Biceps & Shoulder Exercises

Attractive young woman working out with dumbbells in gym
Dumbbells are smart when you're building your biceps. (Image: GeorgeRudy/iStock/Getty Images)

For both males and females, toned biceps and nicely-developed shoulder muscles add confidence and distinction to the way you carry yourself. What's more, they're undeniably sexy -- even more so when they top off a lean and healthful head-to-toe physique.

That's why it's best to balance your regimen in a way that strengthens your core to harmonize with your upper body. So while there's nothing wrong with focusing on exercises that isolate the biceps and deltoids, don't work them to the neglect of other muscle groups. At the end of the day, you've got to live with the rest of your body too.

So where to start? In two separate studies, the American Council on Exercise ranked the most effective exercises for both biceps and shoulders. Let's cut to the chase and start working on that V-shaped upper body.

Biceps

If biceps are overemphasized in human anatomy, it's for a good reason: they're usually the most visible muscle of the whole body. But they're also an essential muscle for most everyday activities. While the concentration curl is king for strengthening the muscle, the biceps brachii is actually a two-pronged muscle that benefits from a variety of different exercise approaches.

Shoulders

For men, broad muscular shoulders are a symbol of power and masculinity. For women, defined shoulders are sexy and smart. And then there's that little matter of shoulder strength coming into play every time we lift, carry, hug or push. While the outer shoulder muscles are the most visible, it's important to create balance by working the middle and posterior deltoids too.

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