Six Moves to Strengthen Your Arms

Six Moves to Strengthen Your Arms video

What’s your motivation for working out? Common responses include: building muscle, injury prevention, losing a few pounds and getting stronger. One popular underlying reason is wanting to look good.

Some people might be hesitant to share that but they shouldn’t be. There is nothing wrong with wanting to look good and feel good about yourself. From a mental standpoint, looking better means feeling better, which leads to a more confident outlook on life and more self-esteem. And who doesn’t want to feel good about themselves the next time they hit the beach?

Most guys out there will consistently train their “mirror muscles,” meaning just the muscles they can see when they stand in front of the mirror. Chest, abs, shoulders and biceps top the list. While there’s nothing wrong with training those body parts, it’s traditionally more effective and safer to go with a full-body approach and work the muscles on the backside of the body as well. In addition to those mirror muscles, include the hamstrings, glutes, back and triceps, just to name a few.

Once you’ve got a solid full-body program down, a simple approach is to pair up pulling movements like Total Gym seated rows with pushing movements like Total Gym chest press. This is an extremely effective approach when focusing on arm training.

Pulling movements like the Total Gym pullup that involve the elbow flexion target the biceps or front of the arms. Pushing movements like Total Gym close grip pushups that involve elbow extension target the triceps or back of the arms.

There are also forearm and hand/finger muscles to consider. For the majority of the general population, these muscle groups will be adequately strengthened with these movements listed below.

Workout Options:

Option 1:

A 10-15 minute Total Gym “trip to the gun show” at the end of your training session a couple times a week and you’ll have them ready for beach season in no time. The routine below includes three pushing movements that focus on the triceps and three pulling movements to target the biceps. Perform these 6 movements in a circuit-style fashion. Once you complete all 4 exercises, repeat them again for 2-3 total rounds.

Option 2:

You could also pick two of these movements (one bicep and one tricep) and incorporate them into a full-body routine that include squats and presses and other movements that target the rest of the body.


Movement 1: Total Gym Pull-ups – 10 reps

Movement 2: Close Grip Pushups – 10 reps

Movement 3: Lying Bicep Curls – 10 reps

Movement 4: Lying Tricep Extensions – 10 reps

Movement 5: Single Arm Bicep Curls w/Iso-Hold – 10 reps/side

Movement 6: Single Arm Tricep Kickback w/Iso-Hold – 10 reps/side

Doug Balzarini

Doug Balzarini, CSCS, MMA-CC, is a personal trainer, strength coach, international presenter, and the founder of DB Strength. He also owns a fitness facility outside of Boston called, “Iron Village Strength & Conditioning”. He was the head strength and conditioning coach for the Alliance MMA Training Center where he worked with many top professional MMA athletes. He has also worked at Fitness Quest 10 in San Diego and, most recently, spent a year in Saudi Arabia where he designed and created programming for a new state-of-the-art facility. Visit or for more information.

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