If you’re looking to pack size onto your bicep and tricep and maximize the development of your arms. Compound arm exercises are a great way to build your muscle mass and develop your strength, as it activates more than one muscle group at a time.
A compound exercise is one that uses multiple muscle groups at the same time to perform a movement. Compound exercises differ from isolation exercises. Those exercises work a single muscle group at a time. A traditional tricep push down is an isolation exercise meant to strengthen the tricep, for example.
The compound arm exercises are highly recommended for those of you who have been trying to achieve stunning arms.
We will give you instructions on how to perform the compound movements correctly and a sample workout that will put some exercises together so that you can maximize your results.
How To Target The Biceps and Triceps
The two types of arm exercises are compound movements and isolation movements.
- Compound arms exercises recruit multiple muscle groups and contribute towards more functional movements. With more muscle groups being recruited, you will also be able to take more load, resulting in faster and more consistent movement patterns, utilizing heavier weights. These include pull-ups, Push-ups and rows, Presses.
- Isolation Arm exercises focusing all the load on one muscle group, no secondary muscles are taking over and making that target muscle group’s life any easier. It involves just extension at the elbow with no other joint movement, such as dumbbell curl, hammer curl, kick back and push down.
The Best Compound Arms Exercises
Here are 10 of the best compound exercises for arms to build muscle mass and strength.
You’ll get more benefits if you introduce some compound exercises into your routine that also work your biceps and triceps.
1. Diamond Push Ups
Diamond push-ups, also known as triangle push-ups, are a more advanced variation of the classic push-up. Practice diamond push-ups by bringing your hands too close together to form a diamond or triangle shape below your chest.
If you’re looking for a good bodyweight movement to train and work your triceps, then diamond push-ups are it.
This is a unique movement because it does a great job of developing the lateral (outermost) tricep head.
Secondary: Lower Pectoralis Major, Upper Pectoralis Major, Anterior Deltoid.
- Get on the floor with your hands together under your chest. Position your index fingers and thumbs, so they’re touching, forming a diamond shape.
- Now extend your arms, so that your body is elevated and forms a straight line from your head to your feet.
- Lower your chest towards your hands, ensuring you don’t flare your elbows out to the sides and keeping your back flat.
- Stop just before your chest touches the floor, then push back up to the starting position.
- Keep your body straight and rigid.
- To make the diamond push-up easier, do it on your knees.
2. Chin Up
The chin-up is a strength training exercise. This is a bodyweight exercise that can induce serious muscle growth of the biceps and back.
In this exercise, the palms are faced towards the body. Since the lifter is pulling their own bodyweight, the biceps are usually exposed to loads heavier than what one can lift with a barbell. Must add this compound bicep workout in your bicep exercises arsenal.
Primary: latissimus dorsi and biceps brachii
Secondary: Teres major, posterior deltoid, infraspinatus, teres minor.
- Grasp a pull-up bar with an underhand grip, hands shoulder-width apart or slightly narrower.
- Straighten your arms, keep your knees bent and cross your lower legs.
- Retract your shoulder blades and pull your body until your chin becomes aligned with the bar.
- Pause for one to two seconds at the top, with the biceps under maximum tension. Slowly lower to the start position.
- Don’t get in the habit of doing half reps and chasing numbers.
- Lower to almost full extension of the elbow but avoid locking out completely.
3. Bench Dip
The bench dip exercise is one of the most basic and best workouts for building the triceps and bigger arms. The feet-elevated bench dip is one of the popular tricep bodyweight exercises for building the triceps, chest, and shoulders.
Elevating the feet brings more chest and shoulder into the movement, and also allows for extra weight on the hips.
Secondary: Anterior Deltoid, Pectoralis Major, Latissimus Dorsi, Pectoralis Minor, Rhomboids
- Place your hands on the side of a flat bench so that your body is perpendicular to the bench when you place your feet out in front of you.
- Sit on one bench and place your feet on the edge of the other bench so that your legs are suspended between the two.
- Your arms should be fully extended with your palms on the bench.
- Bend your elbows to lower your body down until your elbows reach 90 degrees.
- Now extend your arms to lift your body back to the starting position, flexing your triceps hard at the top.
- Really squeeze the triceps at the top of the movement to get the most out of this exercise.
- Do not dip down too low as it places unnecessary strain on the shoulder joints.
4. Inverted Row
The inverted row is another name for bodyweight rows. The inverted row puts your body in a horizontal position, making it easier to perform.
In the gym, most people do this exercise on the smith machine.
But, you can also perform the inverted row at home by lying under a chair, holding the chair’s sides, and pulling yourself up.
Primary: Latissimus dorsi.
- Adjust the height of the chair and bar so that it’s a little higher than arm’s length from the floor.
- Lie under the bar with your legs and body straight. Grasp the bar with an overhand grip that’s a little wider than shoulder width.
- Keeping your legs and body straight, exhale as you pull your chest up to the bar. Hold for a count of two and squeeze your back muscles.
- Inhale as you lower your body until your arms and shoulders are fully extended. Repeat.
- Do not allow your butt to sag. Flex your tummy, squeeze your butt cheeks, and keep your body stiff from your head to your toe.
- Do not allow your elbows to flail. Grab the bar with your hands slightly closer together and keeping your elbows at an angle to your body, similar to doing a bench-press.
- Make sure you go down completely. Lower your body and ensure the arms are extended and raise your body until you touch the chest touches the bar.
5. Close-Grip Dumbbell Press
The close grip dumbbell press is a variation of the dumbbell bench press and an exercise used to build muscle and strength in the triceps.
This position places emphasis on building strength and size in the triceps muscles, as well as the chest.
The close grip dumbbell press is a superior movement when we’re talking about compound arm exercises that will pack mass onto your biceps and triceps.
Primary: Triceps, Pectoralis major.
Secondary: Anterior deltoid.
- Lie back on a flat bench, holding two dumbbells at your chest with a neutral grip.
- Press the dumbbells straight overhead until your arms are fully extended.
- Flex your triceps hard at the top for a second before bringing the weights back down toward your chest.
- Repeat for as many reps and sets as desired.
- Using anything closer than a shoulder-width grip does not increase triceps involvement but may increase stress on the wrists.
- If you’re new to weight lifting and this exercise, use a spotter.
- Inhale slowly as you lower the dumbbell to your chest and exhale during the push upward.
- Perform the exercise using a slow and controlled movement from start to finish.
6. One-Arm Dumbbell Row
One-Arm Dumbbell Row is an excellent full-range exercise to build the lats muscles (Back Muscle).
This helps to work on each side independently, thereby providing better muscle isolation and a longer range of motion.
Primary: Latissimus dorsi.
- Grasp a dumbbell with palm facing in. Rest the opposite hand and knee on a bench, keeping your spine straight and just above parallel to the floor.
- Pull the dumbbell vertically upward alongside your torso, raising the elbow as high as possible.
- Slowly lower the dumbbell as low as possible, feeling a good lats spread.
- Repeat on the other side.
- Keep motion under strict control for better isolation.
- Avoid hunchback bending as it leads to Injury.
7. Barbell Overhead Press
Shoulder Press Exercise is the best shoulder muscle mass builder exercise. Its remains the grand-daddy of all shoulder exercises to build big, round shoulder muscles and at the same time this hits tricep muscles.
Performing the exercise while seated upright is a stricter version than standing and prevents cheating the weight upward using momentum generated by the legs.
Primary: Anterior deltoid.
Secondary: lateral deltoid, triceps, and upper pectoralis.
- Sit on an exercise bench and grab a bar with an overhand grip.
- Bring the bar over and in front of your head, under your chin, and just above your upper chest.
- Now Press the bar straight up overhead until your arms are fully extended but not locked out.
- Slowly lower the bar back to the starting position.
- Perform a warm-up with 50% weight for 1-2 sets.
- Always perform the Shoulder Exercises before you perform triceps.
8. Bent Over Barbell Rows
If you are looking to strengthen and add massive muscle to the upper back and arms then bent over barbell rows is the best upper back exercise.
Primary: Latissimus dorsi
Secondary: Biceps, Erector spinae, trapezius, rhomboids, rear deltoid.
- Stand with a narrow stance and grab a bar with overhand grip.
- Bend your torso forward at an angle of 45 degrees to the floor with the knees slightly, and let the bar hang in front of you.
- Now use the back and raise the bar until it touches the abdominal region and not the chest region, as it reduces back muscle contraction.
- Slowly lower the bar under control to starting position.
- Do not use more weight than you can handle. This fatigues your spinal erectors and say goodbye to form.
- Exhale on pushing movement, and inhale when returning to the starting position.
- Hold a neutral spine throughout the movement to prevent injury.
9. Landmine Press
The Landmine chest Press is not a popular exercise yet provides many benefits in regard to progressing your inner and upper chest but also in the muscles that work alongside – the triceps and the deltoids.
It can be performed in kneeling position, which increases core involvement and can improve core stability and strength of the abdominal muscles.
Primary: Pectoralis major,
Secondary: Triceps, Anterior deltoid, Core.
- Place a barbell in a landmine holder or set up a barbell in a corner. Then add weight plates to the free end of the barbell.
- Assume a half kneeling position with the knee under your hip, toes tucked, and rib cage down.
- Press the barbell up straight in front of you until your arms are extended, avoiding hyperextension at the elbows.
- Hold the weight for a second and focus on contracting your chest muscles.
- Slowly lower the weight back towards your chest and then repeat for the recommended reps
- To secure the barbell, you can interlock your hands around the bar.
- Lean your body forwards slightly and engage your core muscles to help with stabilization.
- Exhale on pushing movement, inhale when returning to starting position.
- Contract the chest muscle at the top of the movement.
10. Landmine Row
The Landmine row is the classic landmine exercise. It is going to do an absolutely stellar job of targeting your lats, traps, posterior delts and Biceps.
T bar rows is a tough exercise, but building a strong back and arm is a must to develop a quality physique, stay injury-free, and back pain-free for life.
Primary: Latissimus dorsi.
- With the barbell loaded, stand over the bar with a wide stance. Get into a bent over position with your spine straight and chest up.
- Bend at the hips and keep your back arched throughout the movement.
- Lift the bar until the bar touches your chest, keeping the back straight.
- Now slowly lower the bar until it nearly touches the ground.
- Exhale while you exert.
- Avoid hunchback bending as it leads to Injury.
- Go Complete range of motion.
Arm Exercises & Workout Samples
Compound Arm Workout Plan #1
- Diamond Push-Ups: 4 sets of 8-15 reps.
- Chin Up: 4 sets of 8-10 reps.
- Close-Grip Dumbbell Press: 3 sets of 8-10 reps.
- Landmine Row : 3 sets of 10-15 reps.
Compound Arm Workout Plan #2
- Bench Dip: 4 sets of 8-12 reps.
- Inverted Row: 4 sets of 8-10 reps.
- Barbell Overhead Press: 3 sets of 8-10 reps.
- Bent Over Barbell Rows: 3 sets of 12-15 reps.
Q. Train Your Arm Twice Per Week.
Training your arm twice per week can provide a nice stimulus for greater growth. This muscle group recovers fairly quickly, so 2-3 days between workouts is all you need.
Q. What are compound exercises for arms?
Above is a list of some of the best compound exercises for arm that you should try out if you want to see better results with your workouts.
Q. How to combine compound arm exercises at home workout:
There are many arms compound exercises that you can do at home with dumbbell and bodyweight. Follow the below-mentioned technique.
- Choose three of the exercises and do 8-12 repetitions.
- Do three sets of each exercise, with 90-120 seconds of rest between sets.
- Arm workout can be done at least 2 days a week with a minimum of 48-72 hours rest in between.
Q. Why are compound Arm exercises good.
Compound arm exercise allows you to get a full-body workout in less time, keeps your heart rate up offering cardiovascular benefits and generally burns more calories.
This compound arm exercises are highly recommended for anyone interested in building a bigger bicep and tricep and who wants to gain strength.
It not only allows for targeted muscle development, but also provides an overall best look. It is easy to do and requires no more scientific details and fancy equipment. Incorporate some exercise from these compound arm exercises into your arm workout regimen.
If you do these arm compound exercises consistently, the results will speak by themselves.
Thanks for reading.
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