Getting thicker arms means increasing the size of your triceps and biceps in particular. Before I go into depth on the exact specifics on how to increase the thickness of your arms it is important that I first mention. By following these procedures you may achieve thickness in your arms but this thickness may be capped by the capabilities of your other muscle groups that support Tricep and bicep movements. Also I am not an expert on the subject I never had the goal of getting thicker arms. To be honest my arms grow pretty large naturally. But I have done some research on the topic putting it together in this post that should help you achieve your goal of getting thicker arms.
Workout For Thicker Arms
Close Grip Bench 4 sets 5 reps
Dips 4 sets 5 reps
Tricep Skull Crushers 4 sets 8 reps
Seated Dumbbell Overhead Extension and Tricep Push Downs 4 super sets 10 reps each set
Dumbbell Alternating Curls 4 sets 6 reps
Dumbbell Preacher Curls 3 drop sets 10 reps per drop each set(example curl 35 pounds for 10 immediately curl 25 for 10 reps then 15 for 10 reps, then repeat 2 more times with rest between)
Rope Curls On the Cable Machine 3 drop sets 10 reps per drop like the previous exercise
Do this workout 2 times a week. Between regular sets of 8-10 reps rest approximately 1 minute and 30 seconds between sets. For set rep ranges in the 5-6 reps rest about 3 minutes between sets. For drop sets and super sets rest 2 minutes between sets.
An important thing to remember is stay 1 to 2 reps from failure on all exercises to preserve your form and nervous system. Also make sure you are in a calorie surplus or on a calorie neutral diet. It is important that whatever diet you are following you get a good amount of protein incorporated when attempting this workout.
The way in which this workout works is I have chosen some exercises in the mid to lower rep ranges for your Triceps and Biceps so you can gain some strength and size to progress your weights faster. Then each muscle group has drop sets, super sets and other higher sets to get a pump. This pump will help you thicken and shape your arms. Check out my product page if you want to purchase some of the equipment needed for this workout. In addition for more information on how these exercises are performed, why I have chosen them and what the different muscles of the Bicep and Tricep do read bellow.
Muscles that Make Up The Triceps
There are three muscles that the triceps are comprised of Medial Head, Long Head, and Lateral Head. Also the information found on the maximum activation of the Tricep muscles can be found at the link bellow. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1017995X17305898
The Medial Head of the Tricep is the portion of your tricep that is tucked under the Long Head and Lateral Head of the Tricep. You can feel your Medial Head of the Tricep by touching the portion of your Tricep directly above the elbow and in between the triangle formed by the other 2 Tricep muscles. The Medial Head experiences the most muscle activation when your should is elevated at 180 degrees or over your head. With the combination of when your elbow extension reaches just past 90 degrees until it reaches 110 degrees. The Medial Head achieves it’s maximum force also around this same range of elbow extension
The Long Head is the most inner portion of your Tricep and connects to the scapula. The Long Head of the Tricep is activated the most when your shoulders are at an angle of 0 degrees from your body. With the combination of the portion of Tricep extension where your elbow is at an angle of 35 to 65 degrees. But achieves its maximum amount of force when elbow extension reaches between 110 and 120 degrees.
The Lateral Head is the part of the Tricep farthest away from your body and on the outside of your arm. The Lateral Head of the Tricep achieves it’s greatest muscle activation around a shoulder elevation of 180 degrees and elbow extension of 85 to 110 degrees. This is also the range in which the Lateral Head achieves the greatest force.
Since the focus of this post is on thickening your arms I will not be paying much attention to exercises that specifically maximize the size of the Medial Head of the Tricep. This is because the Medial Head is on the inner most part of the Tricep. Also the Medial Head is more commonly associated with fine motor Tricep activities like holding your elbow at a certain angle.
Tricep Exercises to Increase The Width of Your Arms
- Tricep Skull Crushers, to perform Tricep Skull Crushers you are going to want to use the curl bar and lower the weight at a moderatly slow pace until you are almost 1 inch above your head. Then you want to press the weight by extending your elbows. Make sure when performing the concentric portion of this exercise you keep your elbows tucked in the entire time. To finish a repition of this movement you want to stop before full elbow extension. Your elbows should only extend approximately 150 degrees. Tricep Skull Crushers will help to target the Lateral Head of the Tricep. This in turn will help increase the width of your arms
- Close Grip Bench Press, to perform a Close Grip Bench you want to place your hands a little closer than shoulder width on the Bar Bell. Then following the normal procedures of a regular Bench Press. The only difference is touch the bar lower on your chest or sternum than you would with a normal Bench Press. Also make sure you do not fully extend your Elbows during this exercise as well. This exercise will help to target mainly the Long Head of your Triceps but will also cause some activation in the Lateral Head.
- Weighted/Non Weighted Dips, Depending on how many reps you can do with Dips you should either do weighted or non- weighted Dips. When doing a Dip rep you should keep your scapula retracted and chest up. In addition like most pressing movements keep your elbows in. Then lower yourself until your elbows are slightly past 90 degrees. To finish the Dip try to think about slightly bending both bars in toward your body. This will help to keep your scapula retracted and elbows tucked through the entire movement. This exercise will target the Long Head of the Tricep more than any of the previously mentioned exercises. But will hit the Lateral Head some too.
- Tricep Push Downs, to do this exercise you want to keep your chest up and elbows tucked in like with the pressing movements. But also focus on keeping your wrist straight. Then to perform the Tricep Push Down you want to be in a slight athletic position. With your chest almost over the bar on the cable machine. You want to start with your elbows tight to your side and angled a little less than 90 degrees. Then push the bar down while keeping your elbows to your side through out the motion. Once again this will work mostly the Long Head of the Tricep and some of the Lateral Head
- Seated Dumbbell Over Head Extension, Doing this exercise you want to keep your elbows in and lower the Dumbbell behind your head until your elbows are slightly past 90 degrees. Then press the Dumbbell back to the starting position keeping your elbows in and the dumbbell behind your head. This exercise will work on concentrating the weight mostly on the Lateral Head of your Tricep with some Long Head activation as well.
Muscles That Make Up The Bicep
The Biceps are comprised of only 2 muscles Long Head and Short Head. But both of these muscles combine together shortly before the Muscle passes over the elbow where it is connected to the forearm. Biceps are responsible for elbow Flexion and forearm supination and pronation. When doing bicep exercises you should try to avoid fulling extending your elbow so that you can keep the tension on your biceps. Also on the concentric portion of any Bicep movement try to stop at approximately 30 to 45 degrees.
Exercises for Bicep Width
- Dumbbell Alternating Curls, to do Dumbbell Alternating Curls you want to start with your arms slightly bent and palms facing in toward your body. Then you want to keep your elbows as fixed as possible and curl one of the dumbbells at a time. As you curl the weight try to rotate your pinking inward toward yourself so that the angle of the dumbbell on the same axis of the ground is barely acute to your body. Then return the Dumbbell to the starting position and alternate arms to repeat the movement.
- Dumbbell Preacher Curls, When doing Dumbbell Preacher Curls you want to do them one arm at a time. First you start by sitting down on a bench then open up your legs so that you can pick up the Dumbbell between them with one arm. Then bracing your elbow on your inner thigh and having the weight facing you curl the weight. Again turn your pinkies inward toward yourself so that same angle is formed as previously mentioned.
- Rope Curls on the Cable Machine, to perform this exercise you are going to need a Cable Machine and a Rope Implement. Start with the Machine set at the lowest level. Then grab the rope with an underhand grip. Starting with your elbows slightly bent curl the rope as you rotate your pinkies inward as in the Bicep exercises before.
The photo bellow shows what I mean when I say to turn your pinkies inward at the end of the the lifts.
These Bicep Exercises will help to really thicken your arms from my experience. I could not find much articles on the topic of exercises for thickening your biceps in particular. But from working out I have noticed that the curling exercise where you internally rotate your forearm like the ones suggested will be best for thickening the Bicep.
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