Friday, 2 January 2009

Bicep Curls

I am not a big fan of muscle-isolation exercises like bicep curls. Why would you bother with this when you can do chins ups? But sometimes it's handy for circuits to have an extra exercise to throw in, especially when you are too tired to be able to do many chin ups. There are many varieties of bicep curl - straight bar, z-bar, dumbbell, hammer, seated, standing, 'preacher' curls - so for now I will just post videos of the one I have recently done, then add others when I have time.

My own experience is that using a straight bar is not good and can cause injuries over time - the ez-bar seems to offer a more natural angle for the wrists. Others say that you need a straight bar to fully engage the biceps. I'd rather have smaller biceps and be injury free. Dumbbells, of course, allow your arms to move through a range of motion that suits their geometry, so I would favour these.
Hammer Curls
You can do these standing up or sitting down. This video talks about slowly lowering and strict form - I tend to just do these fast as part of a circuit and not worry about form too much.

Barbell Curls
It's only practical to do these standing up. This guy does not have perfect form - but then I rarely do either - as I said above, for circuit work there's little point. I prefer to avoid burnout by cheating - it's a lot more convenient than running off to get a lighter bar. Note: there are some aspects of form that are important - such as a good stance and straight back - I am not advocating the abandonment of all aspects of good form!