Tie the resistance band to a low bar. Grab a band using an underhand grip (palms facing toward you).
Stand straight in front of the bar.
Pull the band up by bending your arms at your elbows.
Slowly release the band by straightening your arms. Keep on extending your arms until they are straight.
Repeat for reps.
Another great option for building your triceps is bench dips. In most cases, people do this exercise wrong. They place their hands on a bench with palms facing forward. They also let their shoulders come up to their ears. This puts an unnecessary strain on the shoulders.
How to perform bench dips
Place your hands on the bench with your palms facing away from you. They should be facing to the sides. Position your body straight from your toes to your head.
Lower yourself down by flexing your arms. Flex your arms in your elbows and lower your butt down. Your butt should go down in front of the bench.
Raise up again by extending your arms at your elbows. Keep on extending your arms until they are straight again.
Repeat for reps.
Overhead Band Extensions
The last triceps exercise in this workout is the overhead band extensions exercise.
How to perform overhead band extensions
Tighten a resistance band around a pull up bar. Grab a band with your arms facing forward. To insure a firm stance, place your legs one in front of the other.
Pull the band forward above your head with your hands. Keep on pulling until your arms are straight.
Slowly release the band by flexing your arms in your elbows. Return to the starting position.
Repeat for reps.
A bigger arms workout is great for you if you struggle to build your arms size. If your arms are not getting bigger, you can try this workout. You can easily add it to your regular workout regime.
You can do it in such a way that will not mess up your regular workouts. It will only load your arms more. This will help your arm muscles to grow faster. So, your arms will catch up with the rest of your body.