7 Arm Exercises That Will Give You Popeye-Like Pipes

7 Arm Exercises That Will Give You Popeye-Like Pipes


Popeye had it right – nothing can give you bigger and stronger arms than picking up the occasional can of spinach (or, if you’re lucky enough to be a sailor, some actual spinach). Of course, we don’t recommend that you start chugging cans of your favorite greens in order to build up those arms. Instead, try out one or more of these seven arm exercises to see your triceps and biceps bulge with each repetition.

The Barbell Bench Press

The bench press is a classic chest and triceps workout that can quickly give you strong, toned arms. Place your feet flat on the floor beneath your knees and keep your back straight, avoiding hunching over. Grab onto a barbell with both hands and hold it at arm’s length in front of you (it should be resting across your thighs, not touching them). From there, lift it up until your arms are fully extended. With control, lower it back down to just above chest level and repeat as many times as possible for one set. Make sure to avoid bouncing—as much as possible—in order to protect yourself from injury.

The Arnold Press

Developed by bodybuilding legend Arnold Schwarzenegger, is a variation of the classic shoulder press that targets your triceps as well as your shoulders. The exercise will give you big arms and make them appear larger than they actually are. Here’s how to do it: Start by kneeling behind a bench with your back facing towards it. Hold a dumbbell in each hand and rest them on top of your thighs (the side of each forearm should be touching one side of your thigh.) Inhale deeply and raise both arms until they are parallel to the floor, squeezing at your elbow. As you exhale lift both dumbbells over head until your elbows touch behind you.

The Bent Over Row

This is a fantastic bicep exercise that can be done almost anywhere and works nearly every muscle in your arm. Although you can use dumbbells or weight machines, I prefer to do bent over rows with a barbell. Grab a barbell that’s heavy enough so that you can only do six to eight repetitions. Stand up straight with your knees slightly bent and toes pointed forward for better balance; then bend forward at your waist until you’re just short of being parallel to the floor. Keeping your back straight and knees slightly bent, pull the bar toward your chest as far as possible, making sure not to lock out at any point (this will put more stress on your shoulders). Squeeze for a second and slowly return to starting position.

The Lateral Raise

Whether you’re talking about building up triceps or carving out a six-pack, lateral raises are one of the go-to exercises for building upper body strength. They’re relatively simple and don’t require any equipment. Just grab a dumbbell or medicine ball, hold it by your sides, and lift. But be sure to do them right! Here’s how: Start with light weights until you perfect your form and then slowly build up from there. Each time you lift, focus on keeping your shoulders down and back as you raise straight out to either side—not up in front of you. And finally, don’t let those arms lock out at full extension; keep them slightly bent throughout to protect your joints and improve muscle activation.

The Incline Curl

Incline curls are an excellent exercise for developing your biceps and forearms. What makes them different from normal curls is that they target a different part of your forearm—the lower, or outer part of your forearms called your brachioradialis. This muscle helps with gripping and lifting, so you can expect stronger arms if you do incline curls consistently. By isolating specific parts of muscles, you can train them to perform better when used in their intended way.

The Triceps Dip

This exercise is all about hitting those triceps! Grab a chair, bench or workout ball and put yourself in an upright position with your arms straight above you. Bend your elbows to 90 degrees, then bend forward at your waist so that only your hands are on floor. Keep pushing until you are parallel to the ground, then slowly raise back up. Repeat 10 times for 3 sets. This will tone up those triceps like nobody’s business!

The Overhead Dumbbell Extension

This upper arm exercise works your triceps and shoulders. It is easy to do at home with a pair of dumbbells. Stand up straight holding a dumbbell in each hand overhead, resting on top of your shoulders. Slowly bend both elbows until they are at right angles, hold for two seconds, then slowly extend your arms back up to starting position and repeat. This can be done standing up or sitting down. Start with one set of 10 repetitions, followed by another set in which you lift heavier weights (go for maximum weight that you can handle). For example, try 3 sets of 10 repetitions using 5 lb weights on one day, and then follow that with 2 sets of 10 repetitions using 8 lb weights on another day.

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