Updated May 2022
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Buying guide for Best arm blasters

Arm blasters, which help you do curls at home, are a great way for a health enthusiast to get an awesome workout without going to the gym.

There are two basic types of curls: bicep curls and preacher curls. Bicep curls, also known as free curls because you’re not resting or bracing your arms against anything, are the most common. Among the various bicep curls are hammer curls, incline bicep curls (lying on an inclined surface), seated bicep curls, and reverse bicep curls. You can do these types of curls anywhere, as they don’t require specialized equipment. Even the inclined plane can be made with a couple of boards and some cinder blocks.

Preacher curls are a bit different. You need something to brace your arms against so you don’t swing them and build up momentum. This forces you to work the muscles in your arms, biceps, and triceps more rigorously than you would with a bicep curl. Unfortunately, the machines you use in the gym to assist you with these curls are specialized and expensive, and they require a lot of space.

There is a better answer. Let’s take a look at some arm blasters, which have a brace across the midriff and a strap around the neck so you can do preacher curls without a heavy machine.

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Biceps and triceps are opposites, not only in their location but also in their actions. When one of them flexes, the other relaxes. Then, they reverse; the second one flexes and the first one relaxes. This lets you bend your arm to pull it close and extend it to push it away.

Key considerations

Portability

Arm blasters give you the ability to perform preacher curls anywhere, anytime. Whether you don’t have a gym membership, don’t have a gym nearby, or simply aren’t able to get to the gym on a given day, you can perform preacher curls at home or on the road. Just throw them in your backpack or the trunk of your car, and you’re good to go.

Cost-effectiveness

Gym memberships can be pricey. An arm blaster, on the other hand, can be had for a one-time payment and used repeatedly for years to come. You get the same benefits as using gym equipment but without the ongoing membership cost. If you want to do preacher curls but also want to save some money, this is a great way to do it.

Expert TIp
A great arm workout using the arm blaster would be to superset standing dumbbell bicep curls followed immediately by standing cable tricep pushdowns with a straight bar. Perform this sequence, with little rest in between each set, for 3 sets of 10 to 12 reps.
BestReviews Fitness Expert

Features

There aren’t a lot of extra features available on arm blasters. These are simply curved pieces of metal that fit across your midriff with two curved and padded cups on either side to brace your arms above the elbows. A padded strap around your neck holds the arm blaster in place.

Material

For the most part, the metal brace on arm blasters is made from heavy-gauge aluminum to hold down the weight. Webbed nylon straps are attached to the bar with brass rivets, and the neck padding on the strap is typically made of neoprene, the same material that wetsuits are made of.

The only variable seems to be in the strap adjustment buckle. Some are metal and some are heavy-duty plastic. Aside from that, arm blasters are all manufactured using similar materials.

Weight

The weight of arm blasters sits within a small range, usually from 1.4 pounds to 2.2 pounds. It’s very rare to find an arm blaster that weighs more than three pounds.

Color

Some manufacturers only offer basic black with their company logo on it. Others offer a range of colors, from soft gray to hot pink. Several offer a patriotic version with the stars and stripes.

Expert TIp
When working your biceps, if the arm blaster is too high, your chest & triceps will get in the way.
BestReviews Fitness Expert

Add-ons

Arm blaster packages can include more than just the arm blaster itself. Some packages include extras that aren’t necessary but do make your workout easier, including the following.

  • Workout gloves or wearable grips: These help eliminate slipping due to sweat.

  • Removable rubberized or silicone grips: You can put these on your weights. They give you a larger area to grip in addition to eliminating sweat buildup on the weights.

  • A weight bar: You can use this to position and hold your own bar weights. With a weight bar, you can perform heavier double-arm curls with larger weights.

  • Instructional video: A video is sometimes included to show you how to use the arm blasters.

Arm blaster prices

There isn’t much variation among prices for arm blasters. This makes sense because they’re all made from essentially the same materials and with the same design. The average price on the low end is $28 to $30.

If add-ons are included, the price may be a little higher. For $30 to $35, for example, you might find arm blasters that include rubberized or wearable grips.

Arm blasters that include a weight bar and/or an instructional video as well as the extra grips, might cost round $45. This is the top of the range for arm blasters.

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expert Tip
If your arm blaster is placed too low then you will dig your elbows into the pads at a higher angle, which will cause you to sway your low back and lose form.
BestReviews Fitness Expert

Tips

  • Your bicep muscles are on the top of your upper arm. Your tricep muscles are under the upper arm. Slowly lifting a weight flexes the biceps; slowly lowering a weight flexes the triceps. A preacher curl helps you work both of the sets of muscles better than the free-swinging motion of a curl without a machine.

  • A preacher curl helps eliminate the motion of your shoulders that can “cheat” the weight you’re lifting. If you can’t swing your shoulders, you can’t swing the weight, either. This forces you to work your biceps and triceps more effectively.

  • Curls should be done with a slow, steady motion when you’re raising weights. You should lower the weights in the same slow, steady motion. Letting the weights drop won’t exercise your triceps.

  • When starting each workout, begin with light weights and a low repetition so you can warm up your muscles and joints. Then, when you’re ready, switch to heavier weights and higher reps to build strength.

  • Overworking a muscle can lead to persistent pain, spasms, and weakness during exertion. Bicep weakness manifests as pain or difficulty picking something up. Tricep weakness shows itself as trembling and pain when you’re trying to get up and you push down on a table or the arms of a chair.

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Always start working out with small weights. Trying to lift too much weight at the start of a workout can result in pulled muscles.

FAQ

Q. How high or low should the metal bar be on my body?

A. Position the bar so the top of it is just below your breast muscle and still on your rib cage.

Q. Can the bar be positioned below the rib cage?

A. Yes, but that is not advisable. You’d be putting too much of the wrong sort of pressure on your stomach muscles.

Q. How much weight I can lift without bending the aluminum bar?

A. The maximum for the aluminum bar is usually 500 to 600 pounds, but anything over 300 pounds is going to be extremely painful for your ribs where the bar presses on them.

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