If you have ever stepped into a gym, more than likely you have seen someone doing a bicep curl of some sort. It’s a very popular exercise, because who doesn’t want nicely toned biceps right?! That being said, the bicep curl is commonly done incorrectly. Let’s go over technique, and some common errors typically done with this exercise.
The bicep curl is know as an isolation exercise, and also a single joint movement. Isolation exercise because you are isolating one muscle group (the bicep), and single joint movement because only one joint is moving throughout the exercise (the elbow joint). Whether you are using a barbell, dumbbells, cable, etc., proper form is a must. First thing to do is start with your feet about hip width apart, or you can stagger your feet. Grab whatever piece of equipment you’re using, and start with it down by your thighs with your arms straight, but not locking out your elbows. From there, your grip should be tight enough for the weight to be stable (don’t death grip it), then you should bend only at the elbow joint until the weight reaches shoulder height. Once it reaches the shoulder height, control it for roughly three seconds back down into starting position, then repeat.
The errors I see associated with the bicep curl are usually done because the person is trying to lift too much weight. As always, form is much more important than how much weight you can move. One error I commonly see, is the back starting to arch to help bring the weight up. This is a great way to strain your lower back, so be sure to keep your core tight and do not arch your back. Another error, is the shoulder swing. This is pretty common to see. The person has too much weight, or their form is starting to give out, so they begin to swing the shoulder to help bring the weight up. Remember, this is a single joint movement, so the shoulders should be stationary throughout. The third error, is pausing way too long up top. Pausing or resting up top takes tension off of the bicep. Once the weight comes up to shoulder height, you should start to descend the weight.
Are you doing the bicep curl correctly? Be sure to keep these tips in mind next time you perform this exercise!
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