Fitness FAQ: How to Build Arm Muscles

Facebook user Aura asked: Donovan, what are the best exercises to build arm muscles without bulking up? And do you have to work the arms every day In order to build muscle? Would like to have a strong upper body.

Answer: Two of the best exercises for building your arms are the good old dumbbell arm curl and the almighty pushups. These exercises are designed to tone and sculpt your arms without adding on the extra bulk. You do not have to work your arm every day. Commit to training your arms two days per week allowing your muscles to rest and heal as you would for the rest of your body part after exercise.


You can do this either standing or seated. Here are the basic steps for doing arm curls.

1. Bend your knees using your legs to pick up your weights. Stand fully erect leaving your arms straight down to the side of your thighs.



2. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart with your naval drawn into the spine and your shoulders retracted back.

3. Breathe out through your mouth as you tighten your stomach muscles bringing the weights up to a full 90-degree angle by bending (flexing) your elbows.


4. Inhale through your nose as you lower the weight back to starting position


5. Repeat 8 – 12 reps for beginners with lightweight. Advance by going heavier to force your muscles to work even harder.


Steps for doing pushups (Advanced off the knees, beginners on your knee)

1. Start in a prone position-face down on the floor. Keep your feet about shoulder width apart arms bent at 90-degrees with your palms pressed into the floor.


2. Curl your toes in toward your shin touching the floor with the ball of your feet.

3. Use your arms, shoulders and chest as you attempt to push your body away from the ground as you breath out through your mouth

4. Keep your abs tight and avoid any arching in your lower back. Everything should be one straight line. Continue to push until your arms are almost fully extended leaving a slight bend in the elbows.


5. Repeat by lowering your body back down to the ground at a smooth and steady pace. Repeat for a total of 4 – 6 repetitions for beginners and 8-15 for the advanced.

Want more? Workout with Donovan in his “No Excuses” series now!