Something that all fitness gurus will tell you is that no matter how strong you are, how frequently you go to the gym, or how well you diet, if you are not practicing with the right form, your exercises are being wasted.
Incorrect form and movements can place unnecessary strain on your muscles, or remove the strain from the muscles that you plan on training.
Your biceps are no different, and there are still many incorrect techniques that people practice when they exercise their arms. Here are some of the most common bicep training mistakes, and how you can avoid them.
Lock Your Elbows By Your Sides
Sometimes even the most experienced bodybuilders will end up getting this one wrong, just because they put on more weight to train, without keeping their range of motion free and even.
Curls are always supposed to be a single joint move. When you pull your elbows too far away from your sides to try and raise the weight higher, it becomes a multijoint exercise, ultimately causing problems for your gains in the long run.
In order to fix this problem, focus on keeping your elbows by your sides and make sure they do not travel forward. At the very top of your motion, you should be looking at your bar, which means that it should be close to your chest.
Avoid Failing to Extend Your Elbows
This is, unfortunately, another fairly common problem, one committed by a lot of trainees. In order to flex your biceps correctly, you need to bend your elbows, which means that the degree of your elbow bend must change over the course of each rep by opening and closing.
While this seems pretty clear cut and easy to understand, you will sometimes see somebody at the gym doing it wrong.
If you find yourself struggling, remember to just reduce your weight and pay attention to your movements. Your elbows’ angles should approach 180 degrees at the bottom, and then just a little bit under 90 degrees when you pull them up to the top.
Do Not Drop Your Elbows from Parallel
This is a very common mistake performed by people who work with high pulley cable curls. When you are doing these curls, the right form to take is pretty straightforward. Do a simple double biceps pose by bringing your closed fists toward the backs of your ears. While it is simple enough, it can get difficult for those who are pulling heavy weights with each arm.
In order to make it easier for yourself, reduce the weight a little, and be sure that you keep your elbows parallel. This is an isolation exercise, which means that you should focus on isolating your biceps and keeping your movements as single jointed as possible.
Avoid Ignoring Overhand and Other Grip Moves
A lot of exercisers ignore the full potential of their routines. While most are familiar with just grabbing the weight and curling it for their elementary bicep exercises, not all arm flexors are being trained when you use just an underhand grip.
The fact of the matter is that when your hands are in a more neutral position, otherwise known as hammer, or overhand position, known as reverse grip, the muscles in your forearms begin to really kick into gear.
You will never have the chance to reach your developmental potential unless you target all of the muscles in your biceps, even the smaller ones that so many people forget to include in their routines.
Try to Mix it Up with Grip Width
For many people, a standing barbell or EZ bar curl is the largest mass building movement in their routines. The fact is that you can load the bar up and move a lot more weight than you normally would with other bicep exercises.
However, this does not mean that you have to do it the same way every time. Changing your specific grip width on your barbell curls can help affect the rotation of your arms, which will target different parts of your biceps in much more powerful ways.
By being aware of what different grip positions can do for your muscles, you will be able to supercharge your workout.