Getting bigger upper arms

  • Timbales

    Posts: 13999

    Nov 22, 2008 2:22 AM GMT
    What exercises are best for developing thicker, fuller upper arms? When I flex my bicep, it's got ok definition and a rounded look, but overall my upper arms are lean and I'd really like them bigger. Flexed is 13"
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    Nov 22, 2008 2:33 AM GMT
    Do a lot of triceps work along with the biceps. Triceps, I think, constitute about two-thirds the total size of the upper arm.
  • Timbales

    Posts: 13999

    Nov 22, 2008 2:38 AM GMT
    I do a standing tricep press on the multigym, with my back against the pad, using an angled grip attachment. I always make sure my shoulders are down and don't let my forearms go past parallel to the floor.

    Any other tricep exercises you can recommend?
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    Nov 22, 2008 3:38 AM GMT
    if you want bigger arms work them at least twice a week and do a lot of exercises. For even better results, super set biceps and triceps exercises to get as much blood pumping into your arms.

    For triceps, try close grip bench presses, overhead dumbbell extensions, rope press downs, kickbacks and French presses/skull crushers.

    For biceps try incline bench dumbbell curls, barbell curls standing, 21s, and chin ups.

    Or check any of the arm building articles here or at
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    Nov 22, 2008 3:55 AM GMT
    Hammer curls
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    Nov 22, 2008 5:12 AM GMT
    Biceps Exercises: incline curl, preacher curl with dumbbells, hammer curl.

    You'll want to work with 5-25 lb weights, start with a couple warm-up sets on each exercise of 20 reps--you should be able to lift the full 20 without going to failure. After your one or two warm-up sets, go for 12-20 reps, lifting to failure.

    Remember to curl your wrist as you flex your biceps to ensure proper development of a peak, and also allow your biceps to extend fully when you relax the muscle. You'll know when you're doing it right because your biceps will feel very full, or "pumped", and burn like crazy*.

    Continue for a total of 6 sets for each exercise.

    Triceps Exercises: triceps dip, over-head triceps extension, triceps push-down, triceps kick-back.

    For the triceps dip, you should ideally be able to lift your body weight at least 12 reps, if you cannot, use a weight-assisted dip machine. The best approach to this exercise is to do one or two warm-up sets of 20 reps on the weight-assisted dip machine, then do your full body-weight for the remainder of your sets. Aim for 4 sets of 8-20 reps.

    The remainder of the triceps exercises may be done in similar fashion to the biceps exercises. Most people are generally stronger through their triceps, but you should still aim for high reps at low weight. I recommend 4 sets for each of these exercises. You'll know you're doing it right when you've got a serious pump going and they're burning*.

    *Sharp, acute pains mean you're doing it wrong and you've torn something.
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    Nov 22, 2008 5:38 AM GMT

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    Nov 22, 2008 8:48 AM GMT
    Unclevername and Flex 98 are pretty damn good answers to your problem.

    I would follow most of what they said.

    Bicep is 2/5's of the upper arm. Tricep is 3/5's. Hence Bi (2) and tri (3). But that leaves out a huge part, the braciias and brachialradialis. The muscles under the muscles that make an arm huge. These work mostly when the arm is in the hammer position and when the hand is face down. Without these muscles being fully developed, you can never have a huge arm.

    Biceps and triceps are small muscles, really. Compared to glutes, hams, quads and lats. So easy to overwork. Plus, if you really lift, they can easily be overworked. All back exercises work biceps. Most chest exercises work triceps. But I doubt that is a problem for you. Nothing personal, just talking averages.

    Want big biceps? Do standing barbell curls with as much weight as you can in a controlled way for 6-8 reps. That is a basic. Do it as many times as you can. Strictly. No using momentum or swinging the weights. Do it over and over and over.

    Then for triceps do cable pushdowns, with a heavy weight, strictly, elbows pinned at you side, over and over again. Hold the position without locking out elbows. Over and over again. Make it hurt. Push yourself.

    There are a million bicep and tricep exercises. Everyone has their favs. They all do the same thing. Biceps and triceps do two things. They extend the forearm or they pull the forearm towards you. That's it. Nothing miracle or exciting. Forearm muscles do more. They rotate and help lift the arm with the biceps. That is why I work them and you should also.

    Hope it helps.

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    Nov 22, 2008 9:46 AM GMT
    Preacher curls
  • GQjock

    Posts: 11649

    Nov 22, 2008 10:18 AM GMT
    Most of the guys have already told you the secret

    arms are basically 2/3's Triceps so if you want bigger arms
    you need to spend that much more time on the triceps as opposed to the biceps
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    Nov 22, 2008 1:28 PM GMT
    wait...the only exercise you're doing for triceps is a press on a multigym? can't get bigger with only one exercise, especially with a complex muscle group like triceps, or biceps for that matter.

    also, 'step away from the machine.'

    cables and machine exercises are great, but usually only after you've done some heavy work with free weights...

    now, having said that, there is always an exception, in this case it's pressdowns on the cable machine, which you can do heavy with varying grips, as part of your initial workout...however, since you've already been doing them, I suggest you leave them out for a few weeks and focus on the newer exercises these guys have listed above. your workouts should change every month or so, so your body doesn't have time to adjust.

    good luck...13' arms, the only place to go is up. icon_razz.gif
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    Nov 22, 2008 1:34 PM GMT
    I'm going to swim against the stream and say you should do more squats and calf raises. Skinny arms are one thing but skinny legs... Yeah totally another lol.
  • Timbales

    Posts: 13999

    Nov 22, 2008 2:50 PM GMT
    Thanks for all the advice, guys. I'm definitely going to put it to work.

    as far as skinny legs go, my calves are 16.5" and my thighs are 23", I hope that's not considered skinny for 5'9".