5 BIGGEST MISTAKES WITH YOUR ARM WORKOUTS
I get a lot of questions about arm workouts. I get it. All guys want bigger arms and all ladies want more shapely arms. For men, arms are a sign of strength. For women the arms are one of the first places excess weight shows up.
But simply putting more weight on the bar or adding additional sets usually doesn’t work. The arms, along with a few other muscles, simply don’t respond to the “more is better” approach. If fact, in some cases it’s actually counterproductive.
Don’t make these common mistakes:
1. Putting too much weight on the bar.
It’s tempting to try to impress everyone with 90 pounds on the curl bar or 60 pound dumbbells in each hand. But trying to curl or do skull crushers with that much is counterproductive for most people. Moving that much weight with the relative small bicep or tricep muscle is going to require you to engage your shoulders, back, hips and knees. The result is your biceps or triceps actually get less stimulation. Working heavy on single joint exercises is going to put tremendous stress on the elbow. Trust me you don't want an elbow injury.
2. You bail out too soon.
To get maximum stimulation on the biceps or triceps you don’t need to go to momentary muscle on every set. But you do need to go to failure at least once or twice in a workout. Going to failure can be very uncomfortable but it’s worth it. Be careful to avoid “false failure”-when the discomfort gets high enough you can easily convince yourself that you’ve hit failure when you really haven’t. If you have that problem, try some intensity tricks; rest pause, drops sets, slow negative or partial reps. And always, always use strict form.
3. Sticking with your favorite exercises.
Change the exercises every few weeks. Go to the http://www.alphaedgefitness.com/p/resources.html for examples of exercises for biceps and triceps.
4. Ignoring some of the parts of the muscle
You train biceps by bending your arm. But remember, it’s called a bicep for a reason. It has two parts or heads. You stimulate the tricep by straightening the arm. The tricep has 3 parts (or heads). Each head is stimulated by slightly different movements-mostly controlled by how you grip the weight. Use a neutral grip (palms facing each other like gripping a hammer), a pronated grip ( palms facing down or forward) and a supinated grip (palms facing up or toward your face).Don’t ignore any of the parts of either muscle. Work them all in every workout.
5. Ignoring the seldom discussed “hidden” muscle in your arm.
The Brachialis muscle hardly shows on the exterior of your arm but it can add greatly to the appearance of thickness of the arm and the height if the bicep peak. It mostly lies underneath the head of the bicep. But stimulating the Brachialis you are pushing the bicep higher. Work the brachialis by using lifts with a neutral or” hammer grip”