Biceps are an area of the body that people are quick to bulk up, and are almost a “status symbol” in the exercising and body building world. Weightlifters like to go for strength and bulk, while regular people who enjoy working out like to make sure their biceps are toned. But it’s not just a vanity: by working on your biceps you not only build those muscles, but you are also increasing your stamina, fighting off fatigue, and helping yourself to develop strong bones.
What to expect when working your biceps
Your biceps will best be improved with weight and resistance training, which can take the form of chin-ups or bicep curls, although the hammer curl has been cited as the best bicep exercise. This involves bracing yourself in the “push” position of a push-up, and putting your weight on one hand as your other curls a dumbbell for 15 reps. While at times working out one group of muscles has an extending effect into other muscle groups, the biceps are fairly self-contained - you may engage some of your other arm stabilizers, but it will almost solely be your biceps.
How to prepare for a biceps workout
Everyone wants to show off their “guns,” but be smart about it. Do not attempt any exercise that could hurt you - like using weights if you have an arm injury. If you are a beginner, don’t overdo it. Better to start out with a low or medium weight and do a large amount of repetitions than to overdo it with a heavier weight and strain your muscle before you even properly begin! As with any other muscle group, it is also important to stretch your arms. Incorporate some arm stretches into your warm-up, even if it’s just reaching one arm across your body and holding it there. This will help ensure you don’t pull a muscle or strain anything later as you deal with the weights.
Muscles you'll work during a biceps routine
Your biceps brachili, or simply “biceps,” muscle is a two-part muscle that is located on your upper arm, between your shoulder and your elbow. Your biceps are the muscles that help you when you open a bottle with a corkscrew and yank it free. As you move it through various exercises, you are also working three arm joints: the proximal radioulnar in your upper forearm, the humeroulnar joint in your elbow, and the glenohumeral joint in your shoulder. Steady use of these joints can help any existing injury or pain by reducing inflammation, just as it will improve the density and strength in your arm bone. Although the biceps muscle is clearly defined, most people also think of the underlying arm muscles like the brachialis and brachioradialis, which extend down to the forearm, because they also shape your arm’s physique. These muscles also help flex your elbow, and also benefit in strength from arm curls.
Tips for Success in biceps
The biggest thing beginners dow rong when working their biceps is rushing through their routine. Although you may want to hurry your workout along, do not speed up your reps. Going too fast can cause internal muscle catches. Also, if you are performing arm curls remember to flex your elbows as you raise the weights, and rotate your arm to face your shoulder as you bring it up.