Not many have seen an arm blaster, or even if you are one of those few individuals who have seen one at the fitness center, there is a high probability that you assumed it to be a gimmick.
It might also be possible that someone has seen a picture of some muscular bodybuilder wearing an arm blaster. Though this exercise equipment has been for a long time, they are not much popular among people. Above all, the equipment might seem goofy but it is not a gimmick.
What is an Arm Blaster?
A lightweight piece of equipment, an arm blaster is generally worn when doing bicep curls.
There is an adjustable strap that’s present at the back of the neck or the shoulder area while the arm blaster is worn at the front of the body.
The primary purpose of this piece of equipment is to maintain the elbows in a stationary position all through the bicep curls and also force the elbows to the front of the individual’s torso as they curl.
Is It True that the Arm Blaster Works for Real?
Though one of the most popular exercises among the bodybuilding community all through the 1970s, the arm blaster’s popularity, and use have dropped ever since.
Hence, this exercise is classified as old-fashioned but the working principle of the blaster remains popular even until this day.
Many present-day bodybuilders do different curls, such as preacher curls and spider curls using the ‘elbow in front’ technique.
We do preacher curls, resting the elbow on a ‘preacher bench’ and go forward with the curls.
Spider curls are done using an incline bench on which the trainer rests their chest, and the arms hang in the front curling the weights.
What’s The Role Played by Arm Blaster?
People might call it old school, and the piece of equipment might not be famous after all, but frankly, it thrives as a better alternative to doing preacher and spider curl exercises.
There are multiple reasons why the arm blaster is advantageous, and these include:
- The pricing is much cheaper than incline benches or preacher curls
- Occupies lesser room space compared to preacher curls and benches
- The lightweight nature and slim construction makes it compact, and the equipment could be stored away when not in use
- One of the most practical and affordable pieces of equipment
- Versatility is a key feature—use the arm blaster to curl using an e-z curl bar (chamber bar), dumbbells, or a straight bar. Though all of these are possible with a preacher curl bar, it could seem gawky to do barbell spider curls without someone’s help.
- Better comfortable to use compared to spider or preacher curls
- As the arm blaster is lightweight, individuals could take it anywhere they go making it portable. Pack it in the backpack during travel or take it to the gym to use it optimally without having to wait for the preacher bench in the queue
Maybe, there might be instances when people might swarm over your equipment and request you whether they could try using the arm blaster. Consider it a downside if you don’t like attention, but this seems to be a plus point if you don’t mind making good friends.
Why Arm Blasters Are Not Popular Anymore?
Initially, using an arm blaster might not seem too comfortable to use, and even after using it a couple of times, some individuals might not find an easy way to handle the equipment.
The truth is that an arm blaster might be a useless piece of equipment if you don’t know how to handle it, and have one in the home gym might seem utterly pointless.
But, once you get to know the right tactics to handle this equipment, making a few adjustments here and there, an arm blaster might be one of the best arm workouts that you’ve tried until now.
The Right Way to Use an Arm Blaster?
The magic behind an arm blaster’s ease of use is adjusting the straps to the correct height to perform bicep curls.
Keep the elbow pads just above the elbows when the arms remain down. As and when the curl is down, the elbows go right into the pads, but if the pad placement is too deep, the elbows might rest too high on the pads, thereby causing the arm blaster to go toward the stomach.
Such placement might hurt the stomach as the top edge is forced into the body and the equipment seems too flimsy to handle as there is no support provided for the elbows—many individuals face this problem commonly.
Contrarily, having the arm blaster too high is also bad. The chest and the triceps might get in the way due to such high placement further increasing the stress on the elbows and sternum.
You tend to notice such high placements instantly as the position is too uncomfortable.
So, get the correct placement and proceed to concentrate on the weights. A word of caution here, never use the arm blaster for cheat curls.
With the elbows in a forward position due to the arm blaster, there is more stress on the inner head (short head) of the biceps. As this muscle is small, too much weight shouldn’t be imposed on it, and failure to follow this might push the elbows into the arm blaster, which, in turn, pushes into the stomach.
Such movements make it uncomfortable for individuals who wish to breathe. Flex the abs to take control of the pressure the arm blaster imposes on the stomach.
Biceps and Beyond
We mostly talk about the benefits of using an arm blaster for the biceps but there is more to this piece of equipment than the biceps.
The triceps are often ignored with this equipment, and this is sad. Wear an arm blaster while doing pushdowns and witness the elbows remaining forward during contraction.
With this movement, all the stress gets on the triceps before activating the rear delts. The elbows can move forward to experience a stretch as the bar keeps going up.
On a comparative basis, procuring an arm blaster is cheaper than preacher benches or incline benches used to perform spider curls.
Also, there’s the advantage of long-lastingness. Purchase a good piece of arm blaster, and be rest assured that it lasts a lifetime as long as the strap is not cut.
You might have a good chance of passing it on to your children and grandchildren too!