Group 6: Arms
Since “arms” don’t really count as a single muscle group (they’re really two groups: biceps and triceps), I had to make a choice of which to emphasize. The smart move is to choose the larger of the two groups, and that would be the triceps. Plus, the biceps will get a hell of a lot of accessory stimulation from the pullups above.
The triceps muscle consists of three heads and does two things: extend the elbow and extend the shoulder. Most people who try to work the triceps forget about that second action and focus purely on elbow extension. That’s why popular movements like the close-grip bench press, dips, or pressdowns all failed to make the cut here. These movements all involve upper-arm positions that are close to the body, and they mainly target the lateral heads of the triceps (the most visible part of the “horseshoe” when you contract them). It’s important to also get the long heads of the muscles involved by having more action at the shoulder.
Skull Crusher “Plus”
This pattern involves the lateral head action of a classic skull crusher through elbow flexion, but it adds in the long-head action of a pullover pattern to hit shoulder extension on each rep as well. To really thicken the entire upper arm, this pattern is money.
How to Do It:
Place the hands on the curved portions of an EZ bar and start in a horizontal bench press “finish” position. Bend at the elbow slowly until the weight hovers above the forehead and the elbows are flexed at 90-degree angles. Next, open up the shoulder joint by reaching toward the floor with the weight. Really try to push the elbows above your head so the upper arms almost cover your ears. In one motion, reverse the movement to return the arms and the weight to where they started. It’s OK if your elbows flare open a little bit on each rep. Focus on sets of 10 to 12 reps.
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