Arm Exercises

Arm Muscle Groups

A common misconception that occurs with younger athletes is that having big biceps equals more power in sports. This is far from the truth as most sports require pushing motions which rely heavily on the triceps. The forearms are also instrumental in any sport that requires gripping any piece of equipment. This is not to say the biceps do not matter as they surely do, just not as much as most think.

There are no specific arm exercises that are any more important than the others. They should all be given their due attention. Below are the 3 designated categories for the arm's muscle groups:

A list of arm exercises:

3-Part Curls / 21s (Barbell) Image
A popular way to burn the biceps using a barbell, 3-part curls involve performing 3 varying sets of 7 repetitions in tandem, i.e. without resting.
3-Part Curls / 21s (Dumbbell) Image
An absolute biceps scorcher. 3-part curls involve performing 3 varying sets of 7 repetitions in tandem, i.e. without resting.
Behind-the-Back Wrist Curls (Barbell) Image
An exercise designed for increasing overall forearm flexor power, this variation of wrist curls uses a barbell to put emphasis on the forearms to build maximum mass.
Cheat Curls (Barbell) Image
Cheat curls are a powerful biceps exercise that promotes well-rounded biceps development, with particular emphasis on mass.
Close Grip Reverse Pull-Up / Reverse Chin-Up (Calisthenics) Image
A minor variation on the standard reverse pull-up / chin up exercise, this version allows for greater emphasis on the outer head of the biceps brachii while still working the inner bicep head as well as the lats and outer back muscles.
Concentration Curls (Dumbbell) Image
Concentration curls are a great isolation exercise, which can be effectively used to build mountainous biceps peaks.
Curls (Barbell) Image
Barbell curls are a rudimentary biceps exercises because they promote well-rounded biceps development, to include benefits to the forearms, biceps breadth, and biceps peaks.
Curls (Cable) Image
With the stability of a cable machine, this exercise promotes well-rounded biceps development and can be performed to focus on the biceps peak, as well.
Curls (Dumbbell) Image
Dumbbell bicep curls are considered to be one of the most rudimentary biceps exercises because they promote well-rounded biceps development, to include benefits to the forearms, biceps breadth, and biceps peaks.
Dips (Dip Machine) Image
Dips are a classic calisthenics chest/triceps builder that wonderfully blast the lower pectorals and triceps.
Hammer Curls Dumbbell Image
The focus of this exercise is to increase overall biceps mass by fully developing the biceps inner heads through the elongating and broadening of them. Also, due to the maintained hammer-grip that is employed throughout the movement, greater emphasis is focused on the forearms (brachioradialis).
High Pulley Curls (Cable) Image
High pulley curls are a different way to target the biceps by using a motion that looks as if one is trying to flex both their biceps in a body building competition.
Incline Curls (Dumbbell) Image
Incline dumbbell curls promote well-rounded biceps development, as well as offering effective targeting of the long head of the biceps (the outer head).
One-Arm Overhead Extensions (Dumbbell) Image
One-arm dumbbell triceps extensions are an advanced and difficult triceps exercise that place focus on the long head of the triceps, and allow for greats gains in overall strength and mass.
One-Arm Push-Downs (Cable) Image
By working one arm at a time with intense concentration, one-arm triceps pushdowns allow for maximum focus to be placed on the triceps.
One-Arm Reverse Push-Downs (Cable) Image
In addition to the triceps, one-arm reverse push-downs notably targets the forearm extensors due to the nature of the reverse grip utilized to perform the exercise.
Overhead Extensions (Barbell) Image
A powerful variation of both one-arm and two-arm dumbbell triceps extensions, barbell overhead extensions are a difficult triceps exercise that place focus on the long head, as well as the lateral head of the triceps, and allow for greats gains in overall strength and mass.
Preacher Curls (Barbell) Image
Not only are preacher curls among the ultimate exercises for isolating the biceps, but they excel at targeting the lower aspect as well.
Pullovers Barbell Image
Pullovers utilizing a barbell are a unique exercise that--in addition to expanding the rib cage--provide the pectorals, lats, triceps, and serratus (anterior) with an intense workout.
Pullovers (Dumbbell) Image
Pullovers utilizing a dumbbell are an interesting exercise that expand the rib cage--they also target the pectorals, lats, triceps, and serratus (anterior), resulting in an intense workout.
Push-Downs (Cable) Image
One of the more traditional triceps exercises, push-downs are a great starting point for those just starting to lift or work well as an end-of-workout finisher for more advanced lifters.
Reverse Curls (Barbell) Image
Reverse curls blast the forearm extensors as well as the brachialis of the biceps and the brachioradialis of the forearms. They are one of the best exercises for strengthening the wrists and forearms.
Reverse Lat Pull-Downs (Machine)
Similar to reverse pull-ups, reverse lat pull downs not only emphasize the lats and outer back but they target the biceps as well.
Reverse Preacher Curls (Barbell) Image
With the preacher bench inhibiting shoulder movement and with the utilization of an overhand (pronated) grip, great emphasis is placed on the forearms (extensors) as well as the biceps. Reverse preacher curls are a premier exercise for wrist strengthening.
Reverse Pull-Up / Reverse Chin-Up (Calisthenics) Image
Reverse pull-ups, also known as reverse chin-ups, are a nice variation to traditional pull-ups that, like pull-ups, promote substantial strength and mass building, with particular emphasis on the biceps (biceps brachii and brachialis)--in addition to the usual lats and teres major muscle groups.
Reverse Push-Downs (Cable) Image
A different take on the standard push-downs, reverse cable push-downs utilize an underhand grip to isolate the medial head of the triceps and recruit the forearm extensors.
Reverse Wrist Curls (Barbell) Image
Reverse wrist curls allow for isolation of the outer forearm muscles. Although this exercise puts a large amount of strain on the wrists, it also happens to be a great wrist strengthening exercise.
Reverse Wrist Curls (Dumbbell) Image
Often overlooked, reverse wrist curls will increase outer forearm strength, leading to a more balanced and defined physique.
Skull Crushers / Lying Triceps Extensions (Barbell) Image
Skull crushers are a supreme free weight exercise that works the entire triceps utilizing a barbell.
Skull Crushers / Lying Triceps Extensions (Dumbbell) Image
Skull crushers are a supreme free weight exercise that works the entire triceps utilizing dumbbells.
Tricep Kickbacks Image
Performed using dumbbells, tricep kickbacks incorporate all heads of the tricep muscle group as well as using the forearms and shoulders as support muscles.
Triceps Dips / Bench Dips (Calisthenics) Image
Triceps dips offer robust, full triceps recruitment, as well as a deep chest and front shoulder stretch.
Two-Arm Overhead Extensions (Dumbbell) Image
A variation of one-arm dumbbell triceps extensions, two-arm dumbbell triceps extensions are a difficult triceps exercise that place focus on the long head of the triceps, and allow for greats gains in overall strength and mass.
Wrist Curls (Barbell) Image
Wrist curls allow for isolation of the inner forearm muscles (i.e. the forearm flexors). Proper stretching should be performed prior to performing this exercise to reduce potential injury.
Wrist Curls (Dumbbell) Image
Using dumbbells, this exercise allows for isolation of the inner forearm muscles (i.e. the forearm flexors).
Wrist Rotations (Dumbbell)
A low stress exercise, wrist rotations are made to increase muscular endurance in the forearms, rather than overall strength. They should always be performed in a slow and controlled manner.