Everyone wants bigger arms, but not everyone is quite sure how to get them. Those that might have some idea might not be doing the exercises for them correctly, either, leading to wasted effort and possible injury.

So check out this list of some of the most effective exercises out there to build those bi’s and tri’s and get you looking jacked quick!

1. Barbell curl

The barbell curl is one of the most basic exercises you can do to get bigger arms. To do a barbell curl, stand upright, holding the barbell with your hands should width apart, elbows close to the torso.


From there, simply curl the weights towards you, activating your biceps, and bring the bar up to about shoulder level. Then slowly release, bringing the barbell back down to the starting position, and start all over again. This is a great workout to really target the biceps, and it also helps add muscle to your forearms and shoulders a bit as well.

2. Dumbbell curl


Similar to the barbell curl, the dumbbell curls really blast the biceps and help them to grow. The procedure for a proper curl is also very similar to the barbell curl, albeit with independent dumbells instead of one barbell. Again, stand straight, elbows to your side, and curl the weights up towards you. You can do both together, or alternate one or the other, both are just as good!

3. Hammer curl

The hammer curl is a variation on the standard bicep curl, but this exercise targets a different muscle group on the arm, specifically the brachialis and brachioradialis, which are often forgotten about.


To do a proper hammer curl start off standing just like you would with a regular dumbbell curl, but turn your palms in to face your body and then lift at the elbow, raising the weight up towards your shoulder.

Think or yourself using a hammer (hence the name) to get a visual of what you should be doing, and remember not to go too fast. You want to maximize the TUT, or time under tension, for the muscles to really get the most from this routine.

4. Close grip bench press

When most people to a bench press, they think of the standard, chest blasting exercise, but that same machine can be used to pump up your arms as well.


All you need to do to shift the muscle focus here is bring your arms closer together, about shoulder width apart. Lift the bar and lower it down, keeping your elbows as close to the torso as possible to really maximize the triceps involvement, then bring it back up and repeat. This is a great way to really buff out those tris and build thicker arms.

5. Overhead Tricep Press

Another triceps exercise, the overhead tricep press can be done either seated or standing, but both are a great workout. To do the overhead tricep press, simply grab a weight that you feel most comfortable with, and with two hands hold it behind your head.


The head of the weight should be resting on the palms of your hands, elbows perpendicular to the floor at the start. From there lift the weights straight up into the air, fully extending the arm, and then slowly lower it back down to the starting position. Most people prefer to use dumbbells for this exercise, but an EX bar can be used as well, holding it by the center of the bar rather than the head of the dumbbell.

6. Pushdowns

The triceps are key to swoll arms, so we might as well keep focusing on them. The triceps pulldown is another great way to work these muscles out, and any gym worth its salt will have these machines on hand.


To do a pushdown, start by standing straight and grasping the bar or rope with both hands facing down, shoulder width apart and forearms perpendicular to the floor. With only a slight forward lean, use your triceps to push the bar/ripe down towards the ground, fully extending your arms.

Hold it there a moment, and then slowly bring it back up to the starting point. Remember to breathe, and you will start to feel the burn in no time.

7. Dips

Dips work the tricep primarily, but also give a kick to the anterior deltoid, the pectoralis muscles, and the rhomboid muscles of the back as well.


These are good too because you don’t really need any equipment for them, just two bars or something else to stabilize yourself on, and you are good to go! To do a dip the right way, just grab onto the bars and lift yourself into the air, so your feet are off the ground and arms straight and extended at your sides, then lower your body so your shoulders are below your elbows. From there, just lift yourself back up again, resuming the starting position, and do it all over again.

8. Reverse curls

Reverse curls are great for building bigger biceps, and they also help with one often overlooked variable: grip strength. To do a reverse curl, you can use either dumbbells or a barbell, whichever suits you, and then get into the start position for a regular curl.


The difference here, however, is that rather than grasping their weights in the traditional manner, they need to reverse their hands, so that their palms are facing their body at the start. As they lift, the palms should face away from you, bringing the weight up to your shoulders. Do this a couple times a week, and watch both your arms and your grip improve.

9. Close grip chin-up

The close grip chin-up is great for targeting your lats and biceps and is another that doesn’t require much more than something that can support your body weight. To start, begin in a “dead hang” or hanging in the air, arms fully extended over your head, and your hands about 6 to 8 inches apart.


Angle your legs in front of you, and then press your thighs together and engage your abs to keep your body rigid while you pull yourself up towards the bar. Bring yourself up to your neck or upper chest reaches the bar, and voila! You’ve done a close grip chin-up!

10. Overhead cable curl

The overhead cable curl, the final exercise on this list, can really isolate the biceps and build some serious mass. To start, make sure that you are working with the same amount of weight on each side of the pulley machine (this might sound obvious, but you’d be surprised how many accidents can happen from an uneven distribution).


Adjust the height so that the handles are higher than your shoulders, and stand between the two, using an underhand grip to take hold of each. Then, just bend your arm at the elbow, pulling the two handles closer to each other, and then release slowly back to the starting position. Repeat this as many times as you want.