Two exercises for better arms

Machine arms thumbnail_crop

Arms; for those of us who’ve lifted for 40 years plus, arms get the most play by men. For women, legs. Hopefully, that’s started to change. But, check out some of the ‘cuter’ terms from gym-rats. Anyone remember these?

“Curls for girls”


And, my favorite, when someone’s dedicated themselves to arms, and ignored all else: “jailhouse build”.

Whatever the case, maybe partially to do with the way other folks lifted, I’ve never overworked arms. My thought was simple. I knew I’d work my arms in every upper body exercise that I’d ever do. And, I didn’t want to have arms that cramped, or became ineffective in daily living. Granted, as an athlete, I grew up in the era when coaches felt you’d get “slow” if you bulked up. Try as I did, my coaches influenced me long after I played for them. Next to parents, for those of us who took sports seriously, they shaped even our adult lives in ways I never knew they would.

So, arms. I demonstrated curls and tricep pushdowns. Let’s talk about bicep curls, first. The most important thing: keep the tension on the muscle and move smoothly through the course of each rep. I’ve seen lifters detach their bicep from the bone through improper technique. That my friends, requires surgery and leaves a huge impression. I chose a simple standing arm curl.  And, a standing angle curl. Both, sets allow a good burn. Please go to the video to see it.

Tricep push downs. Same rules apply. For that, it was front standing. And, leaning forward, over the head. We used to call those skull crushers, for pretty obvious reasons – when you check out the video.

Finally, the variations for arms exist everywhere. Mainly, work fluidly, keep the tension on the muscle, remain aware of your core, and keep solid form. Form, fluidity, and muscle tension gets results. Trying to lift too much, or jerk the weight, may get a trip to see the surgeon. Yes, that’s drastic, but I’ve seen it. I tend to think in Occam’s razor-like terms about most things. Here, it seems simple enough. Lift carefully. Lift respectfully. Your biceps serve you throughout the day. So, too, your triceps. Therefore, stay consistent, and work your entire body. The “Jailhouse build” looks great. Great, until you see a ‘jailhouse build’ person with their shorts on. Then you notice they look like Arnold Swarzenegger from the waist up and Pee Wee Herman from the waist down.

So, go ahead and do those ‘curls for girls’ and get those ‘guns’ blazing; and as with all things, find a healthy balance. That balance will lead you to: your level best.

Happy lifting.

And, I’ll see you next time.

Love to all: Tony


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