Medical Articles

Build Large Arms - Biceps, Triceps Part 2

After you have been weight training for a while, you will find (when you think about it) that certain arm exercises seem to be giving results, while others just don't. If you think nothing much is happening, then your observations are probably correct.

Especially avoid any exercise that gives you pain or discomfort in the elbow region. There are several triceps movements which can contribute to tendinitis (inflammation of the tendon) in the elbow. You must immediately stop using such an exercise or else cut down drastically on the weight you were using. Let's assume you have worked up to using 6 reps with 120 pounds in the lat-machine pressdowns exercise, but the pain is unbearable. Either stop the exercise entirely or push it to the of your arm routine and merely perform a few pumping sets of 20 reps with a far lighter weight!

Apart from proportion, there are four vital qualities that make up a great arm:

1. You need size. This includes thickness and roundness from the top of the arm near the shoulder to the bottom near the elbow.
2. You need good shape. This is largely hereditary. Ideal examples of shapely biceps are Arnolds Schwarzenegger, Larry Scott, and Robby Robinson. Men known for their triceps include Frank Zane, Dennis Tinerino, and Mohamed Makkawy.
3. You need separation, the distinct delineation of the various muscles that make up an arm.
4. You need vascularity and definition. The skin must be "thin" with a low fat percentage. Veins grow in size along with the arms, especially if plenty of pump is achieved in your workouts.

I mentioned earlier how some top bodybuilders start their arm training, and that was true; but remember that many bodybuilders change their routines around. A bodybuilder who usually starts his arm routine with barbell curls may suddenly switch to starting with chins, or even concentration curls. This is what bodybuilding is all about: shocking the muscles into growth. Lou Ferrigno, for example, changes his arm exercises every month, and even from workout to workout he may change the angles if he feels the urge. He might, for example, do incline curls on a 45-degree bench one day but set it at a 30-degree angle the next day. Alternatively, he may curl the dumbbells out a little farther from the body than usual.

You,too, may want to alter your arm training angles from time to time. You can, for example, try dumbbell curling with palms facing upwards on day, and the next day do it with your palms facing inwards.

Can you change the shape of your arms? Yes and no. Confusing? Well, you can add shape to your triceps by working, say, the outer triceps section very hard. This will give an attractive appearance to the arm, especially when it is in the straight or "hang" position. Alternatively, you can add impressiveness through exercises that work the lower triceps near the elbow.

The biceps are a little more stubborn. For example, by working the lower biceps on a shallow-angle Scott bench, you will "lengthen" the biceps only slightly; and by training hard on concentration peak-contraction curls, you will slightly increase the height of your biceps. In short, you cannot significantly change your inherited arm shape.


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