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Arm muscle training: 6 best exercises for you

Many gym-goers want larger arms, among other things, and decide to train the arm muscles for this. Doing compound exercises already have a noticeable effect on the arms, but this can of course be supplemented with exercises that are directly intended to train the arm muscles.

In this blog, we explain, among other things, which muscles you need to train to get bigger arms, how often you can do this and which exercises are suitable for this. In addition, we give tips for training your arms at home and we answer a number of interesting questions. In short, everything you need to know to get muscular arms!

Which arm muscles do you train?

When people think of training the arm muscles, they often think of the biceps. However, did you know that your triceps are responsible for most of the mass in your upper arm? And since your upper arms are often covered by your clothes, it is also important to train your forearms if you are doing it for aesthetic reasons? Below we give brief information about the biceps, triceps, and forearms.


You can think of your biceps as the muscle group on the front of your upper arm. When people talk about muscles, they often refer to this muscle group. You can divide it into two different muscle heads, a long and a short muscle head, which in some cases is really visible. Often people emphasize this muscle group when they decide to train the arm muscles, in order to get real muscles.


The triceps are like the back of your upper arm. As mentioned, this muscle group is responsible for the largest part of the mass in your upper arm. This muscle group is most visible when you extend the arm and let it be the position in which you have your arms most often. The triceps are also easy to train by doing exercises for the arm muscles.

Arm muscle training


The last muscle group that we count when we talk about training arms muscles is the forearms. You often train your forearms indirectly when you train the biceps or triceps, but you can also train them separately to put extra emphasis on this. In addition to muscular forearms, this can also provide a stronger grip, which can be useful for other exercises.

How often do arm muscles train?

Your arm muscles are relatively small muscles if you compare them to, for example, your chest, back, or legs. In addition, you unconsciously train the arm muscles a lot while performing exercises that target other muscle groups. Think, for example, of your triceps during the bench press, your biceps during barbell rows, and your forearms during deadlifts. Since you already use these muscles quite a lot and train them unconsciously, in some cases it is enough to train them once a week.

Of course, it differs per person what is preferred. In any case, it does not hurt to train your arm muscles more than once a week. In that case, make sure you have recovered from the previous workout.

The best exercises to train arm muscles

We have selected the 6 best exercises to train your arm muscles. We have worked out 2 exercises for each muscle group. The advantage is that you can do most of them not only in the gym but also easily at home. You only need a barbell or dumbbells. Do you want to know which exercises there are? Then take a look at our overview of fitness exercises for the biceps, triceps, and forearms.

Barbell curls

The classic among the exercises for the biceps is really the barbell curl. You will need a barbell and some discs that you can use to make it heavier. You can perform the exercise with both a straight bar and an EZ bar.

Dumbbell curls

The dumbbell curl is an exercise that most people are familiar with. Hold a dumbbell in both hands and then move the forearm up, keeping the upper arm straight at your side.

For a closer look at the dumbbell curl, watch this video:

Close grip bench press

Most people associate bench presses with chest training. However, you will notice that when you hold the barbell more narrowly, your triceps are put to work. That is why the close grip bench press is seen as an exercise for your triceps. So you can use the bench press to train your arm muscles.

For a closer look at the close grip bench press, watch this video:

Triceps french press

Not only is a french press a machine for making coffee, but it is also the name of an effective exercise for your triceps. This exercise primarily targets most of your triceps, which is ideal if you're looking to build bigger arm muscles. It may feel a bit uncomfortable in your elbows at first. Then make sure you take less weight and focus on the performance first. This also gives your tendons and joints time to get used to the load.

For a closer look at the triceps french press, watch this video:

Reversed grip barbell curls

When you do the regular barbell curls with a reversed grip, you will notice that your forearms take over a large part of the load from the biceps. For this reason, you can use the reversed barbell curl as an exercise for your forearms.

Watch this video for a closer look at the reversed grip barbell curls:

Farmer’s walk

Farmer's walk involves holding a heavy object in both hands while walking with it. This demands a lot from your grip and therefore also from your forearms. You can easily perform the exercise in the gym with heavy dumbbells, but it is also possible outside the gym. Basically, you just need to have two heavy objects with a handle. Think, for example, of crates of beer or heavy shopping bags.

Watch this video for a closer look at the farmer's walk:

How many sets should you do?

There is no minimum or maximum amount of sets you need to do to successfully train arm muscles. Most schedules have 3 or 4 sets per exercise, excluding warm-up. This is therefore a good place to start if you have not trained your arm muscles often.

Training arm muscles at home

You can also work out at home to train your arm muscles. This is really easy if you have a set of dumbbells or a barbell at home. Of course, not everyone has this in-house, so it sometimes requires some extra creativity from you. For example, for triceps, you can do dips from the couch and for your biceps, you can do a curl with a well-filled bag or backpack. For your forearms, you can then do the same exercise for your biceps, but with a reverse grip, or do a farmer's walk with your heavy shopping bags or beer crates.

Do you want tips on how to train your arm muscles at home? Check out this blog about training at home.

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