JoeTraining Series: Curl your way to beautiful biceps
Arguably one of the most basic and popular exercises on the planet, the bicep curl can be made extraordinarily difficult by adding an isometric component.
"Getting that squeeze and maximum contraction, this prolongs that for maximum benefit," Lischin said of his isometric variation. "You won’t be able to brush your teeth the next day. "
"I like to do curls with dumbbells," Lischin said. "It’s easier on the wrist and allows freer movement."
Curls can be done standing and seated. You can add a balance and core component by doing them standing on one leg or on a stability mat.
Ever the form taskmaster, Lischin cautions, "Make sure your elbows are in front of you. You want to create a long lever, that’s how you get muscle growth. Make sure your core is activated. Don’t lock your knees as it can hurt your low back. "
Additionally, don’t go big when you first start out. "Start with lower weight.," Lischin said. "Establish the movement pattern. "
1. Use E-Z curl bar (dumbbells work great, too). Unlock your knees. Pull in core. With your elbows out in front, curl the bar up. "The only joint you want moving is your elbow," he said. "Keep continuous tension on the bar. Don’t lift it to a resting point, don’t release to a locking postion." Do eight to10 reps in three to five sets.
2. At the end of each set, add an isometric component: Hold your curl at 90 degrees and squeeze your biceps as hard as you can for 30 seconds. "This will absolutely waste the muscle," Lischin said. "I throw a sandbag at my clients and make them hold it at the end."
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ABOUT STEVEN LISCHIN, MS CPT
Steve Lischin has over 20 years experience as a private personal fitness instructor and nutrition counselor. A former bodybuilding champion with a masters degree in nutrition and certification from the National Academy of Sports Medicine, Lischin’s clientele includes professional athletes and teams, as well as actors and celebrities gearing up for major motion pictures and events. In addition to providing expert personal training services to his clients, Lischin has created and managed several in-house personal training departments in major health clubs in New York and New Jersey, including World Gyms of NYC. He can be reached on the web through JoeTraining.com.