How to Build Stronger Biceps

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The biceps are the prominent pair of muscles on the front of the upper arm connecting the shoulder to the elbow - and are used in everything from turning a key to lifting heavy boxes. Here is a simple exercise to build or define your biceps.

Things You'll Need

  • Home Gyms
  • Dumbbells
  • Weight Benches
  • Weight Belts
  • Weight Lifting Gloves
  • Health Club Memberships
  • Plate Weights
  • Weight Gain Products
  • Grasp a dumbbell in each hand with a relaxed grip.

  • Choose a weight lighter than 15 pounds. If you're a beginner, start with 3- to 5-pound weights.

  • Stand with your back straight, knees slightly bent, abdominal muscles contracted. Your feet should be flat on the floor and shoulder width apart.

  • Hold the weights at your sides, keeping your arms relaxed and your palms facing inward.

  • Starting with your left side, turn your wrist so that your palm faces forward.

  • Slowly raise the weight by bending your elbow. Keep your back straight, your shoulder relaxed and your elbow close to your side.

  • Slowly raise the weight until your knuckles are 3 or 4 inches away from your left shoulder.

  • Concentrate on contracting the biceps. Hold this position for 1 to 2 seconds.

  • Slowly lower the weight back to its original position and turn your palm inward. Focus on squeezing the biceps.

  • Repeat the exercise on the right side.

  • The entire movement of each arm should last 5 seconds. Don't let the momentum do the lifting for you.

  • Keep your back straight and your shoulder steady while letting your biceps do the work.

  • Do one to three sets of eight to twelve repetitions for each arm.

Tips & Warnings

  • Biceps curls can also be done with improved form and localization while sitting on the edge of a weight bench or with your back against a wall. Follow the above steps and keep a straight posture.
  • Increase the weight by 1 1/2 to 3 pounds to challenge yourself. As long as you're doing the exercise properly and not cheating by moving your back, the heavier weight will help in building more efficient biceps.
  • To tone the biceps without increasing its size, try using lighter weights and doing more repetitions. For mass, use heavier weights and fewer repetitions.
  • To improve your strength more quickly, lift weights more slowly - this allows your muscles to rely more on strength than momentum.
  • Some exercises geared toward the back and chest also involve the biceps. A physical therapist or licensed personal trainer can assist you with additional exercises.
  • Keep in mind that toned biceps can be hidden under an excess layer of fat. Cardiovascular exercise can help to get rid of the excess fat. Aim for at least 30 minutes, three times a week.
  • If you have any condition that would impair or limit your ability to engage in physical activity, please consult a physician or physical therapist before attempting this activity. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment.

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