The Best Exercises for Strengthening Arms
Many people who exercise frequently want to have toned arms. However, to achieve these you need consistency, good food and, of course, the appropriate exercises using the correct weight according to your individual ability. If you are unsure how to achieve the arms you've always wanted then pay attention, because this OneHowTo article explains what the best exercises for strengthening your arms are, activities that can also help you to achieve them and some basic recommendations when it comes to training.
Press-ups, an essential classic
Press-ups are one of the best exercises for strengthening the arms as they work multiple muscle groups. You can train with the weight of your own body and you can also improve aspects such as strength and balance. When performing this exercise, the following muscles are involved:
- Pectorals or chest
- Deltoids or shoulders
You must take the utmost care to ensure that you assume the correct position when performing the exercise. For beginners, you can support your knees or use a fit ball so it takes less effort. It is recommended you do 4 sets of 15 repetitions each. If it's too much, start with 10 repetitions.
Press-ups with dumbbells for toned arms
Like with press-ups, dumbbell presses are a complete exercise which help you to work different muscle groups, such as the medial and anterior deltoids, pectoralis major, triceps and dorsal muscles, by strengthening these areas and boosting your strength.
Dumbbell press-ups can be performed whilst sat on a bench, whilst lying down with your back slightly bent or whilst standing. With arms bent up at chest height, raise them above your head and then joining the dumbbells together, before returning to the start position. You can start with 4 sets of 10 repetitions and increase them over time.
It is important to choose a weight that you feel comfortable with, but which helps you to work the area at the same time. If you can do them really easily, then you can slightly increase the kilos.
Bicep curls with barbell or dumbbells, simple and effective
This is perhaps one of the most classic exercises for toning arms, as it specifically works two muscles: the biceps and the deltoids. You can do it with a barbell which is the easiest way of performing bicep curls, or you can opt for a pair of dumbbells, with one to work each arm. If you work out a lot with weights, you should use the dumbbells by exercising each arm separately, first with one arm and then the other.
The exercise is very simple and consists of flexing the arms at waist height with a barbell or dumbbells in your hands, then raising them to shoulder height, as shown in the image. Start with 4 sets of 12 repetitions and increase them as you gain strength.
Rowing, a comprehensive exercise
A rowing machine not only provides one of the best exercises for strengthening the arms, but it's also a comprehensive activity that allows you to work different muscle groups effectively and with great results. By choosing rowing, you work your back muscles such as the trapezius and latissimus dorsi, plus muscles in the arms such as the dorsal and the teres major muscles.
When you row, it is important that you have a straight back, chest slightly out and your abdomen tucked in, so that you are in the right position to work the areas concerned. Choose the right weight for you which allows you to work with effort but without tiring too quickly. Perform 4 sets of 15 repetitions.
Exercising triceps with dumbbells or pulleys
Working your triceps is important if you want to have strong and toned arms, so don't miss out this small but important muscle. Activities such as press-ups will help you work them, but there are also specific exercises for the area that are highly recommended.
Activities that will help strengthen your arms
Whilst presenting the best exercises for strengthening the arms, don't forget about certain sports or specific classes that can help you to achieve your goal in a different way. Practising other activities is a great way of supplementing these exercises and getting better results.
- Playing basketball.
- Doing body pump classes.
- Attending body combat classes.
- Practicing CrossFit.
Recommendations for strengthening the arms
If your goal is to tone your arms and make them look strong and healthy, then it is important you consider some basic recommendations:
- Watch your diet. This is as important as physical activity. If you exercise but constantly eat sweet, fatty foods or junk food, it will be much harder to build the muscle you want. Follow a balanced diet, increase your intake of protein and don't forget about vegetables and fruit.
- Don't exercise the same muscle group two days in a row. Your muscles need to recover from the microscopic tears caused when training. For this reason, working the same muscle group will then make you suffer from muscle fatigue and increase the possibility of an injury.
- Choose a weight that allows you to work out with some effort but is not impossible. Many people often work with a weight that they can't support, which also leads to injuries. Neither it is appropriate to work with a minimal weight. So if you notice how your muscle is working half way through the repetitions and you find it a little hard to do them, then you are using the correct weight.
- As you gain muscle and strength, slightly increase the weight, otherwise you won't be working the muscle.
- At the end of your routine, always spend some time properly stretching every muscle that you've worked, so you help recovery and avoid any annoying aches and pains.
- If you have any doubts about any exercise or the correct posture to do it, it is best to consult a trainer who can advise you.
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