Correct Form is vital for getting the most out of any exercise - and arm training is no exception. All Reps should be performed in a controlled manner with a tempo of 2 seconds up and 2 seconds down.
Shoulder pressing movements should be performed either with dumbbells or on a Shoulder press machine - barbell Shoulder press is an injury prone exercise and not recommended. The weight should be lowered so the upper arm travels below parallel to the Shoulder and then pressed upwards until the Elbows are slightly bent (do not fully extend). This is to help increase Time Under Tension on the target muscle.
This movement is led with the Elbows, not the hands. The weight should never be raised above the Elbow joint as this will take tension away from the Medial Deltoid (side Deltoid). While maintaining a semi-bent arm, the upper arms must be raised directly out to the side of the body, not in front or behind. Once the elbows have reached parallel to the floor they must be lowered only so much that tension can still be felt in the target muscle. Do not lower all the way down and rest for a small period - this will cause the Intensity of the exercise to decrease.
Elbows must remain very stable and any rocking forward, back, outwards or inwards should be kept to a minimum. This will help remove auxiliary muscle groups from the movement, and focus most of the tension on the Target muscle. Wrists must remain stiff throughout the movement and the weight itself must be kept in the tension window (not curled up too high so tension is lost, and not lowered so low as to rest at the very bottom of the movement). Cheat Reps should only be performed in the last sets on the very last reps, and only after no more reps can be performed with perfect form.
Like with Bicep training, the Elbows must also be kept stable and not swayed in any direction in Tricep extension movements. Wrists should also remain stiff. However, full extension and full flexion can be practiced in order to fully contract the Tricep muscles - with a conscious 'Flex' at the bottom of each rep, until full range repetitions can no longer be performed in the set.
2. Avoiding Over Training
Arm muscles get plenty of stimulation from training other muscle groups like Chest and Back, so they do not need a lot of volume each week in order to grow and adapt. In a full and well rounded program they only need to be trained once per week, with only 1-2 exercises per muscle group. Think about the lactic acid build up and Intensity factor of each set you perform - instead of how much weight you can lift or increasing the amount of sessions you train each muscle group - if you do this then one session on your arms each week is all you need for maximum growth.
3. Using Different Set Structures
All different set structures are designed for is to increase Time Under Tension and Lactic Acid Burn on a muscle group. So make sure you bear this in mind when incorporating new set structures into your training. They must all still be performed with good form and used sparingly within your training program, so not to over train. Standard Straight sets shall be your most performed set structure for most sessions, while adding in the odd new protocol every now and then if you feel an exercise or set is not Intense enough. Learn more about set structures here.
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