Bicep Training: The Top 5 Mistakes to Avoid
Posted on November 03 2018
Biceps are the most visible muscle groups in the body. Bulging biceps seem to enhance the very definition of manhood. Even though women don’t wish for bulging biceps, they still want sleek toned arms. To grant both these wishes to yourself, you need to do bicep training, the right way.
There are plenty of great bicep exercises you can do. Despite training regularly many people are disappointed, they are not witnessing the bicep growth they expected. But irrespective of your choice of bicep exercises, there some common mistakes you should watch out for, that will affect your muscle gains, or even cause injury.
Check the 5 most common mistakes people tend to make while training their biceps:
1. Too much swinging
You may have seen ‘Bicep curl swingers' at your gym. These are those characters who slap on massive weights and then swing their arms like a see-saw. Well! That's a demonstration of how not to train your biceps.
The activation of the muscle depends on the rate of lowering and lifting of the weights. Drop the ego and choose a weight that you can control. You must be able to contract your muscles at the top of the lift and stretch while lowering it. No swinging! To correct your technique and posture, try standing against a wall as this will restrict your elbow movement.
2. Using only one grip width
A common mistake seen with barbell exercises is the tendency to use the same grip every time. Changing the width of the grip not only adds some variety to the workouts, this also targets the muscles in different ways which in turn help it grow better and stronger.
Changing the width of the grip alters the degree of rotation in the upper arms. With a wider than shoulder grip, the arms turn out at the shoulder joints. This external rotation impacts the short head or inner muscles more strongly. Using a closer grip, narrower than shoulder-width grip, causes the arms to turn in. This internal rotation activates the outer muscles known as long head to a greater degree than other grip widths.
3. Avoiding pull-ups and chin-ups
Training biceps requires more than just dumbbell or barbell curls, though these are very effective bicep exercises. Although the biceps are indeed simple, two-headed muscles that can be using curls, performing various types other exercises that target this muscle group help to properly tax the manifold fibers.
Some bodyweight exercises such as chin-ups and pull-ups are said to be the foundation of building bulging muscular biceps. In fact, large arm bodybuilders like Schwarzenegger, Sipes, and Robinson revealed that chin-ups helped build the base of mass and strength in their arms. So get out of that lazy pattern of doing just free-weight curls and incorporate chin ups, pull ups and more into your arm workout routine.
4. Letting the elbows flare out
While doing bicep exercises, watch the position of your elbows. Most people focus too much on the upper arms and forget about where their elbows go during the workout. As you lift the weight up, note that the elbows are being flexed. To neutralize anterior deltoid recruitment, keep the elbows in line directly with the ground for the first 90 degrees of range of motion of elbow flexion.
If you don’t intentionally correct the movement, your elbows will tend to move forward after this 90 degrees of flexion, especially if the dumbbell/barbell is heavy. To maximize the isolation effect on the elbow flexors, keep the first 90 degrees clean. Another thing to note is to lock your elbows by your side. A common mistake is pulling elbows away from the sides in an effort to go higher while lifting the weight.