For many aspiring bodybuilders, big arms are a top priority when it comes to training goals. However, many people are overly dependent on a very limited number of bicep exercises, specifically barbell and dumbbell curls. While these exercises are great, if you want to really maximize your arm gains, you have to mix things up now and then.
The aim of the drag curls is to limit anterior deltoid activation and place more stress on the biceps. This is a very tough exercise so don't feel disheartened if you can only curl around half as much weight as normal.
1. Grasp a barbell or EZ bar with a shoulder-width, underhand grip.
2. Starting with your arms fully extended, curl the bar upward but keep it close to your body by pushing your elbows back. It should drag up your torso, hence the name of the exercise.
3. Curl the bar up as high as you can and then squeeze your biceps at the top. Lower the weight and repeat.
Power curls are sometimes used by guys in the gym as ego boosters, however they are in fact very beneficial if performed correctly, and should more accurately be described as "strategic cheating" to allow you to use more weight than normal. You can lower more weight than you can lift and this exercise helps you do this safely and efficiently. Perform with a barbell, EZ bar, or dumbbells as preferred.
1. Stand with your weight in your hands, arms straight.
2. Bend your knees slightly and lean forward from the hips.
3. Lower the bar down to around mid-thigh but do not round your lower back.
4. Drive your hips forward and use this momentum to help you curl the weight up to your shoulders.
5. Brace your abs and back and lower the bar slowly back down to full arm extension. Hinge forward from your hips again and repeat.
This exercise is fantastic for maximizing bicep growth as the cable tension from the start position ensures your biceps reach full stretch throughout each rep.
1. Stand in the middle cable crossover machine with one handle in each hand, arms extended and parallel to the floor.
2. Curl the handles in toward your shoulders as though you were hitting your best double biceps pose.
3. Really squeeze those biceps, extend your arms, and repeat. This is another good pumping exercise.
When it comes to getting the most out of your training a key focus should alway be to hit each muscle group from a variety of different angles, this ensures there are no weak points in the muscle structure, and will also help you to build a more balanced and powerful physique. Give these bicep exercises a go, but also be sure to mix things up a bit!