Top 5 Arm Exercises For Men

by David Kingsbury


  • For best results, these exercises should be performed as a circuit. 
  • Perform each movement back to back with no rest until complete. Once complete rest for 2 minutes and repeat the circuit 3 more times. 
  • Do these sessions twice per week after your push and pull days in the gym. 


1. Narrow Chin Ups 

Targets: Biceps and lats 

Benefits: A great move for increasing size and strength.

How to:

  • Start by grasping the bar in a supinated (palms up) position.
  • Your hands should be at shoulder width or slightly narrower.
  • Straighten your arms (fully extended), keeping your torso in line with the upper arms.
  • To begin the ascent, draw your elbows down and back (using the relatively strong upper back and elbow flexor muscles). 
  • Get your chin above the bar and then slowly lower until your arms are almost fully extended but everything is still engaged. Repeat. 

Too difficult? Jump above the bar and perform 5 slow negatives
Too easy? Add weight if you can handle it

2. Zottman Curls 

Targets: Biceps and forearms 

Benefits: Focuses on hitting the biceps hard, whilst the controlled movement ensures no energy is wasted and the focus stays on growing the arms. 

How to:

  • Stand up straight. Hold a dumbbell in each hand at arms length. Your elbows should be close to your torso.
  • Make sure your palms are facing each other. This is the starting position.
  • Whilst holding the upper arm stationary, curl the weights while contracting the biceps as you breathe out.
  • Only the forearms should move. Your wrist should rotate so that you have a supinated (palms up) grip. Continue the movement until your biceps are fully contracted and the dumbbells are at shoulder level.
  • Hold the contracted position for a second as you squeeze the biceps.
  • During the contracted position, rotate your wrist until you now have a pronated (palms facing down) grip with the thumb at a higher position than the pinky.
  • Slowly lower the dumbbells back down using the pronated grip.
  • As the dumbbells close your thighs, start rotating the wrist so that you go back to a neutral (palms facing your body) grip.
  • Aim for 10 reps – each with a 4sec negative 

Variation: You can also perform this exercise seated.


3. Cross Body Curls  

Targets: Biceps and forearms

Benefits: A great a way to add volume and target the biceps in a different way. Do this circuit once and you will fully understand what I mean.

How to:

  • Stand up straight holding a dumbbell in each hand. Your hands should be down at your sides with your palms facing in.
  • Keeping your palms facing in and without twisting your arm, curl the dumbbell of the right arm up towards your left shoulder as you exhale. 
  • Touch the top of the dumbbell to your shoulder. Hold the contraction for a second.
  • Slowly lower the dumbbell along the same path as you inhale.
  • Then repeat the same movement for the left arm.
  • Perform 8 reps each side. Remember to alternate arms.


4. Parallel Bar Dips 

Targets: Triceps, delts and chest

Benefits: Helps to build serious tricep strength and size.

How to:

  • Stand between a set of parallel bars. Place a hand on each bar, then take a small jump to help you get into the starting position with your arms locked out.
  • Begin by flexing the elbow, lowering your body until your arms break 90°. (Note: Avoid swinging and maintain good posture throughout the descent.)
  • Reverse the motion by extending the elbow, pushing yourself back up into the starting position.
  •  Aim for 8-12 reps with a 4sec negative 

Too difficult? Perform them assisted
Too easy? Perform them weighted using a dipping belt

5. Narrow Push Ups 

Targets: Triceps, chest and deltoids

Benefits: These are a really underrated for hitting the triceps and building arm strength and size. Sometimes the classics are the best!

How to:

  • Kneel on all fours with your hands close together so the two index fingers and two thumbs are touching.
  • Straighten your legs out behind you so that your weight is distributed between your hands and toes.
  • Bend your elbows back to lower the chest towards the floor.
  • Push back up to the starting position.
  • Perform 12 reps – with a 3sec negative. 

Too difficult? Perform the push ups on your knees
Too easy? Perform wearing a weighted vest 

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