How to Get Bigger Arms at Home (The Ultimate Guide)

Having trouble getting arms like Hulk? Are you frustrated that you can’t train and make them grow because you don’t have access to a gym?

If you answered yes and yes, then this post is for you. Let’s work together to help lift you out of that problem.

It’s a popular belief that you need to lift heavy weights to maximally stimulate your muscles. 

But, there has been growing research that puts mechanical tension and metabolic stress as the primary stimulus for growth over just adding weight and volume. [1][2]

Thus, working out at home is not as bad as it seemed to be!

How to get bigger arms at home, you ask?

All you need are some basic equipment and this straightforward workout routine that I’m about to give you, then you’re on your way to buffing up those arms.

Table of Contents

  • Have an Arm Day
  • Mechanical Drop Sets
  • Warm-Up
  • Home Workout for Arms
  • Arm Exercises In-Depth
  • Nutrition for Bigger Arms

Have a Dedicated Arm Day

I know, it’s hard to match the intense atmosphere of a packed gym. So, at home, you just want to get your workouts in and done with.

What happens then is you try to train your whole body in one session in a frantic manner.

No structure, no workout plan. Sounds like you?

This is the most probable reason why people don’t see significant progress when they train at home as opposed to a gym.

Even though you’ll be training at home, I want you to devote an arm day — please?!

Do not train the triceps with other push muscles, or the biceps with other pull muscles. Give them their separate session so you can really focus on improving them.

This way, you’ll go into training fresh. Your arm muscles won’t be fatigued. Thus, you can concentrate and go balls to the wall with your arm workouts.

Intensity Technique – Mechanical Drop Sets

To get the most tension and stress on your arms, we would not just be relying on equipment.

We will also be incorporating intensity techniques to maximally stimulate the arm muscles.

Specifically, we will be using mechanical drop sets.

You are probably familiar with conventional drop sets. In this type, you perform one set of an exercise to complete failure, reduce the weight, then do another set to failure. You keep repeating the process until you can’t lift the weight anymore.

Mechanical drop sets offer a more scientific approach to attacking the trained muscle.

Instead of dropping the weight, you’ll simply improve the mechanical advantage of the lift from one set to the next.

Warm-Up

Warming up increases synovial fluid that lubricates the joints and draws blood to the muscles you will be working.

In doing so, you activate the muscle fibers so they “fire” better; more muscle fibers are recruited to lift the load. Warming up also prevents strains and possible injuries from happening.

Since the arm muscles are a small muscle group, you won’t be needing a complex warm-up for them.

You’ll do a simple shoulder joint warm-up called shoulder dislocates.

Grab a broomstick, exercise band, or even a towel from both ends. And, from the starting position in front of your hips, simply move your arms in an arch to bring the broom or towel to your backside.

You will feel a stretch in your chest and your biceps when your hands reach overhead and that sensation will increase in intensity as you continue pulling back and down.

More than feeling the stretch, keeping your elbows extended during the movement is the most important aspect.

This allows the head of the humerus to rotate throughout its full range of motion in the glenoid fossa.

The glenohumeral joint, or the shoulder joint, is the single most important joint to warm up for any movement that involves the arms. 

Proper mobility of this joint provides your upper extremities, aka your arms,  with an optimal range of motion during flexion, extension, internal rotation, external rotation, adduction, abduction, and circumduction. The first four movements you’ll be doing in every arm training session.

Keep in mind: the better you move, the better you can stimulate your muscles.

Home Workout for Arms

What are the things you need to get the best out of your home arm workout, you say?

All you need are these two:

  • Resistance bands
  • Pairs of dumbbells or kettlebells

You will be training the major arm muscles — the biceps and the triceps — directly while the forearms will be getting a lot of indirect work.

This arm workout borrows heavily from the training principles of Joe Bennet, widely known as Hypertrophy Coach in the fitness and bodybuilding realms.

Not only will the workout use mechanical drop sets to maximally load the muscles, but you will also be incorporating some tempo training for max stimulation. Be prepared to tax the heck out of your arms!

Bicep Drop SetExerciseReps
A1Dumbbell Strict Wall Curls8-10
A2Dumbbell Wall Lean Arm CurlsAMRAP
A3Dumbbell Pronated Curls8-10
A4Band Hammer CurlsAMRAP
Tricep Drop SetExerciseReps
B1Dumbbell Tricep Extensions8-10
B2Band Step-Back Extensions8-10
B3Band Overhead ExtensionsAMRAP
B4Diamond Push-UpsAMRAP

Do the exercises one after the other with no rest in between. Shoot for no less than 4 sets for each muscle.

If you find that you can still train after 4 rounds, increase the load instead of adding sets. Grab a heavier dumbbell or a higher resistance exercise band.

Arm Exercises In-Depth

Dumbbell Strict Wall Curls

This is a strict exercise meant to isolate the biceps muscle and put all the load of the dumbbell on it.

Stand with your back flat against a wall. Your upper arms should be flat against the wall too. 

Your elbows will remain stationary and only the lower half of the arm below the elbow joint will move.

Do not rock back and forth to try and initiate the movement. Then, control your movement as you descend the weight.

Use a 2-2-3 tempo here. 2 seconds on the concentric. Hold for 2 seconds at the top. And, slowly lower the weight taking 3 seconds.

Dumbbell Wall Lean Curls

This helps you get a maximal stretch in the biceps and get them burning.

Unlike the strict curl, only your upper back will be touching the wall. So, you won’t be standing straight.

Instead, you’ll be leaning against the wall so that at the bottom of the movement, your arm will technically be behind you. This stretches the long head of the biceps.

This exercise activates your biceps more than any other exercise.

Your upper arms and elbow should remain stationary. They should be touching the wall throughout the movement. And, you only need to perform the bottom half of the movement, emphasizing the stretch portion of this exercise.

Dumbbell Pronated Curls

This movement gives the forearms some direct work because of how you will be holding the weight.

Move away from the wall. This time you can use a little bit of body movement. Although I recommend that you be as strict as possible.

Using a pronated grip — the back of your hand faces away from your body — proceed to curl the dumbbells up.

Tempo is not that important here. But, there should be a 2-second hold at the top and the eccentric portion of the lift should be controlled.

Band Hammer Curls

This hammer-grip curl will hammer your brachialis and make the biceps burn.

Step on your band and adjust the band’s tension so you remove all the slack when you go into your starting position.

Then, with a hammer grip or neutral grip, proceed to curl the band. This last exercise aims to fully tax the biceps until you cannot lift your arms anymore.

Do the hammer curls as long as you can until your arms fully give out. Remember: No pain, no gain!

Dumbbell Tricep Extensions

You will need to lie on the floor for this one. This exercise is a dumbbell version of the good old skull crushers.

You’ll be using a neutral grip in this exercise. So, your palms will be facing each other throughout the movement.

For the start position, your fists should be “above” your ears. This puts the triceps in a stretched position. From there, push the weight up by extending your elbows.

Remember to keep the upper arms and elbow stationary. This keeps the triceps stretched and makes sure that the tris are doing all the work.

Use a 2-2-3 tempo again for this one. 2 seconds on the concentric. Hold for 2 seconds at the top. And, take 3 seconds to lower the weight.

Band Step-Back Extensions

Loop your exercise band around a sturdy attachment that’s at about eye level. You can adjust the resistance by simply taking a few steps back, which will require you to pull on the band harder.

You execute this movement similar to a machine tricep press-down at the gym.

Your forearms should be the only body part moving. The upper arms should remain fixed and aligned to your torso.

For each rep, lockout your triceps. Hold that full extension for 2 seconds, and slow down the eccentric portion of the lift for maximal activation and, hence, maximum stimulus.

Band Overhead Extensions

This movement places the triceps in a stretched position at the start of the movement. Loading a muscle while it’s stretched is a good thing for hypertrophy.

To compound on that, the resistance increases as you push up, since you’re using a band. Thus, you tax the muscle maximally throughout the whole range of motion.

You don’t need to let go of the band after the previous exercise.

Just turn around and take a couple of steps forward. The attachment point of the band should be at least 3 feet behind you.

The aim is to make the resistance for the overhead extensions higher than the step-back extensions.

At the starting position, your upper arms should be about parallel to the ground. You don’t need to lock the upper arms in one position here. You can let the band pull the upper arms backward until it slightly breaks parallel for an even bigger stretch.

Go through the reps slowly and do it until your tris give out.

Diamond Push-Ups

Your triceps will be fried at this point. But, since this is a compound exercise, the other push muscles will be helping you complete the movement.

You’ll be training the triceps with “assistance”. So, you’ll be able to squeeze in more growth-inducing reps to fully exhaust all three heads of the triceps. 

To do the diamond push-ups, put your index fingers and thumbs together to form a diamond. That will be your hand placement for this exercise.

When you press out, keep your elbows tucked into your sides to emphasize the tris as the prime mover.

Notes

For all the bicep exercises, never fully extend your arms. Do not drop your hands loose. This keeps the tension in the bis.

For the tricep exercises, do the opposite. Always strive for full extension of the arms so the tris hit peak contraction in every rep.

Nutrition for Big Arms

Calories

You’ll have to go in bulk to get those arms growing. Thus, you should be in a caloric surplus.

Compute for your TDEE using an online calculator. Or, for a rough estimate, simply multiply your body weight in pounds by 16.

For example, a 150-pound guy should shoot for 2400 calories per day (150 x 16 = 2400).

Macronutrient Intake

The basic rule for any type of diet, be it a bulk or a cut, is to consume 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight.

Following this rule maximizes muscle protein synthesis, aka muscle growth. [3]

When you’ve accounted for the calories you’d be getting from protein alone, you can split the remaining calories between carbs and fats according to your preferences.

Supplements

If I had to pick just one, it would be a creatine supplement.

This supp has been widely studied and is deemed the most effective ergogenic aid to increase exercise intensity and muscle gain. [4]

The best form of this is creatine monohydrate. So, pick that one if ever you plan on supplementing.

Benefits of Bigger Arms

Building bigger arms means you are also making them stronger. This will carry over to your compound lifts, which is especially important for aspiring strength athletes in powerlifting or Strongman.

If you’re not progressing on lifts like the bench press or deadlifts, having dedicated arm-training might be the solution.

For example, having strong tris help you at the top portion of the bench press when locking out the lift.

In terms of aesthetics, having bigger arms has never been seen as a problem. Nobody was ever sad that they were able to fill out the sleeves of their shirt or that they have horseshoe triceps and baseball-sized bicep peaks.

Working for arm gains increases overall strength as well as overall confidence in your appearance. Get ready to flex ‘em!

How Long Does it Take to See Results? 

The answer to this depends on your current arm development.

Skinny folks will be able to see changes in as little as a month of following the workout.

As for those who already have some development in the arm department, it might take a couple of months or longer to see significant changes.

Bottom Line

You can get bigger arms with just home workouts.

With the routine given above, you’ll have no excuse to not get those arms jacked. It is easy to follow, quick to finish, and all-out intense.

Remember to follow the cues and execute all the exercises with the right form to get the most out of your arm days. Do not just go through the motions. Your reps wouldn’t matter when your form is wrong.

If you’re reading this, then, congratulations because you’re all set to get bigger arms!

Now, will you come up with an excuse or will you execute?

Imad Deryan

My name is Imad, and I struggled to gain mass in the past due to my metabolism and being very skinny. In this blog, I share the best reviews and advice when it comes to gaining weight and mass, for all the people that are struggling like I was.

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