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Toned strong arms should be on every woman's fitness goal list.
The biceps curl using a cable machine is one of the best exercises to tone and strengthen your biceps when using the recommended weight. According to "Muscle Mag," using a cable machine for biceps can maximize muscle contraction because it gives you a more even resistance throughout each rep than dumbbells and barbells. The recommended weight for women for bicep curls using a cable machine depends on your fitness level and desired workout goals. Always consult your doctor before beginning any new exercise routine.
If you are new to weightlifting, you should begin any weightlifting exercise with a light weight. For bicep curls using a cable machine, start with a weight that is light enough for you to perform three to four sets of 12 repetitions. When this becomes too easy for you, try increasing the weight by one plate to make it a little more challenging. Once you master the proper form for this exercise, you will be able to adjust your weight, set and rep count according to your fitness goals.
Proper form is just as important, if not more important than using the right amount of weight. Lower the cable pulley to the lowest setting. Be sure to bend your knees and engage your core as you stand up straight to avoid hurting your lower back. To perform a perfect biceps curl, hold your stomach in to protect your lower back and do not lock your knees. Starting with the weight near your legs, use your bicep muscles to raise the bar up to your chest and lower back down to a 90-degree angle at waist level. Your arms should stay at your sides while only moving at the elbow joint.
If your ultimate goal for your biceps is to have a toned look, use a weight that allows you to perform four sets of 12 to 15 repetitions. By using a lighter weight with biceps curls and performing a high number of repetitions, you will improve lean muscle mass which will give you a toned look. For an all over arm-toning workout, after you complete your cable bicep curls, perform the same number sets and reps of triceps push downs using the cable machine. All you have to do is move the cable pulley overhead and adjust the weight if needed. Keeping your arms at your sides, take an overhand grip of the bar and start with the bar near your chest. Push the bar down towards your legs and return back up to starting position. Follow the same weight, set and rep protocol -- choose a weight that allows you to perform four sets of 12 to 15 repetitions.
Bigger arms is not just a goal for men. Female bodybuilders and fitness enthusiasts often make it a goal to increase the size of their arms. If this is your goal and you have already mastered proper form for biceps curls with a cable machine, you want to use a heavier weight to build muscle mass. Choose a weight that takes you to muscle failure in eight to 10 repetitions. Cable machines are much safer than dumbbells and barbells when training your muscles to failure because there is less chance of injury. However, it is still necessary to use a spotter whenever training to failure. Complete at least three to four sets of this exercise along with at least two other biceps-building exercises such as single arm dumbbell curls, alternating hammer curls or chin-ups.