Build Explosive Biceps with this Double-Action Curl
Photo credit: Eric Rosati
From men's health
One of the challenges with bicep curls: You can't always get heavy. Go too heavy on a bicep curl and your shape will break down easily. You start rocking your hips and your elbows start moving in front of your shoulders, relieving the tension on your biceps.
But that doesn't mean you can't work your biceps with a heavy weight. All you need is a plan and you can get that from Ebenezer Samuel, C.S.C.S., Fitness Director for Men's Health, with the Half-Kneeling Clean to Eccentric Curl. This hybrid movement helps overload your biceps for maximum growth while also keeping the muscles tight enough. In addition, it helps you build explosive upper body strength.
"There's a lot going on here," says Samuel. "We're mixing up a full-body strength movement with a focus on time under tension, and the results could be just what you need to induce serious arm growth."
Samuel adds that the move is great for anyone stuck on an arm training plateau. "If you've done a lot of classic curls but are struggling to hold your shape when you gain weight, or if you're struggling to get results on arm growth, this is a step you need to take," he says. "You acclimate the body to work with heavy weights and you force it to control those weights as well."
The key to a clean to eccentric bicep curl: You get heavy. You should use a weight heavier than one that you can pucker. "That will force you to clean it up," says Samuel. "But if you resist that downward weight, you can build strength."
It will do more than that, too. "In some ways," says Samuel, "you have to get your biceps used to lifting heavier loads. Even if you're just resisting the weight down, this is your chance to do so." The movement works with either a kettlebell or a dumbbell.
Begin in a half-kneeling position with a heavy kettlebell or dumbbell in your right hand, firmly attached to the core.
Hang back slightly and clean the weight up to your shoulder. Keep your arm close to your body.
Slowly decrease the weight while turning your palm up. Take 3 seconds to do this.
Lower it all the way and repeat the process. This is 1 rep; Do 3 sets of 6 to 8 repetitions per side.
Since this is a heavy move, the clean to eccentric curl is a perfect leadership exercise in a bicep workout, says Samuel. "You won't be doing as many reps as usual," says Samuel, "and you may not get that classic bicep-pumping feeling. But you will still be able to get more strength and pumps in the long run." "" Then use standard high-rep bicep curls followed by variations on the hammer curls for best results.
For more tips and routines from Samuel, check out our full list of Eb and Swole workouts. If you're looking to try an even more specialized routine, consider Eb's New Rules of Muscle program.
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