Want to build bigger, stronger arms? Barbell curls and tricep extensions are great, but doing focused arm workouts with machines can help you build your biceps and tricep muscles.
Arm machine exercises are an excellent way to target your muscles and progressively overload them by lifting heavier weights than free weights.
Whether you’re looking for a classic bicep curl machine or a tricep pushdown machine, these moves can take your arm training to the next level.
This post will show you the best machine exercises to hit every major muscle in your arms. Learn proper form and technique for the bicep, tricep, and forearm.
Additionally, you will be provided with sample arm workout routines to maximize your time at the gym.
Let Dive In!
- What Are Arm Machine Exercises?
- Types Of Machines Used For Arm Workout
- Top Gym Machines For Arm Workouts
- 1. Cable Bicep Curls
- 2. Triceps Pushdown
- 3. Preacher Curl Machine
- 4. Machine Tricep Dip
- 5. Reverse Grip Lat Pulldown
- 6. Tricep Extension Machine
- 7. Forearm Wrist Curl Machine
- Machine Workout Plan for Stronger Arm Muscles
- Beginner Arm Workout With Machine Only
What Are Arm Machine Exercises?
Arm machine exercises are a category of strength training exercises that specifically target the bicep and tricep muscles. They are primarily used with specialized gym equipment or machines.
With these machines, you can get the most out of your workout with the least risk of getting hurt.
Arm machines are especially beneficial for beginners or those with joint issues.
It is also easier to perform advanced techniques, such as drop sets and forced reps, with a machine.
Types Of Machines Used For Arm Workout
- Cable Machines: Versatile equipment that can be used for various arm exercises, including bicep curls, triceps pushdowns, and forearm exercises.
- Preacher Curl Bench: Often combined with a barbell or dumbbell, the preacher bench supports your arms.
- Tricep Extension Machines: These target the triceps, requiring the user to push against resistance to extend the arm.
- Lat pulldown machines: While primarily for the back, they also engage the biceps and forearms.
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Top Gym Machines For Arm Workouts
Here are 7 gym machines that you can use for a complete arm workout.
1. Cable Bicep Curls
The cable machines are an exercise that trains the biceps in isolation and places the muscles under constant tension throughout both the concentric and eccentric phases. This is one of the biggest cable bicep training benefits over other methods.
Using the cable machine, you’ll be able to hit all the heads of the biceps from different angles and through a range of motions.
Cable bicep curls can be done on a cable machine with different attachments like a straight bar, rope, or EZ bar.
- In the standard bicep curl, your palms are facing upward (supinated grip). This curl primarily targets the biceps brachii muscle.
- In the hammer curl, your palms are facing each other (neutral grip). This curl works both the long of the biceps and the brachialis muscle.
- In the reverse curl, your palms are facing downward (pronated grip). The primary focus of the reverse curl is on the brachialis muscle and the brachioradialis muscle (a forearm muscle)
How To Do Bicep Machine Cable Curl
- Adjust the pulley to the lowest setting and attach a straight bar or rope to the cable.
- Stand facing the machine with your feet shoulder-width apart and your knees slightly bent.
- Grab the bar or rope with an underhand grip, with your palms facing up.
- Keep your elbows close to your sides and your upper arms stationary.
- Slowly curl the weight up towards your shoulders.
- Make sure you squeeze your bicep at the top of the exercise.
- Then slowly lower the weight back to where you started.
2. Triceps Pushdown
The tricep pushdown is a weight-training exercise that targets the tricep muscle. The exercise is typically performed using a cable machine and a straight bar, V-bar, or rope attachment.
To perform the exercise, the person stands in front of the cable machine and grasps the bar or rope with an overhand grip, hands shoulder-width apart.
There are many ways to do the classic tricep pushdown that can make your workout more interesting and work different parts of the tricep muscles.
- Rope Pushdown
- V-Bar Pushdown
- Underhand Grip Pushdown
- Single-Arm Pushdown
How To Do Triceps Pushdown
- Stand facing a high-pulley cable with a short straight bar attached to it.
- Slight bend your knees and feet should be about shoulder-width apart.
- Grasp the Short bar with a pronated grip (palm down).
- Hold the bar at chest level with your elbows tight against your sides.
- Keeping your elbows stationary, straighten your arms until they are fully extended.
- Pause for a full arm extension, flex your triceps, and slowly return the bar to the starting position.
3. Preacher Curl Machine
The preacher curl machine is a great way to strengthen the biceps muscles. You will benefit from the fixed position of the machine, which helps to isolate and effectively target your biceps.
Also, the machine lets you use heavier weights than you could with free weights, which can help you build more muscle.
With a preacher curl, you get many benefits that don’t come with regular bicep curls. Do preacher curl with a little wider grip to impart more load on short-head biceps.
There are many ways to do preacher curls, each of which has its benefits.
- Dumbbell Preacher Curls
- Reverse Grip Preacher Curls
- Machine Preacher Curl
- Cable Preacher Curls
How To Do Machine Preacher Curl
- Adjust the seat height to ensure that your elbows are aligned with the pivot point of the machine.
- Grasp the handles with an overhand grip, palms facing forward.
- Your hands should be shoulder-width apart.
- Rest your upper arms on the padded support bar.
- Keep your elbows close to your sides and curl the weight up towards your chest.
- Slowly lower the weight back to the starting position.
4. Machine Tricep Dip
The tricep machine dip is a type of strength training equipment that is designed to work the triceps muscles. It is a variation of the traditional tricep dip that uses a machine instead of bodyweight.
The tricep dip machine provides a more controlled and isolated environment than a parallel bar dip. It minimizes the use of the chest, shoulders, and back.
It is a great exercise for beginners who want to bigger and stronger arms.
How To Do Machine Dip
- Sit down on a dip machine and place your feet on the footrests.
- Keep your elbows close to your body and grasp the handles with a neutral grip.
- Some machines might offer different grip variations; choose the one that’s most comfortable.
- Focus on squeezing your triceps to get a good contraction.
- Slowly bend your elbows until they are close to parallel to the floor.
5. Reverse Grip Lat Pulldown
If you want to add a new and effective exercise to your arm workout routine, try the reverse grip Lat pulldown. It’s a great choice.
An underhand grip is used to target different muscles than the traditional overhand grip lat pulldown.
It is beneficial for increasing strength throughout the back, biceps, and forearms. The underhand grip puts slightly more emphasis on the biceps and forearms.
How To Do Reverse Grip Lat Pulldown
- Grip the bar with your palms facing you (underhand/supinated grip).
- Take a deep breath and engage your core muscles.
- Start pulling the bar downwards toward your upper chest.
- Pull the bar down toward the upper chest, focusing on squeezing the lats
- Drive elbows down and back as you pull the bar to fully engage the biceps
- Hold for a count, then return up to the starting position.
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6. Tricep Extension Machine
The tricep extension machine is a great way to improve your mind-muscle connection because it involves a very strict movement that targets the triceps very well.
The machine provides continuous resistance as you raise and lower the weight, which makes it harder to cheat and isolate the triceps.
It’s beginner-friendly and doesn’t need much setup or adjustment.
How To Do Tricep Extension Machine
- Adjust the seat and handles so that your upper arms are parallel to the floor.
- Hold the handles with a firm grip, palms facing down (overhand grip). Some machines may have vertical handles, which require a neutral (palms facing each other) grip.
- Sit down and tuck your elbows close to your body.
- Exhale and slowly push the handles down until your arms are fully extended.
- Inhale and slowly return the handles to the starting position.
- Do 8–12 reps for 3–4 sets, depending on your fitness level and goals.
7. Forearm Wrist Curl Machine
These machines are popular in many gyms and are particularly favored for their targeted approach to forearm training.
If your gym doesn’t have a machine for curling your wrists, you can use a wrist roller instead. It is a simple tool consisting of a bar or rod with a rope or cord attached to it.
You attach weights to the other end of the rope, and by rolling the device, you engage the muscles in your wrists and forearms.
Rolling motion strengthens the grip and improves joint stability and range of motion.
How To Do Wrist Rollers
- Start by attaching the desired amount of weight to the end of the rope or cord.
- Hold the bar or rod with both hands, palms facing down.
- Keep your elbows slightly bent as you extend your arms in front of you.
- Start rolling the wrist roller by moving your hands forward and letting the weight go up toward the bar.
- Roll the weight until it reaches the bar, and then turn around and roll it back down to where you started.
- Do 3–5 reps for 2–3 sets.
Machine Workout Plan for Stronger Arm Muscles
When a certain amount of volume stops being effective and your progress stalls, you can add sets to increase volume and use that as a driver of renewed progress.
Generally, for muscle growth, it’s recommended to do 3–5 sets of 8–12 reps for each exercise. Strength, Power, Hypertrophy, and Endurance by V. Yuri Verkhoshansky and Mell Siff’s Supertraining
Here is a general breakdown of the number of sets and reps for different fitness goals:
- Endurance: 2–3 sets of 15–20 reps
- Strength: 3–5 sets of 3–5 reps
- Muscle hypertrophy (size): 3–5 sets of 8–12 reps
Beginner Arm Workout With Machine Only
|Exercise||Sets||Reps||Rest (between sets)|
|Triceps Pushdown||4||8-10||60-90 sec|
|Cable Curl||4||8-10||60-90 sec|
|Tricep Machine Extension||3||10-12||60-90 sec|
|Machine Preacher Curl||3||10-12||60-90 sec|
|Machine Wrist Curl||3||3-5||60-90 sec|
The gym has many machines that can help you make your arms bigger and stronger. Arm machines let you isolate muscles, use proper form, and overload them for growth.
There are different machines that work all the major muscles of the arms, such as the biceps, triceps, and forearm. The most effective arm machines include cable towers and dip machines.
Next time you go to the gym, use these helpful tools to build your arms.
Manish brings over 10 years of hands-on experience in weight lifting and fat loss to fitness coaching. He specializes in gym-based training and has a lot of knowledge about exercise, lifting technique, biomechanics, and more.
Through “Fit Life Regime,” he generously shares the insights he’s gained over a decade in the field. His goal is to equip others with the knowledge to start their own fitness journey.