The 5 Most Underrated Arm Exercises You're Probably Not Doing (but Should)

Holding your chin ups at the top of the move will help build more strength.
Image Credit: Tara Moore/Stone/GettyImages

When your regular arm workout involves just a few biceps curls and some shoulder presses, your routine can get boring pretty quick. Plus, you probably aren't seeing the results you're hoping for.

Instead, opt for a few underrated exercises that New York-based physical therapist Sam Chan, DPT, CSCS, guarantees will sculpt your arms in no time. During your next upper-body session, give these five moves a try.

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1. Kettlebell Halo

1. Kettlebell Halo
Image Credit: Sam Chan/LIVESTRONG.com
Skill Level Intermediate
Activity Kettlebell Workout
Body Part [ "Shoulders", "Abs", "Arms" ]
  1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart, holding the kettlebell by the handle in front of your chest.
  2. Slide the kettlebell up and toward the right, looping the bell behind your head.
  3. Continue moving the kettlebell around your head to the right, raising and passing your left arm overhead.
  4. Keep rotating the kettlebell around your head in the same direction, until you can bring your right arm forward over your head.
  5. Bring the kettlebell back to the starting position in front of your chest.

Tip

If this exercise feels too challenging, you can modify by kneeling or sitting down on a bench, Chan says.

2. Farmer's Carry

2. Farmer's Carry
Image Credit: Sam Chan/LIVESTRONG.com
Skill Level All Levels
Activity Dumbbell Workout
Body Part [ "Abs", "Arms", "Back", "Legs", "Butt" ]
  1. Hold a dumbbell in each hand. Choose a weight that's heavy enough to challenge you yet light enough that you can maintain good posture while walking.
  2. Engage your core, pull your shoulder blades down and back and stand tall.
  3. Take a step forward and begin walking. Walk quickly while still keeping your spine tall, shoulders back and head up.
  4. Continue walking movement for a specified time or number of steps.

Tip

You can make engage your core even more by holding weight on one side alone, Chan says. Or, instead of dumbbells, hold weight plates or kettlebells to also work your grip and forearm strength.

3. Chin-Up

3. Chin-Up
Image Credit: Sam Chan/LIVESTRONG.com
Skill Level Advanced
Activity Body-Weight Workout
Body Part [ "Arms", "Back", "Abs" ]
  1. Begin by hanging from a pull-up bar with your hands shoulder-width apart, palms facing you.
  2. Engaging your back and biceps, pull yourself up toward the bar, keeping your body as straight as possible.
  3. Once your chest reaches bar height, reverse the motion with control and return to the starting position.

4. Bottom-Up Kettlebell Press

4. Bottom-Up Kettlebell Press
Image Credit: Sam Chan/LIVESTRONG.com
Skill Level Intermediate
Activity Kettlebell Workout
Body Part [ "Shoulders", "Arms", "Abs" ]
  1. Begin standing with a kettlebell in your right hand, the bell facing the ceiling.
  2. Keeping your right elbow at shoulder height, press the weight up toward the sky, straightening your elbow.
  3. Slowly, reverse the motion with control and bring the elbow back to the starting position.

Tip

While you do this exercise, brace your core to keep the kettlebell in the upright position.

5. Lat Pushdown

5. Lat Pushdown
Image Credit: Sam Chan/LIVESTRONG.com
Skill Level Intermediate
Activity Resistance Band Workout
Body Part [ "Back", "Abs", "Arms" ]
  1. Anchor a resistance band handle at a point high above your head.
  2. Take several steps away from the anchor to create a little tension on the band, holding the handle.
  3. Hinge your hips back and lean your torso forward slightly.
  4. Holding the hinge, raise your arms above your head, biceps in line with your ears.
  5. Keeping the arms straight, lower the handle to about waist height.
  6. Slowly reverse the motion.

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