Everyone knows bicep curls and parallel bar dips are key for building a great set of guns but here are 5 tips that will help you smash through plateaus and kick start some growth!
1. Curl With Your Little Finger
One of the main purposes of the biceps muscle is to rotate the hand. Bend your arms at 90 degrees and hold onto the bicep of that arm with your opposing hand, now rotate the hand on the bent arm so your palm is facing down and then rotate so it is facing up, without changing the angle of your elbow. You will feel your biceps contract as you move into supination (palms facing up) and relax when your hand is pronated (palm facing down). So, when doing any kind of bicep curl, especially dumbbells, lead with your little finger! Imagine trying to turn your little finger out all the way through the movement to recruit maximum amount of muscle fibre.
2. Exercise With Perfect Technique
Cheating too much will not build a great set of arms. When performing bicep curls you should take the muscle from full extension to full contraction, this means that you have straight arms at the bottom of a curl. Another thing to remember is to keep your elbows pointed at the floor all the way through a curl to avoid assistance from other muscle groups.
3. Understand the Strength Curve
The strength curve describes the amount of force a muscle will apply through a specific range of movement. For example, during a preacher bicep curl more force is required at the bottom of the movement, where as a spider curl (leaning over a bench with arms hanging) will need the biceps to produce more force near the contraction point of the exercise to complete the movement. So when training biceps you want to select exercises that overload at three points (low range, mid range and upper range) of the strength curve.
4. Squeeze, Don't Relax
Getting a good pump to create growth happens when there is an increase in the fluid surrounding the fibers within the muscle. In order for this to occur you must flex at the contraction point of every rep, squeeze don't relax! In order to get a good pump to stretch the fibres you need the muscle to be full so make sure you are completely hydrated and have carbs present.
5. Don’t Forget Grip Work
If your bicep progress stalls it might be worth adding in some specific forearm training into your program. The stronger your grip the heavier you can curl, it’s a no brainer. Stronger forearms, better grip, heavier weights used when curling, more overload on the biceps, greater hypertrophy.
For further fitness tips, advice and guidance head over to the Elite Physiques website and get the results you're looking for, at the speed we all want them in.