bar moves along the line of a semi-circle. Yet, this motion is not the optimum curve if the objective is to work the biceps as effectively as possible. Once the bar reaches a 45 degree angle, the movement is no longer working against gravity. This excludes the crucial "peak contraction" at the top of movement. In order to get the most out of your curling movement, stay aware of keeping the elbows back. As you lift the weight, the bar should then follow an almost straight line close to the body, as opposed to the circular movement which comes from jutting the elbows forward when lifting the weight. Think of it as "dragging" the barbell up instead of "curling" it. When performing a curl with the back against the wall, your triceps should stay in contact with the wall throughout the up and down movement.
SURE, IT FEELS GOOD--BUT IS IT DOING ANYTHING? Another common mistake is falling in love with the preacher bench. I know, it's a "comfortable" movement. But it's more of a brachialis exercise than a bicep movement. Have you ever done a workout consisting of nothing but preacher bench curls? You'll feel it mostly in the joint between your forearm and bicep. That gives the illusion that it's working the "lower biceps" but there isn't any "lower" biceps. What you're feeling is mostly residual soreness from the forearm and brachialis which emanates into the upper arm. The truth is, the bicep received very little stimulation. Don't get me wrong. Preacher bench curls will work. But if your bi's are a stubborn bodypart, they're not the best choice. It's better to exert your energy on more effective movements.
Instead of laying out a detailed biceps routine, work on the above techniques with a set and rep scheme in which you're already employing. The main thing to stay conscious of when working the bi's is keeping your elbows back, and the "arc" of the curl more vertical. You can do this with dumbbells, incline curls, even pulley curls.
These slight alterations in technique can make all the difference between a productive workout and a waste of time. They may seem basic, but the results will be bigger biceps. And that's what you want isn't it?
Was this article helpful?