When it comes to getting toned or building muscle, the biceps are at the top of most people's lists. The biceps muscle forms the bulk of your upper arm and is the strongest of three muscles that bend your elbow.
Biceps strengthening doesn't require a gym membership or fancy equipment. With dumbbells, exercise bands and a chin-up bar you can tone your arms without leaving your house. Begin with 10 repetitions of each exercise, working up to three sets in a row.
1. Concentration Curls
According to a study published in 2014 by "American Council on Exercise," concentration curls are the best exercise to target the biceps.
HOW TO DO IT: Sit on a firm surface with a dumbbell in your right hand. Put your arm between your legs, resting the back of your right elbow against your right inner thigh. Begin with your arm straight.
Keeping your arm against your thigh, bend your elbow as far as possible, then slowly lower back down. Repeat on the opposite side.
2. Supinated Curls
In addition to bending the elbow, your biceps muscle also supinates your forearm, turning it into a palm-up position.
HOW TO DO IT: Stand with your elbows straight and one dumbbell in each hand. Rotate your arms until your palms are facing forward. This is the starting position.
Bend your elbows as far as possible, then slowly lower back down. Perform the movement with both arms at the same time or alternate side with each repetition to give your arms a short break.
3. Exercise Band Curls
Exercise bands are available in a variety of strengths, making it easy to increase the difficulty of your curls as your strength improves.
HOW TO DO IT: Secure one end of the band in a door near the bottom hinge. Stand facing the door with the opposite end of the band in your right hand. As an alternate starting position, step on one end of the band with your left foot while exercising your right arm.
Begin with your elbow straight, then bend it up as far as possible. Slowly lower back down, maintaining control of the band throughout the movement.
Chin-ups can be performed at home with a doorway chin-up bar.
HOW TO DO IT: Grab the bar with your palms facing you, approximately shoulder-width apart. Bend your knees slightly and lift your feet off the ground.
Pull yourself up toward the bar until your chin is above the bar. Slowly lower back down until your elbows are completely straight.
5. Upright Rows
Although upright rows are traditionally a shoulder exercise, your biceps also get a good workout with this movement.
HOW TO DO IT: Stand up straight with one dumbbell in each hand. Hold them in front of your thighs with your palms facing your body. This is the starting position.
Lift your elbows out to your sides and bring the dumbbells toward your chin, up to chest-height. Slowly lower back down to the starting position.