February 13, 2024 4 min read

The warmer weather will be here before you know it ... and if you want to look your best at the pool this year, you have to start putting in the work now!

And if you're anything like me, you always want some lean, muscular ... and flat out good lookin' arms when tank-top season arrives.

So, today I want to share with you 5 of my favorite arm workouts.

But first ... let's take a look at the muscles that make up your arms.

I actually group together both my arms & shoulders when doing a full arm workout, which includes:

-Biceps - Front of your upper arm

-Triceps - Back of your upper arm (the key to good lookin' arms ... because most of your arm is actually tricep muscles!)

-Deltoids - The main shoulder muscles

I just tend to consider your shoulders part of your arms, so I do them both together ... which is just personal preference on my end.

Now, if you're really trying to make your arms look great ... starting add these 5 exercises to your routine:

1. Overhead Press - This movement is going to focus on your deltoid (shoulder) muscles, but also adds some work to your triceps too. It can be performed in a variety of ways:

-Standing or seated
-Using dumbbells, a barbell, or even bands/cables
-Can be done using one arm, alternating arms, or both arms

2. Lateral Raises - These mainly focus on your deltoids too, but they can really get those shoulder muscles to "pop" ... making your entire arm look much better & more muscular. Broader, more muscular shoulders also help make your waist look tighter! Lateral raises can be done in multiple ways:

-Seated or standing
-Using dumbbells, cables or bands
-Can be done with both arms, alternating arms, or one arm at a time

3. Bicep Curls - Yeah, yeah ... obvious pick right? But there's also quite a few variations of the bicep curl that can help improve it's effectiveness:

-Seated or standing bicep curls (seated can actually force you to use more of your actual bicep, and prevent you from using standing momentum to lift the weight)
-Using dumbbells, barbells, EZ bars, cables, machines ... and bands can all be used when doing a bicep curl movement
-Trying different variations like hammer curls, reverse curls, preacher curls, spider curls, ... and even more unique movements like Zottman curls
-You can also do these movements using one arm at a time, alternating arms, or doing both arms together

4. Tricep Extensions - Probably another more "common" arm workout ... but there's multiple different variations you can do with this one as well, including:

-Using cables, ropes, dumbbells, barbells, EZ bar, etc.
-Using different attachments like a rope, v-bar, straight bar, or just a cable itself
-Performing a lying tricep extension or standing tricep extension (I like doing these with an EZ bar, both seated & standing!)

5. Dips - Mainly a tricep movement, but you'll get a little chest & shoulder work here too. Dips are almost a complete upper body movement, but I tend to really focus on the tricep when I do them.

-Dips can be done using a bench or what's called a Captains Chair (most gyms have one)
-You can perform these with body weight, a weight on your lap if using a bench, or attach a weight using a belt, etc. (weighted dips greatly increase the difficulty & load on the triceps)

Now that you have some great exercises to choose from to create a killer arm workout ... I want to leave you with a couple more points on what makes a "good" workout.

-An effective workout doesn't have much to do with the exercises you're performing ... and everything to do with the effort you give (any workout plan "works" if you're giving your best effort)

-Form & execution of your workouts matter much more than the weight you're using (work on your form first, then add weight)

-Make sure to track your progress & work to improve (add an extra set, rep, more weight, etc. ... progression creates results)

-If you're not eating properly, your workouts really don't matter (make sure your diet reflects your goals)

I'd also suggest starting with a 1-2 set warm-up, then 3-4 sets of each movement you do ... and shoot for somewhere between 8-12 reps. You should also struggle to get the last couple reps ... don't just go through the motions. That's a big part of seeing results!

But if you pay attention to the points above, and implement some of the workouts I mentioned ... there's no doubt you have some of the best looking arms at the pool this summer.

And if you have anymore questions about workout plans, diet, supplements or anything health & wellness related ... just drop into see us at your local S2 & we'll be happy to help!

*This article was written by Andrew Lynn, who has a Bachelor's of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics. He is also a NASM Certified Personal Trainer and NASM Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist.