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Healthy Eating Fitness Running

Arm Yourself With Bigger Biceps

From eDiets - The online diet, fitness, and healthy living resource

“The greater danger, for most of us, lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark... Lord, grant that I may always desire more than I can accomplish.” -Michelangelo

Is there anyone who doesn't appreciate great-looking arms? Round, hard, sculpted biceps? C'mon, what's the first thing you do when someone asks you to make a muscle? The bicep is one of the smallest, yet most eye-catching muscles in the body. And, the beauty of exercising your biceps is it doesn't take a lot of grueling work to see real progress.

The biceps comprise 1/3 of the muscle mass of the upper arm and its primary function is to move the forearm towards the shoulder. Its secondary function is to turn the hand from a palms-down to a palms-up position (supination).

Anyway, enough with the anatomy lesson, let's have some fun and do a biceps workout! I'm providing my two favorite bicep exercises: The Close Grip Chin-Up and the Dumbbell Alternating Incline Curl. Performed correctly and consistently, these exercises will add size and the long sought after peak to your biceps.

BICEP EXERCISE #1: CHIN-UP (4” MOVEMENT)

MUSCLES WORKED:

You will activate your back muscles to some degree, but this exercise is primarily for developing a peak on the bicep. I was always told that there was no way to develop a peak, because it was an issue of genetics. However, after I incorporated this movement, I developed a peak after four short months! The key is in the four-inch descent and tight contraction at the top of the position.

MOVEMENT:

1. Grasp the chin-up bar with your palms facing your body and positioned just inside shoulder width. Contract the bicep muscles and lift yourself up, stopping when your biceps are in a fully contracted position. Contract tight and hold for a two second count.

2. Slowly descend approximately four inches below the top position. The four-inch descent is part of the key to developing the peak, because it places a constant tension on the biceps.

3. Exhale while lifting up and inhale while returning to the starting position. You may use a machine that lends assistance, but make your goal to eventually use a standard chin-up bar.

4. If your biceps are a weak muscle group or if you want to really focus on them, make sure you work them twice a week.

BICEP EXERCISE #2: SEATED ALTERNATING DUMBBELL INCLINE CURL

MUSCLES WORKED:

You will activate your biceps like never before with this movement! When performed correctly, the burning sensation in the bicep is practically unbearable. It’s one of those love/hate relationships. You know it’s working, but oh how you hate that feeling... and love it at the same time!

I mentioned in a previous article that the actor who played in all those Hercules movies, Steve Reeves, only performed this specific movement for his biceps. He didn’t do any other bicep exercise!

MOVEMENT:

1. Position yourself on an adjustable weight bench and place the notch for the back part of the unit three holes up from the bottom. People get confused when I talk degrees, so I’ll make it easier for you. You should be on a relatively steep incline with your back supported.

2. Hold a dumbbell in each hand with the arms hanging down at your sides and palms facing your body.

3. Keep your wrists straight throughout the exercise.

4. Contracting the biceps muscles, bend your right arm at the elbow while turning your wrist until your palm is facing the ceiling, stopping when the weight is just short of touching your shoulder. Contract tight in this position for a full two second count.

5. Slowly return to the starting position, stopping just short of the elbow fully extending. The hand should not begin to turn towards your body until you reach your hip.

6. Repeat motion with the left arm and alternate right and left for 8-12 repetitions on each side.

7. The upper arm should remain stationary throughout the movement. Do not swing your elbows!

I know these movements will work for you, but you must be consistent and supplement with a strategic nutrition program. Perform 3-4 sets of each movement twice a week and watch those biceps bulge!

A competitive bodybuilder and former 2001 Mr. Connecticut, Raphael Calzadilla, BA, ACE, RTS1 is a veteran of the health and fitness industry who specializes in a holistic approach to body transformation, nutrition programs and personal training. He earned his B.A. in Communications from Southern Connecticut State University and is certified as a personal trainer with ACE and APEX. In addition, he successfully completed the RTS1 program based on biomechanics.

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