Friday, August 16, 2013

Fitness Friday - Bicep Curls

We have been talking about healthy food and yoga for the past few weeks and today we are heading toward popular gym exercises that I see nearly everyone doing when I enter the gym.  At some point in everyone's workout, they will try doing bicep curls and I have noticed that about half of the people in the gym are not doing correctly.  In fact, I have seen almost all of the personal trainers at my gym correcting their clients on how to best perform this exercise in order to see results the quickest.  Based on how many people try this exercise and then have to work on correcting their mistake, I decided to make this very effective exercise the subject of today's Fitness Friday.

Bicep curls are one of the few exercises that every person know about but may not know how to do correctly.  Everyone remembers pictures of body builders working on their biceps and want to have the same type of toned arms so they will start with this type of exercise at the gym.  Arms are often one of the most common areas to workout and the muscles on this body part with grow the fastest.  This was one of the first exercises that I did when I started going to the gym and found out a few days ago that I could do them more effectively and my yoga teacher taught the correct weight to use and how to better my form.  We all have something to learn...

Bicep curls work best when you have the correct form and are using the correct weight.  The correct weight is pretty easy to figure out when you are work through your reps.  Weights are too light if the reps are not taxing at all and you are barely having to put any effort into your lifting.  The weights are too heavy if you can't lift them at all or can only perform a few reps before you can barely lift the weight up.  I once read in Women's Health that your perfect weight is one that you can lift consistently during your first sets of reps but then you are struggling to lift toward the end of your reps.  Once you have the weight, then you can focus on the form.  Lifting too heavy might seem to be the ideal to help grow your muscles however you do risk injury and very poor form if you are lifting a much too heavy weight for your arms.

Wiki How has a great step by step article on how to perform this exercise and I am providing the information here so each of you can try these out and do them in correct form.

1. Start with two dumbbells, between 5 and 15 pounds each.
2. Hold the dumbbells in your hands.
3. Place your elbows in against your hip bones, and let your arms slightly hang.
4. Slowly lift the weight up until your forearm touches your chest.
5. Slowly move your arm back down in the same motion as lifting.
6. Repeat 15 times for 2 to 3 sets.

This should be a very good guide for each of you to start doing this exercise with correct form.  I would recommend you start with a lighter weight until you get your form correct and then start adding weight as your current weight gets too easy.  Bicep curls are a great part of a lifting regime and proper use of them will help to sculpt and build your arm muscles. 

photo courtesy of WikiHow

No comments: