Strong and Sexy Biceps
Strong women are sexy, as these female bicep pictures show. As the "bi" name suggests, the biceps are made up of two "heads": a long head and a short head. The long, parallel fibers of the biceps make this muscle predisposed to bulge - that's why most people (male and female) can flex their arm and reveal biceps.
Dumbbells are only one of the pieces of equipment suitable for strengthening biceps.
- Barbells are also a good choice for bicep work.
- Resistance bands can help build bicep strength.
- Body weight exercises like chin-ups will strengthen your biceps without needing to lift any weight beyond your own body.
Muscle It Up
Strengthening your biceps isn't all about achieving attractive, shapely arms. These muscles are at work in everyday life, so strengthening them makes daily activity easier. Biceps are involved in both elbow and shoulder movement, so strong biceps can help avoid injury in those injury-prone areas of the body.
Getting Stronger Arms
Don't focus solely on the biceps when trying to get stronger arms. In order to most safely strengthen bicep muscles, the opposing muscles (the triceps) should be strengthened as well. This will result in stronger, more functional movement and help you avoid injury while training.
Biceps and More
The scientific name of the biceps is the biceps brachii, which helps differentiate this arm muscle from the biceps femoris, which is in the leg. Contrary to popular belief, biceps aren't the only upper arm muscle, though it is the main anterior upper arm muscle. Other muscles in the upper arm include:
- Triceps brachii
Stronger, Not Bulkier
Some women fear getting bulky, manly muscles and this compels them to avoid strength training. The truth, however, is that women only achieve bulky muscles when they specifically train with that goal in mind. Women simply do not accidentally get huge muscles.
Overuse and Injury Prevention
Biceps are prone to injury, just as any muscle within the body is. Overuse injuries can occur when the biceps are over-trained. Injuries to the elbow and shoulder can occur when the biceps are trained in a way that does not complement the remainder if the body. It's important to strengthen the entire body for balance and injury prevention.
Toned or Muscular
Many women assert that they only want to "tone" their muscles instead of growing them.
- For "toning" the biceps, use light weights with high reps.
- For strengthening the biceps, use heavy weights with lower reps.
In what everyday activity might strong biceps benefit a person?
- Lifting a baby out of a car seat.
- Carrying shopping bags.
- Playing a violin.
- Opening a wine bottle with a corkscrew.
When a woman is fit and muscular, she may still fall within the realm of "overweight" or even "obese" on a BMI chart. The chart simply doesn't take into account the weight from muscle mass as opposed to fat. For this reason, women who actively work toward more muscle should rely on body measurements instead of a weight scale when measuring progress.
An Important Muscle
The biceps are at work every time you raise your arms. You don't "flex" your biceps - you squeeze them. Flexion is what the elbow does when you decrease the distance between two joints, so while you do flex to show off your biceps, the biceps aren't actually what are flexing - your elbow is.
Not Just for Guys
Women can have strong biceps. This muscle is one of the easiest to define and strengthen and the visual rewards arrive quickly. The benefits of strength training for women are numerous.
Women don't have to stick with tiny hand weights or fear the weight room in the gym. Stronger muscles will make you healthier and more capable in daily life. Get curling and enjoy the shapely arms that follow!