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How to Get Ripped Arms With Dumbbells

author image Christopher Hopkins
Christopher Hopkins has been a Mixed Martial Arts trainer and corner man since 2010. A student of Muay Thai since 2006. He has cornered 20 amateur MMA fights in Ohio. As a MMA writer, he has covered local and national events for Gateway and
How to Get Ripped Arms With Dumbbells
A man working his biceps with a dumbbell at the gym. Photo Credit: MaxRiesgo/iStock/Getty Images

Ripped arms are a surefire way to get you physique noticed -- but you need to target the right muscles with the right exercises. Diet is also an important part of achieving the look you want. Always, stretch and warm up before your workout to help prevent injury and ensure that your body is ready to work.

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Building Biceps

Peaked biceps are a great excuse to go shirtless.
Peaked biceps are a great excuse to go shirtless. Photo Credit: Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images

Your biceps brachii muscle is comprised of two heads -- a long and a short head. The short head makes up much of the bulk, while the longer head runs along the top of the muscle. To target the short head, perform preacher curls, using proper form and not swinging the weight. The preacher curl chair isolates this muscle and prevents you from swinging the weight and using other muscle groups. To work the long head, do barbell or dumbbell curls, keeping your arms close to your sides with your elbows slightly behind you. This focuses the weight on the biceps brachii muscle at the beginning of the movement and will give you the peaked look on top of the bicep.

Building Triceps: Working the Lateral Head

Isolate the muscle groups you want to grow.
Isolate the muscle groups you want to grow. Photo Credit: Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images

The triceps is comprised of three heads: the lateral head runs along the outside of your arm; the long head is located at the back of your arm; and the medial head is on the inside of your arm. Weighted dips are an excellent way to work all three heads and build mass. To achieve the ripped look you want, work the heads individually. To focus on the lateral head, do cable pulldowns with the rope attachment. Toward the end of the movement, rotate your thumbs outward to isolate and make this muscle grow and get definition to set it apart from the other heads of the muscle group.

Building Triceps: Working the Medial Head

Large triceps make your whole arm look fuller.
Large triceps make your whole arm look fuller. Photo Credit: Lawrence Lucier/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

The medial head of the triceps is located on the inside of the arm closest to your ribcage. To work the medial head and achieve the horseshoe look, use the cable pulldown machine but reverse the grip with your palms up. The best way to build mass on this part of the muscle group is by doing close-grip bench press and pushups. Maintain proper form and complete smooth reps to put proper stress on the muscle and prevent injury.


High-intensity workouts create chiseled bodies.
High-intensity workouts create chiseled bodies. Photo Credit: Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images

Doing basic exercises will help your arms to grow, but to get them ripped, vary your weights, reps and exercises. Perform burnout sets to work on getting definition when your arms achieve the size you want. Start with a weight you can do for eight to 10 reps and work until failure, immediately grab a lighter weight and work another set until failure. Continue to work to failure reducing the weight for at least five sets. When you are looking for definition, the weight is not as important as the intensity of your workout. You want to blast the muscle working until the muscle cannot lift the current weight. You will feel your arms pump up and grow in record time.

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