Muscular biceps are visually impressive as well as highly functional. If you lift heavy for your job or need strong arms for sports, you can benefit from targeting these muscles during your exercise routine. Here is what you should change up during your workouts to build your biceps and tone your arms.
Vary Your Technique
The bicep might appear to be a single muscle from the exterior, but multiple muscles are actually involved (hence the bi in bicep). This means that using more than one technique will deliver the best results. Instead of performing bicep curls with your palm facing toward you every time, try sometimes lifting a slightly lighter weight with your palm facing away. This will also strengthen your elbows. Hammer curls, with your thumbs facing up, will target your inside biceps and tone and shape all around them.
Isolate Biceps with Preacher Curls
When you perform curls without stabilizing your elbows, your forearms are forced to do some of the work. This is great for building big arms overall, but you can better isolate the biceps and lift more weight with preacher curls. This movement involves performing curls with your elbows resting on a reclined weight bench, preacher curl station, or even your own thigh. Just avoid doing preacher curls to the exclusion of other bicep movements as this will result in unnatural-looking, unevenly developed arms.
Use Both Dumbbells and Barbells
Dumbbells and barbells are both useful for building the biceps, but many people habitually stick to one or the other. Dumbbells increase the strain on stabilizing muscles, which will support your ability to lift more weight with just the biceps.
The ability to use both arms at once with a barbell reduces strain on stabilizing muscles and lets you handle heavier weight. Alternate your use of barbells and dumbbells for the best long-term results.
Tailor Your Workout to Your Goals
The way you exercise can be modified for how you want to use your muscles. For example, a great technique has been devised by Athletic Quickness for baseball pitchers and batters to increase bat swing speed. Exercises vary for each practice and what your ultimate goal is.
For serious pitchers, you might start out with your bicep in front of you at a 90-degree angle, elbow pointing forward, holding a lighter weight up high with your palm facing you. Slowly lower the weight, keeping your bicep level, until your arm is fully extended and your palm is facing inward. Repeat this for seven to ten reps per set.
It has been said that if you have big arms, you will look big. Having strong biceps will also reduce strain on your shoulders so you can stay in the game, and reach your training goals. By making use of the tips listed here, you will be well on your way to having biceps that look great and serve you well every day.