To build big arm muscles you need to work them intensely and with heavy weights. Dumbbell exercises are the best for that because they allow you to hit each arm individually in a wide range of motion. Having several of these exercises to include in your workout gives you the freedom to add necessary variety required to stimulate muscles over a long period of time.

Building biceps

So today we’ve made a list of our favorite dumbbell exercises to hit those biceps, triceps and forearms and build bigger arms.

Bicep Curls

This traditional exercise should be done slowly, with the arms facing nearly 45 degrees away from the front of the body. The dumbbells are grasped from underneath. Begin by slowly bringing dumbbells up to the shoulders, in a straight line. Slowly let the weights down to the resting position. By lowering the arms slowly, the biceps and forearms get a more intense workout.

Bicep Curls

 

Reverse Curls

Reverse bicep curls target the upper arms and biceps. Begin by holding the dumbbells with hands over the tops. Slowly bring both dumbbells toward your body, stopping at shoulder height. Follow the same lines to bring the weights down to the resting position.

Reverse Dumbbell Curls

 

Hammer Curls

This exercise also targets the biceps and upper arms. Turn each dumbbell sideways grab each bar from the outside, with fingers facing each other. Raise both bars toward the shoulders and slowly bring back down, to a resting position. Try to keep the same line with the downward movement, keeping the sideways dumbbells in a straight line.

Hammer Curls

 

Concentration Curls

The bicep concentration curls are done in a seated position. Begin by placing the elbow against the inner thigh on the same side, with elbows bent, hands grasping the bars from underneath. With the torso leaning slightly forward, bring the bar up to the shoulder. Each side should be done individually.

Concentration Curls

 

Incline Bicep Curls

This exercise is done using a weight bench, with the back tilted backward halfway between sitting straight up and lying flat on the back. It begins with the arms on the dumbbells at the shoulder level, slowly lowering the dumbbells down and bring them up again.

Incline Bicep Curl

 

Drag Curl

This exercise isolates your biceps even more than the standard bicep curl by taking out the anterior delts out of the movement. To perform, grab a barbell and slowly pull it up close to your body while bringing the elbows back. Focusing on very slow and concentrated movements is the key to this exercise.

Barbell Drag Curls

 

Zottman Curl

This exercise works not only your biceps but forearms too by flexing, pronating and supinating your arms. To perform, curl the dumbbells with your palms facing up, then pronate your arm to face palms down and lower the weights. Turn the palms back up for another repetition. Work on the slow eccentric movement on bringing the weights down in this exercise.

Zottman Curl

 

Spider Curl

Like the drag curls, this exercise helps to further isolate on the biceps by decreasing load on the deltoids. Use an incline bench to lie chest down, grab the barbell or dumbbells and bring it up to the face level. This bicep curl variation also helps focus on the curl form.

Spider Curl

Skull Crushers

This may be the best exercise for the triceps because it allows free joint movement and hits all three tricep heads but with more focus on the medial head. I would also recommend dumbbells instead of the barbell for full range of the muscle movement. Try to reach back as far as you can behind your head as you lower the weights to really hit the medial head and focus on the extension.

Make it harder with an incline bench if you need to.

Skull Crushers

 

Overhead Extension

Stand up straight with feet hip width apart for stability. Hold one dumbbell with both hands at the back of your head. Lift the weight up while extending your arms and pause briefly when you reach the top. Bring it back slowly to the initial position — a rapid drop may lead to injury. Be sure to keep the elbows close to the head throughout the exercise. You can also do the same exercise while sitting down or use one arm instead of two with a lighter dumbbell.

Tricep Extension

Any of these dumbbell exercises can be done with a simple weight bench and dumbbell set. 8-10 repetitions is the minimum number for each exercise, though the number can be increased over time.

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