Many people say that the eyes are the first person looks at when speaking to someone. In the fitness world, if you are sporting some pretty decent biceps, chances are, the eyes are not the focus.
The biceps do a lot for the body regarding fitness and bodybuilding. The biceps are used for pretty much all pulling motions done throughout a workout. They are maybe the most popular muscle worked in isolated training. Many people have the misconception that big biceps overall equal big arm. The bicep makes up only a little over 1/3 of the size of the arm above the elbow (triceps make up about 2/3). The draw and allure however are people like to see muscles work when being trained. Watching the muscle pump up and veins popping is addictive. The biceps are front and center when working out, if it be them being trained directly or indirectly.
Anatomically, the biceps are a two headed (short head and long head) muscle that lies in between the shoulder and elbow.
When training the biceps there are tons of different isolated movements to do. This can be in part why some people struggle in building decent biceps, simply because they have too many options and never stay consistent with their training. Even though biceps are not a huge muscle group, they do require a good amount of attention and consistency from an isolated standpoint if someone wants them to grow significantly, just like any bigger muscle group (chest, back, legs).
Also, another key is form when training biceps properly. Working with a manageable weight to get through the designed amount of reps and allowing the person to get maximum range of motion (ROM). Range of motion is such an overlooked aspect to training, especially with biceps. Getting the long head and short head of the bicep to stretch out only emphasizes the contraction part of the rep. By maximizing the contraction and putting an extra “squeeze” or “flex” in with the rep, the muscle is in return engorged with blood and maximizing hypertrophy. This is what leads to growth of the muscle.
The following are a list of just a precious few of effective movements for bicep training:
- Incline Hammer Curls.
- Incline Inner-Biceps Curl.
- Standing Concentration Curl.
- EZ Bar Curl.
- Wide-grip standing barbell curl.
- Zottman Curl
- Barbell Curl
- Dumbbell Biceps Curl
As one can see, a lot of what can intensify or change a bicep exercise is how the body is positioned. For instance, anything that is performed with an “incline” will put much more concentration and isolation on the biceps because the rest of the body is taken out of the movement. This is because the body is in a leaned back position on a bench and it is immobilized with the arms hanging down to the side. The less of an incline the body is in, the more focus that is put on the biceps overall. Weight is irrelevant if form is compromised. Many people want to lug around massive weight when it comes to bicep training, when the true emphasis should be concentration and isolation on the two heads of the bicep.
Find what works for you, keep things simple, strict, and intense. Always get full range of motion, work with manageable weight, and be consistent with your training, just like any other muscle you are wanting to develop.