A guide to strong, sculpted arms

Written by April Berezay

Many of us think we know how to work out the arms, but after a few sets of curls we run out of creativity. Here are some exercises for guys and gals that, when combined over the course of a workout regimen, are excellent for creating arms you’re proud of.

Note: None of these exercises are specifically for males or females, but the two lists of workouts show the variation possible when focusing on arms. Most of these exercises require gym equipment, but dumbbells are the primary need.

Females

Preacher Curl (Biceps): 3 x 12 

  1. Raise the barbell up to shoulder height, bending at the elbows.
  2. Keep your shoulders stationary.

Tip: Pump the bar for 10 mini reps at the top to create the peak in the bicep.

Incline Fly (Chest & Arms): 3 x 10 

  1. Lie on an incline bench and hold the dumbbells over your chest with arms straight.
  2. Keeping arms straight, lower the dumbbells out to your sides, and raise them back up above your chest.

Tricep Press Down: 3 x 12 

  1. Using a standing stacked weight cable machine, stand with straight back.
  2. Grasp the bar palm down, but with upper arms parallel with your upper body, and forearms angled up.
  3. Bend at the elbows to bring the bar down to your waist, till your arms are straight.

Tip: V-bar attachment preferred

90-Degree Lateral Raise (Shoulders): 3 x 12 

  1. Hold dumbbells out in front of you with arms bent up at a 90 degree angle. Upper arms should be parallel to your upper body.
  2. Keeping your arms at a 90 degree angle, lift up and outwards to your sides, so your elbows reach shoulder level.

Males

Concentration Curls (Biceps): 4 x 10 

  1. Sit on a bench holding a dumbbell with your elbow resting on your inner thigh and your arm straight.
  2. Raise the dumbbell up to your shoulder, bending at the elbow.
  3. Keep your elbow on your inner thigh throughout.

French Press (Triceps): 3 x 10 

  1. Lie on a flat bench and hold dumbbells straight up above your chest.
  2. Bending at the elbow, and keeping the upper arm perpendicular to the body, bring the dumbbells down to either side of your head.
  3. Raise the dumbbells back to the vertical position.

Seated Arnold Press (Shoulders): 3 x 10 

  1. Sit upright holding dumbbells at shoulder height with your elbows bent, palms facing you and arms close to the body.
  2. Press the weights overhead, extending the arms fully and turning the palms to finish facing outward.
  3. Keep your back flat throughout.

Incline Push Up Leg Raise (Chest): 3 x 15 

  1. Enter push up position, but place your hands on an elevated step.
  2. Push up to a straight arm position and raise one leg up behind.
  3. Lower back down and repeat, alternating legs.

Wrist Flexion (Forearms): 3 x 15 

  1. Sitting with forearms on your thighs, hold a barbell out in front with your palms up and wrists extended.
  2. Flex with the wrists and forearms, raising the barbell as high as possible.
  3. The weight with this exercise should be lighter, as it is meant for the wrists and forearms.
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