Arm-inflating methods beyond basic curls
You’re doing biceps curls all wrong. If you weren’t, you wouldn’t be reading this and your beloved guns would be happily filling out every T-shirt you own. If they aren’t, it’s because you’ve been missing a trick with this classic lift. Here we explain four quick fixes that’ll help transform your upper arms.
- Twist your wrist
One of the main roles of the biceps muscles is to externally rotate your wrists, meaning if you’re not twisting mid curl, you’re not using their full potential. Start a dumbbell curl with your palms facing. As you lift each weight, twist your wrists so your palms face your shoulders at the top of the move, then reverse to the start.
- Isolate to accumulate
You need to check your ego and momentum if you want to grow your guns. It’s common to swing the weight and get extra help from your shoulders when doing standing curls but the seated preacher curl contraption eliminates all this so 100% of your effort is being channelled into your biceps. Use a light weight and focus on perfect form.
- Go long not heavy
For your muscles to benefit from the miracle of hypertrophy – the process of increasing muscle size – they need to be under tension for a minimum of 30 seconds per set. So instead of always aiming for three sets of 10, lift for time to ensure your muscles are constantly pushed to their limits and forced to grow bigger to survive the next session.
- Grab the cable
Doing curls with the cable machine guarantees a consistent level of pressure is inflicted on the muscle throughout a set. With normal biceps curls, the strain is greatest at the bottom and middle of the lift and it eases off at the top, meaning your arms are only using ⅔ of their potential. Instead, use the short bar attachment on the cable machine and vary the anchor point from low to chest height to find the angle that keeps your muscles under tension throughout.
There you have it! Be sure to incorporate these tips into your routine and you should be on your way to bigger arms!