The arm training isn’t as simple as it looks. You just don’t have to pick a dumbbell or a barbell and curl it. In reality, the arm training is much more technical. If you want to get the best out of your workout, you have to follow the right techniques. Just doing the important arm exercises isn’t enough. You have to do them in right order to activate and build the strongest possible muscles.
Of course, it doesn’t mean you will have to make huge changes to your arm training routine. With simple tweaks and changes, you can stimulate your biceps and triceps in the best possible way. These simple and easy hacks will make all the difference to your arms training.
Rotate your wrist while doing standing alternating dumbbell curls
Now, dumbbell curls is one of the oldest biceps exercises. The chances are that even your grandpa might have done it in good old days. There is no denying that this timeless biceps exercise is very effective in stimulating your bicep fibers. But, you know what can make it even great? A little twist of the wrist. Now, you might be wondering what difference a little rotation can make? Go ahead and do it, you will notice that by internally and externally rotating your hand during the curl, you will be able to stretch your muscle fibers more, which will work it even harder.
This is how you will add this little tweak to your exercise. Instead of pumping the dumbbell straight up and straight back down, start this exercise with dumbbell by your sides and your palms facing your body. As you begin to raise the dumbbell, rotate your palm outwards, so that it is turned towards the ceiling. The dumbbell should be positioned horizontally. This simple tweak engages the maximum number of muscle fibers and gives the best possible burn. Now, lower the dumbbell in a slow and controlled manner and at the end of the movement, turn your palms towards your body.
Keep your shoulders back while doing barbell curls
Barbell curl is arguably the most important biceps exercise. In fact, it should be the first exercise in your arms workout. The reason being that, the barbell curls work and engage most number of muscles. And, if you want big results, you have to do the big lifts. And, for arms, the biggest lift is barbell curls. Also, as you are fresh in the start of the workout and your muscles aren’t yet fatigued, you would be able to lift the heaviest possible weight and can stimulate the muscle fibers in the best possible way.
However, if you aren’t doing the barbell curls with the right form, you won’t get the best possible results. Keeping your shoulders back during this exercise is very important. In fact, you should pull your shoulder blades back for every bicep exercise. This will keep your back, shoulders and chest from unintentionally interfering during the exercise, which means your bicep muscle would be isolated and all the movement would be solely confined to the elbow joint.
Keep your back pressed against the pad while doing incline biceps curls
If you are pressed for time, then instead of doing simple seated dumbbell curls, go for the seated incline bicep curls. Take the incline bench and drop the back pad one or two notches lower from the 90 degree angle.
Now the key here for the maximum muscle development is to keep your back firmly pressed against the pad throughout the exercise. This will ensure that you aren’t generating thrust from any other muscle part in assisting in curling movement. Your biceps would be completely isolated by doing so. And, now you can work them to the exhaustion. Also, remember that you will tire while doing the exercise and in such state, your body has the tendency to lean forward. Doing so will allow it to use delts and chest to assist in the exercise. And, we don’t want that at any cost. So, pull your shoulder blades back and pin your elbows by your side as you work the bicep muscles.
Don’t flare your elbows while doing skullcrusher
The skullcrusher is the tried and tested exercise for optimal triceps development. You can opt to do it either with barbell or a dumbbell. There is one thing that you should keep in mind during this exercise. Do not flare your elbows out. By doing so, you place a lot of stress on your elbow and other connecting tendons and take strain away from the triceps. During the course of the exercise, you should keep your elbow steady and pointed towards your knees. The only movement in the exercise should that be of your forearms stemming from the elbow joint. Also, you shouldn’t lock out your elbows at the top of the rep as it takes strain and tension away from the triceps.
Turn at the peak while doing dumbbell kickbacks
Just like a little rotation of wrist while doing the alternating dumbbell curls help in stimulating the most possible bicep fibers, the little turn at the top of rep while doing the dumbbell kickbacks help in emphasizing the triceps better. Also, it would help in bringing the outer head to triceps, which is often neglected in play.
Once again, you need to ensure that the only movement during the exercise should stem from the elbow joint. So, freeze your shoulder and pin your elbow to the side to ensure that there is as little motion as possible from the upper arms. Only, your forearm should move to kick back the dumbbells. Also, you need to bend your upper body to ensure that more range of motion could be possible for the exercise. Plus, it minimizes the movement of the upper portion of the arm.
Spread the ropes while doing push down with rope
Along with bar push down, also add rope push down to your triceps workout. And, here is one simple tweak that will help you get the most out of the exercise. As you pull down the rope with the normal grip, turn your palms downwards, towards the ground. You have to imagine as if you are pulling two ropes apart. Doing so will place more strain and tension on your triceps. However, you have to keep your shoulders back and elbows locked in the position. Once again, all the work should be done by the forearms.
Don’t place your hands too close while doing close grip bench press
By placing the hands closer together while doing the bench press, you can put lot of emphasis on the triceps. However, the problem is that sometimes people reduce the distance between the hands by too much amount. By assuming a super close grip, you place undue stress on the wrists and shoulder joints. And, moreover, by assuming such a grip, you are no longer working your triceps. So, to sum it up, you are increasing the risk of injury without working the intended muscle.
The right grip for this exercise is slightly inside of the normal bench press grip. Or, you can use the end of knurling, the rough part of the barbell as a guide. Place your index finger on the end of the knurling. It goes without saying that you should keep your shoulders back while doing the exercise.