Arm Blaster Benefits: Does it Actually Do Anything?

published by: Debbie Luna
Last Updated:
November 22, 2022

Among the various pieces of equipment employed while working out, few are as iconic as the arm blaster.

Known for being used by bodybuilding champions and a rather awkward appearance, the arm blaster is a relatively simple piece of equipment that ensures that the lifter performs a bicep curl with absolute perfect form for the purposes of biceps recruitment.

To put it short, the arm blaster’s benefits directly affect how the bicep curl is performed, and to what extent the biceps muscle itself is recruited - arguably improving upon the traditional bicep curl in several aspects that are otherwise difficult to replicate without an arm blaster.

What is an Arm Blaster?

An arm blaster is a type of wearable fitness equipment that consists of a strap meant to be wrapped around the back of the neck as well as a curved metal board meant to support the elbows as the exerciser performs a bicep curl.

arm blaster benefits

Though small differences between arm blaster brands can make one design distinct from another, the general idea behind this type of equipment is to provide a barrier that prevents the elbows from swinging backwards to compensate during elbow flexion exercises - thereby increasing stress placed on the biceps brachii muscle.

How Does an Arm Blaster Work?

Arm blasters achieve their numerous benefits by forcing the exerciser to only move their arms within a certain range, limiting movement of the elbow in particular and providing a point with which the muscles of the arms can stabilize against.

Often, arm blasters are specifically designed to be compatible with individuals of all shapes and sizes - usually featuring adjustable straps and padding in strategic areas so as to provide the greatest comfort and utility.

What are the Benefits of Using an Arm Blaster?

Greater Biceps Isolation

The main reason why many lifters continue to use the relatively old-fashioned arm blaster is simply; it is very effective at its intended purpose of improving biceps development.

Muscular hypertrophy is (in large part) potentiated by stimulus, with the easiest form of achieving hypertrophy-inducing stimulus being through targeted resistance training. 

Considering the fact that the arm blaster eliminates small mistakes and unconscious habits that can potentially reduce the occurrence of this stimulus during a bicep curl, we can determine that the usage of such equipment directly equates to greater biceps brachii training stimulus and thus greater results.

This benefit is particularly useful for lifters who have trouble isolating their biceps fully, either due to poor curl form or simply because their mind-muscle connection is insufficient in scope.

Ensures Proper Curl Form

Arm blasters eliminate one of the most common mistakes made during biceps curls; swinging of the arms and shoulders - of which will lead to poor biceps brachii development and potential injuries relating to the back and shoulders over time.

arm blaster curls

While arm blasters are no substitute for mastering proper form, they are an effective method of otherwise remedying small unconscious habits that can lead to more serious problems later in your training.

Improved “Pump” Effect

Performing resistance exercise causes the body to flush the muscles with additional blood, supporting the muscle cells with nutrients and oxygen as well as aiding in subsequent recovery by the very same methods.

Colloquially, this is known as a “pump”, and is clinically established to be a major part of achieving proper muscular hypertrophy.

While the degree to which a muscle group can become pumped will depend on many factors, one of the more easily understood methods of doing so is by improving the quality of an exercise’s repetitions.

Arm blasters achieve this by forcing greater isolation of the biceps, ensuring no momentum takes away tension from said biceps and forcing a full range of motion to be utilized during curl exercises.

This is the same reason why bodybuilders and similar athletes will perform preacher curls or concentration curls - two exercises that also improve the muscle pump phenomenon by much the same methods.

Reduced Injury Risk

Because of the fact that the majority of injuries are caused by improper form, it's no stretch of logic that performing bicep curls with an arm blaster will directly reduce your risk of injury. 

Furthermore, this is reinforced by the fact that arm blasters force the bicep curl to become self-limiting, meaning that it will become quite difficult to execute the movement if the biceps are overloaded from too much weight.

These two factors equate to a significant reduction in injury risk, even for individuals that are purposefully attempting to lift more than they are safely able to.

How to Get Similar Benefits Without an Arm Blaster

Though arm blasters are an extremely useful piece of fitness equipment, they are not quite a necessity, and it is entirely possible to recreate the benefits of an arm blaster without actually having one at hand.

This can be especially useful for low-budget home gym owners, or people that don’t feel like dragging a large piece of metal all the way to the gym.

Exercises like the concentration curl or the incline bicep curl can recreate the range of motion and intense biceps brachii recruitment without the need for additional equipment, whereas other exercises like the preacher curl or the spider curl make use of non-arm blaster equipment to achieve much the same effects.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What Exercises Can I Do With an Arm Blaster?

The arm blaster is meant to be used to aid in the performance of bicep curls, whether it be EZ bar curls or single-arm dumbbell curls.

While there are likely other ways to make use of an arm blaster in your workouts, these exercises are its intended purpose and are what it was specifically built for.

Can You Use an Arm Blaster for Triceps?

Conventional arm blasters are primarily used to train the biceps brachii, and are otherwise not usually applicable to the triceps brachii muscle group. 

While there are indeed certain advanced brands of arm blaster that can be used in tricep kickdowns or similar triceps exercises, these types of equipment are quite distinct from the conventional arm blaster, and may even be considered an entirely different type of equipment in certain contexts.

Is the Arm Blaster Worth It?

Yes - purchasing an arm blaster for personal use is arguably worth the cost. 

While certain alternatives to the arm blaster like the preacher curl are perfectly effective, arm blasters present a more unified and specific set of benefits that ensure proper training stimulus and a low risk of injury are being maintained during your bicep curls.

Even with the presence of an arm blaster though, remember that results are not guaranteed without a proper diet and sufficient rest as well.

Final Thoughts

And there you have it, the various benefits that come with purchasing and using an arm blaster.

Whether you’ve seen the iconic shot of Arnold Schwarznegger making use of this classic piece of equipment, or if your coach suggested it so as to fix your form issues - an arm blaster can likely take your bicep workout to the next level.

References

1. Marcolin G, Panizzolo FA, Petrone N, Moro T, Grigoletto D, Piccolo D, Paoli A. Differences in electromyographic activity of biceps brachii and brachioradialis while performing three variants of curl. PeerJ. 2018 Jul 13;6:e5165. doi: 10.7717/peerj.5165. PMID: 30013836; PMCID: PMC6047503.

2. Nunes JP, Jacinto JL, Ribeiro AS, Mayhew JL, Nakamura M, Capel DMG, Santos LR, Santos L, Cyrino ES, Aguiar AF. Placing Greater Torque at Shorter or Longer Muscle Lengths? Effects of Cable vs. Barbell Preacher Curl Training on Muscular Strength and Hypertrophy in Young Adults. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020 Aug 13;17(16):5859. doi: 10.3390/ijerph17165859. PMID: 32823490; PMCID: PMC7460162.

Debbie (Deb) started powerlifting and Olympic lifting in High School as part of her track team's programming; She continues to train in order to remain athletic. Inspire US allows Deb to share information related to training, lifting, biomechanics, and more.
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