10 Best Arm Machines at the Gym: What You Need to Know

If you’re looking to tone your arms, you’ll want to use the best arm machines at the gym. Many people make the mistake of using inappropriate devices or not using any at all. 

Women who fear gaining bulky arms will especially avoid gym machines or use tiny amounts of weight.

This can lead to ineffective workouts and lackluster results. 

But you’re on the right page as we discuss the different arm machines and how to use them for maximum benefit. We’ll also discuss some gym equipment you can purchase to sculpt your arms from the privacy of your own home.

The Best Arm Workout Machines You’ll Find in a Gym

1. Assisted Pull-Up Machine

assisted pull up machine

If you can’t do a pull-up (yet!), don’t despair. The assisted pull-up machine can help you prepare for the real thing.

And, in the meantime, it will work your lats and biceps as few other machines can.

Here’s how to use it:

  • Adjust the weight so that it’s challenging but doable.
  • Grip the bar with an overhand grip (palms facing towards you).
  • Pull yourself up until your chin is over the bar.
  • Lower yourself back to the starting position.
  • Do three sets of 10 reps each.

2. Seated Row Machine

seated row machine for working out your arms

The seated row machine is a comprehensive option for working your back muscles, chest, biceps, and triceps.

Here’s how to use it:

  • Sit down and adjust the weight.
  • Grip the handles with an overhand grip (palms towards you).
  • Pull the handles back until your hands are at your chest.
  • Squeeze your shoulder blades together as you do this.
  • Slowly return to the starting position.
  • Do three sets of 10 reps each.

3. Bicep Curl Machine (aka the Preacher Curl Machine)

Preacher Curl Machine for arms workout

The bicep curl machine is a great way to isolate your biceps and get a good pump. That’s the main advantage compared to doing regular bicep curls using dumbbells.

But there’s another advantage:

This machine makes it easier to maintain a correct posture compared to using dumbbells.

Here’s one mistake that makes you cringe when you’re at the gym:

You may notice many people at the gym jerking their weights around, huffing and puffing, or breaking their backs to lift weights that are obviously too heavy for them.

That means they’re exposing themselves to many risks of injury.

The bicep curl machine solves that issue because you can’t use momentum to lift the weights; it’s all in your biceps.

Here’s how to use it:

  • Sit down and adjust the weight.
  • Grip the handles with an underhand grip (palms facing away from you).
  • Curl your hands towards your shoulders.
  • Squeeze your biceps at the top of the curl.
  • Slowly return to the starting position.
  • Do three sets of 10 reps each.

4. The Seated Dip Machine

Tricep dips have always been challenging to newbies – and even some expert gym rats. Two mistakes you often see are:

  • Keeping your elbows open instead of closed down
  • Shifting your butt away from the plio box or whatever support you’re using for the tricep dips

The seated dip machine solves that issue because it locks your elbows in the correct position and supports your back.

Here’s how to use it:

  • Sit down and adjust the weight.
  • Dip your body down until your arms are at a 90-degree angle.
  • Make sure to keep your elbows close to your body.
  • Slowly return to the starting position.
  • Do three sets of 10 reps each.

5. Cable Machine

cable machine for arms

The cable machine is probably the scariest but also the most comprehensive arm gym machine. The most intimidating thing for beginners is seeing all those rope and bar attachments lying around and having to fix them in the correct positions for the right exercises.

Yikes!

However, the results are worth it.

The cable machine allows you to work your arm muscles in entirely new ways than you’ve ever done before with dumbells or bodyweight.

For example, you can use the cable machine to exercise your forearms.

Some exercises also work out multiple muscle groups at once, such as cable crossover tricep extensions, which work your triceps, chest, and shoulders simultaneously.

Here are some exercises you can do on the cable machine to work your arms:

Forearm Curls:

  • Attach a rope handle to the low pulley.
  • Grip the handle with an overhand grip (palms facing towards you).
  • Curl your hands up towards your shoulders.
  • Squeeze your forearms at the top of the curl.
  • Slowly return to the starting position.
  • Do three sets of ten reps each.

Tricep Curls:

  • Attach a rope handle to the low pulley.
  • Grip the handle with an underhand grip (palms facing away from you).
  • Curl your hands down from your chest level towards your hips.
  • Squeeze your triceps at the bottom of the curl.
  • Slowly return to the starting position.
  • Do three sets of ten reps each.

Standing Lat Pulldown:

  • Attach a rope to the high pulley.
  • Grip the rope attachment with your palms facing each other.
  • Lean slightly forward from your hips. Keep your back straight, and don’t hunch your shoulders. Keep your belly button pulled in towards your spine.
  • Lift your arms until they’re shoulder-level.
  • Pull your arms down towards your hips.
  • Slowly return to the starting position.
  • Do three sets of ten reps each.

6. Shoulder Press Machine

shoulder press machine for your arms

The shoulder press machine is a great way to work your shoulders and your triceps. However, pushing and pulling the weight will also use your biceps, forearms, chest and lats as supporting muscle groups.

Here’s how to use it:

  • Sit down and adjust the weight.
  • Grip the handles with an overhand grip (palms facing towards you).
  • Press the handles up above your head.
  • Slowly return to the starting position.
  • Do three sets of ten reps each.

7. Elliptical Machine

elliptical for arms

The elliptical machine is a great way to work your arms, core, and legs.

Working out on an elliptical allows you to burn a high number of calories because you engage your entire body at the same time.

You will also notice your arms getting sore, which means your muscles are in the process of becoming more toned.

Here’s the problem:

Elliptical machines don’t increase the muscle mass in your arms. Therefore, you’ll notice some sculpting, though not as much as if you were using the strength machines above.

Here’s how to use it:

  • Stand up and hold on to the handrails.
  • Start the machine and begin pedaling.
  • As you pedal, move your arms back and forth in a rowing motion.
  • Aim for a 30-45-minute session for optimal results.

8. Spin Bikes

spin bike for arms workout

Spin bikes tone your arms because you have to grip the handlebars the entire time you’re pedaling.

The more speed and resistance you add, the more your arms will have to work. Standing up while pedaling puts even more pressure on those arms.

But, just like with the elliptical, spin bikes only tone your arms instead of building new lean muscle mass.

Here’s the solution:

Some spin bikes boast built-in resistance bands that have your muscles work against themselves.

Here’s how to use a spin bike:

  • Sit down on the bike and adjust the seat height so your legs can pedal comfortably.
  • Grip the handlebars and start pedaling.
  • As you pedal, increase the speed and resistance.
  • Stand up when you’re comfortable.
  • Do a 10-30 minute session.

9. Rowing Machines

rowing machines for shoulders

The rowing machine is a great way to exercise your arms because it targets your biceps, triceps, forearms, and shoulders. Besides, it also focuses on your lower back and core.

The advantage compared to the elliptical or spin bike is that a rowing machine can actually increase your muscle mass in both your arms and legs.

When you increase the resistance on a spin bike or elliptical, your legs do most of the effort.

But a rowing machine has your arms work harder, too, when you increase the resistance.

That said, you’ll have to:

  • Purchase a rowing machine with a high enough resistance level to make a difference.
  • Choose the correct type of resistance for your needs. For example, magnetic resistance allows you to select the desired intensity yourself. By comparison, air resistance requires increasing the speed to up the resistance.

Here’s how to use a rower:

  • Sit down on the rower and adjust the foot pedals so that your legs are at a comfortable angle.
  • Grip the handlebars and start rowing.
  • As you row, increase the resistance.
  • Do a 20-30 minute session.

10. Standing Boxing Bag

standing boxing bag

You immediately recognize people with a lot of pent-up frustration by how they punch and kick their boxing bags. Sometimes they don’t even stop when their instructors tell them to move on to the next exercise.

And, miraculously, they instinctively know how to execute all those jabs and elbow kicks while maintaining a flawless posture.

Besides, punching and kicking the boxing bag will build functional strength, improve your cardiovascular health, and sculpt your arms.

Here’s how to use it:

  • Your best bet is to attend a kickboxing class because you need to learn the correct posture. Otherwise, you risk getting injured, which messes with your entire progress. And it hurts a lot.
  • Exercise your entire upper body:
  • Elbow kicks are best for lats and shoulders
  • Jabs, crosses and punches are best for the biceps, forearms and chest
  • Uppercuts are best for triceps
  • Hooks are best for abs, chest, and biceps
  • Rear elbows are best for lats

How Often Should You Use Gym Machines for Arms?

You should use gym machines for arms at least three times a week. This way, you’ll see results within eight to twelve weeks.

If you want to speed up the process, you can use machines for arms six times a week. But make sure to give your muscles enough time to recover between workouts.

Here’s how:

  • Day 1: Back and biceps
  • Day 2: Triceps and chest
  • Day 3: Shoulders and lats
  • Day 4: Back and biceps
  • Day 5: Triceps and chest
  • Day 6: Shoulders and lats
  • Day 7: Rest

Of course, you can add leg/core workouts throughout the week along with these arm exercises.

arm workout exercises

What Are the Risks of Using Gym Machines for Arms?

The risks of using gym machines for arms are minimal. However, there is a small risk of developing tendonitis in the elbow or shoulder if you overuse specific machines.

To avoid this, make sure to:

  • Warm up before using any machine.
  • Start with a lower weight and resistance level.
  • Increase the weight and resistance gradually.
  • Stop using the device if you feel any pain.
  • If you experience any discomfort, see a doctor.

Wrap Up

In conclusion, gym machines are a great way to tone your arms and increase muscle mass. Just make sure to use them safely and according to your fitness level.

Besides, remember that you can purchase some of the above for home use. You can always install a standing boxing bag, get a rower or a foldable spin bike. That will help you build strength and blow off some steam from the privacy of your own home.

Mary D. Brown

Leave a Comment