Don't make these Arm workout mistakes!
We love a good arm workout. Arm workouts provide such satisfying results that we cannot help but want to be even better and bigger than our previous workout. Not to mention women love men with strong proportional arms.
While arm workouts are pretty straight forward, there are certainly some things you can do wrong. Strenuous arm workouts can often lead to serious unwanted injuries that you don't even know about. Another thing you might do wrong is to do a certain type of workout that does not necessarily do anything for you. Here, we will highlight some things to avoid in your arm workouts and some things you could try instead.
Why you need to avoid it: Bicep curls are probably one of the most common forms of arm workouts. When you walk into a gym, the chances are extremely good that you will see a guy in the corner, in front of a mirror, doing a bicep curl. While there is nothing wrong with a bicep curl you will find that it is not extremely effective. Bicep curls are great in that you can stand, sitting, you can do it with dumbbells or barbells yet they only produce some mass.
What you can do instead: A pull op or a chin-up is a much better alternative if you want to tone your biceps. It does just as much as a bicep curl but it also forces you to move from the shoulders and recruit the tricep. So they are overall a better alternative for when biceps are your focus.
Why you need to avoid it: Dips are another very popular arm workout. You can do them on bars, chairs, benches, or even on short walls. Dips are great for working those triceps. However, dips require way too much internal shoulder rotation, especially when done on a bench or a chair. Too much internal shoulder rotation damages the rotator cuff.
What You Should Do Instead: Opt for Dumbbell skull crushers. This form of exercise shapes the triceps without taxing the shoulders. Also, these skull crushers can build coordination between the upper back and tris. Lie on your back with your torso facing upward on a bench. With one dumbbell in each hand, raise your arms so they are above your chest. Make sure your elbows are straight but not locked. Slowly lower both arms toward your head, bending your elbows 90 degrees as the dumbbells reach the mat. Then pull back to starting position.
Why you need to avoid it: While there is nothing wrong with doing tricep kickbacks it’s difficult to push a heavy enough dumbbell without leveraging other parts of the body.
What you can do instead: Diamond pushups. Diamond push-ups are regular push-ups but with thumbs and index fingers together. These push-ups hit the triceps a lot more effectively while also targeting the biceps and shoulders.
Why you need to avoid it: Just like bicep curls, hammer curls are one-dimensional moves that work in a single area. You can hit the same area more effectively with other alternative moves that also provide great benefits in other areas.
What you can do instead: A waiter's carry. Writers carry hits the forearms while also challenging your posture and overall core stability. To do waiters carry, hold a kettlebell or a dumbbell straight over your head with your arm fully extended and begin walking. Switch arms and repeat. For a more challenging workout, use a weight plate and hold it over your head like a waiter would hold a tray.
Weighted arm circles
Why you need to avoid it: Weighted arm circles are not our favorite because of the undue pressure it places on the shoulders. Even though it proves to be a great exercise to add to your yoga or pilates class, we want you to steer clear of this one.
What you can do instead: Physioball Ys and Ts are excellent alternatives that give you a much more effective exercise. For this exercise, you need to lie facedown on a physioball. Next, bring your shoulder blades together to raise your arms to a "Y" and then a set of "T" for 10 reps each. You'll strengthen and stabilise the shoulders which counters the effects of sitting and even reduces the risk of a shoulder injury.
Who knew arm workouts could be so complicated, right? All we want is for you to get the maximum out of your workout. If you are unsure about any of the above mentioned workouts, don't hesitate to ask your Fitness Fables, trainer.