Pre Exhaust Biceps Workout by Linda Cusmano
If you're stuck in the same biceps routine chances are
that making gains is slowing down. It is much easier to train what feels
easier or what you are used to but in essence you are not challenging
the body. Many people get comfortable in their program forgetting that
to continue achieving progress, the workout needs variety and change.
to 2 is the first sign that there are 2 heads to this
muscle, the second clue is the plural form but most leave the 's' out
of biceps brachii. Leading to the next mistake people make, training
the biceps in one angle all the time. This will only emphasize more
tension on the inner head leaving an imbalance that is normally not
really noticed but can cause problems as can any imbalance.
The key factor affecting how your biceps are shaped lie in the angles in which these exercises are performed. While muscle balance is a big issue there is also training your back. Having your biceps in peak condition will help you with the heavier weights needed for back muscle development since biceps are the primary assistants to most of your back training exercises. Common injuries such as tears in connective tissue (ligaments or tendons) can be avoided if you make sure to train not only hard and heavy, but also light days as well. Lighter training with high reps for endurance and strengthening of those tendons and ligaments must be included. This can be especially beneficial if your job directly recruits these particular muscle groups.
This intermediate to advanced routine is well rounded and designed to give you that shock you need in order to spark continued gains especially when you hit a plateau. You will notice most of these movements are performed with varied grips and outward curling motion in order to exercise the whole biceps muscle.
Perform each exercise in the order described.
Preacher Curl 21's
An exercise normally left for the end, with this routine
it is the first exercise.
Incline Concentration Curls
With the same weight you would have used with the above,
seat yourself in an incline bench again set for about 45 degrees in
angle. Lay back completely, with arms out to side hanging loose, biceps
will slightly face outward naturally.
Using a little heavier weight than the last 2 exercises, standing in a comfortable stance, feet shoulder width apart, dumbbells in hand with palms facing inward. Lift the weights keeping arms at shoulder width and elbow slightly forward of hips (with palms remaining facing inward throughout exercise) then lower slowly without back swaying at all during movement. Perform 4 sets of 10 to 12 reps.
Wide Grip Bar Curls
This is another standing exercise that you need to keep proper posture with, meaning neutral pelvis, chest out, shoulders back, head up, knees slightly bent. Use a bar with medium to heavy weight (don't forget those clips!). Grab the bar with underhand grip, palm up, and keep a wide grip no closer than 2 inches from shoulder width. Starting with your arms fully extended, elbows should never go behind hips throughout exercise, curl the bar up to about 5 inches from chest (any closer and you lose the tension) then slowly lower repeating for 3 sets of 10 reps. Rest is about a minute in between sets. Never use your back to get the weights up, make your biceps do the work even if you have to drop a few pounds off the bar, no swinging!
Cable Cross Curls
This exercise is done like the cable cross for pecs but instead you position for biceps. Standing in between the cables, one in each hand, using light weight, you need to position your arms up by your head (as if you're in a stick up!) with elbows inline with shoulders and ears no lower, not forward or back. Palms facing in bring cables to ear level turning pinky toward shoulder then fully extend. Repeat for 3 sets of 12 reps (you want to face the mirror for this one, it looks impressive!)
As a challenge I can almost guarantee that most of you won't be able to complete these! To end you're routine as a finisher you will now perform 5 sets of 8 reps, body weight chins with palms facing in, elbows at shoulder width bringing your chin right up to parallel the bar then down. Most people keep their knees bent but straight is fine too, although for those using a spot in order to complete this workout, knees bent will give your spotter a place to help push you a bit, at the shin area. Those of you hot shots who can take this should add a weight plate with a weight belt to challenge yourself.
The simplest way to do this is to grab the hand of the arm you wish to stretch and bring that hand back (making sure all fingers are being pulled back and only for those with no wrist injury) extending the inner elbow forward to be straight and pushing your biceps outward as well which should result in a biceps stretch. Done correctly your fingers would be pulled back toward your body while the biceps is facing forward. Hold this for 15 to 30 seconds doing the stretch in between and/or after each exercise to minimize muscular ache and help recovery of the muscle.
Written by Linda Cusmano