Woman in gym getting ready for exercise

How to build muscle and tone your arms

It can be really difficult to target something specific in the gym.

If you don’t have a professional training plan, making a significant change to one area of your body can be damn-near impossible. Which is really frustrating.

But, with the right guidance, it is possible to make one body part stronger – you just have to be dedicated.

Last week we told you how to build muscle in your legs – and today we’re looking at the arms.

We asked Anthony Mayatt, personal trainer and founder of Breathe Fitness for his top tips on creating chiseled, strong arms and shoulders.

Woman in gym getting ready for exercise

‘The body strengthens and builds when at rest, so a good night’s sleep is your secret weapon.’ (Picture: Getty)

Exercises to build muscle and tone your arms and shoulders

‘When training the arms, it is better to spend more time working on the triceps rather than biceps,’ explains Anthony.

‘This is because the triceps take up two thirds the upper arm size, so if you spend hours doing hundreds of biceps curls then you’ll be wasting a lot of energy.

‘I am not saying avoid biceps but spend more of an arm session on the triceps.’

Dips (weighted/bodyweight)

When working the triceps you can never go wrong with dips.

If you are able to do lots of these then its a good idea to add weight by putting a dumbbell between your feet or attaching a weight plate to a belt.

Close grip bench press

This will also target the chest a bit but a great pressing exercise to target the triceps using a barbell.

Biceps curl (barbell or dumbbell)

The biceps work only through flexion and extension of the elbow.

Using a barbell means having the hands in a supinated position, but with dumbbells you can add rotation in the wrists, which mean you can also hit the forearms.

Top tips for building muscle

If you’re training multiple times a week then it’s good to split the muscle groups so you can overload each one more and allow them to rest on other workout days.

If you’re training only a couple of times a week, then it’s better to work your full body every session. To build muscle, it’s important to train regularly and not take too many rest days.

To build muscle, nutrition is important – making sure you eat enough to repair and build the muscle. Speak with a nutritionist to find the right amount based on your weight and activity levels.

The body strengthens and builds when at rest, so a good night’s sleep is your secret weapon to bigger, stronger muscles.

Get your night routine in check and make sure you always get a good number of hours sleep each night.

Anthony Mayatt, personal trainer

Military press

A standing barbell press is the perfect way to target the shoulders. It’s so important to engage the core by squeezing the glutes to stop the body arching when pressing.

Front/lateral raise

The shoulder is made up of different areas and this move will target the outside (lateral) and front of the shoulder.

Generally a lighter weight is used on this one compared to military press as works small sections of the muscle.

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