Every time you pick up grocery bags, vacuum, do laundry or shovel snow, you use your biceps and two associated muscle groups, the brachialis and brachioradialis which act as synergists, or helping muscles, when you bend your arms. Training your biceps on at least two nonconsecutive days each week will build your arm strength, making ordinary errands and household chores easier. Whichever type of biceps exercise you choose, select a weight you can lift for no more than 12 repetitions. As you get stronger, and find that you can complete more than 12 repetitions with a given weight, increase the weight by 5 to 10 percent to keeping challenging your muscles.
Dumbbells are the most versatile form of weights for training biceps. You can do standing biceps curls either alternating arms or using both arms simultaneously. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, stomach muscles slightly contracted and arms hanging down to your sides with palms facing your thighs and gripping the dumbbells. As you bend your elbows to lift the dumbbells, gradually rotate your hands so that your palms are turned toward your face at the end of the lift. Starting from the same position, lift the dumbbells keeping your palms facing inward to perform hammer curls, which emphasize the brachioradialis muscles and use the biceps as synergists. The seated dumbbell concentration curl, in which your elbow rests on the inside of your knee, focuses on the brachialis muscle with the biceps and brachioradialis acting as synergists.
Standing barbell curls focus the biceps. Stand with your feet approximately shoulder-width apart, and arms by your sides, holding the barbell with an underhanded grip. As you curl the barbell up to your chest, keep your stomach muscles slightly contracted and your torso still. Another form of weightlifting for your biceps is barbell preacher curls. Sit at a preacher curl bench with your arms straight and upper arms supported on the arm rest of the bench, holding the barbell in an underhand grip. As you bend your elbows to lift the barbell, you work brachialis muscles with the biceps acting as synergists.
Use low pulleys with t-bar attachments for cable curls. Position yourself close to the pulley with your feet shoulder-width apart and stomach muscles slightly contracted. Hold the bar in an underhand grip with your elbows by your sides and arms straight. As you bend your arms, be careful not to arch your back, but focus on isolating your arm muscles to complete the lift.
Resistance Band Biceps Exercises
To use resistance bands to exercise your biceps, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and the center of the resistance band running under your feet. Hold the grips with your palms facing forward and elbows by your sides. Bend your elbows and lift your hands up towards either the front or side of your shoulders, holding your torso still, and then lower your hands slowly to the starting position.
- ExRx.net: Fat Loss & Weight Training Myths
- MayoClinic.com: What's Better for Strength Training — One Set or Multiple Sets?
- ExRx.net: Upper Arm
- DrMirkin.com: How Muscles Get Stronger
- ExRx.net: Dumbbell Curl
- ExRx.net: Barbell Curl
- ExRx.net: Cable Curl
- Aylio: Biceps
- ExRx.net: Dumbbell Hammer Curl
- ExRx.net: Dumbbell Concentration Curl
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