Many times when people think of arm exercises, they think of small isolation movements like biceps curls, and triceps extensions. Isolation movements have their place, particularly in rehab, however, the vast majority of workout programs should consist of compound exercises. Compound exercises incorporate movements across multiple joints involving more muscles (yay!)

Some benefits include

-More calories burned during exercise

-Simulating real world activities (“functional”)

-Improves coordination and balance

-Improves joint stability and muscle balance across joints

-More bang for your buck! Shorter, more effective workouts

Here are Katie’s three favorite ‘arm’ exercises that you can try today:

1. TRX Row 

The TRX row is one of Katie’s favorite exercises. It’s fantastic for strengthening your upper back and biceps, but it also requires an element of core stability in order to keep your body in the right position. Oh, and you should be squeezing your glutes, too!

*Tip* Practice these a few times a week if you have goal of achieving a pull-up! Keep the slack out of the TRX, you should resemble a moving plank.

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2. Pushup

Pushups are not just an upper body exercise. If done properly, they engage your entire body, including your core, glutes and legs, but primarily target the chest, shoulders and triceps. They are a staple of any good exercise program.

*Tip* Instead of starting on your knees, try placing your hands on an incline so that you can do a full push-up with assistance. You’ll want to keep your abs braced, glutes and quads tight, and your body in a straight line from ear to ankle.

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3. Dumbbell Push Press 

With the dumbbell push press you can lift heavier weight and still slash your risk for injury. The reason: your legs help you push through the position that many struggle with on a strict shoulder press. Because this is an explosive exercise you’ll also target your fast twitch muscle fibers- the ones with the greatest potential for strength gains. More bang for your buck! 

*Tip* With the dumbbells at your shoulders keep your chest upright and bend slightly at the knees, this is not a full squat. Then immediately reverse the movement straighten your legs quickly and explosively using the momentum you gain to get the dumbbells overhead. Use the strength of your arms to finish the movement, completely locking out overhead.

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