Personal trainer Chrissy Signore ranked 5 arm exercises based on how effectively they build strength.
She said that some arm exercises are less efficient and more prone to injury.
Bicep curls are one of the least functional arm exercises because they only target one muscle, she said.
Arm exercises are an integral part of any workout plan, but many people choose workouts that are inefficient and easy to perform incorrectly, according to personal trainer Chrissy Signore.
She said exercises that incorporate many different muscle groups, like push-ups, can actually do a better job at building functional arm strength and preventing injury than ones that only target a single muscle, like bicep curls.
Signore ranked bicep curls and double tricep extensions as two of the worst because they isolate a single muscle and are easy to perform incorrectly.
5. Bicep curls are not functional and easy to do incorrectly
Signore, who is the founder of fitness program Correlation, said that the bicep curl is not a great arm exercise, because it’s easy to do wrong and only targets the bicep.
She said men will often lift weights that are too heavy, which causes them to throw their core forward, round their shoulders inward, and swing their arms to get the weights up to their shoulders. She said poor form like this can hurt your core and worsen your posture by tightening your shoulders.
In contrast, Signore said she sees women not using enough weight. She said in a 10- to 12-rep set, you should start to feel muscle fatigue by the eighth rep in order to get the most out of a strict-form bicep curl.
She said the bicep curl isn’t very functional either, because you rarely use just your bicep when lifting or moving something in daily life. Exercises that engage more of your upper-body are more functional and save you time by hitting multiple muscles at once, she said.
4. Double tricep extensions can lead to injury
While Signore said that the single tricep extension is a great exercise, performing the exercise with two dumbbells at a time can cause injury.
To perform a single tricep extension, she said to follow this guide:
Place one hand on a bench to support yourself
In the opposite hand, hold a dumbbell with your palm facing inward
Bring the dumbbell up so that your elbow is tucked at your side
Your arm should be at a 90 degree angle, she said, before extending your arm backwards further than you think you can go
Return to 90 degrees, and repeat
With the double tricep extension, she said you lean your body over with no support from a bench and perform the extension with both arms at the same time. Signore said people will often round their back and tense their neck instead of keeping their back straight, which can hurt the neck and lower back.
Lastly, she said to also make sure you don’t swing your weights during the exercise.
3. The dumbbell curl and press is more functional than a bicep curl
Signore said the dumbbell curl and press is a modification to the bicep curl that makes it more functional.
In addition to bringing the dumbbell to your shoulder with your elbows at your sides like in a traditional bicep curl, press the weights over your head while rotating your hands so that your palm faces forward, she said.
The dumbbell curl and press engages much more of your upper body, she said, including your biceps, shoulders, and triceps. She said when you’re picking up and moving something in daily life, it’s much more common for all of these muscles to work in unison.
Signore said to be careful not to push too hard on the press and potentially hurt your shoulder.
2. Push-ups are versatile
Push-ups also work multiple muscles in addition to your arms, like your core, triceps, chest, and your outer shoulders. They also have a lot variations, she said, that make them harder or easier and can target different muscles.
Bring your elbows in closer to your body to engage your triceps more, she said, or you can perform a T-push-up to target your biceps and shoulders.
For the T-push-up, she said to reach up and behind you with one arm as you come up from the push-up. Make sure to switch between both sides, she said.
1. Wall balls engage your entire body
Wall balls are Signore’s favorite arm exercise, she said, because they recruit almost the entire body in the exercise.
Here’s how you do it:
Stand about 2 feet away from a wall with a medicine ball between 10 to 20 pounds in your hands and your back straight
With your feet shoulder-width apart and angled slightly out, sink into your heels like you’re performing a squat and then explode upward to throw the ball up vertically to the wall
Catch the ball gently and come back into a squat
Wall balls engage your shoulders, biceps, triceps, chest, back, abs, glutes, quads, and hamstrings, she said, which is also great for cardio and calorie-burning. She said to aim for 30 seconds at a time or 10 to 15 reps.
Read the original article on Insider