Quick & Easy Biceps

Do this speedy, effective workout and get ready to show off your sleek sculpted arms!
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Nothing says “strong and sexy” like a pair of well-defined biceps. After all, when your arms are in top shape, you’ve got the confidence to reach out and grab all that you want out of life!

“Building your biceps is important not only for aesthetics but also for functional activities as basic as lifting a child, putting away groceries or moving furniture,” says David Ishii, DPT, ATC, CSCS, owner of Synergy Physical Therapy and Sports Performance in Huntington Beach, California.

The good news is that when it comes to training your biceps, there’s no intimidation factor: Your arms respond quickly to targeted training, so in as little as 14 days, you’ll be ready to reveal your toned guns!

Follow our 20-minute, five-move formula twice a week, resting a minimum of two days between workouts to allow adequate muscle recovery. Perform two sets of each exercise in the order listed, resting 45 to 60 seconds between sets. For an even speedier workout, omit the rest periods altogether. And as always, eat clean and get plenty of high-quality sleep to accelerate your results!

Exercise

Sets

Reps*

Twisting Biceps Curl

2

12–15

Cross-Body Biceps Curl

2

12–15

Dumbbell Curl at Preacher Bench

2

12–15

EZ-Bar Curl at Preacher Bench

2

12–15

Concentration Curl

2

12–15

*For moves done one arm at a time, be sure to complete the same amount of sets and reps on each side for optimal symmetry.

Twisting Biceps Curl

Twisting-Biceps-Curl

Target Muscles: biceps brachii, brachialis, brachioradialis

Set Up: Stand with your feet hip-width apart, holding a dumbbell in each hand at your sides with your palms facing your thighs.

Action: Keeping your elbows close to your body, curl your hands toward your shoulders, rotating your forearms mid-move so your palms face your body at the top. Slowly reverse the move to lower back to the starting position, and repeat.

Tip: This twist on a traditional curl is designed to give you a stronger peak contraction of the biceps.

Cross-Body Biceps Curl

Cross-Body-Biceps-Curl

Target Muscles: biceps brachii, brachialis, brachioradialis

Set Up: Stand with your feet hip-width apart, holding a dumbbell at your sides with your palms facing your body

Action: Bend one arm to curl the weight across your body toward your opposite shoulder. Avoid swinging the weight and be sure to complete each rep before initiating the next. Lower back to the start and repeat, alternating arms with each rep.

Tip: An excellent variation of traditional hammer curls, this move also hits the anterior deltoids for even more arm definition.

Dumbbell Curl at Preacher Bench

Dumbbell-Curl-at-Preacher-Bench

Target Muscles: biceps brachii, brachialis

Set Up: Start with a dumbbell in your right hand, palm facing up, and stand behind a preacher bench. Make sure the top of the padding fits snuggly under your arm.

Action: Bend your elbow to bring the dumbbell toward your right shoulder, making sure your upper arm stays stationary as you move. Slowly lower your arm back to the starting position, leaving a slight bend in your elbow when you finish. Complete all reps on your right arm before switching to your left.

Tip: Using dumbbells at the preacher bench allows you to train each arm equally.

EZ-Bar Curl at Preacher Bench

EZ-Bar-Curl-at-Preacher-Bench

Target Muscles: biceps brachii, brachialis

Set Up: Stand behind a preacher bench and adjust the height so the top of the pad is close to your underarms. Hold an EZ-curl bar with your palms facing up, positioning your hands slightly closer than shoulder-width apart.

Action: Keeping your upper arms in contact with the pad, bend your elbows to bring the weight toward your shoulders. Lower slowly and with control, making sure that you do not hyperextend your arms at the bottom.

Tip: The EZ-curl bar allows you to perform barbell curls with less strain on your wrists.

Fact: Some preacher benches have a seat. In the version above, our model stood and staggered her legs for proper support.

Concentration Curl

Concentration-Curl

Target Muscles: biceps brachii, brachialis

Set Up: Sit on the edge of a flat bench, legs spaced wider than shoulder-width apart, holding a dumbbell in your right hand. Lean forward from your hips and position your right elbow against the inside of your right thigh for leverage and stability.

Action: Keeping your elbow in contact with your leg, flex your arm to bring the dumbbell toward your right shoulder. Hold at the top for two counts before slowly returning to the start. Complete all repetitions on your right arm before switching to your left.

Tip: This is the perfect finishing exercise to make your biceps pop!

Practice Makes Perfect

Follow these top tips to get the most out of your biceps workout.

• Never sacrifice form for weight. You’ll get better results by choosing a lighter weight that allows you to complete your repetitions correctly rather than hoisting heavier weights which will only boost your ego, not your muscles.

• Keep your wrists strong and your elbows still. If you don’t, the resistance will shift to your forearms (when your wrists are bent backward) or your chest (if you move your elbows away from your body).

• Move through your full range of motion on each exercise. It’s easy to cheat yourself when you don’t flex your arm fully at the top of each move or extend your elbow completely at the end of each rep.

• Minimize any momentum. Swinging the weights by jerking your body is not only amateurish but can also be dangerous. Each motion should be slow and controlled so that you focus the intensity where it is desired.

Don’t Forget To Stretch

After a speedy biceps workout, it may be tempting to leave the gym immediately after your last set. Not so fast! Try this stretch to prevent next-day soreness: clasp your hands behind your back, rotate your wrists so your palms face the ground and pull your arms up and back. hold this position for 20 to 30 seconds.

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