Ready, set, flex!
Looking for stronger, bigger or more toned arms? We know, our Trainers are always working with their clients to either lean them out or bulk them up. Which is why we pulled together a quick guide to the three primary muscle groups that make them up. Plus, these arm blasting gems are great for all levels – easy for newbies or to add weight and level up for an extra challenge.
If the triceps are made of three muscle heads, can you guess how many the opposing muscle, the biceps have? We knew you were more than just a pretty face! The long head and short head of the biceps actually start and connect in the same spot – from the scapula down to the forearm. The biceps are responsible for lifting your forearm to your upper arm.
When you think about the arms and giving someone two tickets to the gun show, more often than not they are going to show off those biceps. Sound familiar? Well, get ready to fill those flex requests.
The Decline Dumbbell Curl is an awesome way to isolate your biceps since you’re lying down on your chest. Plus, with this move, you can change up your grip to target different parts of your bicep.
- Set a bench to 45-degree incline
- Lie chest down
- With the appropriate dumbbell in each hand, bend your elbows and curl the dumbbells toward your shoulders
- Pause and the top and slowly lower back to start
- Try not to move your upper arms
The triceps are, yup, you guessed right, made of three different parts. The lateral, medial and long heads of the triceps are connected to the humerus and scapula bones. The triceps primary function is to straighten the elbow. It’s also a common concern for those looking to tone up the arms in general to prevent ‘bat wings.’
They make up a whopping 60 percent of your upper arm! If you want to bulk up, build size or amp up the definition in your arms, you need to devote some serious attention to these guys. Not only will focusing on the tris make your arms pop on a superficial level, but most major big lifts recruit the triceps, so you’ll see more success and be able to lift heavier too.
TRX Triceps Extension:
- Adjust the suspension trainer so you can stand underneath the anchor point, facing the TRX and take both handles, palms facing your body, and extend your arms in front of you
- Take two steps forward
- With the TRX taught, raise the handle to eye level with your palms facing the floor and arms extended. Lean into the straps so your extended arms and the straps are supporting your body weight
- Maintain an active plank and keep your body straight like a surfboard throughout
- Start the movement by bending the elbows so your body travels toward the floor
- Keep your elbows still and close to one another as your hands move toward your head
- To return, contract your triceps and press your hands away from your face
Your shoulders are made of the larger deltoid muscles—anterior, medial, posterior—and smaller rotator cuff muscles that support the ball and socket joint. The rotator cuff is made up of four muscles which aid in all overhead and rotational movements. So, if you want some serious shoulders, you’ll want to train all the muscles that make up what you see when you look in the mirror at your shoulders.
With that said, they can be a little touchy to train with heavy weights because of the sensitive nature of the joint. But there are some great exercises to add to your routine that will build size and stability without putting added pressure on the sensitive shoulder joint. While there are a ton of options to work the shoulders, we’re crushing on the Dumbbell L-Raise this month.
- Take a pair of dumbbells and stand tall with feet shoulder-width and arms hanging down at your sides.
- Raise the right arm away from your side, and the left arm directly in front of you, only to shoulder height so that you form an L-shape.
- Lower the weights back down to your sides and then switch – taking the right arm directly in front and the left arm to the side
- Avoid swinging the dumbbells or using momentum to propel the movement. Keep your core tight and your posture perfect. Start slow and move up in weight only if you can keep your torso in line.
Need more motivation to or education to help crush those goals? Our Trainers are happy to help – so just ask!