How To Get Amazing Arms

It’s time to stop posing with your hands on your hips and hiding your arms in long sleeves. Follow our guide to getting sexy arms and with a little hard work and sweat you could be confidently rocking sleeveless shirts in no time.

Basic Anatomy of the Upper Arm

Deltoid Muscle: The deltoid is the muscle that forms your shoulder and the uppermost part of your arm. It is rounded and triangular in shape. It is attached by tendons to your collarbone, shoulder blade, and humerus. The widest part of the muscle rests atop your shoulder and tapers down your arm. If you want defined, sexy shoulders, this muscle is your new best friend.

Biceps Brachii: More commonly known as your bicep, this muscle is located on the front part of your arm between your elbow and shoulder. The primary function of your bicep at your elbow is assisting in bending, also known as elbow flexion. Because your bicep also connects to your shoulder, it plays a secondary role in raising your arm; this movement is called shoulder flexion.1

Triceps Brachii: You’ve heard the terms “bat wings” and “bingo wings” before, but did you know they are the result of weak triceps? If you want to confidently flaunt your arms in sleeveless shirts, it is important to train this muscle. It is the only muscle located on the back of your upper arm and, much like the bicep, originates at the shoulder and runs all the way to the elbow. Your tricep and bicep muscles are antagonist pairs. This means that as one contracts the other relaxes.2 For example, when you straighten your arm your tricep contracts and your bicep relaxes. Give it a try and feel this antagonistic pair at work!


Compound vs. Isolated Exercises

When you’re training a specific area on your body, it is important to have a good understanding of what exact muscles you are targeting. If you are unknowingly overtraining a certain muscle, it can lead to increased soreness, fatigue, and even injury.

Compound exercises are multi-joint movements that engage more than one major muscle group. When you perform this type of exercise you will have a larger muscle group that does most of the work and recruit secondary muscle groups when needed.

An isolated exercise only involves one joint movement, as well as one muscle group. Because you are only using one muscle group, isolation exercises are typically performed with lower weights. These exercises typically involve raising, curling, and extending.3

If you want to get Michelle Obama arms, your upper body workouts should be mainly comprised of compound exercises. Since you are using multiple muscles and are able to lift heavier weights while doing compound exercises, you will burn more calories and have faster and more consistent progress.4If you focus primarily on compound exercises, with isolation exercises being added in as a secondary focus, you will have knockout arms in no time!

But wait – won’t lifting weights cause you to bulk up? This myth couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, it is incredibly difficult to build large muscles. Not only will lifting weights help torch more calories, it will also help you reshape your body into the lean, toned look you are striving for. If you’re new to the gym, start with lighter weights and higher repetitions. Once you get comfortable with the exercises and realize you aren’t turning into Arnold Schwarzenegger, progressively add more resistance to your routine.

Compound Exercises


This exercise only requires a flat, elevated surface, so you can do dips just about anywhere! Start by placing your hands shoulder-width apart on a bench behind you. Extend your legs in front of you. Lift your body by straightening your arms. Pause at the top of the movement for a moment before lowering your hips back toward the ground until your elbows are bent to 90 degrees. Be careful not to let your elbows fan out to the side! If you find this exercise too difficult, modify it by bending your legs.

Primary Muscle Group: Triceps

Secondary Muscle Groups: Shoulders and Chest

Seated Cable Row

This exercise requires you have access to a pulley machine and a V-bar. Once you are seated on the machine with a slight bend in your knees, pull the handles back toward your belly button. Your arms should be at 90 degrees and your chest should be sticking out with a slight arch in your back. Squeeze your shoulder blades together at the top of the movement before extending your arms back to your starting position.

Primary Muscle Group: Back

Secondary Muscle Groups: Biceps and Shoulders

Up and Down Plank

Begin this exercise in a standard plank position with your elbows and forearms on the floor. One arm at a time, lift your body into a straight-arm plank position. Lower your elbows, one arm at a time, back to the floor to complete one repetition.

Primary Muscle Group: Core

Secondary Muscle Groups: Triceps and Shoulders

Crab Walk

Begin by sitting on the ground with your legs extended in front of you. Place your hands behind your back with your fingers pointing toward you. Lift your hips off the ground and arch your back to engage your glutes. Leading with your arms, scurry like a crab across the floor.

Primary Muscle: Shoulders

Secondary Muscle Groups: Biceps and Triceps

Arnold Press

Before you ask, yes, this exercise was created by and named after The Terminator himself! Begin by holding two dumbbells with bent arms and your palms facing your chest. Press your arms upward while rotating your palms outward. Fully extend your arms above your head. Pause for a moment before lowering your arms while rotating your palms inwards and back to your starting position.

Primary Muscle Group: Shoulders

Secondary Muscle Group: Triceps

Assisted Chin-Up

This exercise requires the use of an assisted chin-up machine. Grab the bar with a neutral grip so your palms are facing each other. Slowly pull your body up until your chin is level with your hands. Lower your body back down until your arms are fully extended to complete the exercise.

Note: When selecting your weights for this exercise, keep in mind that the heavier the weights are, the easier the chin-up will be.

Primary Muscle Group: Back

Secondary Muscle Groups: Biceps and Shoulders

Isolated Exercises

Standing Dumbbell Triceps Extension

Start by standing up and holding one dumbbell with both hands. Extend your arms above your head and position the dumbbell so your palms are facing up. Slowly lower the weight behind your head while keeping your arms in a stationary position with your elbows facing forward. Return to the starting position by using your triceps to lift your arms.

Primary Muscle Group: Triceps

Front Raise

Hold a dumbbell or plate on either side with your palms facing inward. Slowly raise the weight until it is parallel to the floor. Pause for a moment before lowering it back to the starting position.

Primary Muscle Group: Shoulders

Dumbbell Lateral Raise

Hold a dumbbell in each hand by your side. Lift your arms laterally with your palms facing down until they are parallel to the floor. Pause at the top of this movement before lowering them to your sides.

Primary Muscle Group: Shoulders

Bicep Curls

This exercise can be done using dumbbells or a barbell. Grasp the weight(s) with your palms facing up. Keep your upper arm stationary as you bend your arms and contract your bicep. Lower your arms back to the starting position to complete the exercise.

Primary Muscle Group: Biceps

30-Day Push-Up Challenge


Push-ups are one the greatest exercises you can do to build strength in your arms, chest, back, and core. To get the most out of a push-up, it is important to use proper form. Begin in a plank position with your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. The closer together your hands are, the more engaged your triceps will be and the harder the push-up is to perform. Raise your body off the floor by pushing your palms into the ground and engaging your chest and shoulders. When lowering your body back down to complete the movement, resist the urge to drop your hips and head; your chest should lead this downward movement.

20-Minute Arm-Blasting Workouts for Women on the Go


Now that you have all the tools necessary to get enviable arms, the only thing left to do is start selling tickets to the gun show!

Article Courtesy of / Ashley Aucoin