FacelessFitness.com Gym Tips #2: Biceps…Why using Dumbbells alone is holding you back

“Triceps T-shirt fillers, Biceps lady killers….”

I think everybody to a certain extent wants to have large defined Biceps, although the Triceps supply the majority of size it’s really the popping Biceps that are sought after by so many Gym goers.

A number of years ago a noticed an inconsistency between my left arm Biceps and my right arm, I couldn’t figure it out at the time but my left Biceps seemed to pop more off the bone on the outside of my shoulder. I thought initially because maybe I was right handed I wasn’t challenging that arm as much and although I was doing the same weight with both arms it was challenging my left arm more and producing the pop. I was training with my older brother at the time and he just seemed to have it, his biceps from the outside really popped and I recall him mentioning that “I just didn’t have the definition…all about definition” (The f**ker), but he was right, his were popping and mine were not! At least not as much. I shrugged it off and figured it would develop if I just kept training over the next few years.

I had a set of Dumbbells at home myself and began really working Biceps with Standing curls, Hammer Curls & Cross body curls primarily. However I wasn’t nailing the pop, and I definitely had a lack of pop in my right arm. It pissed me off. A buddy of mine from work did a lot of training with dumbbells at home also and we would frequently have discussions about exercise variations and how best to use the relatively light dumbbells if we couldn’t make the Gym. I began to notice that although he had quite big Biceps muscles (You could tell he worked out), he actually had no pop on the outside of his Biceps, instead it was all inner head of the muscle. It was a Eureka moment, I had only ever used dumbbells to train Biceps, and so did my buddy. For me the issue had to relate to the curling exercise…

I started to look at my form when performing dumbbell curls and the issue became really clear. My left wrist when curling has a natural inclination to turn outwards which is why I was getting some pop on the Outer head of my left Biceps. However my right wrist had (and still has) a natural inclination to turn in towards my body, As a result I was never really engaging the Outer head of my right Biceps which means no pop. Due to the turn in my wrist I was always putting more pressure on the Inner head of my Biceps. Using a Preacher machine actually does not solve this issue! you really need to focus on how your wrist rotates!

As fatigue kicks in during later sets, the natural inclination is for your wrist to turn inwards which adds to your issue! You end up somewhere between a proper Biceps curl and a Hammer Curl…great for developing the Inner Biceps but not what you want!

So what can you do to ensure you are developing the Outer pop?

  1. Make the Barbell Curl your go to Biceps exercise – Believe me it is the best and it will ensure your wrists stay in a fixed position which works the Outer Biceps as well as the Inner
  2. If you find your wrist turning inward, Lower the weight slightly to ensure the wrist position is flat or with a slight outward turn
  3. Use Cable Curls with a Bar Connect – Again fixed wrist position

Everybody wants the pop…make sure you get yours!!!



4 thoughts on “FacelessFitness.com Gym Tips #2: Biceps…Why using Dumbbells alone is holding you back

  1. James McBride November 10, 2015 / 11:17 am

    I’m really glad you wrote this article.Thank you so much for the information. Thanks for posting this!! Thanks for the information.


  2. Norbert Newman November 12, 2015 / 9:42 am

    I love reading and I am always searching for information like this. This is very informative article. I really enjoy reading it.


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