Targeting the muscle groups that you really want to grow isn't as straightforward as it seems. Because of this there's a lot of differing wisdom on how you should structure your workouts to get the most muscle growth. When you're looking for the best workouts to build bigger arms, you may commonly find yourself even more confused on how you can best target those specific muscles. Below, we'll discuss some of the best workouts to make sure you're making serious progress with your muscular development.
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Understanding and Encouraging Muscle Growth
If you want to bulk up in your arms, you first need to understand exactly how your muscles work. While strength training workouts are primarily focused on working muscles hard to increase blood flow and catalyze growth, your muscles are still a complicated part of your body. Understanding the nuances of the muscle groups in your arms can not only allow you to be more efficient with building muscle, but also help you notice your limits and potentially prevent injuries.
Intensive workout programs can be an extreme shock on your body, and if your goal is to bulk up your arms, you'll be pushing your body to its absolute limits repeatedly. The human body is incredibly resilient, but if you're not prepared for the level of workout you're putting in, it could often have more negative effects than positive ones. Protecting your health is the goal of all fitness and physical training, and you need to make sure that you're building muscle in a healthy way.
Understanding Your Arm Muscles
To build muscles and bulk you need to first understand what different muscle groups make up your arms. Each arm workout will target a different muscle group, and recognizing which motions go with each will help you craft workouts that synergize with other muscles that you are focusing on. Your upper arm is an incredibly sophisticated machine, and while everybody may know about biceps and triceps, it's important to understand how it all works together.
- Biceps Brachii. This muscle on the front of your upper arm has a long and short head that work together to allow adduction and flexion, and are typically utilized in workouts with pull movements.
- Brachialis. This muscle is located under your biceps and is the muscle that allows you to flex your forearm. Cross-body and hammer curls target your brachialis.
- Coracobrachialis. On the front of your arm near the shoulder, this muscle enables adduction of your arm while also allowing flexion of your shoulder. Exercises like a low chest fly on a cable machine will ensure this muscle gets a workout.
- Triceps Brachii. This muscle on the back of your bicep is the single largest muscle within your arm. Its long, lateral, and medial heads work in conjunction with each other to facilitate flexion and extension in your forearm. Workouts that have push motions will train your triceps.
This isn't by any means a comprehensive description of the musculature of your upper arms, but it should at least give you some idea of what the important muscle groups to target are. Understanding how your arms work will also enable you to better take care of your body through stretching and self-care to allow you to be ready for the next workout.
How do I reduce muscle soreness after working out?
If you're upping the intensity on your arm workouts, you're going to be sore, and you're going to hurt. The burn is just the muscles growing. You don't want any injuries from overexertion or repeated strain, however, some daily stretching is essential to keeping your body limber enough to be ready to build serious muscle.
A healthy and balanced diet is also extremely necessary for muscle building. While you may want to shed some pounds while putting on extra muscle, you could actually lose muscle tissue every time you work out if your body doesn't have any protein on hand to build new muscle with.
Self-care after an intensive workout or during off-hours of a big conditioning push is also extremely important. After your workout, increased blood flow to the muscles starts the process of growth through a process referred to as hypertrophy. To best build muscle, you want to keep blood flow high, while giving your muscle groups just enough rest before your next workout. Tools like percussion massage guns can minimize muscle soreness and make sure that your muscles are rested and ready for the next wave of growth when you hit the weights again.
Learn more about if heat is the best way to treat sore muscles here!
How to Get Bigger Arms with Your Workout Routine
You want to keep a varied arm workout routine. Why? That way you're not neglecting certain muscle groups or overworking and straining specific muscles. Crafting your personal workout routine to build arm strength is about identifying synergies between your workouts. Chest day, for instance, will regularly see you doing push workouts that could present a great opportunity to hit your triceps too. Likewise, back day may synergize well with a chance to put some serious work into your biceps. This allows you to space out your workouts, so that days while you're letting your triceps recover you can still concentrate on those triceps.
The triceps rope pulldown is a pretty accessible and essential exercise for strengthening your triceps. This works all three of the triceps heads together, and the long motions make for steady muscle growth with limited risk of injury. Dips or narrow arm pushups are also incredibly effective and basic workouts that can build your triceps quickly.
For biceps, it's hard to find a better workout than preacher curls. You have a wide variety of grips with this exercise to work the bicep's different heads, but the seated position ensures that both your posture is good and that your biceps are isolated from other muscle groups. Other kinds of curls will effectively work this muscle if a bench isn't available for preacher curls.
The cross-body hammer curl perfectly targets this muscle and can give you an intensely muscle-building exercise rather quickly. Since this exercise only requires a barbell, it can be extremely easy to incorporate into your daily routine, even on days you miss the gym.
You'll often find that this muscle gets a workout alongside the triceps or biceps on exercises like bench press, or wide grip pushups. Low chest flies will target this muscle if it needs some additional workout. This muscle can often pose more risk than others for soreness and strain, and can often be difficult to get fully stretched out if it's allowed to spasm. Muscle-building efforts in this area can often lead to a lot of muscle soreness, which you should proactively deal with using solutions like heat or personal massage guns so that healthy muscle development can continue.
Learn more about bench press safety tips here!
Encouraging Muscle Health In and Out of the Gym
If you're trying to build more muscle strength to get bigger arms, your muscle growth is affected by much more than just what goes on at the gym. Your entire lifestyle can contribute to muscle growth or lack thereof, so you need to start thinking about ways you can make changes to encourage more muscle growth. Giving your body the right tools to build muscle gets you more out of your workouts.
A Healthy Diet
A healthy diet, rich in protein and nutrients is absolutely essential to building muscle tissue. Your body can't be expected to build muscle without materials, so you need to give it the right resources and the right tools. Staying limber and stretched while your muscles are recovering directly impacts how much muscle growth you see, so if you leave the gym straight for a desk job, consider working some stretching into that workday routine.
You also want to ensure that you have tools on hand to cope with the aftermath of the hardest workouts. Your muscles are trying to grow, and they need blood flow for that to happen. A Vybe Pro Percussion Massage Gun soothes muscle pain and reduces knots so that your muscles can get more blood flow. This not only potentially speeds up your recovery from a workout, but also ensures you build more muscle for less work.
Building Arm Muscles Smarter
By understanding a little about the muscles that make up your arms and what exercises could potentially target those specific muscles, bulking up your arms isn't suddenly such a daunting task. While workouts are about discipline and willpower, they're also about knowledge of your own body and strategy towards building healthy muscles. Hopefully, these workouts have given you some insight on how to craft the best workout possible to build serious muscle strength in your arms every time you work out.
Contributing Writer: Jordan Roberts