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Welcome to the first article in my VERSUS SERIES! These articles are not only going to compare exercises to help you choose the right ones for your workouts, but they will also help give you a better understanding of the mechanics and benefits of each exercise. So with that in mind if you are pumped for this new series be sure to leave video suggestions in the comment section below!
Today we are going to discuss two very popular exercises used in bicep workouts. They are the Dumbbell Bicep Curl and the Dumbbell Hammer Curl. Each is very effective in building muscle, but if you could only perform one to build your biceps, which would you pick? First let us understand how the biceps works. Your biceps is a two headed muscle that lies between your shoulder and forearm. The long head originates on the supraglenoid tubercle of the scapula, the short head originates on the coracoid process of the scapula and the insertion point is the radial tuberosity and fascia of the forearm via the bicipital aponeurosis which is beneath the neck of the radius and helps with flexion of your forearm and supinates your forearm.
Dumbbell Bicep Curl
To perform this exercise correctly, keep your forearm supinated at the bottom of the movement. Now you might see a lot of people start with their forearm in a semi pronated position at the bottom, but as you just learned one of the functions of the biceps is to supinate the forearm. This means that if we are beginning the exercise in a supinated position, the biceps are already being activated before even starting the exercise.
From here you are going to curl the dumbbell up to your shoulder while keeping your elbow at your hips. You need to really focus on keeping your elbow in one place because that is going to keep more tension on your biceps as you curl, which is the entire reason why we are performing this exercise.
Once you reach the top of the movement simply lower the weight back to the starting position and repeat. Now I know some of you are going to say there is no point in going all the way up, but you are WRONG. You should always train in full range of motion because whatever range you do not train in, you will be weak in and more injury prone. Also, keep in mind that you break down the most muscle tissue in the negative portion of a movement and if you do not go all the way to the top (your shoulder), you are shortening the negative portion of the movement. It is not intense science guys, just stop listening to the “bros” who claim “half reps” build more muscle. They are wrong or more than likely on juice.
The hammer curl also targets the biceps brachii however in this movement the biceps are a synergist muscle group which means they are being targeted, but are mostly being used to assist other muscles which in this case is the brachialradialis which is the muscle that runs along your forearm and the brachialis which is the muscle located deep in your upper arm which can help increase your bicep peak as it grows.
To perform this movement you need to start with your hand in midposition between supination and pronation. The reason is because in this position the brachioradialis is at its strongest. From here you are going to keep your elbow at your hip and curl your arm up until the dumbbell reaches your shoulder. Again, you want to utilize the full range of motion here so you can really take advantage of a slow controlled negative to break down more muscle fiber with each rep.
Which Exercise Is Better?
So which exercise should you pick to focus on building bigger biceps? If I had to choose just one I would pick the dumbbell bicep curl as this exercise mainly focuses on targeting the biceps brachii. But now that you are armed with all this knowledge, I am sure many of you have come to the conclusion that your arm workout should consist of both of these exercises if your goal is to build big arms because while the bicep curl is targeting mainly the biceps brachii, the hammer curl is going to help build your brachialradialis and brachialis which are just as important, aesthetically speaking, for a massive look.
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What’s going on Nation? And welcome to the first video in my new VS.
series, now the goal of this series is to compare
exercises for you guys to help you figure out which ones you should be putting
in your workouts based on what your goal is.
The point of this series is to also help you guys understand proper mechanics
of each exercise and get a better understanding
of what muscles are involved as well, so if you’re really pumped for this series be sure to hit that like button
and I want you guys to leave comments down in the comments section below of
exercises you’d like me to compare in future videos now let’s get started. The two exercises
we’re going to compare today of a dumbbell bicep curl and the dumbbell hammer curl
and these are both very effective
exercises in building muscle.
But if you could only pick one to have in your bicep routine which one would you pick?
Before we get into that the first thing we need to do is understand how the biceps work now
the biceps is a two-headed muscle that lies between your shoulder and your forearm and it
originates on the coracoid process of your scapula so most of you guys know the scapula
can easily be seen from the back
right here. There’s actually a point that sticks out on it right here, and that’s where the muscle originates
and it inserts in the Radial Tuberosity
which is right through here
which is beneath the neck of your radius and what it does is it helps with forearm flexion
which is this, it also helps you to be able to supinate your forearm so for those guys
if you don’t know this is supination and this is pronation now
let’s take a look at the Dumbbell bicep curl first now.
You might see people in the gym start this exercise with their hand already in a semi supinated position
which is palms facing in now,
you just learned that one of the functions of your biceps is to supinate your forearm.
So if you’re starting in a semi supinated position and not turning until you get here from here to here
you’re wasting all of this movement where you could be targeting your biceps harder
by starting in a supinated position.
Now I want you guys to just get out of your seat right now and stand up
You stand like this all day long with your hands facing in because it’s the easiest way for your body to stand using
less energy, now just stand up straight and turn both of your hands out. You’re going to feel your biceps activate
and that’s why you want to start this exercise in a supinated position
and maintain that throughout the entire range of motion.
So let me grab a dumbbell real quick
so when doing this exercise
there are some key things you want to keep in mind to perform it properly to
maximize the amount of effort you’re placing on your biceps. So hand in a supinated position
and then as you do the curl you want to keep your elbow in one spot, so right in front of your hips
bring the dumbbell all the way up and bring it all the way back down.
You don’t want to do this or this or anything else that looks like anything
besides elbow in one spot all the way up and all the way down
and if you’ve never focused on keeping your elbow in one position before
you’re going to feel the difference right away
As you do your negative trying to hold your elbow in front of your hips.
A lot more bicep activation, now a lot of people
also like to say
that you take tension out of the exercise if you go all the way to the top
and you take tension out of the exercise
if you go all the way to the bottom and that’s just BS, any
range of motion that you do not train in you will always be weaker in and you just learned that
while your hand is in the supinated position there is tension on your bicep.
So going all the way down to the bottom after each repetition
there’s still tension on your bicep as long as your hand is
supinated, now as far as going all the way to the top to your shoulder,
you know you might be able to sit here for a little while holding the weight
I can understand that but what you need to
understand is you
break down the most muscle tissue in the negative portion of the movement
so if you curl all the way up now you have a
longer range of motion to control that weight on the way down
if you’re going only up to here and only down to there
you’re removing a huge amount of range of motion from the negative.
Which is where you’re breaking down the most muscle tissue
so you’re really shortchanging yourself on the exercise.
Now let’s talk about the dumbbell hammer curl
now in the dumbbell hammer curl, you’re still activating your biceps brachii
which is your biceps, however in this movement those muscles are really mostly working as a
synergistic muscle groups which means they are being activated throughout the movement
but mainly to help other muscles do more of the work which in this case is going to be your brachioradialis
which is the muscle that runs up and down your full arm and the brachialis
which is the muscle that’s located deep in your upper arm right here
which is actually a muscle that when you target it, and it grows it can
help increase your bicep peak, now for this exercise
you will be starting with your hand in that semi supinated position
with your palms facing in now the reason why you do that with this exercise is because in this position
that is where your brachioradialis is strongest
so you really be able to target this muscle when doing this movement with your palm facing in.
Now to perform the exercise what you’re going to do is keep your elbow in one position
so you’re going to follow same exact steps with the bicep curl.
The only difference is your palm is now facing in so bring your dumbbell all the way up to your shoulder
keep your elbow in one position
bring it all the way back down just like this and again guys keep that elbow in one spot
control the weight on the way up go all the way to the top and
control that negative because that is where you break down the most amount of muscle fiber
to get the most growth out of any exercise.
So if you had to pick just one exercise to use to build big biceps which one would you choose?
I personally would use the dumbbell bicep curl because that exercise mainly focuses on the bicep brachii.
Now if your goal is to build overall big arms
and you want to have an aesthetic look I’m sure many of you have drawn the conclusion
that you need to involve a variation of both exercises because while the dumbbell bicep curl works the biceps.
The Hammer Curl is going to focus more on the brachioradialis and the brachialis.
So having both in your workout can be very beneficial if you’re going for that bodybuilder aesthetic look.
If you guys want to add any of these
exercises to next arm workout try adding 4 sets of eight to ten repetitions
and only taking a sixty second rest period In between each set. Now I do have one final tip for you guys
and I’m going to be
extremely blunt because I know there’s a lot of newbies watching my videos and
you might go to the gym and see some big jackass
go over to the dumbbell rack and grab some heavy dumbbells and then start doing this.
These are 85 pound dumbbells, and I can just throw them up all day long
just like this, and you know you might grow some muscle
you’re definitely going to feel a pump because every single muscle in the upper body is being
activated in order to swing these things.
But how much more muscle could you build if you actually felt
every single muscle fiber rip and tear throughout the entire range of motion
because you focused on proper form.
Now some of us might have a tendency to swing
just as a natural habit and an easy way to break that habit is to do these exercises
seated so the goal here is for you to
really focus on that mind muscle connection
because by focusing on that mind muscle connection and
focusing on activating your biceps as much as you possibly can throughout the entire range of motion is
going to help you guys get results faster. So for the hammer curl sit up straight
just like this keep your core tight and just focus on moving your arms up and down and
keeping your elbows in one position. Just like this and the same thing for the bicep curl all the way up all
the way down, all the way up, all the way down.
And I guarantee you that if you were to grab thirty pound dumbbells and do it
just like this you’re going to feel a lot more muscle
damage than you would grab in the eighty fives and doing the swing motion which is kind of funny to look at.
I hope you guys enjoyed this video and remember if you want to see more exercises
being compared be sure to hit that like button
and leave those comments down in the comment section below and for those of you looking for a full
12 week program to build muscle and strength comes complete with PDF download, workout calendars
photos and videos be sure to check out my shredded 12-week transformation challenge
and I’ll post that link down the info section below for you guys as well.
So hope you have a great day and as always
More good stuff coming soon. See you guys