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Most Effective Exercises For Building Arm Muscles

Jul 1, 2008
As you probably realize by now, lifting is a serious business. To ensure that each muscle in your body gets a complete workout, you need to divide your body into sections. You should only exercise one section in any given workout, and work every muscle in that section to exhaustion. For the purposes of increasing muscle mass, the body is usually divided into two sections: Upper body and lower body. The upper body can be further divided into subsections: Chest and arms.

Here are some excellent arm exercises that will help you build muscle mass in an effective way.

Bicep Curls

Body Position - There are many variations of this exercise, but the most effective way is to use a curl bar. Grab the grips on the bar underhanded and you will be in the correct position. Your hands will be resting at an angle because of the way the bars are positioned. Your arms should be near to full extension and the bar should rest comfortably against your thighs. Movement - Keeping your elbows in the same position, lift the bar towards your chest by squeezing your muscles. Remember that if you allow your elbows to move backwards, you will not gain as much muscle mass. Completion - Return the bar to its starting position by letting it travel the same path. Do not let it drop straight down, as it is the controlled movement and the continuous resistance provided by the weight that will help add muscle mass.

Tricep Extension

Body Position - Stand sideways on to the bench with both feet flat on the floor. Place the nearest knee and the opposite hand from that knee on the bench to form a stable base. For example, if you were using your left knee, you would also use your right hand. Grab your dumbbell from the opposing side of the bench using your free hand, and lift it so your elbow and the ground are at a 90 degree angle from each other. Movement - Using a fluid movement, straighten your arm. Be sure to constantly squeeze your tricep for maximal muscle mass gains. Completion - Exercising careful control at all times, return the dumbbell to its starting position, with the elbow at a 90 degree angle from the floor.

Hammer Curls

Body Position - Hold a dumbbell in each hand and let your arms hang down by your sides. Your palms should face each other to ensure your weights are parallel to each other. Movement - Slowly bend your elbow towards your shoulder. This should be a controlled movement and not a swing. Pause between each complete curl to ensure that the down movement of one repetition is not powering the upward movement of your next repetition. Completion - Carefully return the dumbbell to its starting position by making sure it travels the exact same path. A vertical drop will reduce the resistance required to gain muscle mass, and changing the alignment of the weights in relation to each other will cause uneven resistance or potential injury.

Rope Pulldown

Body Position - Add a rope handled attachment to the cable machine and face the machine with your feet spaced around shoulder width apart. Set up your rope so you are able to keep your elbows tight to your sides in the resting position. Movement - Hold your elbow position and pull down on the rope handles. Your hands should begin close together, and your forearms should be the only muscles moving. Keep your back rigid, and don't be tempted to lean. Your hands will be further spaced on the rope at the conclusion of the pulldown. Completion - The trick here is to carefully control the ascent of the weight back to the starting position. This is what increases your muscle mass. If you let the weight freely ascend, you will be losing a valuable part of the exercise. Free weights can be used to impact the same muscles, but this machine gives you a fantastic workout.

French Curl

Body Position -The most effective way to do this exercise is by using a curl bar, though you can also use a curl bench. Grab the grips on the bar underhanded and you will be in the correct position. Your hands will be resting at an angle because of the way the bars are positioned. Your arms should be near to full extension and the bar should rest comfortably against your thighs. Movement - Keeping your elbows in the same position, lift the bar towards your chest by squeezing your muscles. Remember that if you allow your elbows to move backwards, you will not gain as much muscle mass. Completion - Return the bar to its starting position by letting it travel the same path. Do not let it drop straight down, as it is the controlled movement and the continuous resistances provided by the weight that will help add mass.
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