The Bicep Curl Is Incredibly Overrated

Stop doing this same movement over and over again! I have a better solution.

David Liira, Kin.

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There is so much more to strengthening your biceps than sitting around and doing curls all day. This muscle group is closely connected to the shoulder and biomechanics of the entire arm. Consequently, it’s key that we expand our definition of what it means to train the biceps. Sure, being diligent with curls may give you bulging muscles, but if you want to maximize your functionality and injury prevention, you’ve got to take things one step further in this area.

The bicep tendon is often exposed to compression and tension in the front of the shoulder, especially when the shoulder is extended, such as the bottom of a bench press or a tricep dip. To help avoid complications, you’ve got to progressively train your body to get used to being in these vulnerable positions. With the graded exposure plan below, you’ll achieve this and more, boosting the tensile strength of your tendons and establishing a healthier relationship with every tissue that makes upper-body movement possible.

Let’s dive in!

The Bicep Curl Alternatives You’ve Been Missing

Before getting into the exercises below, please be aware that everyone responds differently to new movements. If you experience severe pain or have a pre-existing injury or condition that may put you at risk, please talk to a trusted health provider before moving forward.

While there are many ways to progress and modify the standard bicep curl, we’ll take a look at three main methods to cover most of your bases in just minutes: rotating the wrist, introducing isometrics, and extending the shoulder. To complete all of these variations, all you’ll need is a set of moderate dumbbells or kettlebells. You may even be able to do this on a cable machine if you set yourself up right!

As with all of my exercise routines, pace yourself and start light. While these movements should feel challenging, don’t ever push yourself to pain or to a load that you can’t control with clean form. To help you progress safely, the movements below are ordered from easiest to hardest. As always, feel free to reach out to me in the comments and…

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David Liira, Kin.

Kinesiologist. Writing on health and the human condition. Clap and I clap back. https://www.davidliirakin.com