Alot of people at the gym prefer to stick to the basics of what they know when it comes to training biceps. I see most people perform standing biceps curls partly because they are easier than seated curls or preacher curls. It’s important to know that weight is not everything when training biceps. In fact range of motion should always take priority over weight.
Focusing on this priority and incorporating proper technique will help your biceps stand out from the rest. As mentioned earlier, the preferred exercise of choice for most people is the standing bicep curl. While curls of this kind are not bad all together, they lack of any real support to hold your body steady while the arm moves, thus allowing other muscle groups to do most of the lifting. It is also common for novices to perform these curls with
50 percent range of motion or less, typically by locking up the elbow at half way down the curl.
This forces the shoulder to perform the rest of the movement. If you have to work these areas anyway, that’s not so bad. However, if you purely want to focus on your biceps, there are better paths to take.
One option is a seated curl. By doing seated curls, you largely eliminate the rocking motion common with standing curls. This allows you to focus more closely on the bicep itself and less on holding yourself steady while you curl it up. It is a partial isolation technique and works well when performed throughout the full range of motion. This would require that you start the curl with your arm at a dead hang and return the curl to nearly your starting point every time.
The initial 20 to 30 percent of motion from the bottom provides the most resistance and stimulates the fibers of the bicep over the largest range. Biceps that are trained with a full range of motion tend to have a more elongated fiber.
By Derrick Inglut
If it’s total isolation you are looking for, the preacher curl (this is the bench where you rest your elbows on) wins the prize. What’s great about this bench is that is isolates your body nearly 100 percent. Performing a 20 pound
preacher curl feels similar to performing a 40 pund standing curl in terms of difficulty. Here your biceps get the resistance and isolation they need to cause adequate muscle fiber stimulation for growth. Try using an EZ curl bar.
Not only does it tend to be easier on the wrists, but it also works the forearms and biceps more thoroughly. This is largely due to the ability to tilt the wrist outward (not possible on a straight bar). Try to focus on starting the curl with your forearms and finish the remaining 80 percent of the curl with your biceps.
Be sure to practice proper technique on the bench by following these simple guidelines.
– Position the seat as low as comfortably possible to maximize isolation on the bicep. You should feel very short when sitting down.
– Do not allow your butt to leave the bench at any period of the set except when initially picking up the bar.
– Be sure to work the bicep through the full range of motion. Try to bring the bar almost to the bottom of the rep, stopping about 90% down to keep tension on the bicep.
– Be sure to start with lighter, high rep sets to warm up the muscle and build up to heavier weight gradually. Never jerk the weight up.
– Try to control the weight down at half the speed that you brought it up.
– If you reach failure in fewer than 10 reps (excluding warm up sets), this is likely the right weight to stimulate the fast twitch muscles responsible for size and growth.