Whenever you think about working out and lifting weights one of the first muscles most people think about is the bicep. Bicep training is important. Not because it means you can put on a ‘gun show’ but because your biceps work with many other muscles in your upper body: your shoulders, your triceps and your back (hence why even on days when you don’t specifically train your biceps the following day they ache and are sore). This means that as your biceps get stronger this will in turn help you lift heavier in your shoulder, back and tricep exercises too.
Stand with your feet shoulder width apart, knees soft and your core tight. Hold a dumbbell in each hand with your arms by your sides, palms facing forward. Keeping your elbows in tight to your waist lift one dumbbell up, using your bicep, until the weight is in line with your shoulder. Return the weight back to the starting position then repeat the exercise with the other arm. This movement should be done under complete control, do not use momentum to get the weight up or swing your arm backwards before you lift it up.
Repeat the exercise for 3 sets, 20 reps per set.
You can do this exercise with both arms at the same time, just make sure you keep both elbows in tight to your waist and don’t swing the weights. Reduce the reps to 10 if using both arms together.
Another way to slightly change up this exercise is to sit on either a chair, bench or ball. Using a ball will also engage your core as it is required to keep you stable whist completing the exercise.
Bicep Twist Curls
The technique for this exercise is as with the bicep curls except your palms start facing into your body and as you lift the weight, turn your palms towards the front so by the time the weight reaches your shoulder your palm also faces that way.
Repeat the exercise for 3 sets, 20 reps per set unless you are doing both arms together in which case each set is 10 reps.
This exercise requires a bench which can be set in a recline position. As a result of this, as you hold your arms downwards, your elbows will be behind you as opposed to in line with your waist. Complete the exercise as per the standard curl but pay particular attention that you aren’t swinging your arms as you lift the weight.
Ideally you should be using an EZ bar for this exercise as the shape of it make it easier on the wrists, but you can also use a straight bar if that is all you have.
Stand with feet shoulder width apart, knees soft and core tight. Hold the EZ bar at the outer handle (if using a straight bar, hold it at shoulder width). Keeping your shoulders down and elbows into your waist, curl the bar upwards until the bar is in line with your shoulders. Return the bar to the starting position. As with all the other exercises, don’t use momentum or your hips to lift up the bar.
Repeat the exercise for 3 sets, 12 reps per set.
A finisher is an exercise you complete at the end of your workout (for a specific muscle set) intended to use the muscles as much as possible – effectively to exhaustion. This will really make you feel ‘the burn’.
Hold your bar with a narrow grip and do maximum effort bicep curls. You will want a much lower weight here – it’s about maximum reps.