Men usually want big bulging biceps (c’mon guys you know you ) and women want shapely arms that they can show off in their summer clothes. Recently I offered visitors to my Facebook page www.facebook.com/fitnessideasnz a free download on how to train and get the best results out of your triceps training (please leave your email address in the comments section if you would like me to send you a free copy)
Whether you are trying to build mass or sculpt lean muscle technique to illicit effective muscle recruitment remains the utmost of importance. Bicep curls are routinely done wrong around any gym on any given day. When training biceps we are aiming for picture left vs picture right.
Trainers across the world state that to get muscular arms you need big compound movements that recruit the most muscle fibres. The problem with that is I see lots of people doing countless reps of compound movements like biceps curls with very little progress being made. So it seems the problem may not be the exercise choice rather the exercise technique
“The main reason why people are having trouble putting size on their biceps is simple: they don’t really know how to curl. As a result, they’re just not good at fully stimulating their biceps.” Christian Thibaudeau
Below are some tips on how to get the best out of the bicep curl to get ‘more bang for your buck’
- You are standing wrong: A lot of people curl and when they do the tense up through the shoulders and you are either leaning too far forward or back and /or your elbows are pointing outwards or upwards. Instead focus on standing straight with your shoulders, hips and knees in line. Shoulder blades she be pointing back and down rather than up and forwards and the crook of your elbow should be facing straight ahead.
- Don’t be floppy: To get the most out of the bicep curl you need to focus on being tight to ensure you get the most muscle recruitment. Before even curling up the bar up, focus on squeezing the triceps, by doing this you are stretching out the bicep (the muscle/s being stretched the most recruits the most muscle fibres). At the same tense your abs and tense your glutes and focus on gripping toes into the floor. The more tense you are the more stable you are and the body thrives on stability.
- Flex the weight up: Yes we are curling the weight up I know that but the goal should be to keep your biceps as tense as possible. Remember the body is pretty smart and it will try to get other muscle groups to do the work instead of the biceps. By tensing your biceps all the way up you are guaranteeing that those small muscles are doing the work. Speed is critical go too fast (and its hard to get that squeeze) and go too slow its hard to maintain the squeeze throughout the entire movement.
- Don’t forget the way down: so often I see people do all the curling part right then just let the weight drop down. Focus on lowering the weight by extending only at elbow joint (no other muscle groups should be used). Keep the tension on the biceps on the way down. At full extension quickly transfer the flexion to the back of the arm to start curl again.
- Treat your arms like any other body part: Guys tend to focus on their chest development and women training their legs and arms can be somewhat forgotten. To have better arm development you need to show the same level of focus that you may show with other body parts.
Yours in health