How to Bring Up Lagging Biceps

Published: 02nd July 2008
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If you think you are having trouble bringing up your biceps, first ask yourself if you are really having trouble with this body part or if you are just comparing yourself to the wrong people. If you are comparing yourself to bodybuilders with steroid enhanced biceps, nothing a natural weightlifter can do will look satisfying.

However, if you really do have a weakness in your biceps there are some strategies you can use to bring them up to speed.

First, ask yourself if you have done enough "Pull" type exercises. These are exercises where you pull something towards your body, such as a lat pull down. These exercises work the biceps as stabilizers, and they tend to have a profound impact on the size and shape of the biceps. It is not uncommon for a trainer with weak biceps to find the REAL weakness is in the muscles of his upper back. If you have been neglecting exercises like bent over rows, your biceps are missing a powerful workout. Make sure that you do all of your "Pull" exercises!

Second, make sure that you are doing bicep curls properly. A properly executed bicep curl is one where your elbows remain fixed and your side and your lower back remains erect. The bicep curl is probably the most frequently improperly executed exercise. If your elbows swing upwards it is your shoulder doing the work and if your lower back moves, resulting in a sort of thrusting motion with your lower body, then you are using your body to create leverage. Both of these things reduce the stress on the biceps, which leads to less growth. No trainer who does these things can ever have good biceps, since they DON'T work the biceps when they train them! It is much better to use a lighter weight and to execute the move with proper form, especially since the bicep curl is an isolation movement not a power movement.

Third, make sure that you are fully extending your arm at the bottom of your curl movements. So many people tend to keep their arms at a 90 degree angle while moving their shoulders when they do standing curls. DON'T do this! Make sure that your arm is fully extended at the bottom of your range of motion and that you curl your wrist back towards your shoulder!

Finally, you may want to add some isolation bicep moves to your workout. Consider doing more concentration curls, and consider adding another set of bicep moves to your pull day. Perhaps drag curls or even some cheat curls, if you are an advanced lifter who knows how to cheat properly. Don't add too many bicep moves, as this leads to overtraining. An extra couple of sets, however, should be OK.

If you follow these four principals I'm sure that you will see increased gains in both the size and strength of your biceps.

Good luck!

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