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Fitness 101: How to do a bicep curl

Posted on: by Michelle October
Woman in a gym doing a bicep curl

By Michelle October

Get the most from this easy weight-lifting move and sculpt arms so toned, you’ll never want to wear sleeves again…

Pop quiz: who should be doing bicep curls? Seriously buff dudes at the gum wearing “Do you even lift?” T-shirts, Demi Moore circa GI Jane or you? The answer? All of the above! “While bicep curls have been out of favour in recent times, they’re not inherently bad,” says Matt Curran, manager and head trainer of Body20 in Joburg, “The biceps curl assists in strengthening the muscles that engage every time we blend our elbows, pull a door closed or carry groceries. Biceps have some real jobs to do, so it’s good to keep them strong. “Bit biceps curls are an isolated movement and doing them too often – and forgetting other complex moves, like push-ups – could lead to painful imbalances, poor posture and shoulder pain. Try other styles of the movement, like playing with your grip – overhand and underhand curls – to make the most of the move. And make sure you’re not swaying your hips when you lift either. The idea is to look more like Wonder Woman and less like a fish out of water. Fir more control, sit down when performing the move.

Signs you’re doing a bicep curl wrong

You’re using a barbell

“While your wrists and elbows are in line at the bottom of the movement, as you curl up the angle changes and [the bar] can put extra pressure on your wrists,” says Shona Hendricks, head of sports science at the University of Pretoria. rather stick to dumbbells.

You’re lifting too heavy

Choose a weight that you can stick to for the duration of your set, without compromising your form, says Hendricks. As soon as you’re struggling or swaying your hips to gain momentum, you’re lifting too heavy.

You’re dropping thew weight to the floor after a rep 

If you’re dropping the weight, you;re upping your risk of injury. “The muscle is lengthening in the lowering; you could tear/strain your biceps by dropping it too quickly.”

Avoid if…

You’ve injured your elbow, shoulder or wrists.

Nailed the move? This is how you can upgrade your arm workout – no push-ups required.

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