The biceps brachii, biceps, the gun show
or the dynamic duo. It is essential to all
beach goers and best complements the classic Arnold pose. It is made up of two heads,
short head and long head, located on the
front of the upper arm between the elbow
and the shoulder.
Opposite to the triceps brachii, the biceps engage whenever the arm bends, making it very essential to all pulling movements. These include opening doors, picking up a bag of groceries, and even holding your newborn. So, you definitely want to make sure your guns are locked and loaded.
To develop your biceps, give these exercises a try. Make sure you actively control the weight for optimal results and minimizing injury..
Straight-Bar Cable Curls: 3 sets of 10–15 Reps
Begin with cable set to the lowest level and straight bar in both hands. Keep your body erect, eyes looking straight ahead and core tight.
With your elbows pressed tightly against your sides, begin engaging the biceps, bending at the elbow and pulling the straight bar up towards your chest.
Be sure to keep your shoulders stationary. You will stop around 1–2 inches in front of your chest.
Lower the weight slowly and under control until both arms are straight and parallel to your body.
Alternating Hammer Curls: 3 sets of 10–15 reps
Grab two dumbbells, one for each hand, and stand in an upright position with elbows tight to your rib cage.
With palms facing your body, start by engaging one arm while keeping the other relaxed in the rest position. Make sure you bend at the elbow and not at the shoulder with the arm engaged.
Stop 1-2 inches in front of the chest with the engaged arm. Then slowly lower the weight in a controlled manner until both arms are back into the rest position. Repeat these steps with the other arm.
TIP: If your back starts to curve, or you are bent at the waist, the weight may be too heavy.
Concentration Curls: 3 sets of 8–12 reps
This exercise requires one bench and one dumbbell. Start seated at one end of the bench with dumbbell in hand.
Place your elbow on the inside of your thigh for support and your free hand on the knee of your opposite leg.
In this position, you will be bent over at the waist with your back, neck and head still aligned creating
a secure back posture.
With palm facing towards the opposite hand, begin to engage the biceps by bending at the elbow driving your hand up towards your face.
Keep your supporting leg locked in place and be sure to stop a few inches before your nose.
Lower the weight slowly and under control until arm is straight. Be careful not to hyperextend at the elbow.
Chin Ups: 3 sets of 6–10 reps
Stand tall with both hands clenched around the straight pull up bar. Hands should be placed about shoulder width apart.
With core engaged, use biceps to pull yourself up towards the bar until your chin is seen hovering over top.
Slowly lower yourself down until both arms are straight and locked in the starting position.
For some, this exercise may be difficult. If you are a beginner, you should try starting with an assisted chin up/pull up machine. Same instructions apply.
Always keep your core tight when performing any of these exercises to provide your lower back with the proper support.
Be sure to exhale during every muscle contraction and inhale as you return to the start position.
It is important to start with a warm up set before you begin your workout. Keep the weight fairly light and execute 15-20 reps to make sure the muscle is properly warmed up before you execute higher levels of exertion.
Form is very important. It is best to complete the exercise at a weight that does not cause you to lose your form before reaching your chosen rep count. The last few reps should be difficult to create muscle growth, but if you cannot maintain form it is likely that the weight is too heavy. Always have fun!