Large arms are something that most men express a desire for at some point in their lives, but performing an endless number of curls won’t help to build massive arms by themselves.
If you want to achieve massive arms, you will need to invest some time into building not just your biceps but also your triceps.
It is common for people to shy away from triceps-targeting workouts, because while you can curl a lot on your biceps, the triceps are a relatively weak muscle and working them is demoralizing. However, good tricep workouts can really help to build bigger arms, and increase the amount that you can bench press too.
How to Target the Triceps
The most basic exercise for targeting the triceps is the triceps kickback. Perform this using a dumbell. Hold the dumbell in one hand, and lean over a bench with your weight supported on your other elbow, so that your chest is parallel to the ground. Keep your elbow in by your side, and let the weight hang with your forearm pointing down towards the ground. Slowly, and in a controlled fashion, contract your triceps so that your arm straightens and the weight comes up towards your side. Lower the weight again, and repeat for however many repetitions you feel able to do before your form suffers.
You will likely find that you are not able to do this exercise with a lot of weight at first, because your triceps don’t get used as much as other muscles, so they will probably fatigue quite quickly. However, it is a great exercise and one that you should incorporate into your workouts.
Another good tricep workout is the skullcrusher. This is similar to the tricep kickback, except that you hold the weight up behind your head, and then raise the weight into the air to complete the repetition. Again, do this slowly and with a weight that you know you can handle, so that you don’t injure yourself.
There are some good tricep workouts you can do with resistance bands, and even bodyweight-only exercises, and these are worth considering if you do not have access to dumbells. For example, triceps dips can be performed on the edge of a bench or chair, and you can increase or decrease the difficulty as required simply by moving your legs forward and back on the ground to modify how much of your own bodyweight you are working with.
Resistance band exercises can be used to strengthen the biceps, triceps and the shoulder muscles, helping to provide you with a strong chain of muscles in the upper body that will help you with almost any lift, and that will reduce your risk of injury.
Note that for maximum hypertrophy, you should engage in heavy lifts with a low to moderate number of repetitions. Of course ‘heavy’ for the biceps and ‘heavy’ for the triceps will differ. Choose a weight that you can handle for 5-8 repetitions before form suffers.