The real secret to growing big arms.
Summer is around the corner and it’s time to get ready for the “suns out guns out” tank tops and shirts. If you are looking to upgrade from the squirt guns to the Super Soaker 9000’s than you need to stop focusing on bicep curls and understand the muscles that really make up those cannons. Yes, we want our biceps to peak, but the upper arm is mostly made up of your triceps. This means that for the big arm look, you’ll need to focus on the other side of the arm. You also don’t want to be that guy who has big biceps/triceps with small forearms, because that’s like having good quads and no calves. Nobody wants to be that guy, so let’s get you ready to hang those big arms out the window with confidence!
Bicep curls for the girls
The name bicep refers to the two-headed muscle that makes up the bicep brachia. You have the long head which is the lateral or outer side of the bicep and you have the short head which is the medial or inner part of the bicep. There’s also the not so prominent muscle, the brachialis, which lies below the main bicep. all three of this muscles will need equal love for overall cemetery and strength. target the outside/long head with alternating dumbbell curls or wide barbell curls, the inner/short head with preacher or rotational curls, and finally target the brachialis by doing dumbbell hammer or cable hammer curls.
“Tri” to get big arms without the 2/3 factor
Now we are on to the triceps, which makes up 2/3 of your big arms you’re striving for. So if you are thinking that continuous bicep curls are going to give you the pythons you have been wanting, then you are sadly mistaken. With three heads, lateral, medial, and long head, the triceps beats the biceps three to two. The triceps stretches from your forearm all the way up to your scapula. With three heads the triceps need to be trained a specific way to maximize growth. First, you’re going to want to start with the biggest of the heads, the long head. Other than the obvious reason of it being the biggest, it will also engage the medial and lateral head partially and sometimes fully. The movements that are going to be critical, are the ones that allow you to extend and fully stretching your triceps. Some of the exercises are skull crushers, push downs with strait bar, and Dips. Now onto the medial head, which is going to be engaged already from the long head exercises. Very similar but can be focused on a little differently by these exercises, Overhead extensions, push downs with V-bar, and reverse grip push downs. Lastly is the lateral head, which is the most popular due to the horseshoe look that it gives the outside of your arm. To many people make the mistake of focusing strictly on the lateral head because of its appearance, and not realizing that it’s the smallest head on your triceps. Because it’s the smallest of the heads, you won’t be able to push as much weight when its isolated. Exercises such as rope extension (flaring out), kickbacks, and dumbbell overhead extensions are the best way to target the lateral head and creating the horseshoe look that its known for.
Popeye never skipped forearms
When we talk about big arms, people normally don’t talk about forearms. This is a common mistake made by many, because they don’t have the aesthetic pleasures that the bicep and triceps peaks give. Reality is that if you have big arms and small forearms, you will look like the guy who skips leg day, and nobody wants to be that guy. The forearm is made of more muscles than the bicep and triceps combined. This is because the forearms control a lot of movement and strength in your hands as well. You can’t grow big arms if you can’t hold onto heavier weight. So, let’s get you going on some exercises to start giving you those Popeye forearms. Start with some barbell wrist curls, cable reverse curls, and dumbbell hammer curls. If you feel strong advanced enough, you can even consider “fat grips” which are foam pads that you can wrap around the weight, forcing you to squeeze harder to hold onto the weight.
Conditioning is the smoke and mirrors
Lastly it comes down to conditioning. There is going to be a genetic limitation for some people, as some people have larger bone structure than others. Smaller guys might not be able to get 20-inch arms because genetically it’s not possible, but they’re usually more conditioned. What we are saying is, that if you are walking around with 17 inch arms and you’re conditioned, there is no doubt that you are going to turn heads and get attention. Therefore, aesthetics and conditioning is called the “smokes and mirrors affect” because you might have smaller arms but you’ll look like you have the Super Soaker 9000’s.
It may or may not be summer, but if you follow our tips and advice, you’ll get your big arms and everyday will be SUNS OUT GUNS OUT!
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