If you're after visually impressive muscle, working your biceps is the best place to start. You don't have to aim for bulging arms, but this t-shirt friendly muscle looks good but has some important functional benefits, too.
You may already be using the best bicep workouts to develop your upper arms. But, if you're looking to add some variety to your exercise schedule, this four-move routine from Jason Bone, Head of Strength at FLEX Chelsea, will work your biceps and develop more muscular arms in no time.
Many bicep moves are performed one arm at a time, but this may benefit your static arm too. Interestingly, a recent study found that exercising a single arm can improve strength and decrease muscle loss in the other. The best way to target these muscles is to focus on your form rather than worrying about total reps.
According to Jason, "Time under tension is a great way to increase arm size. Rather than counting repetitions, set a timer and try to maintain a slow, steady movement with minimal rest at the bottom of the rep. You definitely don't need to push heavy; just keep the tension in the muscle!"
To get started, you only need a set of the best adjustable dumbbells and a bit of space for your exercise. Perform each exercise for 40 seconds, followed by 20 seconds of rest before starting the next move. Repeat the routine four times for an effective strength-based routine.
1. Bicep curl
Hold a dumbell in each hand, elbows close to your body, and with your palms facing the sky. Curl the weights up towards your shoulders while squeezing your biceps, then slowly control the movement back down to your start position.
2. Skull crusher
Laying on your back with the dumbbells raised above your head, keep your elbows still and as close to each other as you can. Bend your elbows so the weights move towards your forehead, then straighten your arms back to the original position.
3. Single-arm dumbbell hammer curl
Standing tall, holding a single dumbbell by your side, keep your elbow still and your palm facing inward. Curl the dumbbell up to the shoulder, squeezing the bicep at the peak, then control the movement back to the original position. Repeat for the move for the other arm.
4. Tricep kickback
With a dumbbell in one hand, palm facing towards your body, bend slightly forward, hinging at your hips. Keep your elbow bent and by your side, fully extend your arm out until straight behind you and squeeze the tricep, slowly bring the arm back to the start without moving the elbow. Repeat for the move for the other arm.
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James is a London-based journalist and Fitness Editor at Fit&Well. He has over five years experience in fitness tech, including time spent as the Buyer’s Guide Editor and Staff Writer at technology publication MakeUseOf. In 2014 he was diagnosed with a chronic health condition, which spurred his interest in health, fitness, and lifestyle management.
In the years since, he has become a devoted meditator, experimented with workout styles and exercises, and used various gadgets to monitor his health. In recent times, James has been absorbed by the intersection between mental health, fitness, sustainability, and environmentalism. When not concerning himself with health and technology, James can be found excitedly checking out each week’s New Music Friday releases.
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