Best Workout For Big Arms With these 6 Awesome Exercises

Table of Contents

Best workout for big armsIn this article, you will find a guide to the best workout for big arms, that you can benefit from in your next training session.

All movements are done with your own bodyweight so you can really perform this workout anywhere, at any time. For this workout, you will notice that it starts with compound movements, followed by a series of isolation movements – a complete way of training your arms optimally.

Training methods


Isometrics are static holds performed in a given exercise – the muscle is contracted but there is no variation of the involved muscle’s length. For example, a pull up exercise called “Frenchies”, commonly used by climbers to increase their pulling strength involves stopping at a 90° angle in the pull up position, and holding it, before continuing. Exercises such as the front lever, plank, back lever, and human flag are all isometric exercises.


Eccentrics are the lengthening phase of the muscle contraction – the phase in which the muscle fibers break down to then be rebuilt in adaptation to the stress they are being put under. Some exercises involve long, eccentric only phases where you lengthen the muscle against a load, for a given amount of time, really controlling the movement, and then resetting yourself manually into the top portion of the movement (usually omitting the concentric phase).

Drop sets:

Drop sets involve repeating the same exercise without rest, gradually lowering the difficulty after each set. For example if you were to perform a drop sets with bicep curls you would pick the highest weight you can use for 10 repetitions, do your set, pick a slightly lighter weight, do another set, and again, until you’ve performed the intended number of sets. It’s up to you to choose how many sets you do or how many progressions/how much weight you take off for every set.

Super sets:

In a super set you will perform two exercises back to back, with minimal rest. Usually done with exercises working opposing muscles such as biceps and triceps, chest and back, or pushing and pulling muscles in general, it can also be done with upper/lower body splits, and more. They are a great method of saving time, reducing the total duration of the workout to an optimal level, without really impacting your overall performance. If you have muscle imbalances, doing pulling and then pushing exercises back to back will help to restore balance and keep your joints healthy (especially the shoulder and scapular area).

The exercises

Chin ups

We chose supinated pull ups in order to give the biceps a maximum amount of stimulae. To elicit a higher hypertrophy response, remember to squeeze at the top of the movement for one to two seconds, and perform a slow, controlled eccentric of around three to four seconds.


The second and last compound exercise in our list for this arm workout are dips. Just like the chin ups above, they will work a bunch of different muscles simultaneously, but will blast especially your triceps, if done right. To really target your triceps, keep a vertical torso, use a narrow hand width, place your legs under your hips and tuck your elbows in.

Pelican curls

These are a often quite underrated bicep exercise that will work wonders for building arm size and strength. There are two ways of approaching this exercise. The first method, and usually best if you are new to this exercise, is to use long 6-8 second eccentrics, to break that muscle fiber down and strengthen it in it’s lengthening phase.

The second option is to perform the exercise with a concentric and eccentric, as you would with any other exercise. This one can be a bit awkward in terms of form if you have never done it before so, watch the video carefully, and do it right.

Bicep curls

On social media and internet in general, you will often hear people say that in terms of bodyweight trainin, doing close grip chin ups alone will provide you with massive biceps. That however, simply is not true. Although some people may have the most favorable genetics possible and therefore have an easier time building up their bicep size with just weighted chin ups alone, for most people, you will need to isolate your biceps with bicep curls or some other form of isolation.

Everyone has already done bicep curls using dumbbells, well this is the best bodyweight variant there is, utilizing gymnastic rings to curl your bodyweight up. Difficulty can be adjusted almost infinitely by placing yourself farther/closer from the rings’ anchor point, elevating your feet, and even using a weight vest, if you have already mastered elevated feet bicep curls.

Performed in a dropset, this exercise will blast your biceps to an extent you may not have felt before. You may also combine it in a superset with tricep extensions, to target every major muscle group in your arms and help them grow as a whole, avoiding any muscular imbalances.

Tricep extensions

Just like the ring bicep curls above, this exercise can also be done with gymnastic rings, or on a smith machine bar, pull up bar at the park, and more. Tricep extensions are one of the most effective tricep isolation moves you can do to build your triceps, so be sure to include them if they feel comfortable.

Remember to keep your arms tucked in and avoid any excessive flaring of the elbows, as well as always performing a clean, controlled movement. This exercise can be used for prehab, bullet-proofing your elbow joints and reducing the chance of developing injuries in that area in the future.

Tricep dips

The second tricep isolation exercise on your list are tricep dips. For a lot of people, if you have issues with tricep extensions, this alternative may benefit you more and prevent you from having any elbow pain. Of course, this exercise may also be easier for you, and you will adapt to it very quickly.

As you cannot augment the difficulty as much and as easily with your own bodyweight, you may have to use weights, or have someone weight you down. Otherwise this is another fantastic tricep isolation exercise that you can perform with limited material.

The routine

Now that we have gone over some of the most effective bodyweight exercises one can do to add strength and mass to your arms, we can intergrate them into a solid routine for optimum efficiency and results. Before we go over sets, repetitions, or rest times though, let’s have a word about form. For maximum results, you will want to perform every repetition with focus, but more importantly, full control over the movement. Explode upwards with maximum force on the concentric phase, and perform the eccentric in a slow and controlled way with a 2 to 4 second descent. Never sacrifice form over repetitions, and focus on a strong mind to muscle connection, as well as time under tension.

Exercise 1: Chin ups – 5 sets of 6 to 12 reps

Exercise 2: Dips – 5 sets of 6 to 10 reps

Exercise 3: Bicep curls – 3 sets of 10 reps

Exercise 4: Tricep extensions – 3 sets of 10 reps

Rest 90 seconds between sets, and 3 minutes between exercises. Can be performed as coupled supersets, to save time, or in standard, exercise after exercise fashion, if that is what you prefer.

For maximum results, it’s usually best to diversify your arm training to a certain degree. You could have two training plans (A and B), and rotate between them every arm workout, or every week. On week A you can do the above routine, and on week B, you can just replace bicep curls and tricep extensions with pelican curls and bench tricep dips.

Best workout for big arms – Conclusion

In this arm training guide, we’ve seen the different training methods you can use to your advantage to boost your arm size and strength, from isometrics, to supersets. Next, we went over the different exercises you can do, and why they should be included into your routine. Lastly, we created a training plan for you with those specific exercises, so that you can benefit from them in the most efficient way possible.

Now of course, you do not have to follow this exact exercise routine; feel free to take exercises out, or add some in, and use it to complete your own current routine. Prepare yourself for some soreness though, because these exercises, especially used together in this routine, will blast your arms and provide you in time, with some impressive size and strength improvements.

What are YOUR favorite exercises when it comes to building that arm size and strength? Comment below!

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