If there’s one part of the body that gets equal amount of attention from both men and women, it’s the biceps. Training our biceps may seem like an easy task; a bend of the arm while holding weights looks simple enough. However, it is important for us to understand that building muscle for toned arms actually requires mindful manipulation of different types of arm curls using equipment like dumbbells and barbells. In fact, if bicep exercises are executed incorrectly, you may end up sustaining injuries related to movement pattern overload, where your soft tissues are injured as a result of repeated motions in a singular pattern of faulty movement.
In order to prevent unnecessary injuries and to maximise results, here are 5 tips that you should bear in mind while training your biceps:
1. Maintain good posture
If you’re in a seated position, lift your head high and sit with your back straight. You should also ensure that your wrists are kept straight, and your abdominals should be held in tightly. Do also refrain from lifting with rounded shoulders to carry more weight, as this adds pressure to the shoulders and increases the possibility of injury.
2. Exercise in a seated position
Performing bicep exercises while in a seated position helps your muscles contract harder compared to a standing position as less effort is needed to stabilise your body, compared to a standing position. Sitting will also prevent you from using other parts of your body to lift the weight, while concurrently ensuring that other back or joint-related injuries are not exacerbated.
3. Organise your workout
When you perform bicep-training exercises, a good guideline to follow would be to perform compound exercises that use more than one major muscle group before proceeding to perform isolation exercises that only involve one major muscle group. Compound exercises include rows, pull-ups and chin-ups (primary muscle group: back, secondary muscle group: bicep), while isolation exercises include barbell or dumbbell curls (only trains biceps).
4. Perform the full range of motion extension
In order to fully work out your bicep muscles, you must take pains to ensure that you exercise through a full range of motion instead of stopping before the entire extension. This ensures that your muscles are fully stretched for maximum tension.
As the adage goes, “concentration is key”. By focusing on the movements of your biceps, you will be able to create greater tension on the muscle for a more beneficial workout. Mind-muscle connection is key when it comes to isolation movements like curls; it’s not just about moving the weight from point A to B. Another useful tip is to count your reps backwards – not only does this small mental activity help you focus more intently on the process, but it also makes your goal seem less daunting and more achievable.
Training any muscle of the body is always going to remain a challenging task, but bearing these small fitness tips in mind can make the pain more bearable and payoff more rewarding. When it comes to training biceps, varying levels of frequency, volume and intensity will all yield results, as long as the quality of training is consistent!