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7 easy arm exercises to try in the gym


If you want to tone and strengthen your arms, we've put together a list of the top 7 arm exercises, plus an arm workout for you to try in the gym.

Barbell curl

Targets: biceps

  1. Stand with feet shoulder width apart, holding the barbell at shoulder-width grip with palms facing upwards.
  2. Keeping the upper part of your arms stationary, curl the barbell up towards your shoulders using your biceps.
  3. Pause when you reach shoulder level then slowly lower the barbell back to starting position.

Press ups

Targets: chest, shoulders, triceps, abs

  1. Start in high plank position with hands and feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Make sure your arms are in straight so your wrist, elbow and shoulders line up. Brace your core.
  3. Slowly lower your chest towards the floor by bending the elbows, until you're about an inch or two away, whilst keeping your shoulders in line with your hips.
  4. Power up back into high plank position.

Tricep rope push down

Targets: triceps

  1. Attach a rope attachment to a high pulley cable machine.
  2. Grab the rope so palms are facing each other.
  3. Stand upright with feet shoulder width apart.
  4. Position arms so they're close to your body and perpendicular to the floor.
  5. From this position, extend your arms pulling each side of the rope to the side your thighs.
  6. Keep your elbows close to your body.
  7. Your upper arms should remain stationary.
  8. Then slowly bring the rope in slowly back to starting position. 

Tricep dips

Targets: triceps and shoulders

  1. You can use a dip station or bench to perform tricep dips. Whichever you decide, arm positioning is key.
  2. Hands should be rough shoulder-width apart on machine with arms straight.
  3. Brace your core and push your shoulders away from your ears. Initiate the movement by bending your elbows to about 90 degrees.
  4. Your forearm should remain relatively still.
  5. Pause at the bottom and power up by extending your arms by pushing into the surface. 

Drag curls

Targets: biceps

  1. Grab a barbell with an underhand grip, with hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
  2. Stand tall and engage your core. Bring your elbows and shoulder back as you 'drag' the barbell up towards your chest.
  3. Squeeze your biceps and the tops and lower the weights in a controlled manner.

Skull crushers

Targets: triceps

  1. Lie flat on the bench with a dumbbell in each hand (or a weighted barbell with both hands). Make sure you head is near the edge of the bench.
  2. Carefully extend your arms so the weight is above your head.
  3. Bending at the elbows slowly lower the dumbbells towards your shoulders and pause
  4. The return to start position and repeat.

For more exercises to help develop shapely arms, check out these 8 bicep exercises you can do in the gym.

If you're not sure how to perform any of these exercises, please don't be afraid to ask a personal trainer. The PTs our gyms would be more than happy to help you so you can perform these exercises safely and correctly. 

While building your upper body might be your main focus, don't forget or neglect training your lower body to avoid muscular balances and help you function not just in fitness but for everyday life.

For lower body workout ideas, check out our free workout guide.

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