In every gym when you walk in no doubt you will see men standing in front of the mirrors pumping out set after set of bicep curls focussing primarily on the Biceps brachii (the visible bicep muscle). While this is an obvious and relatively effective way to train the elbow flexor, it leaves out many other undertrained muscles involved in elbow flexion. To give a quick boost to your arm training in the quest for bulging biceps try some of the following:
Reverse Grip – EZ bar curls:
Grab the EZ bar with an overhand grip and the palms on a grip where they will ever so slightly begin to face each other. Now starting with the arms straight curl the bar up and only at the top will your elbows slightly move forward. What this does is work the brachioradialis (a muscle running directly underneath the biceps) and forearm muscles intensely while reducing the work the biceps brachii contributes to the lift. When this muscle grows it pushes the biceps up which gives the appearance of larger arms!
Seated Dumbbell Hammer Curls:
Hammer curls are performed by holding the dumbbells with the palms facing one another as if about to use a hammer. This allows the brachialis and brachioradialis to be further targeted as the biceps function of supination will be removed. Performing these seated will allow you to focus directly on the task at hand, flexing the elbows without swaying the upper body to gain momentum. As well this way the nervous system isn’t preoccupied with maintaining standing balance and instead is fully devoted to the hammer curl!
Thick grip implements:
The reason that thick grip implements work so well for making the arms bigger in a hurry is that they increase the neural recruitment of the motor units in the forearm while reducing the strain on the wrist. When this occurs the forearms will gain strength and size which will lead to a radiating effect up to the biceps leading to greater weights being able to be lifted and then more micro trauma to the muscles causing hypertrophy. In the event the facility you train at doesn’t have any thick implements, you can bypass this issue by purchasing a pair of Fat Gripz which are attachable to most barbells, dumbbells and handles at www.fatgripz.ca, or at many supplement stores.