Know your Biceps

When we talk about muscle, the picture that pops in our head is the biceps. Maybe, it’s because of the popular cartoon series that we all love in the early 80’s Popeye the sailor. Flexing his biceps after eating the strenght giving spinach to beat the bad guys.

Biceps came from the Latin phrase biceps brachii, which means, “Two-headed muscle of the arm”. Our biceps are the muscles located on our upper arm. Its primary function is simply to flex our elbows and rotate the forearm.

Using weight and resistance training we can strengthen our biceps. There is numerous biceps exercise but the biceps curl is the most popular or most used. The bicep curl can be done with any of the following instrument:

· Dumbbell(s)
· Barbell
· E-Z bar (also known as a “Bent bar”)
· Cable machine
· Biceps curling machine
· Nautilus equipment

Each equipment may vary in use but still has a common factor of each is a ‘curling’ motion, where a weight is moved through an arc position, using the strength of the biceps. The biceps is contracted to lift the weight upward through the arc, to a point where further movement is not possible. It is important that the elbow remain next to the body during this motion as to keep stress on the biceps. The biceps is then extended, lowering the weight back through the arc, to the start position. This contraction and extension together constitute a single repetition.

[ad#234×60-half-banner]We have different exercise to increase the flexibility and strength of our biceps:

Concentration Curl

Sit on the edge of a bench with a dumbbell on your right hand, your legs spread out to the sides. Rest the back of your right arm against the inside of your right thigh. Hold the weight with an underhand grip and let it hang straight down. Rest your left hand on your left thigh as support. Curl the weight up toward your right shoulder. Pause, and then lower the weight slowly to the straight position.

Dumbbell Curl

Stand straight holding a dumbbel in each hand, with an underhand grip at your sides. Keeping your upper arms tucked in to your sides, slowly curl both weights up until your forearm touch your biceps. Hold the concentration and squeeze your biceps for a second, then slowly lower the weights.

Preacher Curl

Sit at a preacher-curl station and grad a pair of light dumbbells or an EZ-curl bar with an underhand grip. Rest your upper arms on the slanted pad in front of you. Keeping your back straight, slowly curl the bar until your forearms are just short of perpendicular to the floor. Then slowly lower the weights back down.

Do all this exercise with a sets of 3 and 10-15 repetitions/set.

Rest between set for about 30 but not more than 60 seconds.

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