One of the most noticable parts of your upper body anatomy is your biceps. Also known as “guns, pythons, pipes, weapons of mass destruction” – and plenty of other nicknames. Here’s the thing – there are plenty of specific exercises that target your biceps. Sure, yoiu can do 3 sets of 10 reps of dumbbell curls. But, you’ll eventually plateau, and will be looking for ways to keep them building and growing. Here’s 3 ways you can break through that plateau, and grow your biceps!
Cheat Your Form
Are you keeping a strict form during your bicep exercises? That might actually be the problem!
A study in the Eupropean Journal of Applied Physiology found that you don’t always have to do an exercise the way it’s intended to maximize your results.
According to these researchers, you might want to try using a bit of momentum during the lateral raise. This can help to increase the torque of your shoulder joint, helping you raise a heavier weight to the point at which your deltoids take over – and that also applies to your bicep curls as well!
But it’s important to keep your “body English” to a minimum during these exercises You don’t want to swing them like a kettlebell – instead, use just enough momentum to help you propel the bigger weights up to your chest. The inertia should come from your hips, not your lower back. Choose a load that’s about 10 percent heavier than you would normally lift.
Try a different grip
If you weren’t aware of it, underneath your biceps brachii is a muscle called the brachialis. Even though it’s located deep in the upper arm, it can still play an indirect role in the appearance of your biceps, since as your brachialis grows bigger, it expands and pushes out on your biceps brachii – meaning that the larger your brachialis, the larger your biceps look.
How do you target your brachialis? Simple. Reverse curls. Pronating your arms—or using an overhand grip—during a curl shortens the biceps brachii so they’re unable to carry out as much force, which also forces your brachailis to take over the majority of the work.
Pause the lift!
Your biceps actually respond very well to isometric, high-tension contractions. In other words, when you pause or hold a weight so the length of your biceps don’t change, you target your type IIb muscle fibers, which are the ones with the most growth potential. And, “squeezing” the muscle during an isometric contraction will also increase your gains.
Try this. When doing an inverted row, using an underhand, wide grip, grab a bar that’s been secured about waist height. Hang with your arms completely straight and heels touching the floor. Your body should form a straight line from your ankles to your head. Pull your shoulder blades back, and continue to pull with your arms to lift your chest to the bar. Hold this position for 5 seconds while squeezing your biceps tightly. Squeeze the muscles like you’re trying to make them crampy. Then lower your body back to the starting position. Now perform 5 full normal reps of the inverted row with no hold at the top. Let go of the bar and rest for 10 seconds. Next, pull your chest to the bar, and hold the top position for 4 seconds. Immediately perform 4 full normal reps with no pause. Rest for another 10 seconds. Then pull your chest to the bar and hold for 3 seconds. Immediately do 3 full reps. That’s 1 round. Do 3 rounds total, resting 90 seconds between each one.
If you’re looking for the perfect set of dumbbells for your biceps workout, try PowerBlock Adjustable Dumbbells – you can find them at any of our three Fitness 4 Home Superstore locations in Scottsdale, Chandler, or Phoenix
Source: Men’s Health