There are a lot of effective options for working the biceps, so your aim is to find the one that best suits you. The purpose of biceps training for general fitness is to give our biceps some extra work to get a pump and achieve some more hypertrophy (size gainz).
Biceps — First, Watch This:Regardless of the biceps exercise you actually decide to perform these 3 keys hold true. Fail to abide and your arm growth will suffer. Full article at: http...
Biceps — Setup
1. Exercise selection
Guidance for biceps exercises remains quite consistent across most variations. Choose the biceps variation you most enjoy or feel gives you the most benefit.
- DON'T choose the exercise that allows you to use the most weight. The more difficult a movement is/ the weaker you feel, the greater benefit you will get from the movement.
- Bear in mind there is a huge difference between a movement that is difficult and one that is causing pain. If things cross over to painful, then they are also non-productive and will set you back in your training, rather than helping progression.
Choose ONE exercise and stick with it for at least 4 weeks in order to see some gains and improvements in movement efficiency. If you switch every week, you won't be able to accurately measure if you were able to do more work than last week.
Biceps — Some Options
See 'Further Resources' for links
- EZ Bar Curl
- Alternating Dumbbell
- Hammer Curl
- Cable Curl
- Straight Bar Curl
Biceps — Execution
1. Range of motion: For all of these, ensure full range of motion: DON'T CHEAT.
- Bragging rights go to those that make a workout harder with less weight. That means you are more meticulous and efficient with your movement.
2. Control: Maintain control, DON'T USE MOMENTUM.
- Momentum means you aren't using your muscle. It's cheating as well.
3. Breath: Exhale on the contraction (upward movement), and inhale on the extension (downward movement).
- If the weight is so heavy you need to brace with your core and breath to prevent cheating, it's too heavy for you to be curling it. Chances are, your front delt is engaging as well, which isn't the intention of the movement in our programming.
4. Tightness: Keep your lats and elbows tight
- Think about mimicking Port Arms with the rifle in drill. Tight lats will keep your elbows from moving and engaging your delts.
5. Isolation: Isolate your elbow joint
- The only joint opening and closing should be your elbow, otherwise, the shoulder is getting involved and stealing work from your biceps.
6. 3 Contractions
- Concentric: the upward portion
- Isometric: the very top of the movement where there is no movement
- Eccentric: the downward portion- do this slowly and focus. This is a huge part of every rep.
Biceps — Coaching Cues
- Breathe with the rep
- Don't crank on your neck (it won't help)
- Eyes should remain stationary
- Don't drop weight (eccentric portion is just as important as the concentric)
Biceps — Adjustments
If your biceps hurt, don't do biceps curls. These are an ancillary exercise. You get all the biceps stimulation you need to live in the world from pulling movements like the pull-up and barbell rows.
If your elbow is bothering you and you refuse to stop curling, try switching to a neutral or even pronated (overhand) grip variation, as elbow supination may be where the issue is coming from.Caveat: This exercise guidance should never usurp the advice of your medical professional. If there is a question in your mind as to the suitability of this exercise for you confer with your doctor. WATM is not liable if you do something ill-advised after reading any of our fitness content.
Biceps — Further Resources