“Which way is the beach?”, “Call a vet, my swans are sick!” and “Curls get girls 😉” – you’ve probably heard every rhyme and every cheesy quote about bolstering those arms and creating some serious size and definition.
Having well-defined arms is one of the most desired body parts for most men, even professional England rugby union player, James Haskell has his golden rules for big arms, but how do you get there?
Understand the anatomy of the arm
Firstly, understand that your arms aren’t just one muscle. They’re broken down mainly into biceps and triceps – which each have smaller muscle groups to contend with (and ultimately work on).
The bicep is made up of both a ‘short head’ and a ‘long head’ muscle, both of which work as a single muscle. Your short head is the area close to your body and is the smaller part of the bicep (as if the name didn’t give it away), whereas the long head is the outer area of the bicep and, you guessed it, is the larger part of the bicep.
In addition to the larger areas of the bicep, you also have brachialis, which connects the biceps to the triceps, and the brachioradialis, which is the lower section of the upper arm, and that connects to your forearm.
After over-complicating biceps, you now need to know that your triceps account for roughly two-thirds of your overall upper arm. That said, your triceps are only split into three separate muscles: You have the ‘long head’, the ‘medial head’ and the ‘lateral head’
Pump your arms more than once a week
Commonly, people tend to neglect training arms to the fullest extent. Throwing a couple of triceps extensions at the end of a chest workout and a few bicep curls after back day isn’t going to do you much good – especially if it results you’re after.
As mentioned above, it’s important that you hit all the areas of your arms, which is more than just a few reps at the end of a workout. You need to dedicate time to do arms, even if that means a dedicated arm day.
Tri before you bi
On that note, if you do prefer to train your arms together, I suggest training your triceps before your biceps (this is one of few opinions you’ll find on this site).
Your bicep shows most definition and accounts for roughly two-thirds of the arm, therefore, focusing on the triceps can help reveal the gains!
Hammer all areas of your biceps
Barbell curls, dumbbell curls, and isolated concentration curls are three of the most effective bicep exercises to ensure that you’re hitting all the areas of your bicep both effectively and concise. It’s an easy mistake to make if you constantly just perform the same exercise repeatedly, you probably won’t see many results!
When training biceps, try and hit the heaviest weight possible whilst making sure that you keep good form throughout isolated bicep exercises. This will ensure that the biceps continue to grow and show full definition.
Torch your triceps
Unlike the biceps, you don’t need to go excessive with training your triceps. Ensuring that you have a full range of motion and hit the exercises correctly will help to fetch through the definition you’re clearly after, whilst also focusing on growing the arms.
Make sure you’re training skull crushers, overhead extensions, press downs and bench dips with your triceps workout – this will ensure that you train your lateral head, long head and medial head of the tricep. It will show definition and help the arms grow!