Should Women train arms? If so how often and which exercises?
Of course women should train arms!
While everyone will have slightly different reasons for being in the gym and lifting weights, the large majority of us want to build a strong, well balanced physique, so it’s important not to skip out on arms!
Make sure you include exercises that target both heads of the bicep. 💪🏽 We have a ‘short head’ and a ‘long head’ which have two different attachment points. This helps the bicep to work as a single muscle.
What exercises target each head ?
To target the LONG HEAD – Using a narrow grip (inside shoulder width) when doing curls emphasizes development of the long head. Why? This posting causes the long head to ‘stretch’ to its full ROM.
For example, if we look at something like an incline curl with arms hanging straight down behind the plane of your body, the long head is in a fully ‘stretched’ position.
To target the SHORT HEAD – Using a grip that is outside of shoulder width will target the short head. A preacher curl is another example, of hardly engages the long head, therefore is better for building the short head.
Training Frequency – How Often Should You Train Arms?
This will depend on a number of factors, and of course it makes sense to prioritize those body parts you want to improve on most. For women, that probably means a greater emphasis is placed on legs, glutes and shoulders. However, since the bicep is a smaller muscle group, you can afford to train it more frequently without taking up too much time, and they recover more quickly than larger muscles groups like legs. I have my clients train their arms 2x per week (2 biceps, 2 triceps), but it does depend on your training status and your current training volumes.
Rep Ranges – I have my clients train in both strength rep ranges (i.e. 6-10), as well as hypertrophy rep ranges (i.e. 12-15). The strength reps are very specific for powerlifting, while hypertrophy is excellent for building overall shape and size.