I think I could be fairly confident in saying that most young wanna-be bodybuilders/ muscle builders think of having big, well defined arms as being their top priority. Whilst I can understand this to a certain degree, these young guys need to realize that it is only 1 part of the over-all total muscle building process that makes up a well balanced physique.
It’s no good having big arms if you have puny legs or no chest for instance, so don’t concentrate all your efforts on just your arms.
A good back workout will also work your biceps and a good chest or shoulders workout will also work your triceps, so no need to over work your arms as this can actually be counter productive.
Bar-bell Bicep Curl
Probably the most common bicep exercise.
Grip the bar-bell at around a shoulder width grip with your palms facing outward. Then curl the bar bar up from the elbows in one smooth continuous movement. Tuck the bar in under your chin, and then lower the bar back to the starting position in a controlled movement. Big breath just before the effort at the starting position and blow out on the way back down. An extra technique which will help to pump your biceps more is to move your elbows up and squeeze your biceps when the bar is tucked into your chin and lower the bar as normal.
E-Z Bar Bicep Curl
The same as the bar-bell curl the only difference is the bar. A shaped bar which makes your wrist angle more natural to reduce wrist strain. Don’t just stick to one exercise or the other, alternate between bar-bell and EZ curl from time to time because they hit the bicep and forearm at slightly different angles.
Use either a bar-bell or an EZ bar over a preacher bench. A preacher bench has a padded rest which you lean over and place your upper arms onto. This prevents you from swinging your upper arms whilst curling and forces you to put 100% effort through your biceps to complete the curl movement.
Start with dumb-bells by your side with palms facing in towards your thighs. Then curl the dumb-bells up from the elbows twisting your wrists out as you curl so that when you reach halfway through the curl movement your wrists are at the same angle as if you were bar-bell curling. Continue up to full curl movement and then controlled on the way back down. Dumb-bell curls are normally performed alternately from right to left arm, this allows you to concentrate on one arm at a time shifting your center of gravity and leaning in slightly towards the arm doing the effort.
Isolated Dumb-bell Curl
Similar to dumb-bell curl above, but performed 1 arm at a time for the whole set. The back of your arm should be supported by a pad such as a preacher curl bench or alternatively sit on a bench and hang the dumb-bell between your legs. Rest the back of your elbow on the inside of your knee and perform a 1 arm dumb-bell curl all the way up till the dumb-bell touches your shoulder, and then control on the way back down. Like the preacher curl, this prevents your upper arm from swinging so you put 100% effort through your bicep.
Tricep Extension on Machine Pulley
Using a tricep pulley machine with a overhead pulley – stand just back from the overhead pulley with a narrow,overhand grip on the bar, elbows by your side with the bar level with your upper chest. At start position your elbows should be almost fully bent. All the movement should be done from your elbows and your upper arms should remain steady though-out the exercise. Push your hands down against the resistance of the weight until your elbows are straight and then control the weight on the way back up to start position. Don’t let the weight rest until you have completed the whole set.
Tricep Extension Pushdown on Machine Pulley
Very similar to the one above, only push the bar down using the movement of your whole arm from the shoulders. A bit like using a road jack hammer. You will need to adjust your center of gravity from the exercise above by leaning forward over the bar and allowing the cable to pass to one side of your head.
Close Grip Bench Press
Similar to the bench press for the chest, but use a narrower shoulder width grip. Take the bar-bell of the bench rack and start with your arms fully extended, bar-bell above your shoulders. Rotate your shoulders forward, bending your elbows at the same time and bring the bar-bell down to your upper abdomen area. Push the bar-bell back up to start position by rotating your shoulders and using your tricep muscle. Try to keep your elbows at shoulder width throughout the exercise. Big breath in when lowering the bar and blow out when pushing the bar back up.
Reverse Barbell Curl
Similar to the bicep curl except the grip is reversed so that your palms are facing in towards you rather than out away from you.
Start with the barbell resting on your thighs, grip about shoulder width. Then curl the bar up like you would with the normal bicep curl. Make sure your wrists remain straight and rigid, then towards the top of the movement curl your wrists up slightly so you can feel a slight burn in the top part of your forearm.
Lower slowly back to the start position.
Bench Wrist Curl
Start with a barbell in your hands with your hands and wrists hanging over the end of a bench. Just using your wrist movement, curl the bar up and down to the maximum movement of your wrists.
You should feel the inside of your forearms start to burn. Now slowly as you lower the bar to stretch out your wrists, uncurl your fingers so the bar rolls down your palms. Before allowing the bar to fall out of your hands, curl your fingers up again to grip the bar and then lift the bar just by contracting your wrists. Repeat this several times until your forearms are ready to explode.
Need more ideas? Here are some successful Body Building Techniques
The most successful body building techniques incorporate proven weight routines. A weight routine is a set of exercises, done in repetition, that develops specific parts of the body. For example, to build chest muscles, a body builder may use a weight routine that incorporates flat bench press (3 repetitions), bench dumbbell (2 repetitions) and inclined bench press (3 repetitions). The other important function a weight routine serves is to split a training program so different muscle groups are used.
Dumbbells are a common piece of equipment used to build bigger biceps. The most popular technique to get the desired result is to hold the dumbbell closer to the inside of the plates. Routines for building biceps include dumbbell curls either inclined or standing, or both.
Building Chest Muscle
Good chest muscle building exercises are routines that incorporate bench presses and flyes. An even more effective way to build chest muscle is to split the chest into 3 zones – upper, middle and lower. By working each separately, using exercises that specifically target that area, you can build up some impressive chest muscle fairly quickly.
For instance, do your upper chest exercises on a 30-45% incline bench. Incline barbell and incline dumbbell flyes are excellent for working upper chest muscles. On the other hand, the lower chest muscles are best exercised using a 30-45% decline bench. You would use decline barbell and decline dumbbell flyes to build these muscles. A flat bench works best for the middle chest muscles. So you’d do flat barbell and flat dumbbell flyes on a flat bench.
Moving Onto Shoulder Training
The shoulders are made up of 3 main muscles – the lateral, anterior and posterior deltoids. Effective shoulder training to get big shoulders requires working all 3. The anterior deltoid usually gets some work in chest workouts. To build up the lateral and posterior deltoids requires additional exercises targeting these two muscles. Generally the best way to do this is with heavy barbell and dumbbell pressing in short reps as opposed to a lot of rep work with lighter weights. You should also focus on shoulder exercises that work effectively with progressive overload, a technique used to progressively add more weight to what is being lifted.
Matching Up The Back With Back Exercises
The back is one area many body builders overlook. But if you want your back to match up with those impressive chest, shoulder and bicep muscles, you will need to include back exercises in your bodybuilding routine.
Good workouts for the Lower Trapezius or lower back muscles include stiff-legged good mornings and hyper-extensions. For the middle back muscles or Rhomboids, you can do a seated cable row and bent-over barbell rows. Your Latissimus Dorsi will benefit from wide-grip lat pull-downs and pull-ups. And last but not least, try upright rows and barbell shrugs for your Trapezius.
But before starting any body-building workout, be sure to warm up properly. This will reduce the risk of damaging muscles and tendons. Stretch the muscles you’re going to be working. Also avoid lifting more weight than your body can capably handle to avoid serious injury.