The maze of weight training equipment at a gym can be overwhelming. Each machine concentrates on a different muscle group, so you want to select the right machine for the muscles you want to improve. The biceps curl machine does strengthen your biceps, but if you don't know where your biceps are or the reasons to improve biceps strength, you may overlook this effective machine.
Your biceps are a two-headed muscle located on the fronts of your upper arms. The biceps are also two-joint muscles, as the muscle begins on your shoulder blade and ends on your lower arm bone. It crosses both the elbow and shoulder joints, although it is weaker with shoulder movement than with elbow movement. When your biceps contract, the muscles shorten and your elbow bends. The biceps contraction is most effective when your palms are facing up.
Biceps Curl Machine
The biceps curl machine uses a stack of weight plates as the resistance. You sit on a padded seat and place your elbows on a padded rest. The machine has a double-handle, so you exercise both arms at the same time. Weight machines use a cable and pulley system for a smooth movement, which you have to control as you lower the weight to avoid the plates from slamming together. Most biceps curl machines are adjustable to comfortably fit all body types.
Strong upper arms help you in your daily activities. When you pick up children, carry groceries or work in the yard, your biceps need strength. Use of the biceps curl machine also tones and shapes your upper arms, as you build muscle tissue. The more muscle tissue you have, the faster your metabolism, as muscle tissue burns a high number of calories.
Adjust the biceps curl machine so your elbows are in line with the rotating piece on the equipment. Usually this is in the middle of the arm pad. Sit tall and grasp the handles with your palms facing up. Exhale, bend your elbows and raise your hands toward your shoulders. Pause for one second at the top. Inhale, straighten your elbows and lower your hands to the starting position. Keep a slight bend in your elbows and aim to not let the weight plates touch the rest of the weight stack. This will keep tension in your biceps. Complete two or three sets of eight to 12 repetitions.
A mother of two and passionate fitness presenter, Lisa M. Wolfe had her first fitness article published in 2001. She is the author of six fitness books and holds an Associate of Arts in exercise science from Oakland Community College. When not writing, Wolfe is hula-hooping, kayaking, walking or cycling.