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One Good Thing: Biceps Twist

Sep 21, 2011 By Martica Heaner

This move targets the front of your upper arms, specifically the biceps brachialis, biceps brachii, and brachioradialis. It will add tone and curves to your upper arms, and help you carry heavy boxes, babies, and grocery bags.

Step 1:

Stand tall and lengthen your lower back. Hold a weight in each hand and allow your arms to hang by your sides, palms facing in. Look forward and tuck your chin in, close to your neck. Soften your knees slightly.

Step 2:

Keep your upper arms close by your sides and bend your elbows. As you do, rotate your forearms so that your palms are facing forward and lift the weights up. Hold, then slowly lower, keeping your upper arms stable and held close to your torso. Repeat.

biceps twist
biceps twist


  • Choose a weight that is heavy enough to challenge your target muscles, but not so heavy that your joints feel strained.
  • Start with dumbbells that are at least 3 to 8 pounds, and gradually work up to heavier weights as one set of exercises becomes easier to complete.
  • Begin by doing one set of 8 to 12 repetitions. The move should feel challenging by the time you reach the last few repetitions of each set.
  • As you get stronger, work up to three sets.
  • Rest for 1 to 2 minutes before performing another set.
  • Do this exercise two to three times a week with a rest day in between.


  • Grip the weights too tightly. Instead, hold the dumbbells loosely.
  • Ignore strain in your joints. If you feel stress or strain, try lifting one dumbbell at a time, or use a slightly lighter weight.
  • Allow your shoulders to hunch up by you ears. Draw your shoulder blades down your back and press them against your ribcage.

Martica Heaner PhD is a nutritionist and exercise physiologist and an award-winning health writer with a weekly column on Health.MSN.com. She is a research associate at Columbia University Medical Center in New York City and is the co-author of Cross-training for Dummies and Lean Mommy. Follow Dr. Martica on Facebook and Twitter.

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Martica Heaner

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