All-over strength is awesome, but there are a lot of benefits that come with a strong back and strong biceps, specifically. When these upper body muscles are pumped up, your posture improves, your basal metabolic rate (BMR) increases, grip strength is better, your everyday tasks are easier, and much more.
The biggest perk of adding back and biceps exercises to your routine? It protects your spine. “All movement derives from your spine, and if your back muscles are weak, your spine is going to move more than it should leading to injuries and back pain,” says Barry’s trainer Meghan Voell, ACE-CPT. “Strengthening the muscles especially around the spine reduces your risk of back pain and injury. It improves your posture as well.”
Meet the expert: Meghan Voell, CPT, is an ACE certified personal trainer and trainer at Barry’s in Denver. Tatiana Lampa, CPT, is a certified personal trainer, corrective exercise specialist, and founder of Training With T.
Combining your back and arm workout is a smart and effective way to train, and any pull movement will hit both. “It’s a time saver,” says Voell. “If you are trying to tackle multiple muscle groups in one workout, that’s going to help you do so by combining the two. Then you can actually build out some rest days.”
Strengthening your back and biceps helps the rest of your bod perform at its peak, too. “Your body works like a pulley system,” says Voell. “If one set of muscles is weak, you still have to complete movements and other muscles take on what those muscles should be doing. When your back is weak, typically your chest your shoulders get tight and come forward creating a hunched look, because they’re compensating for what your back should be doing.”
Eager to try the best back and arm exercises for a stronger upper body? Grab a set of dumbbells and follow this back and arm workout created by Tatiana Lampa, CPT.
Time: 15 minutes | Equipment: 5–10 pound dumbbells for beginner/intermediate, 12 pounds for advanced | Good for: Biceps and back
Instructions: Choose six moves below (three from the first five moves, and three from the last five). For each move, do three to four sets of 12 reps, resting as needed in between sets. Then continue to the next move.