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4 Mistakes Lifters Make When Trying To Increase Arm Size

by Evelyn Valdez

Many lifters are eager to pack on arm size as quickly as possible. However, despite their best efforts in the gym, some find themselves struggling to see significant gains.

If you're among those who are frustrated by stagnant progress in your quest for bigger arms, it may be time to reassess your approach. In this article, we'll discuss four common mistakes lifters make when trying to increase arm size and offer solutions to help you overcome these obstacles.

Sticking to the Same Grip

One of the most common mistakes lifters make when trying to increase arm size is sticking to the same grip on their exercises. Whether it's bicep curls, tricep extensions, or other arm-focused movements, using the same grip repeatedly can lead to stagnation in muscle growth. Your muscles adapt to the stimulus they receive, so if you always use the same grip, you may not be effectively targeting all areas of the muscle.


Incorporate a variety of grips into your arm workouts to ensure balanced muscle development. For example, on bicep curls, alternate between using a supinated (palms facing up), neutral, and pronated (palms facing down) grip. Similarly, experiment with different grip widths on exercises like chin-ups and bench presses to target different areas of the arms. By varying your grip, you'll stimulate new muscle fibers and promote overall arm growth.

Not Utilizing Lifting Straps or Wrist Wraps

Another mistake lifters make when trying to increase arm size is neglecting to use lifting straps or wrist wraps when necessary. While grip strength is essential for many exercises, such as deadlifts and rows, it can become a limiting factor when training the arms. If your grip gives out before your arm muscles reach fatigue, you may not be effectively stimulating muscle growth. Same goes for wrist pain! Joint pain can get in the way of lifting heavy overhead weights which can limit your gains!


Incorporate lifting straps on your pull days to help you maintain a strong grip on the weight while focusing on fully engaging and exhausting the muscles of the arms. Use lifting straps for deadlifts, rows, etc. Any exercises that require you to pull the weight.

Incorporate wrist wraps on your push days to help stabilize and protect your wrist so you can push through more weights. Use wrist wraps for overhead presses, bench presses, or any overhead movements.

Reliance on Only Compound Movements

While compound movements are undoubtedly valuable for building overall strength and muscle mass, relying solely on them can be a mistake when trying to increase arm size. Compound exercises like bench presses, rows, and overhead presses primarily target larger muscle groups such as the chest, back, and shoulders. While the arms are involved as secondary muscles in these movements, they may not receive enough direct stimulation to promote significant growth on their own.


Supplement compound movements with targeted isolation exercises to ensure comprehensive arm development. Include exercises like bicep curls, tricep extensions, hammer curls, and skull crushers in your routine to specifically target the muscles of the arms. By incorporating a mix of compound and isolation exercises, you'll ensure that all areas of the arms are effectively stimulated for optimal growth.

Cutting Short the Range of Motion

One of the most common mistakes lifters make when trying to increase arm size is cutting short the range of motion on their exercises. Whether due to ego lifting, fatigue, or poor form, failing to perform exercises through a full range of motion can significantly limit muscle growth. By shortening the range of motion, you're reducing the time under tension on the muscles, which is essential for stimulating growth.


Focus on performing each rep of your arm exercises through a full range of motion, ensuring that you achieve a full stretch and contraction of the muscles with each repetition. Avoid swinging or using momentum to lift the weight, and instead, concentrate on controlled, deliberate movements. If necessary, reduce the weight to maintain proper form and complete the full range of motion for maximum muscle activation.

Strategize to get the results you deserve

Learning how to get bigger arms requires more than just showing up at the gym and going through the motions. By avoiding these common mistakes and implementing the solutions provided, you can maximize your arm size and achieve the results you desire. Remember to vary your grips, utilize lifting straps or wrist wraps when necessary, incorporate a mix of compound and isolation exercises, and focus on performing each rep through a full range of motion. With dedication and attention to detail, you'll be well on your way to boasting impressive arms that command attention.


  • Thank you for sharing! These are great tips!

    DeAira Suarez -
  • Really great tips and advice! Thank you! I will be implementing some of them!

    DeAira Suarez -

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