Arm day has come around again, and quite frankly, our usual routine has become boring. The same old bicep curls and the same old push-ups just aren’t cutting it anymore. We haven’t felt DOMs in weeks and it’s clear that our progress has well and truly plateaued.
It’s a common problem to experience exercise fatigue. And we don’t mean the result of doing too much and our bodies feeling tired. It’s a mental fatigue, where the motivation has gone and our heart is just not in it anymore.
What we need at times like this is to mix it up. Try out new exercises, test new equipment, and shake up our routine to help inject more motivation back into our workouts so that we start making progress again.
So, explore new corners of the gym and try out new pieces of equipment because here’s our run down of our favourite machines and exercises for the arms.
Our favourite, by far. This scary looking piece of machinery is probably one of the most versatile in the gym. It’s possible to get not just an arm workout, but a full body workout here. With a range of different handles at different heights, the cables allow you to do almost every pull exercise you can think of.
Think arm raises, tricep extensions, bicep curls, lat pull downs, rows, chest flyes. You name it. All it takes is a little bit of creativity and the cables can deliver you the most intense upper body day you’ve had in a while, all whilst staying in one square metre of the gym floor. It’s easy to make the most of your time here.
The Free Weights
Okay, so you’ve probably spent a lot of time here before, using the dumbbells for curls and raises. But we’ve just got to put the free weights at number two because there’s so much that can be done with them.
You can use the dumbbell to emulate every upper body strength exercise you can think of. From the chest press, to the overhead press, to the row, the curl, the extension, the raises, and much more. But unlike some other machinery, dumbbells can be used easily as a part of HIIT or interval style workout. They also allow for a much larger range of movement, making the exercises more compound in nature and letting you lift a little heavier.
Use them as a load for isometric exercises. Pick lighter ones and do more reps. Pick heavier ones and do just 5. There’s so much at your finger tips with the free weights that if we were stuck on a desert island, they’d definitely be coming with us.
Here are 21 upper body exercises you can do with dumbbells:
How can such a simple piece of equipment let us do so much?
By providing a surface, the bench is a great tool to use to support upper body exercises. The bench often comes with with a rack attached to it to make make it efficient to bench press. It allows a larger range of motion than doing the chest press upright and is a great way to help build strength and muscle mass in the pectorals. Although you might be thinking that the chest isn’t a muscle you work on arm day, you’ll also be recruiting your deltoids and triceps to make it much more of a compound exercises.
But the benefits of the bench don’t stop there. You’re able to adjust the incline or decline on most benches, to alter the exercise. Dumbbell pressing at an incline or decline helps you target either the upper or lower part of your chest a little better. On the bench, there’s more alterations you can make than just using the chest press machine.
The Seated Overhead Press Machine
Sometimes also referred to as Military press Machines or Shoulder Press Machines.
The best thing about gym machines is that they take a lot of the hassle out of preparing to exercise. All you need to do is adjust the pin to the weight you want to lift, get in position, and get going. No need to return sheepishly to the free weights section to swap your dumbbells if you picked up too much.
This machine lets you do one of the best upper body compound exercises and work way more than just one muscle group. Focusing on the shoulders, but also targeting muscles in the biceps, triceps and forearms, this is one not to be missed on arm day.
Also, by using the machine, you can ensure you’re form for shoulder pressing is correct. This means that when you’re doing the lift, you’re doing it with maximum efficiency.
So if you’re a stranger to any of these machines, it might be time to give them a go. Incorporate them into your workout routine to give your arms and your upper body a new challenge. Flex your muscle and your Hussle.