Having a gym membership has many benefits, but one of the biggest perks is access to all that equipment, which makes working out much easier. The variety of machines give us an accessible way to work out different muscle groups with or without a trainer.
Of course, free weights are versatile and let you do numerous different functional exercises. The free weight workout can be at the heart of your gym routine, as they allow for movements that train different joints and engage more muscles, provided you are well-aware of the form and technique involved in using free weights.
But, when you’re looking to target a particular muscle and aim to really build your strength and endurance in it, then biomechanically accurate and ergonomically correct machines are a huge help and enable in getting great results.
For arm workout, there are many options of machines that you can pick from to target your biceps, triceps, and other upper body muscles.
However it’s imperative to understand that an effective arm workout involves more than just your biceps. Gaining bulk in the arms is not just all about biceps exercises. Upper arm or triceps exercises are also equally important, if you want to see your arms increase in size and mass, since these are the largest muscle groups of the arm.
You also have to strengthen your lower arms, with a firm grip to be able to perform bodyweight exercises and also lift heavy weights. To better understand this, let’s deep dive into understanding the basics of arm muscles.
Which Muscles Make Up the Arms?
There are three main sections of the arm:
- In the Anterior (front) you’ll find the biceps brachii (also known as the biceps), the brachialis muscle, and the coracobrachialis muscle.
- Posterior (back): This portion contains the triceps brachii (or triceps).
- Shoulders: The deltoid muscle sits at the top of the shoulder. And the backside of the shoulder is where you’ll find the rotator cuff, which consists of four small muscles: the supraspinatus, the infraspinatus, the teres minor, and the subscapularis.
Our arms move in all the various ways and we use them in every activity throughout the day, wherein each of the above muscles play their own unique and important role to help them move and complete our action. Any pushing, pulling, reaching, or swinging movement of the arms requires a different set of muscles, and training those muscles can help you carry out different actions with ease, such as carrying a bag of groceries, picking up your baby or holding a plank pose in yoga etc. Increased range of motion can be noticed when you consistently train all the upper body muscles, which can further aid in injury prevention. The muscles in your arm also help support your wrists as well as your elbows and hence strong muscles help in maintaining good joints too. Moreover, stronger arms help avoid increased stress and pressure put on the joints by daily activities like scrolling on your phone or chopping vegetables, typing on your laptop etc.
And therefore, it’s important to make sure to train all of the above three muscles to gain equal strength and well-toned muscles throughout your arm.
Now that we have an overview of muscle anatomy, let’s pick the 5 best arm workout machines for strengthening your arm muscles.
5 Best Arm Workout Machines
1. Bicep/Triceps Curl
The Bicep/Triceps Curl is a combo machine that offers benefits of two machines in a single unit; targeting the biceps brachii and triceps brachii muscles. This machine effectively helps in building strong biceps which in turn aids daily activities such as picking up and carrying objects with ease. Having well-defined biceps is a fitness goal for many fitness enthusiasts. Moreover, building the biceps can help tighten the fats on the upper arm for those who have sagging skin caused due to aging or weight loss.
2. Seated Bicep Curl
The Seated Bicep Curl machine offers an isolation exercise for the upper arm to effectively target the bicep and forearm muscles through a stabilized and guided motion. This machine primarily targets the muscle that flexes the elbow, which is why it is worked when you curl the arm. The brachialis and the brachioradialis are the muscles that are worked together during the cable curl, and are also used when flexing the elbow. Therefore, this can be a great choice of exercise machine to work your biceps and forearm muscles.
3. Chin Dip Assist
The Chin Dip Assist, is an excellent combo unit not only for big commercial gyms, but is also a great choice for small fitness facilities as well because it is a great unit for an overall upper body development. This machine targets the back, shoulder and arm muscles and hence, if you’re aiming to develop your upper body strength gradually, then this equipment is the right choice; as it also supports up to 75 kgs of weight resistance. It also helps in developing the important muscles in the shoulder, arm, as well as the core muscles.
4. Seated Arm Curl
Similar to the Seated Bicep Curl, the Seated Arm Curl is a workout machine to develop and strengthen the biceps muscles, along with the lower arm muscles. In a seated position, you can develop your bicep muscles easily and conveniently, while maintaining proper form for outstanding results. This machine accurately fulfills the fitness goal of having well-toned arm muscles.
5. Cables Crossover
The high-low pulleys in the Cable Crossover machine offers multiple exercise possibilities such as bicep curl, triceps, triceps presses, lat pulldown, inner/outer thigh kicks, etc. thus helping to target various muscle groups. Cables units are a versatile piece of equipment offering several workout possibilities for shoulder, arms and chest muscles. This is a great cost and space-effective gym equipment which is both sturdy as well as user-friendly.
How to Make the Most of Your Arm Strength Training
It is recommended that at least two to three non-consecutive days a week of strength training the entire body, including the arms is good for gradually building strength and endurance. Your individual health and fitness goal determines how many sets and reps you need to perform. But, as a general consideration of muscle strength, 2 to 3 sets of 8 to 12 repetitions per training session can be practiced.
For example – using lighter weights and more reps and sets will help build muscular endurance, depending on how long you can work a muscle without fatiguing. On the other hand, if you want to build muscle strength in your arms, you should increase the weight and decrease the reps.
Here are some other points to keep in mind, especially for arm workout and upper body exercises:
While using free weights allows you to carry out different arm exercises, you should remember that even a slightest mistake in the form or technique can leave you seriously injured instead of doing good! Therefore, well-designed machines are always better that mimic the human range of motion to aid your exercise to achieve good results. Even if you see others in the gym using dumbbells and kettlebells, you don’t need to get under peer pressure to do the same! Your body and safety is of utmost importance. So, go hit the gym and use the one of the above arm workout machines to develop arm muscles effectively!