Best Exercises to Build More Toned Arms : Fitness is not always recognized as a sport. How could it be? Exercising isn’t often considered its own competition.
And yet, fitness is ingrained into every sport. Professional athletes need to stay in shape. Fitness is, in many ways, their livelihood. There are also sports that basically register as extreme exercising—marathon running and cross-training tournaments, for instance. The UFC has also become one of the most popular sports leagues, and their fighters’ entire existence is predicated on comprehensive fitness. They need to have great stamina, a sturdy core, a lean physique and powerful muscular movements all at once.
Mixed martial arts, in fact, serves as an inspiration for many current fitness enthusiasts. They want to have the bodies of an MMA fighter, along with the endurance of one.
While we can’t pretend we have all the answers when it comes to building a UFC-like physique, we do know that getting shredded arms is part and parcel of the job description—and absolutely achievable.
So, we’ve researched the best weightlifting exercises to help you build bigger biceps and triceps and get the type of pumps that will make you the envy of your friends while rewarding you with the look of a real MMA fighter.
This exercise is basically bicep curls. On steroids.
Choose your equipment, be it a weighted dumbbell or barbell. Then, stand as if you were doing a regular bicep curl, with your feet roughly shoulder width apart and your palms facing up while holding the weight.
Next, do seven repetitions of half-curls with the weight beginning at the bottom of your body. Every time you get the weight roughly even with your midsection, you’ll bring it back down. After those seven reps, go right into another seven reps of half-curls, only this time hold the weight at your midsection and bring it all the way up to your shoulders.
Finally, do another seven repetitions of full on curls, where you bring the weight from the bottom position all the way up to the top of your shoulders. Light weights are recommended for this exercise, and you’ll want to try getting through all 21 reps without taking a break. By the end, your arms should feel like Jell-O.
Concentrating weight into a smaller area is a great way to increase the tension of bicep exercises and achieve quicker, more impactful results.
Enter weight-plate curls, a great exercise whether you’re a man, woman or, heck, even child.
Grab whatever weight you’re comfortable with—five pounds, 10 pounds, 25 pounds, 45 pounds, whatever. Grasp either side with each of your hands; you should feel like you’re holding a heavier steering wheel.
From here, just do a regular curl, bringing the weight from the bottom of your body up to the top. Make sure you’re keeping your arms attached to your side at all times; you want to get a good range of motion with the weight, but you don’t want your limbs to flail about.
Strive to do as many reps as possible over a 45-second period. You can also just try repping until failure. If you choose the latter, plate curls will then make for a great exercise with which to close your workout, after you’ve done the rest of your routine and are really looking to nuke your bis and tris.
Single-Arm Barbell Curls
This exercise is the mother of all arm exercises—and it is not for the faint of heart.
You will need at least a medium-length barbell or EZ bar to start. You then need to determine how much weight you’ll attach to it. For some, the weight of the barbell without any plates will be heavy enough. And that’s fine.
Once you have your desired weight, hold the barbell in one hand with your palms facing up. It can be tough to balance the weight if you’re doing this for the first time, so make sure you’re not going too heavy. You’ll get the best grip if you grab the barbell from the middle; this way, neither the left nor right side will tilt too far in one direction.
At this point, you’ll be ready to put your other arm that isn’t holding the weight behind your back. Yes, you read that correctly. After you do that, you’re ready to go through the regular full curl motion. If you’re doing this exercise properly, it will be absolutely brutal. Do your best to ensure you stand upright without tilting your back. Giving a slight bend with your knees will help with the form.
The number of reps you get through will vary by the person. If you’re going light, aim for 15 reps. If you’re doing medium weight, go with 12 reps. And if you’re lifting heavier, roll with six to eight reps.
Light weights tend to work best with this exercise. It’s more so about the balance than the resistance. You’re adding extra tension to both your core and your biceps by holding the barbell with one hand.
Regardless of how many reps you do, just make sure you’re doing the same number with each side, otherwise you’ll risk uneven growth between your two arms.
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