Without a solid set of shoulders you’ll struggle to build your arms to their full potential. Your shoulders are a secondary muscle group that assist in most exercises for your biceps and triceps. Big arms are always attached to strong deltoids.
They’re the muscles everyone wants to build as they define the notion of upper-body strength. Chances are, a bicep curl was the first exercise you did on your inaugural trip to the gym. The following pages will show you why they’re not the only move that will get you bigger arms.
Also known as the beer-drinking muscle. Its main fundction is to open and close your forearm, meaning it’s utilized more than any other arm muscle. If you’re a fan of bicep curls it’s the one that hurts two days after a session.
When it comes to commanding upper arms, the secret is to target the larger, stronger triceps. They’re secondary group of muscles but assist every arm, chest and shoulder exercise. They take up 60% of your upper arm mass. So you can see why it’s important to keep them in good nick.
The muscle mechanics of your hands are in your forearms. Remember that scene in Terminator 2: Judgement Day, when Arnie pulls its skin back from its wrist? Well we’ve all got the same, only n muscle, not metal. That’s why working them will give you a cast-iron grip.
To get these mini-muscles working all you need to do is lift a finger, literally. They’re behind that finger you raise to hail a cab or call for the bill. Most importantly, they help you let go of things-like a set of heavy weights that you’ve just finished curling.
The deltoid muscles cap your shoulder joints and fill out the top of your T-shirt sleeves. Your arms and deltoids are a team, your deltoids pick up the slack if your biceps and triceps tire during training-so their performance makes a significant difference to both your lifting power and your arm size.
Your triceps are made up of three muscles-the lateral head being most visible. The medial and long head support the showboating lateral head and are essential for co-ordination and range of motion. Even turning the pages of this magazine demands that all three muscles are working properly.
The bulge that appears when you flex is due to two muscles: biceps brachii and brachialis. The key to impressive arms is developing the latter, as when it grows it has no place to go but up. The biceps have limited mobility, thanks to a hinge joint, so engaging the rest of your body to build them is essential.
They work closely with your flexors to close your hand so you can grip things-like that pull-up bar. And they help you rotate your wrist. As for big arms they’ll help you hang onto whatever weight you happen to be using. That’s why strong mitts and forearms go hand in hand with strong arms.
Your brachioradialis is almost constantly active, so it’s used to a high volume of work, making it tough to grow. Size isn’t the main concern here though, it’s strength. A strong brachioradialis ensures great arm size. Without it your arms are about as useful as a piece of over-cooked spaghetti.
They run from the base of each finger and attach to the muscle of your upper arm or the humerus. Each finger has at least one muscle that raises it, with the thumb getting the lion’s share. They all work together to help you move your hand from side to side, as you wave goodbye to your former scrawny arms.