Upper Arm Exercises and muscles 101

Your Upper arms, muscles, bones and connective tissues work together to produce the range of motion needed for many activities. Upper arm exercises are a great way to improve muscle strength and flexibility. This blog post will discuss Upper arm muscles, bones, and range of motion.

We will also provide exercises that target Upper arms muscles and Stretches for preventing Upper arm injuries.

Upper Arm Muscles

The Upper Arm consists of Five main muscles

– Triceps Brachii, also known as “Tricep”, or the three-headed muscle of the Upper arm. This muscle is responsible for straightening your Upper arm. It is located on the back of your Upper arm.

– Biceps Brachii also known as “Bicep”, or the two-headed muscle on the front of your Upper arm. This muscle is responsible for bending your Upper arm.

– Brachialis is located underneath the Biceps Brachii and is also responsible for flexing the elbow.

– Brachioradialis is located on the outside of your Upper arm and is also responsible for twisting the Forearm.

– Anconeus This muscle is small, but it acts as an extensor of the Upper Arm when you straighten Upper arms from a bent position. It’s found at the elbow joint where the Upper arm and Forearm meet.

Upper arm muscles

 

Upper Arm Bones

The Humerus is the only bone in the Upper arm bone. It is located between the shoulder and elbow.

Upper Arm Connections

The Humerus Bone Connects to the

  • Scapula (Larger Triangular Shoulder Bone)

to the

Upper Arm Range of Motion

The Upper arm has a range of motion that includes flexion (bending), extension (straightening), abduction (moving away from the body), adduction (moving closer to the body) and circumduction (moving in a circular pattern). Upper arm exercises should target all of these movements.

Upper arms can also rotate internally and externally and pronate (turns the hand so that its palm faces down) supinate (rotates the hand so that its palm faces up).

Upper Arm Exercises and Stretches

Top 10 Upper Arm exercises

#1- Upper Arm curls

Target muscles: Upper arms, Biceps Brachii and Brachialis

– Starting position: Stand with a dumbbell in each hand. Your Upper arms should be resting at your sides, and your palms are facing upwards

How to:

  • Curl the weights up towards your shoulders while keeping your Upper arms close to your sides.
  • Pause
  • then slowly lower the weights back to the starting position.

Tip: You can also do this exercise with resistance bands or a weight machine.

Variations: –

Standing Resistance Band Curl:

  • Anchor a band around a sturdy post and stand with your feet hip-width apart.
  • Step on the band, then curl your Upper arms to shoulder height.

#2 – Seated Upper arm extensions

Target muscles: Upper arms, Triceps Brachii

– Starting position: Seated in a chair with Upper arms resting on your sides, and holding one dumbbell in each hand.

How to:

  • Straighten your Upper arm lifting the dumbbells until they are at shoulder height
  • Then slowly lower the weights back down to starting position.
  • Repeat

Tip: You can also do Upper arm extensions with resistance bands

Variations: –

Seated Resistance Band Upper Arm Extensions:

  • Anchor the band to somewhere sturdy at chest height.
  • Hold onto both ends of the band,
  • straighten your Upper arms overhead
  • Pause for a breath
  • slowly lower back down to starting position

#3 – Standing Upper arm abductions

Target muscles: Upper arms, Deltoids (Shoulder) and Pectoralis Major (Chest)

– Starting position: Stand with your Upper arm at a 90-degree angle. Hold onto the dumbbells with Upper arms pressed against your sides.

How to:

  • Raise the weights from your sides until they align with your shoulders.
  • Pause
  • Slowly lower the weights back to your starting position.

Tip: You can also do Upper arm abductions with resistance bands

Variations: –

Standing Resistance Band Upper Arm Abductions:

  • Step on the band,
  • press your Upper arms against your sides and raise them out to shoulder height.
  • Hold for a few seconds before lowering them back down.

#4 – Standing Upper arm adductions

Target muscles: Upper arms, Adductors (Chest, Back, Shoulder)

– Starting position: Stand with your feet hip-width apart, holding a weight in each hand with Upper arms straight out at each side.

How to:

  • Keeping your Upper arms straight,
  • Slowly lower them to your sides for a count of five
  • Pause
  • Raise them back up to the starting position
  • Repeat

Tip: for a more intense workout, increase the time in decent or increase the weight used.

#5 – Prone reverse fly’s

Target muscles: Upper arms, Rear Deltoids and Trapezius (Back)

– Starting position: Lie face down on a bench with your Upper arms hanging straight down. Hold onto the dumbbells with your palms facing each other.

How to:

  • Keeping your Upper arms straight Lift them out until they are level with your back
  • Pause for a few seconds at the top
  • Then slowly lower the weights back to starting position.
  • Repeat

Tip: A longer Pause or Heavier weight will increase the intensity

#6 – Standing Upper arm rotations

Target muscles: Upper arms, Rotator Cuff (Shoulder) and Pectoralis Major (Chest)

– Starting position: Stand with your Upper arm at a 90-degree angle to your body, holding onto the dumbbells.

How to:

  • Lift the weights in front of you until they are at shoulder height.
  • Pause and then rotate the Upper arms to the back so that your palms are now facing behind you.
  • Pause for a few seconds and then slowly return to the start position.
  • Repeat

#7 – Kettlebell Hammer curls

Target muscles: Upper arms, Biceps Brachii

– Starting position: Kettlebell on the floor in front of you. Standing with feet hip-width apart and holding a kettlebell in each hand with your palms facing your thighs.

How to:

  • Keeping your Upper arm still, curl the kettlebell up towards your shoulder.
  • Pause and then lower the kettlebell back to the starting position.
  • Repeat

Tips:

– You can also do Upper arm hammer curls with dumbbells, Kettlebells or resistance bands.

– Upper arm Hammer Curls are a great alternative to Upper arms bicep curls as they don’t involve twisting your wrists and Upper arms. This makes them more comfortable for wrist pain from arthritis or carpal tunnel.

#8 – Tricep kickbacks

Target muscles: Upper arms, Triceps Brachii

– Starting position: Stand with Upper arm at a 90-degree angle and hold onto the dumbbells. Lean forward slightly, keeping your Upper arms close to your side.

How to:

  • Extend the Upper arm behind you until it is straight.
  • Hold for a few seconds.
  • Then slowly bring the Upper arm back to the starting position.
  • Repeat

Tips:

– You can also do this exercise with Resistance bands

– Keep your Upper arm close to your side to target the Triceps muscles.

– For a more intense workout, increase the weight used or the number of reps done.

#9 – Kettlebell clean and press Upper arm exercise

Target muscles: Upper arms, Upper Back and Glutes

– Starting position: Kettlebell on the floor in front of you. Stand with feet wider than shoulder-width apart and hold onto a kettlebell with your palms facing you.

How to:

  • Swing the kettlebell back between your legs and then quickly lift it to your chest, keeping your Upper arm close to your body.
  • Press the kettlebell overhead until your arm is straight.
  • Lower the kettlebell back down to the starting position.
  • Repeat

#10 – Kettlebell Tricep extension

Target muscles: Upper arms, Triceps Brachii

– Starting position: Stand with feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and hold onto a kettlebell held behind your head. Hold the outside of the bell.

How to:

  • Keeping your Upper arm close to your side, lift the kettlebell until it is above your head and arms straight.
  • Extend your Upper arm fully and hold for a few seconds.
  • Then slowly bring the kettlebell back down to the starting position.
  • Repeat

Tip: use a lightweight to start

Top 5 Upper arm stretches

#1 – Upper arm stretch against a wall

Target muscles: Upper back, shoulders and Upper arms

– Starting position: Stand with your Upper arm against a wall. Feet hip-width apart and press your hips forward.

How to:

  • Gently push your Upper arm further into the wall until you feel a stretch.
  • Hold for 30 seconds
  • Repeat on other side

#2 – Upper arm stretch with a band

Target muscles: Upper back, shoulders and Upper arms

– Starting position: Anchor a band around a sturdy post and stand with feet hip-width apart. Hold the band with your palms facing down.

How to:

  • Step forward to pull on the band with your Upper arm parallel to the floor.
  • Keep your Upper arm close to your body and your Upper arms straight.
  • Slowly push the band forward until you feel a stretch in the Upper arms, shoulders and upper back.
  • Hold for 30 seconds
  • Repeat on the other side or change hands if using one resistance band.

Tips: You can also do this exercise sitting down with your Upper arm stretched

#3 – Upper arm stretch with a partner

Target muscles: Upper back, Upper arms and shoulders

– Starting position: Stand with your Upper arm out to the side. Have a partner gently pull your Upper arm further away from you until you feel a stretch.

Hold for 30 seconds, then repeat on the other arm.

Tips: You can also do this stretch seated with your Upper arm out to the side.

– For a deeper Upper arm stretch, have your partner press down on your elbow.

– If you don’t have a partner, you can use a strap or towel instead.

#4 – Upper arm stretch with a towel

Target muscles: Upper back, Upper arms and shoulders

– Starting position: Standing with feet hip-width apart, hold a towel behind your head,  gripping it with the other hand from below.

How to:

  • Keeping your Upper arm close to your body, slowly pull the towel downwards until you feel a pull in the upper arm
  • Hold for 30 seconds, then repeat on other

#5 – Upper arm stretch with a ball

Target muscles: Upper back, Upper arms and shoulders

– Starting position: Lie on your Upper arm with a ball under you. Place the ball between your Upper arm and ribs. Keep Upper arms straight alongside your body.

How to: Roll around until you find a tight spot, then hold for 30 seconds, then repeat

Top 5 Causes of upper arm Injuries

#1. Upper arm muscles are weak and not conditioned

One of the most common causes of Upper arm injuries is weak and not conditioned muscles. This can be due to lack of use (such as people who work in an office all day) or from doing the wrong exercises, which can cause muscle imbalances.

If your Upper arm muscles are weak, they are more likely to become injured as they cannot support the Upper arms and joints properly.

#2. Upper arm muscles are tight and not flexible

If Upper arm muscles are tight and not flexible, they become less able to move through their full range of motion. This means that Upper arms have to work harder to perform the same tasks, which can cause Upper arms injuries over time.

One of the most common causes of Upper arm muscle tightness is doing too much exercise or doing Upper arms exercises with heavyweights.

The Upper arm muscle, most commonly tight and not flexible, is the Upper triceps. This can cause Upper arm pain when moving your Upper arm backwards and forwards and limiting the range of motion in other joints such as shoulders or elbows, which may eventually lead to Upper arms injuries if left untreated.

#3. Upper arm muscles are imbalanced

If Upper arm muscles are imbalanced, they become less able to properly support Upper arms and joints. This can cause Upper arms injuries over time if left untreated.

The upper triceps muscle is one of the most common causes of Upper arm muscle imbalances as it becomes tight and weak at the same time, making it difficult for Upper arms to move through their full range of motion.

#4. Upper arm bones are not strong enough to support Upper arms and joints properly

If Upper arm bones are not strong enough to support Upper arms and joints properly, they can lead to Upper arms injuries over time if left untreated.

One of the most common causes of Upper arm bone weakness is osteoporosis which makes it difficult for Upper arm bones such as Humerus or ulna to support Upper arm muscles and joints properly.

People who have had a previous Upper arm injury are also at risk of developing Upper arm bone weakness. The injured area can be more susceptible to fractures in the future.

#5. Upper arm connections are not strong enough to support Upper arms and joints properly

If Upper arm connections are not strong enough to support Upper arms and joints properly, they can lead to Upper arms injuries over time if left untreated.

Conclusion

Upper arm muscles, bones and connection. Range of motion. Stretches. Causes of injuries. Whew! That was a lot of information about the upper arms!

We hope you now understand how your arms work and some ideas for improving their strength, range of motion, and flexibility.

But most importantly, we want to remind you that it’s essential to take things slowly and not push yourself too hard when starting any new exercise routine – especially if you are prone to injuries. Start by purchasing a resistance band or building your upper arms with some simple at-home exercises, then comment below and let us know how it goes!

 

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