Some popular new year's fitness resolutions for 2022 are to lose weight, or run a distance race such as a 5K, 10K or half-marathon. However, for some people, it's to get stronger and lift more weight.
Using the best adjustable dumbbells and best resistance bands, and even your bodyweight, to build muscle and get strong is a great, achievable goal for anyone new to fitness. But many people don't want to train their biceps, thinking it's just for vain bodybuilders, and would rather do more functional moves such as deadlifts and shoulder presses. However, YouTuber and fitness guru Eugene Tao (opens in new tab) disagrees.
In one of his recent videos (embedded below), Tao illustrates the importance of training your biceps, even if you're not going for a bodybuilder physique.
“Do you really need to train biceps? I often get this question from women, because they don’t want to grow what they deem to be “manly” arms, and powerlifters, because they don’t see it as part of their strength work and deem it to be fluffy bodybuilding work.
“Just like any other body part, they’re absolutely essential to be trained. Training a muscle is so much more than building size: stimulating the biceps in a meaningful way will have important carryovers to the joint mechanics of the shoulder and elbow.”
Tao says: “Neglecting bicep training completely will lead to a loss of strength in this whole area, along with potentially a loss of mobility and range in these joints.” Below, he highlights two great moves to build your biceps. Even if you're a seasoned gym-goer, it's worth adding these to your arsenal.
Watch Tao's bicep training video here:
Tao also illustrates two of the best moves for bicep training. The first one is the single arm dumbbell preacher curl: an isolation exercise, it involves performing a dumbbell bicep curl while bracing your elbow against a bench. This could be either a padded adjustable weights bench, or a dedicated preacher curl bench found in your local gym.
The preacher curl is great because the bench stops your body contorting to help your bicep get the weight up, really isolating the muscle you want to target.
The second move is the archer curl: using the cable machine in your local gym (or at home, as the multi-gym is on our best exercise machines to lose weight list) to do a completely horizontal bicep curl.
“This is a movement that I’d use not just for bicep growth, but for overall joint health," says Tao in the video. "This reaching position is one I find people tend to neglect a lot in their training.”
Tao recommends doing this move in a slightly fatigued state to get the most out of testing all those little stabilising muscles in your body.
Matt Evans is an experienced health and fitness journalist and News Editor at Fit&Well, covering all things exercise and nutrition on the Fit&Well website. Matt originally discovered exercise through martial arts: he holds a black belt in Karate and remains a keen runner, gym-goer, and infrequent yogi. His top fitness tip? Stretch.
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