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How to Tone Up Your Biceps with Seated Curls

5 of 6 in Series: The Essentials of Day 5 of Your Ten-Minute Tone-Up

As part of your new workout routine, add the Seated Same-Time Biceps Curl exercise. These curls will help tone and tighten that upper arm flab. You work both arms at once while you're seated.

Arm exercises are much more effective when you breathe properly. Exhale during the most difficult part of the exercise — during exertion. You should inhale as you prepare to start exerting again.

The following tips help speed your development of strong and contoured arms.

  • Balance the biceps and triceps: Make sure to work out both the biceps and triceps muscles. If one is weaker than the other, you are setting yourself up for elbow injuries.

  • Keep the wrist straight: If you bend your wrist, the resulting strain makes your arm workout less effective and could cause injury.

  • Avoid rocking: If you find that your body shifts during an arm move, cut back on the weight you're using until you can perform the exercise following the correct form.

This classic exercise shapes and strengthens the biceps muscle and can be done anywhere. Just use a chair instead of a bench. Instead of dumbbells use any handy objects that are equal in weight such as two water bottles or two cans of hairspray.

To do the Seated Same-Time Biceps Curl:

  1. Sit at the end of a workout bench. Hold two dumbbells down at your sides using an underhand grip (palms facing forward).

    If you find yourself leaning back, you're probably using dumbbells that are too heavy.
    If you find yourself leaning back, you're probably using dumbbells that are too heavy.

    Sit erect with your back straight and head lifted tall. Do not arch your back. Hold your abdominals in tight.

  2. Slowly curl (lift) the dumbbells up just past your chest and toward your shoulders. At the top of the movement, pause for a second to contract (squeeze) your biceps muscles. Slowly return to start.

    Do one or two sets of eight to ten repetitions. As you progress, work up to two or three sets of eight to ten repetitions with increased weight.

    Keep your upper arms next to your sides throughout the entire move. This keeps the concentration on the biceps muscles.

    Never rock your body back and forth out of correct form.

Here are some handy alternatives:

  • Alternate arms: Try doing the original exercise one arm at a time. Alternating arms for each repetition is easier than exercising both arms at the same time.

  • Do separate sets on one arm at a time: Doing all the repetitions with one arm before switching to the other one is more difficult than doing both arms at the same time. Never rock your body back and forth out of correct form.

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The Essentials of Day 5 of Your Ten-Minute Tone-Up

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