Strength Training – Biceps
Strength and endurance training are critical components of an effective overall men’s fitness plan and provide a variety of benefits. Building muscle strength enhances your overall fitness level, reducing body fat, increasing your metabolism and improving your ability to perform a wide range of tasks. In addition, as one’s strength improves, their appearance tends to improve which in turn often leads to higher self-esteem. This mental benefit often motivates individuals to do well in other areas of their lives.
Today’s strength training article will be focused on bicep exercises. Below are some of the most common and effective exercises for this key arm muscle.
Curls are the most common focused bicep exercise. There are many varieties of the curl, below are several with very basic explanations of how the exercise is performed(1):
* Standard Standing Dumbbell Curl – standing straight up, elbows locked at sides, with palms up curl up, then down and repeat
* Incline Dumbbell Curl – seated on inclined bench, execute standard curl as above
* Standard Curl (curl bar or straight bar) – same basic movement as standard dumbbell curl above
* Reverse Curl – same as standard curl with palms down
* Alternating Dumbbell Hammer Curl – same as standard dumbbell curl with palms turn inward toward sides of body
* Concentration Curl – seated on bench, one arm at a time, leaning forward with elbow braced against inner thigh (you may use free hand for additional support)
* Preacher Curl – while seated at a preacher bench perform curl with dumbbell, curl bar, or cable
* Cable Curl (in front of the body or overhead)
(1) Provided for information purposes only. It’s important that you seek professional advice to learn the proper form when performing these exercises to reduce risk of injury.
In addition to curls, there are a great variety of other exercises that benefit your biceps, even though they don’t focus or isolate them. These types of exercises are often encountered when using weight or circuit training machines. As you might imagine, these are typically exercises focused on muscle groups such as the chest, shoulders, and back; but whose execution involve your arms, and in particular your biceps.
Because it’s important to allow your muscles sufficient time to repair between workouts, it’s important to consider these exercises that overlap muscle groups so that you don’t inadvertently exercise a given group on consecutive days. Again, this is an area where working with a qualified trainer, at least when you first begin training, would be beneficial.
As always, be sure to consult a physician before engaging in any physical fitness routine.
Enjoy the path to fitness!