The Best Upper Arm Exercises

Throughout the centuries men have always wanted huge arms to impress people and women have always wanted lean and toned arms without the flab. Everyone seems to struggle with this at one time or another in their workout life. It should not be that difficult but there is more to it than just lifting weights for upper arm exercises. So here is my take on this concept and what every man and woman can do to help themselves achieve their best looking arms. The concept is a two-step approach which consists of exercises and diet management.

The first thing you need to accomplish is to pick a goal for your arm exercise routine. The two obvious goals are to either get huge defined arms or lean and toned arms. The approach is vastly different and below is a typical workout regimen for either goal.


If you have flabby arms with a lot of fat and skin then the workouts you need to accomplish are two-fold. The first part of your exercise regimen will have to start with a cardiovascular routine. I recommend a routine that is a high intensity interval training. For example, if you are working out on the elliptical then try to adjust your intensity every 2-3 minutes from a low to high level or a high to low level. This will allow your body to keep guessing which way you are going with the intervals and then it has to work harder to get the workout done. Burning off the fat will enhance your upper arm exercises and help accomplish your goals. Further, you should adjust your cardio from one exercise to another, such as from elliptical to treadmill to biking, etc…

Next, you need to workout the muscles of the upper arm to get the results you desire. The above cardiovascular routine will help burn fat off the arms and then the weight exercises will increase the strength and size of the arms. This result will lead to lean and toned arms with less flab and more definition.

The upper arm exercises I recommend to begin with are as follows:


This is the muscle on the top of the upper arm.

Each exercise is for 10-12 reps per set for 3 sets. However, the Three Part Bicep Curl, which is 18-24 reps for 3 sets.

1. Alternating Dumbbell Supination Curls. Begin with a dumbbell weight you can handle and hold it with your palms facing behind you. As you curl the weight up rotate your arm to where your palms are facing you. Pause at the top and give an extra squeeze with the bicep. Then slowly lower the weight back to where your palms are facing behind you and repeat.

2. Isolated Dumbbell Curls. If you have a weight lifting bench then put it at an incline and take a weight you can handle effectively. Bring yourself to the top of the inclined weight bench and stick the top of the weight bench in your arm pit. You may have to bring a stool to the weight bench so you can sit on the stool with your arm over the weight bench. This will allow your arm to lower onto the weight bench fully. Then without taking your upper arm off of the bench, curl the weight up and as noted above give an extra squeeze and pause at the top of the curl then slowly lower the weight and repeat.

3. Three Part Bicep Curl. Begin with a lighter weight than what you would normally use. Have the dumbbells at your side with the palms facing outward. Curl the weight up halfway and then lower it back to the starting position at least 6-8 times. Then start with the weight halfway curled up with your hands sticking out in front of you. Now curl up from the halfway starting position up to the top and then lower back only to the halfway point and repeat at least 6-8 times. Finally you can then curl from the bottom to the top 6-8 times for a total of 18-24 reps.


This is the muscle at the back of the upper arm.

Each exercise is for 10-12 reps per set & perform 3 sets per exercise.

1. Closed Grip Bench Press. For this exercise you start with either dumbbells or a barbell with the proper amount of weight for you to use. Keep your hands as close to each other as possible and perform a bench press workout emphasizing on the tricep extension.

2. Tricep Extensions with Dumbbells. For this exercise start in a bent over position and pick a weight that you can handle. Keep your arm from shoulder to elbow locked in against your side and then bend your elbow towards your head and then extend behind you to a full extension position.

3. Overhead Extensions. For this exercise pick a weight that you can handle. In a standing position raise the dumbbell overhead with your arm completely extended. Then bend at the elbow and lower the weight behind your head and then extend it back up to the starting position.

Perform the above exercise routine at least twice per week mixed in with the cardio routine 3 times per week.


For these exercises you should perform 5 sets in a stepwise fashion of starting with lighter weights and progressing to heavier weights. Each set will work the arms muscle fibers differently to gain size, strength and mass. Perform the exercises with the following reps 12,10,8,6,4 With each progressive set you need to increase the weight accordingly so the last rep is very difficult.


1. Barbell or Dumbbell Curls.

2. Alternating Dumbbell Supination Curls

3. Preacher Dumbbell or Barbell Curls

4. Hammer Curls. Pick your weight and hold the dumbbell in your hand so your arm from elbow to dumbbell looks like a hammer. Your fist should be knuckles to the outside and fingers to the inside.



1. Closed Grip Bench Press

2. Bent over Tricep Extensions

3. Overhead Tricep Extensions

4. Lying Down Tricep Extensions. Lay down on a bench and hold the dumbbells straight up to the ceiling. Then lower them to your forehead and then extend at the elbows to a full extension for one rep.

The most important part of this workout is to drink or eat a light snack about an hour before the workout with fast acting carbohydrates. This will allow the energy you need to finish the exercises. Once your workout is over you need to drink a post-workout protein shake with protein and carbohydrates. This will give the muscles the nutrients they need to grow. Further, don’t forget to rest as your upper arm muscles will grow when you rest.


You should have a healthy diet with lean meats, vegetables and complex carbohydrates. Look at portion sizes as they should be the size of your fist or palm of your hand. You should eat at least every 3 hours to keep your metabolism elevated to help with burning fat calories. Your intake of protein is the most crucial as you should consume at least 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight. The rest of your caloric intake should mainly be with green vegetables and complex carbohydrates.

This should be a good start for your upper arm exercises to either help with getting lean & toned arms or huge upper arms. Now you have a dietary start, a cardio exercise routine and most important a weight exercise routine. Start today and get the upper arms you want.

For what it’s worth,

Dr. B.

You can check out more information on diet and exercises for healthy weight loss at

Source by Dr. J Begovich


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