It is difficult to spoil the bending of the hands on the biceps, but many people succeed.
Author: Bill Geiger
The recipe for inflated hands is simple: flexion, flexion, bending. So primitive that it seems impossible to screw. But many people succeed.
If bodybuilding were really so simple, everyone would go with huge banks (and I would probably be left without work). In fact, a huge number of visitors to gyms make a lot of mistakes, and this helps me earn a living. I would like to send a thank-you postcard to each of them!
But seriously, biceps flexion is not so simple. I collected nine typical mistakes that everyone should remember. Work on them, and you'll never get off course to giant biceps, tearing up sleeves.
1. Do not start training with the wrong exercise
Can I say that some exercises are more suitable for starting a workout? Definitely! As a rule, I recommend starting with a multi-joint movement. However, it is hardly applicable to biceps, because even pulling back grip work in tandem with the muscles of the back. The choice of exercises, by and large, is limited to single-joint movements.
Among single-joint exercises you can find those in which you can raise a significantly greater working weight. This applies to bilateral movements in the standing position, in which both biceps heads participate. Isolation exercises, often performed sitting, are at the opposite end of the range.
As an example, let's compare the working weight in lifting the bar to the biceps standing and in concentrated sitting bendings. The first will be a great starting exercise for training the biceps, the second one is not good for these purposes. Raising the bar allows you to load a maximum weight, because to perform this movement you can use a small impulse from the whole body. That's only abuse with the momentum is not worth it, and then from the right technique nothing will remain.
Choosing the right exercise, think about the load. If your goal is maximum hypertrophy, after the warm-up, put the weight with which you will get to failure in 8-12 repetitions. And since this is the starting exercise, you can even stop at the bottom of this range.
2. Do not choose the identical exercises
Want to buy a train ticket to a city of slow muscle growth? Choose exercises that look like two drops of water.
Let's say you start training with lifting a bar while standing. Then, without a long thought, go to the lifting of dumbbells with a supine grip. So, why not add flexion in the rope simulator? And you do the bending of the hands on the lower block while standing. A bar, dumbbells, a rope. Not a bad combination came out, is not it? Not this way.
Do you see the similarity between all three exercises? The equipment changes, but in all cases your hands are in the same position relative to the torso. Ultimately, you get 12 approaches to almost identical exercises.
Use of different angles of influence – this approach you apply in the training of the chest, when working on a horizontal and inclined benches – will help to accelerate the overall development of the musculature of the hands. And this opens up to you endless horizons of possibilities.
When the arms are in front of the plane of the trunk – during flexion on the Scott bench – the long biceps head can not fully stretch and the focus shifts to the short head. By analogy, when the arms are behind the plane of the body, as during lifting dumbbells to the biceps on the inclined bench, the long head stretches out completely and can contract with great force, which makes it the main target of the exercise.
Supine grip (when the hands are turned outward with respect to the neutral position) and the different positions of the hands are other effective ways to make variety in the training of the biceps.
3. Do not stop on one grip and one statement of hands
The width and type of grip affect the activation of the muscles. The long head of the biceps (which forms the so-called peak of the biceps) is located outside the short head. Using in the lifting of the bar the grip is already the width of the shoulders, you spur its development. Conversely, a very wide setting of hands, much larger than the width of the shoulders, puts a short head in the center of the target. Varying the width of the grip between the approaches or training will give you a variety of training incentives.
Let's not forget about the shoulder muscle – the muscle of the upper arm, which lies under the biceps. The pumping of its volume will also help to increase the overall girth of the hands. To work out the shoulder muscle, you need to make a hammer-bending grasp in which the palms look at each other in a neutral position. They can be performed with dumbbells or on the lower block with a rope handle.
Bending with a grip the hammer also loads the humerus muscle, which is responsible for the volume of the upper part of the forearm from the side of the thumb. It actively works by using the upper grip in the exercise, which is also called as lifting the biceps with a grasped grip. Training with the use of all three options of grip will ensure the maximum full development of the musculature of the hands.
4. Do not raise your hands too high
One of the typical errors of lifters during the ascent to the biceps is the desire to raise their hands as high as possible in order to go through the full range of motion. I'm a big fan of full-amplitude training, but in our case, the movement is often done using front deltas.
The fact is that the basic bendings on the biceps we do with the elbows pressed to the trunk, and the movement occurs only in the elbow joint. Bending the biceps with the correct technique allows you to raise the projectile approximately at the height of the shoulders.
In an attempt to raise the shell even higher, many athletes push their elbows forward. It is worthwhile to do it, and the front deltas are immediately included in the work. This not only introduces another muscle group into the equation, but also creates a rest zone for the biceps at the upper point of the movement, since now the hands rest on the elbows. The tension of the biceps decreases to a large extent.
For better isolation do not break the single-joint nature of the exercises on the biceps. Remember the tendency to push your elbows forward while lifting the projectile. From time to time, you can use this or that form of cheating to prolong the exhausting approach, but do not do all the repetition in this style.
5. Do not reduce the amplitude due to too heavy weight
To continue to progress, you need to systematically increase your weight, but very many people run ahead of the locomotive and compensate for this by shortening the range of motion.
If your main goal is to constantly increase the load, it may very well be that you are one of them. In the pursuit of weighting the projectile, you can easily sacrifice the trajectory of the movement, and this means that in the end you will only make partial repetitions, not completely stretching the biceps in the lower phase, or not bringing the movement to the point of peak contraction. In contrast to this approach, working in the entire range of motion gives a more complete development of the musculature.
The most common error in biceps flexion is a too heavy projectile. The eccentric phase often stops long before the full extension of the arm, when the elbows remain bent at an angle of 90 degrees or slightly less than that. If your biceps are cut at the bottom point – check it, standing sideways to the mirror – you do not completely straighten your arms.
If this is how you perform most of the lifts on the bicep, just take a smaller working weight and remember that in each repetition the hands should move from almost full stretching to full bending. The shortening of the range of motion in any exercise, not only in biceps flexion, limits muscle growth.
6. Do not train the biceps in front of the back muscles
In some splits, muscles that perform traction (biceps, back), are worked out in one day. Most likely, you plan training so that large muscle groups work in front of smaller ones (back in front of the biceps). Biceps are relatively small, but they are very important in pull-ups and traction, so you might get the idea of tiring them before heavy back exercises.
But if you do exercises for the biceps muscle just before the back training – which many very many sin, the hand flexors will be severely depleted even before you start the first pull-up. And in the hardest approaches to draft rod, which group of muscles in your opinion refuses the first?
Better not to load biceps for 48 hours before and after your back training, that is, the day before or the next day. Remember, muscles grow during rest, and the training split should be planned so that the back and biceps never worked for two days in a row.
7. Do not begin training your hands with your forearms
Never train your forearms to your biceps, because the modest forearm muscles are involved in many flexions. Once these muscles are tired, it will be problematic to keep a cup of coffee in your hands, not to mention a heavy shell. Keep back bend, and at the same time wrist bending up or down the palms to the final workout.
In general, do not load forearms before training any large muscle group, for which you need a strong grip, including your back. Forearms need to be worked out only at the end of the training session.
8. Do not compensate for the lack of intensity by increasing the duration of the workout
Who did not see the guy who performs the exercises for the biceps for hours, because he is determined to pump up powerful banks.
Unfortunately, no experiment has proved that increasing the training volume in a geometric progression leads to an equally effective set of mass. Simply put, more work is not equivalent to greater results.
It is better to shorten the duration of a specific training of biceps to 30 minutes – and even less if you are a beginner. But it's not a magical time reduction, rather, in the right choice of exercises, a sufficient amount of workload, working weight and range of repetition, training to failure, training methods after muscle failure and rest intervals.
If you train hands longer than 30 minutes (about 12-15 approaches), most likely your training is missing something. Focus on increasing the intensity of each approach and do not try to compensate for this by increasing the volume of the load. These two variables are not equal.
9. Do not just bend with the cheating
I could write "use the correct technique of lifting the biceps" a thousand times, and you would still hang too many pancakes on the bar. So let's talk about flexing with cheating and how to successfully integrate them into your workout.
A small impulse from the body can help you overcome the dead point of recovery that lies in wait for most of us somewhere in the middle of the range of motion. If you are standing, you can push the projectile a little at the expense of the inconspicuous movement of the hips, which from repetition to repetition will become more obvious, because fatigue accumulates. But remember, connecting other muscle groups, you reduce the burden on the biceps, so this factor should be minimized.
If you take a working weight with which you can not technically perform even the first repetition, you immediately turn a single-joint exercise into a multi-joint exercise, and this instantly reduces the burden on the biceps muscles. In such a situation, using a lot of weight does not make sense, because the biceps can not cope with the load even in one repetition, which means that the difference is compensated by the waist and legs. The increase in working weight is simply equivalent to the greater activation of other muscle groups.
However, if you can complete 6-7 repetitions yourself and then make a couple of chitening repetitions to extend the approach, minimizing the swinging of the trunk, you will see that you can safely overcome the point at which the set could end.
I use the phrase "safely" with great stretch, since the risk of a back injury, with a serious injury, grows along with the severity of the cheating. Performing upgrades with cheating should only be experienced athletes, and then only a few repetitions with a controlled degree of cheating.