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Bodyweight exercises can be great up to a certain point. Likely soon you need equipment to keep gaining a lot of arm muscle with your workouts.
The way you build muscle in places like your arms is by straining and damaging your muscles. This may seem counterintuitive but this makes it so your body starts processes to repair them and build a little extra to be better prepared for similar efforts in the future.
Generally the more weight you have to move, the easier it becomes to strain your muscles enough for muscle growth in a short amount of time.
Initially, bodyweight exercises may be enough to build tricep, front deltoid, and middle deltoid muscle. However, at some point, you likely need to do arm exercises with equipment to keep seeing a lot of muscle gain. Your biceps, forearms, and part of the deltoids are hard to work out without equipment anyway.
In short, you will likely benefit from implementing some of the equipment on this list in your arm workouts. Keep in mind that even though there are upsides, your injury risk is generally also higher when you do exercises with more weight/resistance. You may want to talk to your primary care provider before starting a new workout routine.
Arm workout equipment at home
Most people know that you can build muscle at the gym. Luckily you don’t need the full setup of an entire gym to get in a good arm workout. One or two relatively inexpensive pieces of fitness equipment are often enough.
Free weights are heavy pieces of fitness equipment that are not attached anywhere. Some examples of free weights are a barbell, dumbbells, kettlebells, weight plates, certain workout sandbags, wrist weights, etc.
One of the benefits of free weights is that you can use them in a wide variety of exercises for many body parts. Besides that, they generally last an extremely long time. One dumbbell can potentially improve your workouts for many years and potentially even decades.
On top of that, many free weights do not really lose their value. This means that if you decide to stop using dumbbells or other free weights you can likely sell them for a very similar price as what you put into them.
The disadvantage is that free weights often require a slightly bigger investment compared to more short-term fitness equipment like resistance bands. That being said, they are still relatively low in price compared to for example an exercise bike.
In general the difference between one-handed and two-handed free weights does not matter that much for your arms. Exceptions are preferably one-handed free weights for your posterior (back) deltoids and certain parts of your forearms.
Resistance bands are an inexpensive type of fitness equipment that are basically elastic cords. You can use this piece of exercise equipment to do a variety of resistance band arm exercises.
You can use basically any type but most people generally prefer resistance bands with handles for arm exercises.
Some of the benefits of resistance bands are that they are relatively inexpensive, easy to store, and very portable. They can also be used in other exercises to train your chest, abs, back, and leg muscles.
One downside is that resistance bands are not the type of gym equipment you can use for the rest of your life. At least every few years you will need to replace the last set with new resistance bands.
Some arm exercises will also require you to anchor your resistance bands somewhere. Sometimes you can attach them to objects that are already around the house.
Even so, it is likely safer to get an inexpensive resistance band anchor to avoid any problems.
Because pull-ups mostly focus on back muscles, many people forget the pull-up bar when talking about arm workouts. However there are various pull-up bar exercises that work some of your arm muscles.
For example a chin-up, a pull-up with a reverse grip, also focuses a nice amount on your biceps. A regular hang can also be powerful for training your forearm muscles.
Even if you currently don’t have a pull-up bar or gym subscription, doorway pull-up bars are relatively inexpensive. On top of that, they can be used in many exercises for a variety of body parts.
Hand grip strengthener
You can describe hand grip trainers more or less as pliers that are hard to close. These devices may not look that impressive but they can definitely be a great piece of equipment to train your forearms and more specifically the part that benefits grip strength.
Some models come with changeable resistance, others require you to buy different ones if you want to progress your grip training. Some people also prefer the ones with a soft handgrip, others don’t mind a simple steel grip.
Some benefits of these types of arm workout equipment is that they usually last a long time, you can also find them at a relatively inexpensive price, and they are portable.
Dip bars are essentially two horizontal bars with enough room below them to do the dip exercise. This is a tricep exercise where you start leaning on the dip bars with your hands, the rest of your body is hovering in the air.
The next step is folding your arms until they are at about a 90-degree angle. Lastly you stretch your arms again. This may sound simple but it is extremely challenging for your tricep muscles.
A benefit of dip bars is that there are also other dip bar exercises for other body parts. This piece of arm workout equipment can also last a very long time.
One downside is that they can require a slightly bigger investment compared to more short-term fitness equipment like resistance bands.
Gym or home gym arm equipment
It is also possible to use gym machines for arm muscle workouts. Below you can find some examples of these machines.
Preacher curl bench
When talking about bicep exercises you will almost always hear the preacher curl exercise come up. This is no surprise, this is a popular version of the bicep curl because it is so effective at isolating bicep muscles. To do the preacher curl you need a specialized bench.
This preacher curl bench is basically a slanted surface. You put your upper arm on it so your biceps are the only muscles you can use to curl a weight up and down.
This next option is not one single machine. There are basically gym machines that simulate some of the most popular shoulder, bicep, tricep, and forearm exercises in machine form.
For example, there is a bicep curl machine, a shoulder press machine, arm extension machine (for triceps), and many more.
The cable machine is a type of gym machine where a steel frame holds weights and pulleys. Thanks to the cable going through these pulleys and attached to these weights you can do many types of strength training exercises for a wide variety of muscles.
One example of a cable arm exercise is a tricep kickback. To do this exercise you want any grip you can hold with one hands with the pulley at about knee height. Stand with your face toward the cable machine.
Put your feet at about shoulder width, grab the handle with one hand, and lean forward to about a 45-degree angle to a vertical line. Bring back the upper arm of the side with the handle until it is at about a horizontal line. For now, do not exert any force on your lower arm except to grip the handle.
Slowly stretch the arm with the handle. Keep your body and upper arm in the same position throughout the movement. Lastly, lower the forearm again to the previous position in a controlled motion.
As the name implies the tricep kickback is a cable machine tricep exercise.
The smith machine looks similar to a squat rack but there are a few differences which make the smith machine more of a machine.
First of all, the barbell is attached to a rail system. This makes it so it can only move up or down alongside these rails and not forward or backward.
Secondly, it has a system where you can rack the barbell at any height.
You can do many of the typical barbell arm exercises like the shoulder press with the smith machine.
The smith machines makes it so the movement of your exercise is fixed. In turn, this leads to more focus on your arm muscles alone and less on other balance muscles.