flickr | george arabadzhiev

flickr | george arabadzhiev

You should be able to do biceps and triceps work without worrying the "beach muscle" police are going to spear tackle you. Let me tell you why arm work is functional, how to do it responsibly and give you four unique exercises to pump your bi's and tri's.

RELATED: Great insight from Tony Gentilcore on why Big Without Strong is Nothing

Use it or Lose it

Ignoring arm work because it isn't "functional" will result in muscle imbalances and movement dysfunction. A high-functioning shoulder and upper body requires the biceps and triceps to be big and strong to perform. 

RELATED: Bret Contreras, Tony Gentilcore and Brad Schoenfeld give 3 Total Body Programs for Big Arms.

Confidence Factor

Building bigger and stronger arms makes you look and feel more imposing. More confidence equals better performance - sounds functional to me. I don't need to tell you this because your bi's and tri's are already stretching your shirtsleeves, but nothing gets your opponents licking their chops more than a pair of skinny, straight, PVC-pipe looking arms.

4 Big Arm Exercises You Can Do Without Weight

The Long and the Short of it

Giving the cold-shoulder to your arms in the weight room is a mistake. That being said, avoid excessive load and frequency of isolated work on your biceps and triceps - especially if you are an overhead athlete. Regular doses of heavy total body lifting is a great foundation to bigger arms. Get responsible arm work back into your training for better function and give a flex to the "beach muscle" police while you're doing it!


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Tim DiFrancesco, PT, DPT, ATC, CSCS spent 6 seasons as the Head Strength & Conditioning Coach of the Los Angeles Lakers and founder of TD Athletes Edge.  He is nationally renowned for his evidence-based and scientific approach to fitness, training, nutrition, and recovery for athletes and fitness enthusiasts.

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