Arm workouts: appreciating its benefits, its anatomy, and more
Arm workouts are as important as abs and core training and everybody wants it. Men want bigger arms while women want a toned arm. Beautiful arms are not just given to us like magic and it can be earned by working very hard at the gym.
Different exercises focus on various muscles but a strong upper body is essential for every gym-goers and athlete. Strong arms are beneficial to swimmers because they depend on their arms and shoulder to propel in the water. Moreover, strong arms are needed in gymnastics, track and field, ball games, and other sports.
Here are some of the benefits of having strong arms and upper body:
Benefits of arm workouts
Arm workouts such as bicep curl can help you tone your arms. The arm muscles such as the biceps are visible and one of the major arm muscles; thus the training you do will have an impact on how your arms will look like. With this, your arms will look more defined, tighter, and more toned. It will also help get rid of the fats formed on your arm muscles.
Speed and stability
If your upper body is strong, the benefits of your heavy leg workouts will be maximized. In addition, if your arms and shoulders are strong, you’ll have a boost in speed and balance. You can be able to swim, run, and move faster if your shoulders and arms are thick and muscular.
Gym nowadays is equipped with a various machine to develop your arms and burn calories at a higher rate. You can engage in these arm workouts or start a routine even inside your house.
Posture and form
Investing time in arm exercises can develop solid posture. With this, you can be able to be appealing to the public and prevent back pains too.
If you have good posture, everything will align perfectly in your body. Ligaments, muscles, bones, and tendons will function and assume correct placement when you stand or sit straight.
When a person often slouches, he may find it hard to digest their food. He might also experience difficulty in breathing and have some aches in various parts of his body. As years passed by, these problems might intensify as the body ages. Thus, it is very crucial to learn how to maintain a good posture at an early age.
Athletes need to have good body posture to be able to finish their games. There are various exercises that you can try which do not require equipment and you can even do it at your home. Some of the arm exercises that you can try are planks, pilates, shoulder rolls, crunch, and dumbbells sides.
Apart from the benefits of arm workouts, it is also best to determine the anatomy of our arms so we can understand better the type of exercises that suits us best. Here are the following:
Anatomy of arm
The biceps or the “biceps brachii” lies on the upper arm and it is located between the elbow and shoulder. The name biceps means “a little mouse” in Latin terminology.
The biceps are two-headed muscles which start on the scapula and are attached to the radius bone. The two head muscles are called the long head and the short head muscles.
These muscles are one of the three muscles in the upper anterior of the arm. The other muscles are the ‘coracobrachialis’ and the ‘brachialis muscle.’
Biceps brachii is a bi-articular muscle. This means that it can control both the elbow and the shoulder. The function of the biceps in the shoulder is to move the arms forward, sideways, and upward. Meanwhile, the function of the biceps in the elbow is to allow the forearm to lift.
Biceps are small yet it is very vulnerable. In addition, many society and culture attribute healthy and strong people with well-developed biceps.
The triceps or the triceps brachii muscle can be found on the back portion of our arm. The name triceps means three head muscle in the Latin terminology.
It has three parts which are the lateral head (above of the radial sulcus), long head (at the infra-glenoid tubercle of scapula), and medial head (below the radial sulcus).
The triceps serves as an extensor of the elbow joint. It is also the adversary of the biceps. The triceps can straighten the arm and elbow during fine movements like writing or drafting.
The long head is used for sustain force, the lateral head is used for activities with occasional high-intensity force, and the medial head is used for low and more precise movements.
Now that we have familiarized ourselves with the anatomy of the arms as well as its benefits, let us now proceed to the arm workouts to try. Here are the following:
Arm workouts to try with minimal tools
There are various arm workouts to try even at your home. Sometimes when we are busy or out of the country, we tend to skip gym sessions. Luckily, there are exercises to try that doesn’t require many equipment or weights.
If you are planning to put your arms into shape, make sure to orient yourselves with these arm workouts and combine it with a healthy lifestyle. Make sure as well to check with your personal trainer so you’ll be guided along the way. Before doing the exercises, start with an easy warm-up so you can prevent body aches and injuries thereafter.
These exercises aim to develop the shoulders, biceps, and the triceps. These are very easy to do and both men and women can follow it. Here are some of the arm workouts:
The first exercise to try is the arm circles. To do this, you can start by standing straight and placing your feet apart. Make sure that you spread your weight evenly between your legs. Extend your arms on a 90-degree level. Then, move your arms in a circle. Bring the circle in the forward direction and vice versa. Make sure that you breathe properly while doing the exercise.
Also, make sure that you keep your torso straight while doing the arm circles. You can do this workout in 20 reps of 5 sets. Make sure to have a one-minute rest after each set. You can also make more reps and sets depending on your stamina.
Push-ups are one of the most popular arm exercises that don’t require any tools or equipment. It is a great way to build core muscles too.
To do this, make sure that your body is aligned properly and is parallel to the ground. Your back should be flat and your core must be strong. Next, point your toes and put your hands and palms on the ground, making sure that it is shoulder-width apart.
Then, start pushing the floor and lift your body high. You can pause a few seconds while your body is in the air. You can do this workout for 10 reps of 3 sets. Be sure to pause for 30 seconds in between sets and catch your breath.
There are many variations of the push-up. If you are a beginner, you can try push-up while kneeling on the floor. You can do this by starting in a push-up position but bending your knees.
Another workout is the plank. This is oftentimes incorporated in yoga but it can be a perfect workout routine for developing the arms.
This is similar to push up position when beginning. Make sure that your body is in a horizontal position and straight in the ground. Then, put your hands and wrists under your shoulders. Lift your body for 30 seconds while in the air.
Planking is known to help develop the arms and the core too. Do this for 3 sets of 30 seconds each and take a one-minute break in between. Breathe properly too to sustain the workout.
The next workout is the inverted row and you can do this during breaks at school or at work.
To do this, you need to have a sturdy material such as a table, metal bar, alternative rings or strings, or just a sturdy chair. Start by lying flat on the ground then grab the string or ring with both of your hands. Make sure that your palms are facing away from you or do the overhand grip.
Next, pull yourself off the ground and hold for few seconds while your body is in the air. Be sure to make your body straight and contract your abs. This will develop your shoulders, arms, and core too. Then, get back to your starting position and repeat the routine. You can do this in 15 reps of 3 sets. Make sure to breathe properly so you can finish the workout and remember to have one-minute rest in between each set.
You can do this in 15 reps of 3 sets. Make sure to breathe properly so you can finish the workout and remember to have one-minute rest in between each set.
The next exercise is the triceps dips. This can be done even when you are sitting on your favorite chair. To do this, sit on a chair and grip the sides of it. Make sure that your back is straight and your core is firm. Place your feet flat on the ground.
Then, slightly raise your body using your arms. The technique is to push against the chair so your body will be lifted. Do this slowly and make sure to pause for few second in the air. Do this workout for 15 reps and 3 sets. Make sure as well to break for 30 seconds or one minute between each set.
Another exercise to try is pull-ups. You can do this at home using a metal bar. To start this, place your hands apart in the metal bar. Make sure that your arms are shoulder width apart. Next, while holding firmly the bar, lift your body until your chin reaches the level of the metal bar. You can do this routine for 10 reps in 3 sets.
Pull-ups must be done carefully so you won’t hurt your body. Make sure to have some rest while doing it and breathe accordingly. You can also have water break in between each set.
Another unique workout is the downward dog. This can be done inside your home using a mat on the floor.
To start, lie on the floor with your face down. Raise your body and form a V-shape. Spread your arms shoulder-width apart above your head with the palms facing down. Push your back and your spine must be in a straight line toward the ground. Your head must be in between the arms and doesn’t hang down.
Stay in this position for 30 seconds and gradually get back to the starting position on the ground. Do this in 3 sets and make sure that you take one-minute rest in between.
The next workout is the handstand. This workout doesn’t only develop our body’s ability to balance but it can also develop the strength of your arms and your core.
For beginners, you can do the handstand in front of a wall. To do this, place a mat on the ground and start in a kneeling position and place both of your hands above your head. Make sure that you are near a wall so you can perform the handstand accurately with a support. Sit on your legs and feet while in kneeling position.
Then, move your body in a downward dog position. Push your body upward until you place your head and your arms on the floor. Slowly lift your legs and your feet in the air and above your body. Put your arms on the ground for support.
Let your body stay for about 20 seconds in the air and slowly get back to the starting position. Do this routine for 3 sets of 20 seconds. Make sure that you rest in between sets and do the routine carefully to prevent accidents.
The final arm workout that you can try is the resistance band. You can use bands available in the market or just use old bands from your house.
This is an isolation exercise which is great for developing triceps and other parts of the upper body. To start, grab the two ends of the band and place the center of the elastic band beneath your foot. Then, slowly lift your elbows and arms to shoulder level as you pull the bands above. Do this for 20 reps and switch to another foot.
Slowly get back to the starting position and do this is 4 sets. Make sure to break in between sets too.
In sum, our arms are important too in every workout routine. It is an important part of the body that must be given utmost attention too. The muscles in the arms must be used properly so we can improve balance and body’s performance.
Spending time in arm workouts can yield many benefits such as toning the arms, getting rid of body fats, having good posture and form, and improving speed and stability. There are also various exercises that we can perform to develop our arms even with minimal or no equipment at all. We can do this at our homes and develop thick arms soon.
We must always remember to consult a professional when taking arm exercises to the next level. Also, always eat healthily and have a proper lifestyle to experience optimal result in your workout.