Strong arms with sculpted biceps are the dream of many aspiring athletes. We show you how to make it a reality.
Dumbbells or barbell: which to choose?
A targeted training of the biceps does not work on the horizontal bar. Push-ups are a complex exercise that naturally uses the biceps, but primarily the back muscles. The bar is effective because it allows you to create a closed chain and add weight. But dumbbells give you a greater range of motion.
For those who are just beginning their fitness journey, it is recommended to work with dumbbells as their weight starts at 1kg and barbell weight starts at 10kg. It is better to gradually increase the weight of the projectile so as not to injure yourself and improve the technique of performing exercises. Also, you can always add different weights to the dumbbells. So if an athlete feels they can’t complete an exercise with 10kg dumbbells, they can quickly substitute a smaller projectile.
How do I train effectively with dumbbells and dumbbells? Here are three useful exercises:
- Standing EZ-Bar Curl
- Hammer Curl
- Shoulder flexion, forearm flexion and rotation
Standing EZ-Bar Curl
The classic standing forearm curl exercise with an ez-bar is very effective for pumping the biceps. As opposed to a straight neck, an EZ-shaped neck is more comfortable for beginners to practice because it forms an indirect angle and creates supination. The main thing for the technique of this exercise is bending without cheating, that is, without auxiliary movements of other muscles: momentum, inertia and so on. Then only the elbow joint works – the axis of rotation passes through it.
You must complete the approach exercise for at least 25-30 seconds. It’s best to do fewer reps, but with slower arm flexion and extension. The longer the muscle is loaded, the more effectively it stretches and contracts, and the more actively blood begins to flow to it. This technique allows you to start the process of hypertrophy, that is, a set of muscles.
This is a forearm push-up with dumbbells parallel to each other. In addition to the biceps themselves, you can use them to pump the muscle located just below – the brachialis. It is often overlooked, but it affects the visual perception of the biceps, that is, its relief and size.
Shoulder flexion, forearm flexion and rotation
This is the simultaneous involvement of all three major functions of the biceps: shoulder flexion, forearm flexion, and external rotation of the forearm. It can be performed either standing or sitting on a bench and leaning back on the support. It is most effective – the biceps are reduced in all areas. This allows you to carry the muscle even with a small weight.
Beginners often go to the gym and immediately try to work out with more weight. As a rule, they carry the place of attachment of the tendons, not the muscles. When they involve muscles at work, they do few reps with insufficient time under load (less than 30 seconds). With this approach, the risk of injury is very high. And it increases because of the wrong technique.
Due to the weight of the projectile, beginners begin to swing their bodies, trying to create inertia and throwing weight. In addition to trauma to the distal biceps tendon, the lumbar spine can also be damaged.
In order not to get hurt, keep track of your technique in the mirror – they are installed in every gym. Make sure you are using the thrust of the back muscles and assess the position of the humerus in relation to the floor. The humerus should be in a steady state, perpendicular to the floor – only the forearm moves when doing biceps exercises. So you can pump up your technique at first and do the exercises correctly. Another option is to work with a trainer. It will assess whether you are effectively loading the biceps and minimizing the likelihood of injury.
Another important component of correct biceps loading is rest and moderate training with an emphasis on your work. This is a small muscle that works in most workouts – all pull and back exercises. So just train the biceps once a week and combine pumping this muscle with back or arm exercises in general. Otherwise, you won’t have time to recover.