Essential Biceps Muscle-Building Routines
Why you should be working your arms.
Building big arms is a functional and aesthetically rewarding endeavor. Often called the vanity muscles, the biceps and triceps and forearms assist in many movements, through conscious and unconscious activation.
Consider how hard it would be to pick up your groceries, load the laundry or carry any type of weight in your arms without the assistance of biceps and forearm flexors; or the difficulty you would have getting off the floor, out of bed or pushing a door open without the triceps.
Everyday activities will certainly be hampered by weak arms, but they are vital when working out. The arms assist in almost every movement from push-ups and bench press to bent-over rows and pull-ups.
So how does a person build strong, muscular and functional arms? The answer is a combination of compound movements and isolation movements geared towards these smaller muscle groups.
Extreme volume is not necessary, especially if your training program emphasizes compound movements like the clean, bench press, deadlift and bent-over row, but it should be intense.
Mix an intense high rep routine with a heavy routine twice a week (depending on the training schedule) and always start with a compound exercise. High reps should be 12-20 maximum, and difficult to finish. Heavy sets should be from 5-8 reps, with the last couple a struggle.
Here is an example of a big biceps workout utilizing this concept:
High Rep day:
General warm-up (e.g. 10 minutes cardio.)
1-2 warm up sets of first exercise, not to failure.
Underhand Pull-ups/Assisted Pull-ups: 2-4 x 12 +
One of the following:
Standing Barbell Curls
Cable Curls/Suspension trainer curls:
2-4 x 12+
One of the following:'
Reverse Barbell Curls or
Dumbbell Hammer Curls:
2-4 x 12+
Finish with joint rotations and stretching for the arm muscles.
For the Heavy Day, try the following:
*(you can choose the same routine above and increase the resistance until only 5-8 reps are possible with each exercise.)*
General warm up and specific warm-up as above, then:
Bent-Over Rows: 2-3 x 5-8
Standing Barbell Curls: 2-3 x wider than shoulders grip + 2-3 x closer than shoulder width grip.
Reverse Barbell Curls: 2-4 x 5-8
Finish with joint rotations for the arms and stretching for the arm muscles.
For maximum benefit, perform the high rep routine after heavy chest and back days; and do the heavy day when the arms muscles are well recovered. Dumbbell hammer curls can be substituted for reverse barbell curls, but only if the palm is pronated (towards the floor.) Choose your own exercises when these get tiresome, but always include a compound exercise to get every muscle in the arm activated. Stay consistent and the results will be impressive!
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Alternatives to Free Weights
You can get a great workout without dumbbells or barbells. For that matter, you don't need a lat pulldown machine, preacher curl bench or any other such equipment. If time and space are limited, consider using suspension trainer straps or gymnastic rings. Find out more in the links below:
Odd Object Training
Using unbalanced odd objects adds an entirely new dimension to your training. Not to mention, it will shock your muscles into positive adaptations. Read the hub below for some awesome arm workouts using everyday objects you can find around the house. No formal equipment needed, thank you very much.
- Biceps Workouts-Functional Biceps Exercises for Big Arms
Mix up your arm routine with these unusual exercises. Guaranteed to bring a fresh challenge to bored biceps, wrist muscles and more.
Before you buy new equipment for your home gym, do your research. From BowFlex to TRX, learn all you need to know to make an informed decision here:
- Reviews about high quality fitness products and equipment.
Flex and Flow features the best fitness equipment for muscle building, fat-burning, and overall functional fitness.
Unusual workouts, unusual fitness equipment. Cheap solutions for your home gym.
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