Ask any weight lifter to hit a pose and you will a flex bicep almost every time. Big biceps are highly sought after and highly respected. Everyone loves them. In this article we’ll examine the most frequent biceps training blunders and lay out a plan for correcting each so that your curling earns you big guns.
Biceps curls are probably the easiest exercises to cheat. Cheating is a valuable tool for pushing sets beyond strict, full-rep failure; outright sloppy form will take away from being able to really maximize growth and will also instill bad habits. You will never fully stress out your biceps.
- Lighten the weight.
- Avoid using excessive momentum or swinging through your legs and hips.
- Use strict form throughout the movement and find your groove. We are all built slightly different than one another. Adjust your grip until it feels comfortable and natural to you.
- Contract and fully squeeze at the concentric part of the movement.
- To push sets beyond strict, full-rep failure, do two or three extra reps with a slight arm swing or perform half reps. Half reps are effective towards the end of your routine and help fully exhaust the muscle.
Compared with your lats and quadriceps, your bi’s are a smaller muscle , so if you’re pumping out as many sets in your biceps workout as your back workout, you are likely having a negative effect on their growth.
- Beginners should focus on developing proper mind-muscle connections first. Form and range of motion are critical.
- At maximum, push only the final set of an exercise beyond failure via techniques like cheating, forced reps, negatives and drop sets.
Missing the connection
There is so much misinformation being passed around in the internet now days and there it should come to no surprise that this also applies to the fitness world. There are thousands of articles written on training principles and techniques that claim to be the best. Let me make it really simple for you, intensity, proper nutrition, and making the proper mind-muscle connection when training a body part will always yield desirable results no matter what approach you think is best.
- Focus on the muscle being trained.
- Key note: The shape of your biceps is largely genetic. Focus on maximizing size.
Not incorporating sufficient variety
Although the biceps are simple, two-headed muscles targeted almost exclusively via curls, you still need to perform various types of curls to stimulate and hit of the fibers. Too many bodybuilders get in a lazy pattern of doing, for example, all standing, bilateral, free-weight curls.
- Do one EZ-bar or barbell curl exercise, one dumbbell curl exercise, and one machine or cable curl exercise each workout.
- Do one of the exercises standing, one seated and one with the working arm(s) restricted against your body or a bench.
- Do at least one unilateral exercise each biceps workout.
- On occasion, do a unique exercise–such as drag curls, underhand chin-ups and rope hammer curls–to hit your bi’s from different angles.
• Perform strict, full reps. Cheat only to extend a set.
• Squeeze and fully contract the muscle. Control especially important!
• Make adjustments! Different angles, hand positions and grip make a world of difference at times.
• Think outside the box but keep it simple.
• Avoid overusing secondary muscles such as your shoulders when curling, again lighten the weight if necessary.
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