Although the exercises differ, a common factor of each is a ‘curling’ motion, where a weight (attached to, or used in conjunction with, an item of equipment listed above) is lifted up until the forearms are vertical with the elbows and upper arm remaining close to the body.

The fullest range of motion is when the elbows begin in full extension, in a supine grip. The biceps contract to lift the weight upward through an arc, to a point where further movement is not possible. Some lifters also do partial reps (such as in “21s”) focusing on the top or bottom position. The second part of the motion has the elbow joint extending, this is called the ‘eccentric’ portion. The weight is lowered back to the start position.

Biceps and more.

EZ barbell curl

Some think it is important that the elbow remain next to the body during this motion to keep stress on the biceps. Others will either bring the elbows forward (to fully shorten the biceps) or bring the elbows back (a “drag curl”, to avoid over-active insufficiency and keep parallel forearms) to vary the tensions placed on the biceps and other elbow flexors.

A research found that the preacher curl targets the long head of the biceps significantly only when the arm was almost full extended and the range of motion was short. On the other hand, the incline dumbbell curl and the regular biceps curl activated the biceps brachii throughout the entire range of motion and may be preferable in improving the biceps strength.

This contraction and extension together constitute a single repetition. As with most weight training exercises, results from biceps exercises can be maximized with a proper understanding of flexion.

The barbell curl specifically targets the biceps brachii which is located on the front part of the arm between the shoulder and the elbow. This muscle’s primary function is elbow flexion and forearm supination. The biceps also has two heads known as the long head and the short head.

Source: Wikipedia

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