In order to have strong, toned arms, training your biceps -along with your shoulders and triceps of course- is crucial. However, some people seem to have difficulties trying to think of exercises other then a regular dumbbell biceps curl when it comes to training this muscle group, so we would like to give some ideas using various equipment to make your biceps routine more diverse and effective!
The video above demonstrates each exercise we are going to discuss, however, there are some general things, I would like to call your attention to before we get started. First of all, your stance. For each exercise, place your feet almost shoulder width apart and bend your knees slightly. This is important, because having a stable stance prevents your upper body from swinging while using a challenging weight and thus taking away the focus from the biceps.
Secondly, make sure you always get the full range of motion. When you lower your weight, extend your arm completely, not only until halfway. The resistance is the biggest when your arm is close to extended and doing the exercise properly this way will always make it harder and much more effective.
- Barbell biceps curls – this might be a basic exercise, but it definitely shouldn’t be underestimated. Make sure to have proper stance and full range of motion and use weights that make the last reps rather challenging. (The number of repetitions depends on your current goals, so we cannot give a magic number that will work for all, but stay tuned for more info about this topic!)
- Alternating dumbbell curls – for this exercise, hold a dumbbell in both hands and opt for a weight a little lower than for your regular biceps curls. Hold up the dumbbell in one hand so that your lower and upper arms are 90° and do four repetitions of simple dumbbell curls with the other arm. Make sure you don’t lower the ‘resting’ arm and keep your biceps flexed and tight. When you’re done with the four reps, switch arms and repeat this whole cycle once more -so that both arms have completed 8 curls. This is one set.
- Preacher curls – there are to variations for preacher curls: you can either do it with dumbbells in each hand or a barbell. As always, make sure you extend your arms completely and focus on your biceps, while lifting the weight back up. Having good mind-muscle connection, especially with these exercises highly contributes to the efficiency of the workout.
- Seated isolated curls – I see people trying to do this exercise in the gym a lot, however, sadly a lot of times they do it incorrectly. Make sure it’s not your elbow that is resting on your knee – but the back of your upper arm resting on the inside of your thighs. This is important because using your joints for support makes the position very unstable -and not in a good way. Your arms can slip easily and you can get hurt, so always pay attention to your form please!
- Cable bar biceps curls – incorporating using the cable in your routine helps to train your muscles differently as the resistence slightly differs from free weights. Usually gyms have various handles but for the first time I would recommend using the straight bar – and later your can experiment with the other handles as well as different grips for hitting the biceps for different angles.
We hope we could give you some new ideas for a more diverse biceps routine – if you would like to read about exercises for other muscle groups as well, let us know in the comments, or post about it on Facebook or Instagram using the hashtags #eaternalwellness and #ProbarTaiwan!