Are you looking for a workout to build bigger biceps and bigger triceps? You’ve come to the right place! In today’s arm workout, we’ll be walking through 3 triceps exercises to hit the long head, lateral head, and medial head. In combination, we’ll also have 2 biceps exercises to hit the short head (inner head) and long head (outer head). This workout routine can be done up to 2x per week. Ensure you give yourself at least a 48-hour rest in-between each workout to allow the muscles to repair, recover, and grow. Good luck!
When it comes to building bigger arms, you always want to prioritize your triceps, they’re just way larger than the biceps, and you’re going to notice a lot more growth in the overall arm size by putting the triceps first.
Exercise #1: Overhead Cable Extensions [3×10]
We’re going to begin this workout with some overhead cable extensions for 3 sets of 10 repetitions.
We’re starting with this exercise because when you put your arm in this position for the workout, you’re able to get a stretch of the long head of the triceps. After all, it runs through your shoulder joint. The long head of the triceps is the largest part of your triceps.
You want to perform the exercise by getting a nice, full stretch of the long head of the triceps by letting your arms go down as far as possible while maintaining the tightness of the elbows. See how the proper form looks below.
One thing you want to avoid here is doing half repetitions. This will leave a lot of the gains that are on the table. Remember that the muscle that is the most stretched is going to be the muscle group that is the most targeted.
You want to focus on getting that full range motion and getting as low as possible while maintaining form.
Mistake to avoid – half repetitions:
The next thing you need to avoid is having your elbows flare out, which makes the exercise more of a press. Besides, you would be putting a lot of tension in the inner portion of the elbows. That’s not very healthy for the shoulder.
Mistake to avoid – flared elbow:
When performing this exercise, ensure that you’re keeping those elbows tight to the head. You want to keep them both shoulder-width apart, but they can go a little bit outside of that.
Keep a slow tempo as you get nice and low, stretching the long head of the triceps. You contract the triceps as hard as possible as you come up.
You’ll also notice from the pictures above that the bar is a little bit crooked while I’m performing this. That’s because I didn’t have a mirror in front of me, and I couldn’t gauge that properly.
That’s the importance of using a mirror. You want to ensure that there’s symmetry on both sides of your body.
Exercise #2: Neutral Cable Extensions [3×15]
For the next exercise, we will be focusing on the other half of
the horseshoe, which is the lateral head of the triceps. We will be getting 3 sets of 15 repetitions for the neutral grip cable extensions using some donkey nuts.
Now, here’s the proper way that you want to perform the exercise. See how the appropriate form looks below:
Now let’s get into how not to perform this exercise.
Variation number one. You do not want your elbows to start to drift out in front of you, and then you bring them back in.
Mistake to avoid – elbows drifting outward:
Keep that upper arm completely stationary. You want to imagine that there’s a bar going through your elbows and your shoulders, locking them into your torso. Doing that will help you ensure that you’re strictly targeting just the triceps.
Now, the next big no-no would be these pushing cable extensions that many guys tend to do when they’re using way too much weight.
This incorporates your anterior deltoids and as well as your lower pecs. There’s a lot of momentum here too from the spinal flexion.
Mistake to avoid – pushing cable extensions:
Focus on keeping your torso completely upright. The upper arm should be completely stationary. You hinge your elbows and maintain a great tempo.
As you come down to the bottom, you add a half of a second of a hold. When I’m pulling those donkey nuts apart, I’m mentally thinking about that lateral head of my triceps and squeezing the absolute hell out of that.
You want to bring those hands up as high as possible while still maintaining the elbow position and not letting the arms drift forward. You would do this for 3 sets of 15 repetitions.
Let’s move on to the triceps finisher.
Exercise #3: Decline Skull Crushers [3×10]
For our triceps finisher, we’re doing 3 sets of 10 repetitions of some decline skull crushers. This will help us with the long head, medial head, and the lateral head of the triceps.
Like the cable extensions workout, you do not want this exercise to become similar to a press. Again if you flare out your elbows, you will put a lot of stress in your inner elbows. You will also not put as much tension on the triceps as you possibly could. Check out the image right below to see what I mean.
When it comes to biceps and triceps, ensure that you’re keeping your upper arms stationary and locked. You only hinge from the elbow while keeping them shoulder-width apart. This is the elbow position that should be maintained. Bring that bar up until about the midpoint of the top of your head. Doing that will allow you to get a nice, full stretch.
Doing the exercise in the decline position instead of being parallel to the ground will enable you to keep more tension on the triceps, even as you move toward that lockout point.
Check out the proper form below.
Let’s move on to the biceps.
Exercise #4: Hammer Spider Curls [4×10]
We’ll kick this thing off by focusing on a portion of the biceps, which I’ve noticed that tends to lag for other guys and me as well. We’re talking about the outer head of the biceps. We’re going to hit the brachialis with this exercise as well.
Similar to the other exercises, you do not want to perform this workout by having your elbow drift outward as you curl the weight up. This makes the movement more efficient for the body and takes off a lot of the lever arm load.
Mistake to avoid – elbows drifting outward:
You want to keep the position from your elbow to your shoulder again, locked in place. This will ensure you present the real weight of the load you’re using to your biceps.
Exercise #5: Wide-Grip Preacher Curls [4×10]
We will be performing these with dumbbells because it presents the biceps with more of a challenge. This is because each arm is given a load independently.
When we’re doing it with a bar, you’re going to notice that your dominant arm will do a little bit more of the pull than the other arm. This can cause many imbalances, including those little ones that only you can notice but drive you insane. The dumbbells also require additional effort to stabilize, which makes the exercise more challenging.
Go all the way down as far as you can while still maintaining tension on the biceps, just before you get that lock up. Doing that will increase the intensity of the exercise significantly.
Other no-nos that happen include lifting your ass out of your seat, rolling your shoulders forward, and using all of your body weight to lift the load up top. This is a consequence of using too much weight. To help with muscle isolation, you also want to keep your entire body stationary, save for your hinging elbows.
Mistake to avoid – standing up and rolling your shoulders forward:
Avoid connecting the dumbbells. Having a broader position will allow us to focus more on the inner bicep head. We will also increase the intensity of our exercise this way due to the effort required by stabilization.
Mistake to avoid – connecting the dumbbells:
Avoid bringing the dumbbells under your chin as that is redundant. You lose all tension at that point. It would help if you focused on getting those dumbbells up to where your arms are entirely perpendicular to the ground (or your arms are vertical up, 90 degrees with the ground). Bringing your biceps any higher than that will give your biceps some rest, so be aware of that.
Check out the images below for the proper form.
One more thing that you need to avoid doing for all of these exercises is relaxing at the bottom of the repetition. Doing that will release the tension for all the muscles you’re trying to hit. You want to have a constant and consistent time under tension for each repetition. That will make the exercises most effective.
Follow the steps above, and you will destroy these bicep and tricep workouts.
That concludes today’s full biceps and triceps gym workout routine for bigger arms. If you enjoyed this article, follow, like, and subscribe to our YouTube channel and keep an eye out for more articles.