6 Reasons Why Your Arms Are So Thin

If you have been on your fitness journey for any significant amount of time, you know that growing your arms can be incredibly difficult at first. You might think you aren’t working out hard enough or not doing enough reps. As you’ll learn below, you don’t have to do endless bicep curls in order to start seeing results. 

In fact, many of the mistakes you’re making are very easy to fix. If you haven’t seen growth and are starting to wonder what you’re doing wrong, keep reading to learn the top 6 reasons why your arms are so skinny. 

Too Many Isolation Exercises 

Knowing what types of exercises to do might seem obvious to a bodybuilder, cross fitter, or gym rat. However, to the average person trying to stay healthy, it might not be. There are two different types of weight exercises: 

  • Isolation: exercises that target one single muscle within a larger group.
  • Compound: exercises that target an entire muscle group in one solid movement (bench press, deadlift, squat, overhead press, and shoulder press) 

A popular example of an isolation exercise is the bicep curl. So many people think all they have to do to grow their arms is bicep curls. In fact, you might already have it as part of your gym workout. However, while overfocusing on this one exercise, they neglect others that would give them much better results. For instance, the bench press works every muscle in the chest, shoulders, and arms. 

It’s true that isolation exercises help add definition to specific areas of your body. However, it will be impossible to stimulate growth without doing an isolation muscle for every single muscle in your arms. That could take hours. Instead, focusing on bench presses, overhead presses, and shoulder presses will activate every muscle in one movement. That way, you save time at the gym and gain muscle faster and safer.

Too Much Focus on Arms

Once you have added compound lifts to your workouts, it’s important to include ALL of the lifts. That means deadlifts and squats too. You may not think that working your legs and core is integral for growing your arms, but they are actually directly connected.

As you go along your fitness journey, you will want to slowly add weight to your lifts. If your arms are growing stronger and your legs are being neglected, you might not have the confidence to pick up those 30lb weights and walk them over to your matt. 

Strengthening your core and legs along with your arms will ensure that you can safely handle heavier weights.  Over time, you’ll gain the confidence and stamina to perform any exercise you want. After all, 

those shoulder presses can get pretty tiring if your quads hurt just as much as your shoulders. 

Poor Recovery

Whether you’re just beginning your fitness journey or switching up your workout schedule, it can be tempting to take the “more is more” approach. However, having a 2-3 hour arm day 3 days a week can actually hinder your progress and make growth next to impossible. 

This is because your recovery time is nearly just as important as your workouts themselves. If you are continuously breaking down your muscles without letting them build back up, no amount of bicep curls and bench presses will make them grow larger. 

In fact, over-training can actually weaken your muscles over time and lead to muscle fatigue and joint damage. 

Insufficient Training Routine 

As was mentioned above, more isn’t always more. If your goal is muscle growth, the focus should be on an exercise technique known as hypertrophy. Hypertrophy involves adjusting reps, sets, weights, and workout frequency in order to keep your muscles confused and guessing. That way, no one workout becomes too easy, and your muscles are always fatigued after every workout.

For starters, that means not doing 100 bicep curls on arm day. All you’ll do is wear out your bicep and not give it enough time to recover. For hypertrophy, the aim for each exercise you do is 8-12 reps for 3-4 sets. If you can, complete those exercises 2-4 times a week. 

You’ll know that your weights are heavy enough if the last 2 reps of an exercise are difficult to complete while keeping proper form. If they’re easy, that means you should increase your weight.   

Unhealthy Lifestyle

Poor workout habits are likely a contributing factor to your skinny arm problem, but it usually isn’t the only culprit. If you’re constantly stressed and/or under-slept, your body won’t have the energy it needs for hypertrophy. 

Sleep, above all else, should be a priority in your life. If you are stressed, improving your sleep routine will likely lower your stress naturally and elevate your mood throughout the day. 

Poor Nutrition

If you’re doing everything right and still have skinny arms, chances are you aren’t eating the proper diet for your goals. The fitness world has taught for a long time that athletes should avoid all carbs and only consume lean meats and vegetables.

However, research has advanced over the years, and we now know that healthy fats and complex carbs are essential parts of the human diet. Not only do they give you energy, but they also keep your metabolism functioning at optimal levels.

Protein is another essential part of a muscle-growth diet. Without it, your body can’t rebuild the muscle that has been broken down in the gym. This includes both lean and fatty meats, dairy, eggs, beans, lentils, and specific vegetables. These foods will help your body recover faster and help add to those gains.  

Embrace These Changes Over Time

Not all six of these mistakes need to be remedied all at once. Start by making small adjustments first, and before you know it, you’ll be able to add all six to your daily routine. However, adding compound exercises and focusing on hypertrophy will likely create the most progress and grow those weak, skinny arms into gym-made masterpieces.   

Author Bio:

Joshua White is a passionate and experienced website article writer with a keen eye for detail and a knack for crafting engaging content. With a background in journalism and digital marketing, Joshua brings a unique perspective to his writing, ensuring that each piece resonates with readers. His dedication to delivering high-quality, informative, and captivating articles has earned him a reputation for excellence in the industry. When he’s not writing, Joshua enjoys exploring new topics and staying up-to-date with the latest trends in content creation.

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