Tips from the Pros

Get Sculpted Arms with Bicep Curls

Adding exercises to your fitness routine that reinforce your biceps is the key to getting arms of steel. With this goal in mind, bicep curls are without a doubt one of the most effective exercises and the great thing is, they only require simple dumbbells. The FizzUp trainer recommends pairing this exercise with chin-ups to get the arms of a god (or goddess)! For sculpted biceps, just select the goal to Build Muscle with Equipment*.

MUSCLES WORKED WITH BICEP CURLS

When you do this exercise, you mainly work your biceps brachii and brachialis anticus muscles. The first is located in the upper front part of your arm, and the second is located in the lower front part of your arm.

You use these muscles to bend your elbow when you put your hand on your shoulder, rotate your elbow by turning your palm up toward the ceiling and, to a lesser extent, rotate your shoulder. To effectively strengthen your biceps, the most important thing is to bend your elbow with a supinated grip on the dumbbell (palms facing you).

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With bicep curls, you’ll also strengthen your grip when you work your forearms. This is an extremely useful quality in your everyday life and for any sport you might play. It also gives you a firm handshake. Bicep curls make it easier to go wall climbing, catch a ball without fumbling and keep a solid grip on your tennis racket.

HOW TO DO BICEP CURLS

To put it simply, all you have to do is bend your elbow as you rotate the dumbbell, going from a neutral grip to start with to a supinated grip when you raise the dumbbell up to your chest. Don’t forget to keep your abs tight and engaged.

Getting into position:

  • Stand with your back straight and your feet shoulder-width apart. Grasp a dumbbell with each hand (make sure the dumbbell weight is right for you) with your palms facing toward your body. Wrap your thumbs around the handles with your arms at your sides.
  • Remember to keep your elbows at your sides, your shoulders behind you and your chest out.
  • Lastly, don’t forget to stand up straight and strong throughout the exercise with your tailbone pointing forward.

How to do the exercise:

Still standing straight and strong, bend your elbow to raise your forearm toward your shoulders by contacting your biceps. When you do this, don’t use momentum to raise the dumbbells and remember to exhale.

Make sure to keep your elbows glued to your sides as you do the exercise and stand straight to avoid arching your back. Keep your shoulders still and check to see if they’re aligned with your wrists to work your biceps to their max. Inhale as you lower the dumbbells to the starting position. This makes one repetition.

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Continue the set for as many times as you’re able to do the exercise correctly and increase the dumbbell weight when it gets easier to do. Don’t straighten your arm completely when you lower the dumbbell; this weakens your biceps and increases your risk of injury.

BICEP CURL VARIATIONS

There are so many different ways to spice up this exercise. Try these alternatives!

Alternating bicep curls

You can also do bicep curls by alternating your arms. First, raise your right arm to do one repetition, then the left arm. Repeat the exercise as many times as you want. Switching arms helps you do more repetitions because each arm feels less tired. But remember, this means that the set will take you more time to do.

Hammer curls

Hammer curls are excellent for your biceps because they target your forearms and upper arms more than bicep curls. All you have to do is hold the dumbbell at your side with your palms facing your body, then keep your palms facing toward your body as you raise the dumbbells.

Bicep curls with an exercise band

While standing, hook an exercise band under both feet and then do your bicep curls. The closer your hand gets to your shoulder as you pull on the exercise band, the harder your biceps work.

TIPS FOR PERFECT BICEP CURLS

Although the bicep curl is a really easy exercise, there are still a few rules you should follow to get the most out of this movement.

  • Do clean repetitions and keep your midsection engaged.

Always do the exercise using the right technique and avoid relying on momentum to do your repetitions. Engage your midsection as much as you can by pulling in your stomach and contracting your abs.

Rocking your body in order to bring the dumbbells up to your shoulders puts you at a higher risk of injury and gets the surrounding muscles involved to support the weight, meaning that your biceps won’t be working as hard.

You always need to choose the right dumbbell weight so that you can contract your biceps as much as possible and do clean repetitions without having swing your arms and body. We recommend using dumbbells that weigh 13 lb (6 kg) for women and 17 lb (8 kg) for men.

  • Keep your elbows glued to your sides.

To get the best results, make sure your elbows are glued to your sides for every repetition so that you keep your biceps engaged, even if that means having to use lighter dumbbells.

If you don’t, then all you’re doing is moving the stress on your muscles to your shoulders and wrists. This doesn’t do anything to build your biceps and only makes injury more likely.

  • Don’t bend your wrists.

Your wrists need to stay aligned with your hands and elbows during the exercise. This keeps most of the tension on your biceps and takes all the pressure off your wrists.

With the help of your FizzUp trainer and the Build Muscle with Equipment* program, you can build muscle in your arms and upper body. Try it out now and don’t forget to check out the Arms Focus* to bring out the sculpted arms in you.

*FizzUp PRO feature

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FizzUp Staff

FizzUp Staff

As passionate bloggers, the FizzUp Staff’s sole purpose is to motivate the community with insightful and fun articles. Team spirit is one of our core values, whether we’re at work or exercising together in the FizzUp Box.