Strength coach and founder of Athlean-X Jeff Cavalier CSCS It ranks the best and worst ways to boost your gains in different muscle groups, including Back And the chest. In a new video, he deals with biceps designers, starting with exercises you probably should give up entirely, before moving on to the better ones, and finally, the higher-level moves that will help you maximize your inflation.
Cavaliere starts with a focus curl, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing on its own, but it’s often done wrong. He explains that elbow position is everything here, and that often people recruit other muscles to help with this lever movement, making it an ineffective exercise for the biceps. Likewise, it rejects the reverse plexus as a more brachial exercise than the biceps.
He also has trouble with the biceps exercise, which despite its name, “never and never will be” a biceps exercise, because it’s still an exercise, so it targets the chest, triceps, and shoulders by definition.
An inverted chin curl actually engages the biceps, but ranks low here because it’s hard to add gradual overload as a bodyweight exercise. Cavaliere also includes Zottman curl in this category, in which the first part of the movement recruits the biceps before moving on to the pronation.
An alternative to wrinkle focus here is preacher knotIt is an essential component of arm construction. However, Cavalier points out that just because you’ve got the cushion that supports this movement, it doesn’t mean you have to be cocky when it comes to loading more and more weight. It’s also a fan of cable crimping, but they don’t rank higher because there is actual resistance only at the absolute higher end of its range of motion, which means you don’t get much fuss on a rep on a rep basis.
It is still the best
Another cable exercise that offers greater efficiency is the flexible cable curl, which involves a higher attachment point and thus introduces the shoulder flexion into the movement, allowing a good contraction of the peak at the top of the rep.
When it comes to effectively hitting the long head of the biceps, Cavalier says the pull-up curls are unique: “When we put the elbow back behind the body…we get a greater stretch on the long head of the biceps,” he says. For a short head, he recommends spider curls, which are a better option than preacher curls because they have a greater range of motion and freedom of movement.
The biceps movement that Cavalier often refers to is bartender curls, where you hold one dumbbell vertically, and position your biceps in a direct pull-up line. “What we have here is an exercise with built-in effectiveness,” he says.
Almost the best
Regarding bodyweight exercises that really allow you to increase the load on the biceps, Cavalier recommends performing a chin exercise.
When it comes to maximizing range of motion, incline dumbbells are a good option because they allow the arm to extend and go back behind the body on the bench, reaching a passive extension position at the lower end of the rep. However, it should be noted that this can be difficult if you have shoulder, wrist or elbow problems.
Another “almost my favorite” method that doesn’t make the best moves is the classic method: curling a barbell. “There is one limitation here,” Cavalier says. “Hard tape. You don’t have the option to split the hands left or right, which means you have no way of exposing any underlying muscle imbalances.”
The exercise that eliminates the disadvantages of curling irons is an alternating weight-bearing exercise, which allows you to identify imbalances, and can be alternated with all kinds of variations and grip changes. “The diversity built in here is immeasurable,” Cavalier says.
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