Go from Boring to Burning: Biceps
Lifting weights builds bone density, increases your strength, improves your metabolism, and it's fun! But you'll see even more results when you lift with good form and technique, when you go from boring to burning.
Take your biceps for example. A basic bicep curl will make your stronger, but if you want better biceps then you need to upgrade that curl with a few accessories. Just plopping down on a machine or going through the motions won't yield the benefits you're looking for. If you want to build the best shape, you have do things right ... More than right! You have to know a few tips and tricks to really feel the burn. Here are three simple ideas for burning biceps, direct from a certified instructor and trainer.
Use Gravity - If you stand up straight and do a biceps curl - let's say 12 to 15 reps - you'll feel it when you're done, provided your weight was calibrated correctly. But what if you lean forward just slightly at your hips, still keeping your back straight, but getting rid of that zero-gravity rest area at the top? Let's say your body makes a 180-degree angle when you're standing tall, so try 170 or 160-degrees.
Full Rotation - Instead of keeping your palm facing foward all the time, lifting your hand straight up to your shoulder, try rotating. Stand in the hammer-curl position, with your palm turned toward your thigh. Flex your biceps as you lift the dumbbell upward and turn your whole wrist. Aim your pinky at your shoulder, getting that extra twist at the top. Be careful to do this slowly and don't lose control.
Wrist Action - Similar to the position of your pinky, the position of your wrist matters, too. Lots of amateur weightlifters will make the rookie mistake of flopping their wrists at the top of a boring bicep exercise. It's important to keep your wrists strong but neutral - flat on both sides. Keep them straight at the top of your curls. You'll get more out of rotating your forearm than bending your wrist. Your knuckles and dumbbells aren't supposed to touch your shoulder. In fact, as you get slightly bigger, your bicep muscles will block your range of motion just a bit.
If you are just lifting up and down, mindlessly and endlessly, and not thinking about form, you're missing out. Even if your goal in lifting weights isn't to get huge, you will get more out of your workout if you follow the three tips for your biceps given above. Happy Lifting!
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