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Arm Exercises with weights. My Top Exercises for Biceps and Triceps

Arm Exercises with weights. My Top Exercises for Biceps and Triceps

This time I want to talk about arm exercises with weights, I know for most men it is one of the most important body parts to train because all of us want to have impressive arms and look good wearing T-shirts when it’s warm outside.

But these exercises I’m about to share are a great fit for women too. Don’t worry, you won’t get massive arms by doing these exercises, you will just lean and toned arms. Too many women skip arms days, because they worried to grow too muscular arms, but remember you have a lot lower testosterone level than men and it is almost impossible genetically to grow big arms, especially if you work out with light
weights. There is no need to skip arm days from now on!

Let’s get started and find out what my top arm exercises with weights are.


Regular Grip Dumbbell, Barbell Curls or EZ-Bar Curls

This exercise primarily focuses on your biceps and side of your biceps (Brachialis) and secondary on your front shoulders (Deltoids) and forearms.

How to execute this exercise correctly

  • Grab the barbell with an underhand grip, your hands facing away from your body.
  • Position your hands as wide as your shoulders.
  • Start by holding the bar at hip height, then squeeze your core and contract your biceps to curl the bar up to shoulder height.
  • Squeeze your biceps at the top of the movement, then slowly lower the weight down, controlling negative movement, do not drop weights too fast.
  • Lower down the weight until you feel stretch in your bicep.
  • Repeat between 8 – 12 repetitions. 3 – 4 sets.

 


Cable Hammer Curls

This exercise primarily focuses on your biceps and side of your biceps (Brachialis) and secondary on your forearms.

How to execute this exercise correctly

  • Grab rope attached to the cable machine pulley set at the bottom position. Use a neutral grip, your palms facing your body.
  • Bend your arms slightly to take tension into the biceps.
  • Keeping your body fixed and elbows in at your sides, slowly curl the rope to your shoulder height, do not curl too much as it will take tension off your biceps.
  • Squeeze the biceps at the top of the movement, then slowly lower the weight down, controlling negative movement, do not drop weights too fast.
  • Lower down the weight until you feel stretch in your bicep.
  • Repeat between 8 – 12 repetitions. 3 – 4 sets.

 


Incline Inner – Bicep Curl

This exercise primarily focuses on your biceps and side of your biceps (Brachialis) and secondary on your front shoulders (Deltoids) and forearms.

How to execute this exercise correctly

  • Position an incline bench at about 45 degrees, and sit upright with your back flat against the backrest.
  • Using a supinated (palms up) grip curl both dumbbells towards your shoulders.
  • Squeeze the biceps at the top of the movement, then slowly lower the weight down, controlling negative movement, do not drop weights too fast.
  • Lower down the weight until you feel stretch in your bicep.
  • Repeat between 8 – 12 repetitions. 3 – 4 sets.

 


Overhead Cable Curl

This exercise primarily focuses on your biceps and side of your biceps (Brachialis).

How to execute this exercise correctly

  • Set the cable machine with your shoulder height.
  • Grab handles with your palm facing up and arms stretched sideways at shoulder height.
  • Squeeze your core and contract your biceps to curl the cables towards your head. Keep your shoulders horizontally.
  • Squeeze the biceps at the top of the movement, then slowly lower the cables down until your arms are in a horizontal position with your shoulders. Control negative movement, do not drop your arms too fast.
  • Repeat between 8 – 12 repetitions. 3 – 4 sets.

 

Lying Triceps Extensions (Skull Crusher) with dumbbells or EZ-Bar

This exercise primarily focuses on your triceps lateral, medial and long heads and secondary on your front shoulders (Deltoids).

How to execute this exercise correctly

  • Lay back on the flat bench keeping the weights close to your chest. Once your back is flat against the bench, press the weights up to lockout using a neutral grip, if you are using EZ-Bar take it to a pronated position (thumbs pointing towards one another).
  • Rotate the dumbbells to a pronated position (thumbs pointing towards one another) or hold EZ-Bar at the same pronated position and lower the weights towards your shoulders by unlocking the elbows.
  • Once your bar or weights reach parallel or position with your shoulders, drive the dumbbells or bar back to the starting point by extending the elbows and flexing the triceps. Squeeze triceps at the top.
  • Repeat between 8 – 12 repetitions. 3 – 4 sets.

 


Close grip bench press

This exercise primarily focuses on your triceps and secondary on your front shoulders and chest.

How to execute this exercise correctly

  • Lie flat on a bench and set your hands at shoulder width.
  • Set your shoulder blades by pinching them together and driving them into the bench.
  • Lift weight off in order to maintain tightness through your upper back.
  • Lower the bar slowly in a straight line to the base of the sternum (breastbone) and touch the chest. Control your weight on negative, don’t drop weight too fast.
  • Push the bar back up in a straight line by pressing yourself into the bench, driving your feet into the floor. Squeeze triceps on the top.
  • Repeat between 8 – 12 repetitions. 3 – 4 sets.

 

Bent over Triceps kickback

This exercise primarily focuses on your triceps and secondary on your back of the shoulders.

How to execute this exercise correctly

  • Bend your knees slightly and lean your torso forward until your back is 30° to 45° to the floor, while keeping your core tight. Hold a dumbbell in each hand, with palms facing each other. Hang your arms perpendicular to the floor.
  • Bend your elbows until they parallel with your back and pull the dumbbells up to your side.
  • Squeeze the triceps and lift the dumbbells until your arms are straight and parallel with your back. You’ll be able to feel a strong contraction in your triceps
  • Stop for a second at the top and after the pause at the top, lower the dumbbells slowly back to the starting position controlling your weight on negative.
  • Repeat between 8 – 12 repetitions. 3 – 4 sets.

 


Cable Triceps Overhead Extension

This exercise primarily focuses on your triceps and secondary on your forearms, torso, shoulders.

How to execute this exercise correctly

  • Set the cables to approximately your eye level.
  • Take the rope with both hands palms facing each other.
  • Position your hands behind your head with your elbows point straight up. Your elbows should start out flexed, and you can stagger your stance and lean gently away from the machine to create greater stability. This will be your starting position.
  • To perform the movement, extend through the elbow while keeping the upper arm in position, raising your hands above your head and squeeze your triceps at the top of the movement.
  • Slowly and controlling your negative lower the weight back to the start position.
  • Repeat 15 repetitions. 3 sets.

 

 

These are my top arm exercises with weights. There are many other exercises for arms, but in my opinion, these are great exercises for everyone – beginners, experienced, males, and females.

Don’t forget to always keep your form, don’t rush through exercises and try to choose the right weight so you could execute the exercises with correct form, controlling your negative movement and would be able to do somewhere in between target repetition range.

If you can do more repetitions, just do it, don’t’ stop once reached your repetition target if you can do more. Do as many repetitions as you can, but for the next set take the heavier weight. If you can’t hit your minimum repetition range, do the opposite and for next set take a lighter weight. Follow my, advice, be patient and you will start seeing results very quickly.

If you want to know about leg exercises you can check my Leg Exercises With Weights post as well.

As always, if you ever need a hand or have any questions, feel free to leave them below and I will be more than happy to help you out.

All the best,

Marius Mickevicius

Founder of ihealthylifestyle

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12 thoughts on “Arm Exercises with weights. My Top Exercises for Biceps and Triceps”

  • Hi Marius – it’s so true what you mentioned about women avoiding arm training because they are concerned about too much muscle growth. This was true for my wife but I convinced her otherwise. I had to take a break from lifting because of chronic tendonitis in my elbow. I was extremely painful, fortunately, I am ready to get back into training. I am glad to have come across your site, you seem pretty knowledgeable about weight training and I will be spending some time here, reading what I can.

    Do you recommend training bicep/tricep on the same day or should they each be a separate workout?

    • I’m glad that you convinced your wife otherwise, I bet she’s not regretting now. And I’m really happy for you that you recovered and can get back into training. My advice would be mix your workouts every month or two, because your muscles have memory and if you training them same way all the time they get used to it. You could train Arms together, first biceps then triceps, or could switch after every exercise, one for bicep and one for triceps and so on. Than after couple of month you could do biceps and back together and chest with triceps. Sometimes I even do chest with biceps and back with triceps, It’s so many variations you could do. Lot’s of people doing back with biceps together because working out back you engaging your biceps a lot and it makes sense to train those muscle groups together.

  • You’ve got these exercises spot on! Ever since I’ve done close grip bench press and skullcrushers, my triceps have grown massively. I like to do overhead extensions with a dumbbell but have to make sure to focus on keeping those elbows tucked to maximise the benefits! I do most of the bicep exercises you mentioned. However, what exercise do you recommend for building the peaks of the biceps?

    • Yes these two triceps exercises are one of my favorites too, I have noticed great increase in gains by doing these exercises. For Biceps I really like to do Chin ups or weighted chin ups they are killing my biceps, or I like to work with heavy barbell, wider than shoulder grip, cheating slightly on going up, but on negative go really slow and in control. My biceps are slowest growing muscle in my body and these two works really well for me.

  • Hi MARIUS
    I Winced when I looked at your pictures of carrying out these exercises as Im totally unfit but I have to say your explanations of each discipline was excellent and it has given me a gentle reminder that I need to look after myself more in the future and doing exercises like these can only benefit me going forward. The article gives a detailed yet easy to follow instructions and many people will benefit from it . Keep up the good work . Cheers Gerard

  • Hey Marius, your article on arm exercises with weights for biceps and triceps could not have come at a better time for me.

    I have just started training in the gym we have on our complex and I was wondering about the right exercises for the arms. There is no one in the gym for me to ask so I found your article very helpful.

    Looks like I am going to spending a lot of time reading your other articles to make sure I am doing the right exercises… keep up the good work!
    .

  • I loved this article as I have been looking for arm exercises which are not going to add muscles since I am a ballroom dancer.

    Which one would you recommend fr my sport?
    I would think the OVERHEAD CABLE CURL would be a best as it seems the easiest of them all and very basic.

    • If you don’t want to add muscles you can do any exercises you like with cables or just use lighter weights and do 15-20 repetitions, 3 sets and just one or two exercises for biceps and triceps a week, that should be enough to make your arms stronger and toned without adding a lot muscle.

  • Solid post. These are many of the exercises I already currently do in the gym so I am glad to see that I am on track. I think my favorite of these is close grip bench press for triceps. That exercise really seems to hit the muscles hard and it’s nice because you can go heavier too. Thank you for the information!

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