7 Reasons Your Arms Aren’t Changing No Matter How Much You Work Out

Take a look in the mirror for a quick eval: Are your shoulders hunched forward or arched up by your ears? Williams says she often sees a lack of awareness or control over the scapula—a.k.a. shoulder—movements. “People are often hunching over in planks, pushups, and lat pulldowns instead of having a neutral spine,” she says. To counteract that, be sure to check in throughout your movement and make sure your chest and shoulders are open. And don’t be afraid to shrug the shoulders down and roll them back every few exhales to make sure your form is on point.

Be sure to check in on your overall form, too. “I know it seems obvious, but I can’t tell you how often I see people tossing weight around improperly in ways that compromise results and risk injury,” says Michaels. A common offender: arching your back during bicep curls. If this is necessary, Michaels says your weight is too heavy. Once you’ve got the right resistance, “tuck your tailbone, pull your belly button in, and engage your core,” says Michaels. “And don’t bring your elbows in front of your rib cage—that engages your anterior delts, not your biceps.” Noted.

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