Doing the classic bicep curls in your local Club Fitness gym is a great way to make your arms grow. Regardless, your body needs new ways of stimulation, as well as varied movements to progress. It’s especially the case if you’re looking to grow your biceps.
Most expert trainers will tell you that muscle confusion is a necessity. The good news is that training your biceps is more versatile than you realize. After all, your biceps make it possible for two motions to happen—elbow flexion and forearm rotation.
With that, you can train your muscles in more ways than the standard curls. Read on and check out the following variations that you can use to get your maximum arm day gains.
1. The Barbell Cheat Curl
If you have experience doing barbell curls before, doing them right means you used some momentum. You achieved this by focusing on your biceps. With the cheat curl, you’ll gain more momentum that helps get the weight up.
Take note, you should only use the cheat curl sparingly—twice a month at most. When you use it right, you can overload your biceps. Using it too much can lead to shoulder problems since this body part gets involved more than it should.
This move enables you to put more focus on the more eccentric part of the lift. It’s easy to do since you only need to lean a little forward and use the momentum to raise the barbell before you lower it down at a slower pace.
Exercise caution and don’t lean too far back when you lift. Try imagining a vertical line at your back. You can only lean as far as that imaginary boundary and let your biceps exert all the effort.
2. The Chin-up
This move revolves around eccentric overloading for your biceps. This bodyweight exercise aims to train you to use your biceps to pull yourself up to the bar while controlling your rate of descent. The chin-up exercise is highly challenging, especially in its bodyweight form.
It’s all worth the effort when you master it. After all, this means that you can increase the overload progressively. To do this, you can add more weights to train your biceps further.
3. The Dumbbell Cross-Body Curl
Technically, this move isn’t an exercise for your biceps. It decreases your bicep activation while reducing your forearm’s supination. This enables you to put more focus on your brachialis.
Regardless, this exercise relates to your arm muscle growth. The ball of muscle underlying your biceps, the brachial, helps enlarge your arm size if you choose to develop it. It’s one of the primary contributors to your arm’s overall mass.
To do this exercise, start with pronating your forearm. Bring the dumbbell up across your body slowly. This helps you maximize your slow-twitch muscle fibers’ activation.
The primary thing you should remember is to keep your shoulder blades back. Don’t focus too much on the cross-body motion. In some cases, you might need to discard this movement instead.
4. The Banded Dumbbell Curl
The main objective of this curl type is to increase tension. The added bands will increase the level of resistance at the higher end of the move. In comparison, the standard curl will have the highest tension during the middle of the move.
5. The Incline Dumbbell Stretch Curl
This exercise is one of the most-skipped moves around. The main reason is the compromised placing of your shoulders. It’s more prevalent if your pecs are tighter.
In this move, your entire shoulder capsule gets a major stretch. Depending on the mobility of your shoulder, your body might not be ready for it. Otherwise, if you have healthy shoulders, the incline bench dumbbell curl is a great choice to spice up your bicep day.
With this exercise, your biceps get more tension while your upper arm is behind your torso. But you need to use lighter weights since you’re stretching your biceps. That means it’s weaker, but it doesn’t mean you can’t apply a deeper stretch.
Like the barbell cheat curl, use this move sparingly. Before doing it, test yourself by extending your arm behind your torso to see how far you can go without discomfort. When doing incline curls, keep that maximum angle in mind since going beyond it will be detrimental to your shoulder health.
6. The Incline Waiter Curl
The Waiter Curl is all about holding and lifting a vertical dumbbell. This helps you get the most muscle contraction. Doing this exercise while forward-facing on an incline frees your movement range since the dumbbell isn’t hitting your legs.
This means you’ll get the overload you want. After all, your muscles are at its peak contraction.
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