March 27, 2009, Newsletter Issue #370: Bicep Curl

Tip of the Week

Your 'bicep' is the muscle on the front of your upper arm that performs 'elbow flexion' (bending at the elbow).  The bicep curl actually only uses your upper arm to flex at the elbow and your forearm musculature to grip the weight.  This exercise is done wrong by so many people, so let's learn how to do it properly. 
Stand with feet hip-width apart and weights in each hand so that the palms are facing forward. Make sure the arms are straight and at the sides of the body. Contract the abdomen and glutes lightly, making sure the head is back. Without moving the elbows forward, lift the weight up until the elbows are bent just past 90 degrees, pause.  Make sure that you do not allow the hips or shoulders to sway, for you will not be properly training your biceps musculature. Ensuring the shoulders are back, bring the weight down until arms are straight again. Make sure you are in proper posture, repeat.
Most people use their shoulders to help lift the weight, and/or they will sway with their body to help swing the weight up.  This does allow you to 'curl' heavier weight, but generally is detrimental to your pocture and spine, because the shoulders will round forward.  A trick to ensure good posture is to push your elbows against the sides of your body, not allowing them to leave your sides.  Through magic, those mighty weights being held will no longer be able to be lifted!
Use lighter weights on your biceps and go for higher reps.  This way proper posture will be easier to keep and you'll do a better job at 'Sculpting Your Guns'.

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