Bicep curl

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basics here

What it’s good for Strengthens the front arm muscles (biceps), which are your main lift­ing and car­ry­ing muscles. Everyday bene­fits include:

  • car­ry­ing bags of shop­ping
  • lift­ing cases, bags etc in and out of the boot
  • lift­ing and car­ry­ing trugs of com­post in the garden
  • pick­ing up and car­ry­ing a pet or baby
  • lift­ing a cas­ser­ole or tur­key from the oven
  • car­ry­ing the hoover from one place to another (espe­cially up steps)
  • lift­ing the edge of a mat­tress or piece of fur­niture
How often to do it Three times a week­Note: because this exer­cise uses res­ist­ance objects (bottles, cans, dumb­bells) to build strength, you must give your muscles time to rest between ses­sions, so don’t do this one every day
Equipment you’ll need 2 bottles of water (50cl) or
2 cans of baked beans (400g) or
2 dumb­bells (eg 0.5kg)Kitchen chair with no arms (optional)

Sitting on chair, holding bottle of water in each hand, arms long by sides at start of exericse

  • Sit at the front of a kit­chen chair, hold­ing a bottle of water in each hand, arms straight down by your sides
  • With your palms facing away from you and keep­ing your elbows down by your sides, slowly close your arms up until the bottles nearly touch your upper arms
  • Slowly bring the bottles back down again, fin­ish­ing with arms long
  • Rest briefly, then repeat

Aim to do 12 repeats in one go.

Varying the exer­cise for more chal­lenge
Once you can do this, you need to make the exer­cise a bit harder to con­tinue strength­en­ing your muscles. Follow these pro­gres­sions in order of dif­fi­culty

The pro­gres­sions

1. Go slower
Going more slowly increases the amount of work, so it’s harder. Try a slow count of 3 on the way up, and 4 on the way down

2. Use heav­ier objects
Switch to proper hand weights (dumb­bells). These come in many dif­fer­ent weights. If you’ve been using 50cl bottles of water, try 1kg weights to start with

Standing with arms bent up towards body, holding bottles for bicep curl 3. Do the exer­cise stand­ing up

This makes it a bit harder because you have to make sure you stand still, not bend­ing or sway­ing back­wards at all when you close your arms up. Stand with your feet quite wide, keep your knees soft and gently pull in your lower abs through­out.

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