The 10 Best Upper Arm Exercises - Part 1

Big arms! That’s the first thing many lifters want to focus on when they’re in the gym. That’s true whether you’re a newbie or a veteran. Who can blame them? After all, big arms are the calling card of a serious bodybuilder - just check out Rich’s arms and you’ll see what we mean. In this new series, we’re focusing on the visual shock of the biceps and triceps with the 10 Best Upper Arm Exercises! Get ready to rip those sleeves!

Biceps Brachii Anatomy And Function

Before we dive into this, let’s clarify that in this article we’re talking solely about the biceps and triceps, not the forearms. Of course, the forearms are supporting muscles in all of the upcoming exercises.

The biceps brachii consists of 2 heads. They are located on the front part of the upper arm between your elbow and shoulder. Your biceps assist in bending your arm at the elbow (elbow flexion), and moving from palm down to palm up, otherwise known as supination. Finally, the biceps assist in raising your arm in front of you (shoulder flexion).

Triceps Brachii Anatomy And Function

The triceps are located on the back part of your upper arm between your elbow and shoulder. Your triceps consists of three heads (short, medial, and long). The triceps assist in straightening your arm at the elbow (elbow extension) and shoulder extension.

Wait! What About The Brachialis?

This muscle lies underneath the biceps brachii and helps build thickness. There are a couple of things you can do for this muscle: for EZ bar exercises, choose a bar with a close “hammer” style grip. This allows you to duplicate Hammer Curls with the EZ bar. In fact, there are quite a few specialty bars with grip options that directly target this muscle. Also, several of the biceps exercises presented in this article will directly involve this muscle.

Nutrition, 5% Supplements, And Upper Arm Growth

Muscle growth is not merely a result of your training routine, although that’s a big part of it. The main point to be made here is that you should use good form and effective rep performance. Control your reps and keep momentum out of it. Emphasize the negative phase of the rep.

Also, you have to eat and supplement for growth. For starters, take in 1g of protein per lb of body weight. Plus, don’t skimp on carbohydrates. Begin with 2g per lb of body weight, and only cut back if you see yourself gaining body fat.

What about supplements? You know the basics. They probably make up your 5% foundational program: your favorite 5% protein, your choice of 5% creatine, and your favorite 5% pre-workout. Plus, All Day You May and if you’re really serious, Drink Sleep Grow.

From there, you should be using Bigger By The Day, TEST Testosterone Booster, and Freak Show. Now that’s a hardcore Stack! One more suggestion? Check out the Core line, you can really add some fantastic products that will push your Stack into ultra-hardcore territory!


This ends Part 1. In The 10 Best Upper Arm Exercises Part 2, we look at the 5 best biceps exercises. Then, in Part 3, we’ll break down the 5 best triceps exercises. Get ready to grow!


  1. Delavier, Frâedâeric. Strength Training Anatomy. Human Kinetics, 2010. 
  2. Exercise Directory
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