My personal preference is to work with "flexiplanes" or "ribbons". Digital Tutors goes over it in Advanced Character Rigging in Maya 2013, which will give you a simple way to go about making one and how to implement it into your rig. There's also a video here that gives a demo of a more complex version. I'd follow along on the tutorial to try to understand how it works in case you need to mess with it, but there's also a handy script that does it all automatically which he provides in the description.
You'll also want to look at his video about creating a twist extractor for some clues as to how to keep them from flipping when you rig the arms.