TOP 5 PRACTICAL WAYS TO IMPROVE YOUR BICEP WORKOUTS
Do you want to grow your biceps? This article covers the five top tips and tricks to improve your bicep pumps, and ultimately get bigger gains. Some would say just do barbell curls until you can’t physically do any more, but that’s just one specific workout. At Giant Fitness, we try to take a more balanced, calculated approach to weight training. This helps you to reach your true potential with your fitness goals. Most guys say biceps are first thing they want to improve on, but bicep curls are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to bicep workouts. By including these 5 tips into your workout regimen, you can be confident that your bicep gains will noticeably improve!
The grip width that you use on your barbell curls will make all the difference when it comes to your bicep growth. Using the standard shoulder width grip uses the long outer head and short inner head of your bicep pretty evenly. The wider that you go from there, the more short head emphasis. The narrower that you go, it increases the long head emphasis. Make sure to include in addition to shoulder width grip curls, some wider than shoulder width grip curls to put more stress on the short head. Then close grip curls to put more stress on the long head. What this will do is improve the size of each bicep head. This will work together to bring you even better bicep gains in your workout.
Begin your bicep workout with 4 sets of bicep curls, then on the first set take a close grip about 8 inches apart. On the second set, use a hip width grip. On the third set, take a shoulder width grip and finish the fourth set with a wide grip, about six inches wider than shoulder width.
Sit down, son!
You probably already know the benefits of partial movements. Finishing reps through only part of an exercise aids you in becoming stronger in that specific range. This can be done with your bicep training also. Unlike 21s, which you probably think of when you think of biceps and partials, what we’re offering is a way to train heavy for the best gains. When you incorporate a full range of motion curling, you are limited to a weight that you can perform through the weakest part of the ROM as long as you’re using proper form. When doing seated barbell curls, which take away the bottom half of the movement since the bar rests on your thighs, it will help you focus more stress on the bicep and you can place a bigger overload on them, since you are stronger in the beginning half of the ROM. Most can curl between 20 and 30% more weight on seated barbells over standing curls. The best way to incorporate seated barbell curls into your workout is to do them first in your training. Do 3 sets of seated barbell curls and then follow them with 2-3 sets of full ROM standing barbell curls.
Seated incline dumbbell curls are of the the few ways to to stretch the long head of the biceps. When you’re sitting on an incline your arms move behind your torso. This stretches the long head, which allows contraction with more force. This means when you do incline curls, more emphasis is put on the biceps long head. The reason this is important is because the long head gives your arms improved shape when viewed from the side and it creates the biceps peak that pops when someone asks you to flex. When you’re done doing barbell curls, move on to the incline curls. Try this: Start with the incline adjusted to 30 degrees. After you reach failure, set the bench to 45 degrees and repeat. Only rest enough to adjust the bench. When you reach failure at that degree, raise the bench to 60 degrees and finish out, going to max failure. That’s the first set, then choose a weight that lets you get about 10 reps on the first bench setting and do three sets like that.
For a long time bodybuilders thought that hammer curls to be an afterthought exercise to do at the end of arms for the brachiaclis and forearms. Althought, research has now been shown that hammer curls put the most amount of emphasis on the bicep long head. To really pump up this important bicep head, you have to consistently do hammer curls with your bicep workouts. Do cross body hammer curls but instead of curling the weight straight out in front of you, curl it in front of your body at a 45 degree angle from your mid section, towards your opposite shoulder. This puts more emphasis on your biceps long head.
Bands are very useful, they provide a special type of resistance known as “Linear Variable Resistance”. This means that the range of motion(ROM) is increased through the workout, and the resistance with it. Take bicep curls for an example, in the bottom position there is little tension from the bands. As you curl upwards, the band is stretched, and the higher you curl, the greater the stretch. When the stretch expands, it puts more resistance on you. The reason this is advantageous is because the resistance is increasing throughout the curl you have to recruit more and more bicep muscle fibers, which helps increase your muscle power and muscle strength past what is possible with just free weights, such as barbells and dumbbells. Additionally, it can improve muscle growth. Biceps are only maximally involved in the exercise during the last half of the range of motion. At the beginning of the curl, when your arm is straight(180 degree angle at your elbow), the brachialis(Muscle underneath the biceps) and brachioradialis(Big fore arm muscle on the thumb side of arm) do most of the heavy lifting until the halfway point of the workout when the elbow is at a 90 degree angle. The biceps don’t do much of the lifting until just before this point and throughout the rest of the ROM. When you’re loading a bar with weights, you’re limited to what the brachialis and brachioradialis is able to lift through the first half of the curl, which is a lot less than what the biceps can lift from the halfway point. This is why its easier to curl bigger weights on seated barbell curls. Using bands, it lets you start off with a lighter weight that gradually gets heavier the higher you curl it. This allows for max tension on the biceps when it counts and for max gains. You’ll surely feel the aching and burning the biceps when doing curls with chains. Finish your biceps workout with three sets of 10-15 reps on band curls until you can’t anymore.