Bigger Biceps: We’ve all spent hours upon hours working on our biceps, yet most of us aren’t happy with the results we’re getting. And although most of us are already performing the right exercises, there still seems to be something missing.
It’s a well-known fact that the more training volume we perform, the bigger our biceps will grow as volume is directly correlated to hypertrophy. That said, we also have to consider the effectiveness of the reps were performing. If we can manage to achieve a better mind-muscle connection, then it might be possible to grow our biceps by doing less work.
This isn’t to say that we should, in fact, decrease the volume in order to focus on mind-muscle connection, but rather to point out the power of training a muscle with more intention before we get into the five exercises for really filling your biceps.
Here are three tips for improving the mind-muscle connection,
Tip #1 Lose the ego
There’s nothing wrong with decreasing the weight. In order to have better control. You may be performing less total volume, but the reps become far more effective.
Take a weight you can do for the normally recommended reps, reduce it by five pounds, and then slow the tempo of each rep to force the muscle to hold under tension for a longer period of time.
The difference in your ability to feel the muscle will improve greatly.
Tip #2 Tactile Feedback
Simply touching the working muscle with your nonworking hand, known as tactile stimulation, increases neuron activity in the area, thus increasing the amount you’re working the target muscle. It does so by increasing local awareness as well as motor fiber recruitment in the muscle you’re touching.
Tip #3 Variety
There’s nothing better than mixing it up with your training.
A different stimulus or even changing up the angles of your exercises can help you to feel them a bit more when you think about it. We all have slightly different origin and insertion points for our muscles.
This is known as our morphology. For example, one person who has a short biceps muscle belly and a longer distal biceps tendon may feel something like a preacher curl more than an incline dumbbell curl, or vice versa.
Three simple techniques for a better mind-muscle connection, Implement these strategies to any muscle group and notice a huge difference in your training.
Now Let’s jump into the top five arm exercises for really filling the biceps
1) Cable Curl
First up, we have this straight bar cable curl, which offers the added benefit of a little instability compared to the standard dumbbell variation. This will lead to higher activity in the biceps. It also leads to a much better bar path and resistance profile.
The dumbbell curl has a little load going through the biceps at the very start and end of the rep and places most of the tension on the mid-range of the movement. The cable keeps the tension on the biceps constantly and leads to the biceps getting challenged throughout the entirety of the exercise. Bigger Biceps
When performing this exercise, it’s important that we keep the elbows fixed throughout the movie and pull in an arc motion towards the body. This is what’s going to lead to the highest activation in the biceps.
Changing grips also help to target different areas of the biceps due to the varying levels of supination required.
Don’t be afraid to mix up the grip and see which feels the best for you.
Next up, we have the Incline Dumbbell curl, which is fantastic for getting the biceps into a release short position. It’s essentially a dumbbell concentration curl with an extra emphasis on subornation.
This leads to both the short and long head of the biceps getting into a really short position, which is where you’ll really feel it burn. This variation also shifts the load onto the long head of the biceps and so will help us add some mass to those peaks.
To set up, sit on a bench and hang your arm down so that your elbow is just underneath your tie. Start with your arm in a neutral position and supinate as you curl the weight up, focus on trying to make your Pinky touch your shoulder.
Although you won’t actually manage, this cue will force you to supinate even further. It’s important that you keep your elbow fixed throughout the entire movement and avoid any ego lifting.
Remember, we’re focusing on the quality of the contraction, so if you need to decrease the weight a bit, do So.
3) Wrist Curl
The Broken Wrist curl is a great variation for helping to establish a great mind-muscle connection with the biceps. Due to the break in the wrist, the wrist flexors become less active, thus shifting more tension onto the biceps.
This exercise can be done with a dumbbell, but the barbell variation is recommended as it allows the weight to stay parallel to the floor throughout the movement.
The key here is to keep the wrist broken throughout the movement to ensure we’re placing the majority of the stress on the biceps.
If you haven’t tried this one before, be prepared for a stuck pump. The trick with this exercise is to keep the barbell parallel to the floor. This means you’ll have to change the angle of your wrist throughout the movement.
Perform these with a slow concentric of about three to 4 seconds to help keep bicep activation at its highest. The last thing with this exercise is to train in low rep ranges. For best results, aim for six to 8 reps per set.
5) Accentuated Eccentric Curls
lastly, we have the Accentuated Eccentric curl. Like I mentioned before, slowing down the temple of an exercise will help to achieve a better mind-muscle connection with Accentuated Eccentric curls.
It’s okay to actually cheat the concentric portion of the lift, as our focus here is to overload the negative. Not only is this where most muscle damage occurs, but your muscles are roughly 20% stronger during the eccentric, which is why we want to load these exercises a bit more.
We have plenty of research showing big benefits to a mix of both concentric and eccentric training making this exercise essential. If you want to maximize muscle growth when performing this exercise, cheap the weight up a bit for a one-second concentric and then aim for three to 4 seconds on the negative.
There you have it. Five biceps exercises you’ll really feel. Add these to your workout and experience a pump like never before, while also e adding variety to your training.