The Best Age-appropriate Bicep Exercises

Strength-training can firm and tone biceps at any age.

Strength-training can firm and tone biceps at any age.

Your biceps can have flex appeal no matter how old you are if you’re armed with knowledge about the benefits of performing biceps exercises compatible with your fitness level. Strength-training can help you make a fitness fashion statement in short-sleeve clothing, and exercising with weights can help build muscle mass and prevent bone loss as you age, according to the National Osteoporosis Foundation.

Exercise at Any Age

It’s your fitness level and not your age that matters most when it comes to deciding which exercises are best for developing dare-to-bare biceps and other muscle groups, according to University of New Mexico exercise scientist Len Kravitz, Ph.D. He explains that except for exercise intensities that will vary depending on individual fitness levels, strength-training programs prescribed for younger populations can be very similar to programs prescribed for older exercisers. It's never too late to make a firm decision to start weight training. Even women who start past the age of 60 can significantly improve muscular strength, functional mobility and balance.

Isolation and Compound Exercises

Isolation exercises -- single-joint movements targeting one muscle group at a time -- can help you stay focused on turning flab into fab. The American Council on Exercise recommends beginner, intermediate and advanced isolation exercises for biceps including concentration, preacher and hammer curls. If you're good at multitasking, you'll especially appreciate time-efficient compound exercises that recruit multiple muscle groups simultaneously. For example, you can train your biceps, shoulders, chest and back at the same time with compound including pushups, shoulder presses, bench presses and seated rows.

Exercise Tips

Being informed about proper exercise form can help you develop biceps with feminine muscle definition -- a sign of health, beauty, youth and fitness, according to personal trainer and athletic therapist Pam Mazzuca. She advises that your elbows should always remain stationary and close to your body while you perform biceps exercises and your repetitions should be slow and controlled. To keep your workouts fresh and motivating, alternate between various forms of resistance such as free weights, machines and exercise bands. To keep your personal best getting even better, increase weight increments or exercise sets to prevent muscle adaptation and avoid hitting progress plateaus.

Considerations

Beyond keeping your biceps firm and toned as years go by, embracing a strength-training regimen can help women increase the size of their muscle fibers and prevent the adverse effects of sarcopenia -- loss of muscle mass and coordination associated with aging, according to Marie Spano, vice president of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. Before exercising, consider health concerns and injuries. Consult a health care provider to determine the workout intensities that are right for you.

 

About the Author

Bari Auerbach writes a fitness column and has won trophies in fitness shows. Since graduating from Florida International University in 1984 with a degree in communications, she has written for national clients; interviewed dignitaries and celebrities for magazines; and has covered topics including business, politics, fashion and food.

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