Among the most visually impressive body parts of a physique are the arms. To grow a pair of arms with fullness in the muscle bellies you have to pay special attention to your triceps, given that they account for 66% of your overall upper-arm development. More than that, you need to know how to isolate each area of your triceps properly because the majority of triceps exercises completely neglect the long head, which leaves you with a very narrow and underdeveloped appearance from certain angles.

In relation to biceps development, it’s essential that you know how to isolate and correctly target both heads of the muscle, which many people neglect to do. I’ve highlighted 10 arm exercises that will help develop your arms properly.


Close-grip Cable Pushdown

Stand close to the cable so it is up against your nose, take a close grip on the bar, push your elbows back, and make sure you keep within that plane of motion. Your ability to generate tension in the long head of the triceps will drastically improve and you will quickly notice the inside of your arms feeling the connection.

Narrow-grip Weighted Dip

In terms of being able to load the triceps with a lot of resistance safely and really awaken your high-threshold motor units, there aren’t many exercises that can compete with narrow-grip weighted dips. To really isolate your triceps, it’s very important that you use a narrow grip; otherwise, most of the stress and load will go into your chest region.

1.5-rep Overhead Cable Extension

This variation will really dramatically increase the amount of tension you experience within your triceps. It will also help activate your long head because of the 1.5-rep tempo.

As you complete a rep, go back to the starting position and then do one half-rep (extending halfway out) before returning back to the starting position, then go again. This loads the triceps at the very point where they’re working the hardest during the rep, which forces more stress in an isolated area.

Incline EZ-bar Skull Crusher

Skull crushers on a low-incline bench increase the tension on the long head. The key is to prevent your elbows from flaring outward, which you will instinctively try to do as the exercise becomes more challenging. Keep your elbows tucked in. Try implementing a one-second pause at the bottom of each rep before extending your triceps.

Reverse-grip Cable Pushdown

This exercise is a great way to finish your triceps off without using too much weight. Stand slightly farther back and lean forward. This will create an angle where you can really squeeze your triceps hard as you extend outward, thus generating more tension.

This exercise may not benefit those who have very limited rotation of the wrists, but the majority of people should have sufficient movement at the wrist joint to experience the benefits of reverse-grip cable pushdowns.


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Close-grip EZ-bar Curl

Tuck your elbows by your sides and allow movement only through the elbow joint to maximize the isolation of the outer heads of the biceps with the exercise. As you fatigue you will naturally want to let your elbows flare, but resist this because you will lose tension within the target area.

Barbell Spider Curl

On a 45-degree incline bench, rest your chest on the pad and leave your arms stretched out straight in front of you toward the floor. Focus on curling the bar up toward your head and utilize a two-second isometric at the top of each rep to maximize the tension within your biceps. Do 10 very slow reps and then 10–20 slightly quicker (still controlled) reps to fill the area with blood. This will depend which week of Y3T you’re currently using.

Cable Preacher Curl

The beauty of cables is that there is always tension present within the biceps. Preacher curls are very effective because they isolate your biceps, with the pad under your arm pit taking your shoulder out of the equation. Do not ever allow the back of your arm to rise off the pad, make sure it remains planted to the bench. This is the only way you can get the most from this great exercise.

Deficit Rope Hammer Curl

Stand on a step to create a deficit so that the range of motion is increased, and use a rope attachment on the cable machine. This is a great exercise for a Week 2 or Week 3 Y3T arm workout because it brings about a great pump within the belly of the muscle.

It’s very important that you “feel” the tension with this exercise so implement a one- to two-second isometric contraction at the top of each rep and really squeeze those biceps hard!

Multi-motion Seated Biceps Curl

I’ve always been a very big proponent of utilizing multiple angles to break the muscle down so that ultimately you take it beyond its natural point of failure and generate more intensity. In this instance, I want you to begin with an incline seated dumbbell curl, from a 45-degree angle. Work to failure and then move the bench into an upright position and then do the same. What you’re doing here is working the muscle in a biomechanically weaker angle and then moving into a stronger position as fatigue kicks in. Ultimately you’re drawing more from that muscle and utilizing multiple loading points to illicit that hypertrophic response you want. – FLEX

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