5 bicep workouts to rock that sleeveless top
For anyone seeking to improve their health and fitness, strength training should be a top priority, and no strength-training regimen would be complete without bicep exercises! Toned, muscular arms are highly sought after by both men and women. When your arms are strong and sleek, your functional strength and endurance are heightened as is your confidence when reaching for that sleeveless top.
Try to dedicate 1 or possibly 2 days, if you have good recovery ability, for training your biceps. Your goal for each exercise will be to complete 10 to 12 repetitions per set, while performing 3-4 sets per exercise. If you are lifting heavier weight than you are use to (with good form) then aim for 3-4 sets hitting around 4-8 repetitions per set.
Important things to remember before getting started:
- Don’t swing your body: Swinging your body to curl that weight from point A to Point B will start to use both your lower back and your shoulders. By keeping your body still, you are forcing only your biceps to work. A good solution for this is to sit down on a bench or lean up against a wall.
- Squeeze: a strong peak contraction at the top of your curl is vital to growing your muscles. Take a moment to flex and squeeze your biceps when you are at full contraction because this will force your body to fire off more muscle while also increasing the lactic acid burn.
- Create a day just for arms: Isolating your focus on only your arms is extremely beneficial because you have the opportunity to work your biceps much harder as they aren’t becoming fatigued by your back workout. Spending more time on aspects such as sets, reps, and overall volume when working your biceps will force your muscles to grow more than what you might be seeing now.
- Don’t be speedy with your reps: During exercise, your muscle growth state, which is called hypertrophy, occurs 40 seconds into your exercise. Thus, it is important to have slow controlled movements, if you are banging out 8 reps in 20 seconds, you won’t reach the muscle growth state, which you need in order to see results. The slower and more controlled your reps are, the more time your muscles are in the state of growth.
- Focus on the right nutrition: You won’t see results strictly from doing these exercises below. You must eat to grow muscle. Having a protein shake after your workout, or a protein packed meal is a huge step in the right direction, because that protein will immediately enter your system to help repair your muscles- leading to growth. Your pre and post eating habits are really important to stimulate muscle growth. Your pre-workout meal/snack should be focused towards a healthy amount of carbs, to help energize you for your workout, so you can push yourself. The post workout meal should consist of protein and carbs. Also, something which a lot of people don’t realize is you should be having your post meal snack/meal as soon as you can after your workout. You should try not to wait longer than 45 minutes after a workout to eat. Furthermore, carbs are really important to have after a workout because they restore muscle glycogen, and without that, your body might start breaking down your muscle tissue rather than your fat.
One-arm dumbbell preacher curl
Step 1: With a dumbbell in hand, position yourself on a preacher bench so that you are sitting with your chest against the chest pad and your arm on top of the arm pad, elbow bent and the dumbbell toward your shoulder, palm facing in.
Step 2: Inhaling, completely lower the dumbbell until your elbow is nearly extended.
Step 3: Exhaling, slowly raise the dumbbell back toward your shoulder.
Step 4: Squeeze the bicep as you hold the position for a couple of counts.
Step 5: Repeat for a full set and then switch sides. Do 3-4 sets hitting around 10-12 reps. If you are using heavier weight do 3-4 sets hitting around 4-8 repetitions.
Step 1: Stand up straight while holding a barbell in a shoulder-width grip.
Step 2: Contract your biceps to curl the weight forward. Your upper arms should remain stationary during this process.
Step 3: Continue moving the barbell until the biceps are fully contracted and the bar is at shoulder height. Hold this position for a second and then squeeze your biceps.
Step 4: Bring the barbell back to the starting position. Do 3-4 sets hitting around 10-12 reps. If you are using heavier weight do 3-4 sets hitting around 4-8 repetitions.
Incline dumbbell curls
Step 1: Set your bench to a 45 degree angle
Step 2: Lie down on the bench gripping your dumbbells
Step 3: Keep your palms facing forward and your arms turned outward away from your body
Step 4: Start curling both arms up, squeeze at the top then slowly lower the weight. Do 3-4 sets hitting around 10-12 reps. If you are using heavier weight do 3-4 sets hitting around 4-8 repetitions.
Reverse barbell curl
Step 1: To begin, stand straight holding a barbell using a pronated grip (palms facing down). Your arms should be fully extended while your feet are shoulder width apart from each other. This is the starting position.
Step 2: While holding the upper arms stationary, curl the bar while contracting the biceps as you breathe out. Only the forearms should move. Continue the movement until your biceps are fully contracted and barbell is at shoulder level. Hold the contracted position for a second as you squeeze the muscle.
Step 3: Slowly begin to bring the barbell back to starting position as your breathe in.
Step 4: Do 3-4 sets hitting around 10-12 repetitions. If you are using heavier weight do 3-4 sets hitting around 4-8 repetitions.
Standing biceps cable curl
Step 1: Stand up with your torso upright while holding a cable curl bar that is attached to a low pulley. Grab the cable bar at shoulder width and keep the elbows close to the torso. The palm of your hands should be facing up (supinated grip). This will be your starting position.
Step 2: While holding the upper arms stationary, curl the weights while contracting the biceps as you breathe out. Only the forearms should move. Continue the movement until your biceps are fully contracted and the bar is at shoulder level. Hold the contracted position for a second as you squeeze the muscle.
Step 3: Slowly begin to bring the curl bar back to starting position as your breathe in.
Step 4: Repeat for 3-4 sets hitting around 10-12 repetitions. If you are using heavier weight do 3-4 sets with 4-8 repetitions.
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