The bicep muscles are the muscles every budding bodybuilding wants to develop first. In fact, I’m betting no singular muscle in the human body holds more interest to males and females alike than the bicep. It’s fascinating, and everyone wants great biceps.
Developing big biceps can be done in several ways, but the most basic – and most effective, in my opinion – is the humble bicep curl.
Bicep curls can be performed with either dumbbells or barbells, and I’ll talk you through each…
Barbell Bicep Curl
My personal favourite bicep exercise, I believe no other exercise can beat this for developing maximum bicep size, so I strongly suggest you incorporate this into your routine.
Using a straight bar – it has to be a straight bar and I’ll explain why in just a moment – grip around shoulder-width to slightly wider. Ensure you are able to keep your elbows tucked into your sides. They shouldn’t ever leave the sides, although they will side forwards and backwards. Anyway, curl the bar up, allowing your elbows to move forward slightly, give a squeeze at the top, and lower, allowing them to slide back slightly. When you lower, don’t do it fully, so you keep the strain on the biceps which is very important.
The reason why I stress a straight bar is because it forces a fully-supine (palms up) grip. This hand position ensures your bicep is working in the absolute most effective way it was designed to. The muscle fibres aren’t hunched and crunched up during contraction, but comfortably situated in a natural position giving them maximum pulling strength and stretch. An EZ-Curl bar forces the hands into a slightly less-supine position, reducing the effectiveness of the curl somewhat.
Dumbbell Bicep Curl
Again, none of that twisting, semi-supine stuff – we’re full on. With the dumbbells to your side, you can either curl with alternating hands or both together. Without leaning back too much or ‘swinging’ the dumbbells, with palms facing upward, curl to the shoulder, give a good squeeze at the top and slowly lower. It’s as simple as that.