Strong upper arm muscles make daily tasks easier with the added benefit of toned deltoids, biceps and triceps from all the training. Your progress in strength training can be achieved and measured with weights at the gym, but you can also do exercises at home to quickly strengthen your arms. Working your arms intensely one day a week is all you need to do to increase strength. Perform your arm workout at least two days after your chest and back routine, as they are also used and strengthened when you train your bigger upper-body muscles.
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Perform pushups of increasing intensity to build the strength of your deltoids and triceps by placing your palms flat on the floor, slightly wider than your shoulders.
Balance on your toes or your knees, then lower your body until your nose is nearly 2 inches from the floor. Keep your body straight so your head and pelvis are in line with your back. Complete as many reps as possible if you are on your knees. Do 15 reps if you are on your toes.
Place your feet about 6 inches off the ground. You can use a step or a stack of books. Complete two sets of as many reps as you can do with correct form.
Carry and curl a 20-pound sack of rice, flour or box of books around your house. Perform three sets of as many reps as possible to strengthen your biceps muscles. Use a heavier sack or box after two weeks.
Do barbell curls for your biceps with an EZ curl bar for one set of 12 reps. Add 2½ pounds to each side of the bar for 10 reps. Continue to add 2½ pounds to each side until you can only complete three to five reps; use this weight for two more sets. Lift this weight for your next workout after a warm-up set.
Hold a dumbbell overhead with both hands on the bar to do triceps dumbbell extensions and strengthen the back of your arms. Bend your elbows to lower the dumbbell below the level of your head. Start with a light weight, lifting heavier dumbbells until you can only do three to five reps; use this weight for two more sets. Lift this weight for your next triceps workout.
Grasp a dumbbell in each hand as you sit on the end of a bench, pressing them directly overhead. Lower the dumbbells to the level of your ears, then press them again. Complete a set of 10 for your warm-up. Grab the next weight up and do another set of 10. Continue to increase the weight until you can only do three to five reps; complete two more sets. Note the weight for your next workout.
REFERENCES & RESOURCES
- Personal Trainer Manual; American Council on Exercise
- ACSM.org: Progression Models in Resistance Training for Adults
- American Council on Fitness: Exercise Library