Forearm training is also important in achieving great looking arms. Most bodybuilders aim for the "horseshoe" look for their triceps.
Training Triceps: Exercises
Lying Tricep Extensions
These are commonly done with improper form. You should lay on the bench, with your head hanging off the end of the bench. This allows you to get a full stretch of the triceps. Another common mistake is pushing straight up. You should push at an angle, this ensures that your triceps do all the work. You can do this exercise with a straight bar or an E-Z bar.
Lying Close-Grip Barbell Triceps Extension Behind Head.
These are another great mass builder for the triceps. Your hands should not be only a couple inches apart, they should be shoulder width. Your elbows should be kept in close to your sides as you lower and raise the bar. Close-Grip Benches will especially add mass to the inner tricep area.
Close-Grip Barbell Bench Press.
These will really develop thickness in the tricep area, if done correctly. You should not lean forward while doing dips, this will work your chest more then your triceps. Try to stay upright and keep your elbows in. If you really want to work the lower area of your triceps, only go ¾ of the way up instead of locking out. This will keep constant tension on the triceps.
Dips - Triceps Version.
Building The Inner Triceps
Many bodybuilders have no trouble building the outer and upper areas of the triceps, but cannot develop great inner triceps. As I mentioned before, close-grip benches are a great exercise for adding mass to the inner tricep area.
But cable pressdowns can be done to really isolate the inner area. With a normal grip, Cable Pressdowns work mostly the outer tricep. So you have to take a reverse grip and keep your thumbs around the bar to really isolate that inner tricep and help give the "horseshoe" appearance.
Biceps are usually the first area the average person starts to train. You actually don't need to do much bicep training other then your lat work to develop good biceps.
Exercises like barbell rows and pull-ups, which are really designed to work the lats, will actually give your biceps a really good workout, too. I personally only do about 6-8 sets of bicep training a week. Let's look at the best exercises for building mass.
Building Biceps: Exercises
Straight Barbell Curls
Many bodybuilders will do straight bar curls with their elbows back, which isn't proper form. This allows you to use more weight, but it really shortens the range of motion and your biceps do not get as much work. You will not develop a good lower bicep area doing this. Full range of motion is very important when working the biceps.
Proper Form For Barbell Curls.
The proper way to do barbell curls is to take a shoulder width grip on the barbell, curl the bar out and up in an arch. At the top of the movement, flex your biceps to keep tension on them, if you do not, the pressure will be mostly on the bones and joints. Remember, keep your elbows at the waist and stationary throughout the whole movement.
Placement of your hands will also effect which area of your biceps you will work more. For example, by taking a wider grip, you will be working more of the inner bicep area. If your weak point is your outer biceps, then use a more inner grip.
Cheating with barbell curls can add power and mass if done correctly. If you use your shoulders and back correctly to help bring the weight up, you can make the biceps do a maximum effort. Take about 20 percent more weight then you usually do for straight barbell curls. You will be able to do the first few reps with strict form.
Click Image To Enlarge.
One Of Arnold's Favorite Bicep Exercises Was Cheat Curls. Notice How It Overloads His Biceps Right At The Max-Force Point, Just Below Where His Elbows Are Bent At 90 Degrees. That's The X Spot.
Now, always keep your elbows at the waist and stationary. But you will want to swing a little by the 4th or 5th rep while using your back and shoulders to assist curling the bar up. Make sure you are still curling up in a wide arch and making your biceps go to a maximum effort.
Creating Height On The Bicep
The best exercise for creating height on the bicep are concentration curls. These can be done in a sitting or standing position with your elbow on your knee. You have to make sure this exercise is done with very strict form.
Curl the weight up to your shoulder, flexing the bicep at the top, then lower it down slowly. Make sure you are not going to your chest, curl to your shoulder as this allows you to really hit the outside bicep and develop height.
Many bodybuilders tend to ignore forearm training until they finally realize it is a weak point and must be trained. Forearms do not have to be trained a lot, but should be done strictly and with heavy weight.
Barbell Wrist Curls
These are probably the best exercise for forearms. Sit on a bench with your wrists hanging off and an underneath grip on a barbell. Your elbows should be on the bench and locked together by your knees. Let the bar roll down to your fingertips and then roll the barbell back up into your palms, making sure to squeeze at the top.
Barbell Wrist Curls.
These will work the forearm extensor along with the outer head of the bicep. I like doing these with an E-Z bar rather then a straight bar. Take an overhand grip on the bar, keep your elbows to the side and stationary with your hands about shoulder width apart. Curl the bar up and you should really concentrate on using the upper and outer parts of the forearm and bicep.
Reverse E-Z Bar Curls.