Body Shop: Gun Control


You don’t need a license to carry these guns, and there is no need to conceal them if you work them out right. I’m talking about your Popeye guns — your biceps.

This two-headed muscle group sits on the upper part of your arm, and both muscles are fairly small and easy to work. As a matter of fact, they get a fairly good workout as a synergist muscle any time you work your back.

dwightThe brachialis, which is the longer, outside head of the bicep, is recruited by performing exercises that use a neutral grip with elbows extended or behind the body. Hammer curls are one of my favorite exercises for this muscle. The exercise is performed by using two dumbbells with a weight that you can do 15-20 reps with for definition or a heavier weight that you can do 4-8 reps with for building. Start with your arms fully extended and palms facing one another. Slowly curl the weight toward your shoulders, contract your bicep at the peak of the motion and then return to the starting position.  You can perform hammer curls sitting or standing.

The brachium is the round part of “your guns.”  Any exercises using a supinated grip (palms up), with the elbows in front of the body or close to your sides, will work this muscle.  There are many different exercises using the EZ curls, ropes and dumbbells to work this muscle. What I find works best is the concentration curl, which is done sitting down. Use a light weight and more repetitions for definition, and a heavier weight and less repetitions for building. The video above demonstrates this exercise.

Genetics play a large role in bicep length. You see some people with really round, knotted-up biceps, while others have biceps with a more elongated look. The area does not store a lot of fat, so either way, they can develop rapidly with a regular workout.

Work the biceps out once a week and you will be able to show off your guns. Two or three exercises is enough. Just make sure and work both heads of the biceps.


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