A common phrase I hear from teenage athletes is “Curls for the girls.” Though large arms may attract the ladies, too much bulk on the upper body can slow you down on the field. You need to be a finely tuned machine to excel in your sport, not have pythons for arms.
That said, here are four arm exercises that will help build up your upper body but also give you the well-rounded strength you need to outperform your opponents.
Best Arm Exercises
Med Ball Slams
Pick up an appropriately heavy medicine ball. While standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and your knees and hips relaxed, slam the med ball into the floor from a fully extended overhead position. This exercise isometrically and isokinetically trains the arms while building power in the back, core and legs.
From a floor-planted lunge position (alternate the knee making contact with the floor for each set), grab a cable with rope attachment with both hands and pull from above the shoulder diagonally down across your body, as if you were trying to touch the end of the rope to your outside hip.
This type of “arm exercise” trains your core to be more stable. In addition, your triceps are highly active, attempting to keep the rope stable as you pull it down. Remember to work both sides of your core—alternating legs is key.
This is essentially the same position as the chop. The differences include the location of the cable (at the floor), the grip (underhand) and the way you pull (from the floor, across the hip diagonally and overhead above the distal shoulder joint). These also work the core, while engaging the biceps in a nearly full range of motion. This is one of the best arm exercises!
Turkish Get Up
Among the most challenging arm exercises ever, the Turkish Get Up works nearly every muscle an athlete needs to be successful. For a good demonstration, click on the link above. I caution you not to be a “tough guy” with this one. Choose light weight kettlebells to begin with. If you successfully complete 10 reps, move up another 2 to 5 pounds.