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The inclined biceps curl: a great mass builder and one of my favorite exercises

I The seated inclined biceps curl

Considering the status of the biceps muscle it is no wonder that on any given day you can probably see a great variety of biceps exercises being performed at your gym. This one however, the seated inclined biceps curl, you’ll see being performed more seldom. The reason for this? In two words: light weights. When performed properly - which implies not only a correct exercise technique, but also a sufficiently lowered bench – the incline biceps curl will force you to use significantly smaller weights than, for example, the standing alternate curl or the barbell curl.

Having said this, you’ll get my drift when next I tell you that this exercise demands that you leave your ego at the door. It is a great exercise for results, but a truly bad one for showing off in the weight room. The showing off comes later, when the aforementioned results that this exercise brings allow you to outshine all those standing alternating guys outside of the gym.

The reasons why I favor this exercise

  1. The pump. For me personally this exercise is the surest way (alongside the narrow-gripped biceps chin-ups) of achieving a good biceps pump.

  2. The precision. The mentioned pump comes from the fact that this exercise allows me to hit the biceps with good precision. The number of assisting muscles involved is low when compared to most other biceps exercises. It is really the biceps that is working, not the shoulders or any other part of your body. It really concentrates the effort in a way that is hard to do when performing, for example, the standing alternate biceps curl. There is much more focus and intent in this exercise.

  3. The Mass building. If you can endure the pain – which will be more intense than on other biceps exercises, due to the precision and the concentration already mentioned – the incline biceps curl will put inches to your arms.

  4. The lower part targeting. This exercise especially targets the lower part of the biceps - the part still showing when you are wearing a typical t-shirt. When you are in a chiseled state this become very easily observed, as you will see horizontal lines, ridges and striations appear on the lower part of your biceps (especially when you are resting in between sets).

  5. The ego control. I like the already discussed ego-at-the-door-attitude that this exercise demands. It helps me bringing out maximal presence and maximal concentrated effort.

Important pointers considering the performance of the incline biceps curl

  • Set your bench in a position that makes you feel more like lying down or leaning back than sitting up. An upright position will allow heavier weights, but you’ll lose too much of the purpose and the benefits of the exercise.

  • Keep your shoulders down and pressed backwards.

  • Keep your chest proud and high throughout the exercise.

  • Supinate at the top.

  • Let your palms face the ceiling at the top of the movement.

  • Make sure your lower arms are the moving part of your arm.

Variations of the incline biceps curl

Try starting the lift in a hammer position. Rotate on the way up, so that your palms end up facing the ceiling in the final position. On the way down, rotate back, so that your hands are once more in the hammer position.

Try drop sets. The incline biceps curl is ideal for utilizing this shocking technique. It is easily arranged and you are guaranteed a painful but rewarding burn in your “guns”.

If you want to read more about my views on biceps training and find out what my other two favorite biceps exercises are, then make sure to read this my article on how to achieve both size and peak.

/Daniel Schou

Daniel Schou Biceps peak

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