Although this is a combination lower body and arm exercise, the stimulus to the biceps is incredibly intense. While holding a dumbbell in each hand lower your body into the bottom of a lunge without touching your back knee to the ground. While holding the eccentric isometric (stretched position) of a lunge perform smooth and controlled reps of bicep curls while pausing in the top and bottom position of the curling motion. There are several benefits of this unique protocol including increased tension in the contracted position as well as the fact that it forces the lifter to eliminate momentum as swinging and cheating will cause the lifter to lose balance.
Hanging Band Technique (HBT) Barbell Curls are a sure-fire way to destroy the biceps and induce an incredible muscle pump for maximal growth. HBT increases the difficulty because it requires greater stabilization, muscle spindle activation, and sensory integrated movement.
The kettlebell hammer curl is a great bicep and forearm exercise that not only works the arms but also hits smaller muscles around the hands and wrists. Due to the nature of the kettlebell it also places constant tension on the arms throughout the movement.
The kettlebell bicep curl is a fantastic, yet overlooked, exercise. By keeping the kettlebell handles in your palms, you create significantly more constant tension throughout the movement including the top contracted position.
Credit to Kyle Arsenault for creating this unique but effective movement that forces the lifter to perform a strict and controlled movement and uses a forward lean to produce incredible strain on the biceps.
Looking for one of the most challenging yet growth-inducing bicep movements you’ve ever performed? Kneeling kettlebell curls are just what the doctor ordered--or at least what Dr. Seedman ordered. The kettlebells’ unique loading mechanics tax the biceps with constant tension throughout.
Many bodybuilders consider incline curls a staple arm exercise. Unfortunately, the dumbbell version creates very little tension in the top half of the movement. The fix? Use Kettlebells, whose loading mechanism creates tension throughout--bottom, mid-range, and the top.
Here's one of my bodybuilders Ben performing a highly effective variation of the bicep cable curl that I refer to as a lean-away cable curl. This variation places even greater tension at the top or fully contracted position producing greater occlusion, metabolic stress, mechanical tension, and tension in the contracted position. As a result it's a great movement for inducing strength and size gains in the arms as well as enhancing the bicep peak by emphasizing the short head of the biceps.
The reverse bottoms-up kettlebell curl provides several unique features all of which promote increased activation and hypertrophy in the biceps. First, to ensure the lifter doesn’t dump the load this variation prohibits the individual from fully straightening the arms at the bottom or curling excessively high at the top. This creates enormous tension on the biceps as you’re locked into the sweet spot of the movement where there’s maximal activation and no relaxation. Second, this curling variation promotes optimal shoulder positioning and postural alignment, which is something most lifters struggle with when training biceps. Because the load is unstable and vulnerable to falling, this forces the lifter to keep the shoulders retracted and depressed throughout. Besides improving spinal mechanics this does wonders for crushing the biceps as it eliminates the possibility of the shoulders becoming overly involved in the movement.
Performing kettlebells curls while holding an eccentric isometric squat position produces incredible levels of tension in the biceps particularly in the top contracted position of the curl. Rather than leaning back at the top of the movement (a common tendency to subconsciously release tension from the biceps), the squat position forces the lifter to stay slightly leaned over. This slightly angled position combined with the hanging nature of the kettlebells provides continuous levels of significant tension throughout the movement thereby creating occlusion and cellular swelling of the biceps. In addition the rigid squat position leaves little to no room for cheating or using momentum to help lift the weight. This forces the lifter to rely solely on smooth yet forceful contractions of the biceps to complete the movement. The resulting levels of intramuscular tension and metabolic stress turn this simple squat and curl motion into an incredibly potent stimulus for eliciting growth in the arms.