The biceps are made up of a long head and a short head, although both are activated during bicep exercises. The biceps are responsible for elbow flexion, forearm supination (turning your arm in and out) and are also involved in shoulder flexion to a small degree.
Why Should You Work Your Biceps?
Aside from looking great in sleeveless shirts, your biceps are involved in many upper body activities you do each day (picking things up and carrying them, etc.). In addition, your resistance training program should target ALL of your muscle groups, so make sure your routine is well-rounded. Your biceps muscles are fairly small, so keep in mind that you will not be able to use as much weight as you can for your chest or your back.
How Often Should You Train Your Biceps?
Like all muscles in your body, you can perform bicep exercises up to three non-consecutive days a week. If you're lifting heavy weights, (enough that you can only complete six to eight repetitions) you'll need at least two days of rest before you perform the exercise again. For this reason, you may only work your biceps once or twice a week. If you're goal is endurance/lean muscle, stick with one to three sets of 12-16 repetitions and at least one day of rest before you perform the exercises again. Keep in mind that you will use your biceps when performing chest and back exercises as well.
What Exercises Should You Do?
Most bicep exercises are called 'pulling' exercises and generally involve curling your hand towards your shoulders as in bicep curls. You can also incorporate wrist curls to work your forearms and you can do these exercises with any type of resistance--dumbbells, barbell, resistance bands, cables or a machine. For specific moves, visit my Bicep Exercises.
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