Biceps are, and always will be, the most popular muscles to train in the gym.
But so many people get it so wrong.
So here are the five worst mistakes, and of course, how to fix them. We’ll just assume you know not to curl in the squat rack.
5Not mixing up angles
Most people have workouts they enjoy, and some they don’t. With that in mind, many may just do dumbbell bicep curls, or just do EZ-bar curls, because that is what they enjoy.
Though the weight may be increasing over time, you will feel more benefit if you mix up the angles, and to do that, use different bars (dumbbell, barbell, EZ-bar) and change up your grip.
Wider than shoulder grips will turn your arms out, thus hitting the inner bicep area. The opposite happens with a closer grip.
The fix: Cycle your bicep workouts so that each time you go, you use a different grip/bar. Make sure you switch between closed grip, and wide grip at least.
4Not balancing out with your triceps
Triceps “chip into” many exercises, bench press for example, will require you to use them. But people seldom train them independently, or at least, they don’t give triceps the the same attention as biceps. But focussing on the more famous biceps alone, will result in imbalances.
You are also limiting yourself massively, you are only as strong as your weakest link. Not only will bigger triceps help your biceps to grow, as all muscles are connected after all, hence why big bar grips work so well, but having larger triceps will also increase the aesthetic look of your biceps.
The fix: Incorporate tricep workouts in your routine. Click here for a simple tricep workout guide.
3Moving elbows away from the body
As the weights increase, your form may suffer. When you move your arms away from your body, you activate the shoulders, which takes strain off the part of the body you want to build, namely your arms.
The fix: Focus on straight up and down movement, and if need be, go with a very lightweight to begin, wrapping a band around your body, so that you can perfect the form.
Bicep curls are probably the easiest exercise to cheat on. A quick swing of the body, and a whole host of extra force will help you to move the weight. This will work muscles, but you won’t get the isolation you are after, and you will be incorporating other muscles that you aren’t trying to build.
So results will vary.
The fix: Reduce the weight, that’s the reason why you are swinging, as you can’t manage the weight properly. Simple fix for a simple problem.
1Doing too much
Many will do some bicep curls as a warmup, and many will then add that warm-up to their daily routine. This might seem like a way to sneak in some work on the arms, each and every day, but this approach is wrong.
By training everyday you don’t give your muscles time to rest, and this means that you don’t have time to grow. Likewise, training a little bit everyday, is not how you want to approach any muscle group.
The fix: Create an “arm day”, and make sure you give your arms time to rest after also.