Arm blasters have been a handy fitness tool forever since the golden ages of bodybuilding where they first found such great popularity.
With such massive names and massive arms like Arnold Schwarzenegger using them it makes no wonder why slowly everyone started to own and use the
Unfortunately arm blasters are not as popular as they used to be. In fact I only know one person besides myself that owns one.
They are so unused these days I would not be surprised if many do not even know what they are. So what are arm blasters? And more importantly are arm blasters worth it?
What Is An Arm Blaster?
Arm blasters are a piece of workout equipment used to promote isolation and maximal contraction in your arms, usually your biceps.
This is why you may also hear them being referred to as bicep blasters although people may use them for triceps exercises as well and often do.
Arm blasters or bicep blasters consist of a strap to hang it around your neck with a curved piece of metal usually made of aluminum at the end.
This piece of metal has three curves built into it, one big one in the middle to fit around the front of your body and one curve on each end for your elbows to fit into and push up against snugly.
The arm blaster hangs in front of you often just below chest level although they are often adjustable so you can usually make adjustments with the straps if you have really long arms and need it to sit at a different level on your body.
As said the other grooves which usually have pads rests your arms.
While you are performing arm exercises such as barbell curls, dumbbell curls or even triceps pushdowns you keep your elbows against the blaster ideally pushing your elbow against it while performing the exercise to ensure they stay in place.
This addition to your arm workout is supposed to help you maintain proper form, increase contraction strength, and isolate specific muscles but does it really work?
Are Arm Blasters Worth It?
Due to the sudden drop in popularity arm blasters have experienced over the years this may lead some to believe they are ineffective and not worth it and this is the reason many have stopped using them.
The sudden reduction of arm blasters in the gym can not be pinpointed to one reason but this is definitely not it. Arm blasters are extremely worth it due to how effective they are.
Arm blasters do exactly what they are advertised to do and it’s undeniable. While curling with the arm blaster you are being prevented from cheating in form.
With your elbows against the pad you won’t be lifting your elbows up trying to get your shoulders to curl the weight.
And with your body up against the blaster you won’t be bending your back trying to use your lower back and momentum to lift the weight.
The arm blaster also helps to isolate the desired muscles for partially the same reason. This is because when you cheat or have bad form you are incorporating other muscles that shouldn’t be being used.
So through the perfect form arm blasters can easily help you achieve, you are doing some serious isolation.
The biggest reason why I personally use my arm blaster is for the improved contraction helping creating a stronger action and mind muscle connection.
This is really evident and comes into full account when you apply good force and press your elbows against the blaster as you lift.
If you don’t believe me just try this. Put your elbow on a table with your arm at a 90 degree angle or heck even flat.
With your arm in that position having your elbow just resting on the table feel your bicep. Then apply pressure with your elbow against the table and feel your bicep again while doing so. The strength of contraction is clear.
When Should You Use An Arm Blaster?
I call them bicep blasters as many do because I only use them when doing bicep exercises specifically I use them for barbell bicep curls.
I do not use them for dumbbell curls because with a barbell it is easier to maintain pressure against the blaster with both arms at once.
Rather than trying to focus on each arm and supinating each wrist individually while maintaining the same amount of pressure.
This is just a personal opinion and preference though and the bicep blaster can be just as effective using either dumbbells or barbells.
When it comes to using an arm blaster for tricep exercises such as tricep pushdowns it’s just something I do not do.
Unlike bicep exercises where your muscles can be further engaged by being in front of your body the point of most tricep exercises is to further engage your triceps muscles by getting them as far behind your body as possible
Again if you have doubts try it yourself. Put your arm straight in front of you flexing your tricep. With your tricep flexed, slowly start to move your arm down and behind your body until you can move it no more.
You will feel that the further your arm gets behind your body the stronger your triceps contraction will be. This is why I do not use arm blasters for triceps as they hold my arms in a position which is not optimal for the best tricep contractions.
There is a time and place for everything though and if you have problems with your form whether it be swinging too much or just not being able to keep your elbows in one spot then an arm blaster for tricep exercises can bring great benefit as it forces you to have good form.
It is unclear why arm blasters seemed to die over the years and there is no real answer.
My best guess would be that there are just so many new machines and exercises now that people feel they can achieve the same benefit from. Things such as the preacher curl machine or incline bench spider curls.
I see arm blasters being used slightly more often in the gym then in previous years when I used to see not even one.
So maybe people are becoming more aware of the many pros of them and the great effectiveness that in my opinion can not be matched.
You may not be able to do as many reps during your sets but you’ll get quality reps by leaving your ego at the door. Whatever the case the arm blaster will always be a part of my gym bag and arm workouts.