Bicep curls is the most effective exercise for training the arm muscle in isolation and to the point of exhaustion. Unfortunately, many utilize the same tactic: They move the dumbbells up and down quickly, over and over again, until they’ve done 1000 reps. One day this may result in them suffering an overuse injury. But as is so often the case in life, the key to success is not in doing more, but in doing better. Here’s how.
#1 The right posture for bicep curls
First of all, it’s a matter of having the right posture and knowing how you position your hands and arms. This is because only a clean technique taxes your biceps so that they grow as much as possible. Grab two dumbbells and hold them hanging down alongside your upper body. Choose the underhand grip so that your palms are initially facing your body.
Your elbows should be touching your upper body throughout the entire movement. Before lifting, tense your core. Make sure your back is straight and neutral. Pull your shoulder blades back and push them down. The more repetitions you perform, the harder it will be to maintain this position – especially if your shoulder blades start to pull back and downward. If your posture worsens, you can’t hold the position or start to gain momentum, it’s time for a break or a lighter weight.
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#2 Breathe correctly while exercising
Breathing is an important tool for achieving maximum performance during strength training. It helps with maintaining a slow, steady pace, staying focused and keeping your core stable. Exhale as you bend your arms and raise the dumbbells to shoulder height. Hold the position briefly and then inhale as you lower the weights in a controlled manner. Count to at least three. This ensures that you don’t go too fast and skip an important part of the exercise.
Many people forget that one of the main functions of the bicep is the rotation of the forearm. If you want the muscle to grow as much as possible, you need to tax it to its fullest extent. With each repetition, start with your palms facing your body, then begin the curls by rotating your forearms. During the upward motion, rotate them so that your palms are ultimately facing the ceiling. When you reach the starting position, turn them back toward your body and start again.
An extra tip: When you reach the starting point, briefly tense your triceps and only then turn your palms back toward your body.
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#4 It’s better to work with controlled movements and less volume
One of the most important principles in strength training is technique before volume. In other words, pay attention to clean execution rather than using heavier dumbbells or even relying on momentum. A good trick for getting more out of a bicep curl is to perform the exercise on your knees or seated on a weight bench. This will prevent you from using up your strength to lift the weights from your hips or legs. Instead, grab lighter dumbbells and focus more on slow, controlled execution.
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#5 Communicate with your biceps
Ever heard of the mind-muscle connection? Communication between the brain and muscles is the secret to successful strength training. Studies show that the focused mental targeting of muscles during the exercise leads to better performance. So when you do your bicep curls, make sure you’re completely focused. Visualize exactly how the muscle is under tension as you curl the dumbbell to your shoulder and slowly lower it again. By the way, practicing in front of the mirror can help with this and does not in any way mean that you have a pumped-up ego! Read more about the topic here: Mind-Muscle Connection: Definition, Benefits and Exercises
*Creatine increases physical performance during successive short-term, high-intensity exercise. A daily intake of 3 g of creatine has a positive effect.
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