There are many different exercises and many different weight lifting machines that focus on exercises that help build up good looking biceps. Even with all the advancements in weight lifting and knowledge about how the body works to build new muscle, one basic bodybuilding exercise is still tops when it comes to building up the bulging biceps: the biceps curl.
Many bodybuilders like to use dumbbells for this exercise because they provide the maximum amount of effectiveness in building up bulky muscle mass. Dumbbells also make it easier to assure that each arm is getting a strong and equal workout. That being said, barbell curls are also very effective. These exercises don’t need fancy machines to be improved upon, but the one common mistake that many weight lifters make is to use poor technique. Nothing will get more frustrating than the complete lack of progress you experience when using an incorrect technique for this biceps exercise.
To properly perform a set of barbell curls, you will want to have a shoulder width grip on the barbell. Keeping your elbows close to your sides, and not out in the air, you then curl the weight up, contracting the biceps at the top.
One common mistake you will want to avoid is curling your wrists towards your main body at the top of a barbell. A lot of people do this, but not only is it not god for your wrists, but this also takes resistance off of the biceps, preventing you from getting the full benefit of this exercise, which can also be extremely frustrating as you keep lifting but don’t see any obvious positive effects. Curling the wrists as you lift is the biggest mistake many people make and that takes away pressure from the actual muscles that you’re working out, and so cheating you out of the full effect of the exercise.
There are biceps exercises that can target a specific section of the arm to look better, as well. For example, if you want to bulk up your upper arms, then you need to do exercises that specifically target the “brachialis” muscle, a muscle that is between the biceps and triceps. Just doing hammer curls, as opposed to biceps curls, targets these muscles and will result in big upper arms that you can show off to anyone with pride.
Another biceps exercises that work really well (and often work out a second group of arm muscles, as well), include the reverse grip barbell (or dumbbell) curls, which are like regular curls but with the palms facing in instead of out. Then do a normal curl. To avoid pressure on the wrists, this needs to be done with much lighter weights than you normally use for your other biceps exercises.
Biceps workouts are among the easiest and most useful for quickly bulking up, but on the other hand these exercises are also the easiest to “cheat” at, making it harder to see the quality results you should be getting. Concentrate on technique with your biceps exercises and you’ll be happy with the results.