2 Bicep Exercises You NEED To Do Together

When it comes to selecting your biceps exercises for your arm workout, you have a lot of choices. You better be careful about which ones you pick. Too many people pick bicep exercises that overlap each other in terms of strength curve and even which head of the biceps they work.

To get the biggest biceps you are going to want to choose exercises for biceps that compliment each other.

We start with a barbell curl. This classic barbell exercise is one that hits both the short and long heads equally well and can really be loaded up sufficiently. This is the exercise that was most responsible for my early biceps development and it follows a traditional bell shaped resistance curve. T

This means that the weight is easiest to manage in the beginning and end points of the range of motion but most difficult in the middle. This is due to the perpendicularity of the barbell against the downward force of gravity during the exercise. When the forearm is perpendicular to the torso in the middle of the rep it is maximially subjected to the force of gravity and the weight in your hands will “feel” heaviest as the moment arm will be at its longest position.

When the barbell is lifted further, the effect of gravity on the bar is diminshed and the weight begins to feel less challenging to the biceps muscle. In fact, one could hold a substantial amount of weight in this top position of the curl because of this. Likewise, you could hold the weights at the bottom of the rep with very little effort as well and likely, would want to drop it first mostly because of fatigue in your forearms and grip.

Now, while this one is great for building big biceps it still leaves a gap at the beginning and end of the range of motion.

Personally, I don’t like to overload the initial part of the curl where the biceps is in its most stretched position. Not only is this something that is incredibly uncomfortable for me given that I have a torn distal biceps tendon in my right arm but its something that generally isn’t as important for biceps development as load applied in the exaggerated stretch position that the biceps would allow for isn’t as safe as it is with other exercises.

This is because the stretch position of the biceps is going to require that you place not only your elbow in a fullly extended position but that you also allow your arm to drift back behind your body into shoulder extension. When using any kind of significant weight here the biceps can feel more stressed than stretched and the risk begins to rise a bit. Not something that you want to avoid entirely but definitely something that you are going to want to use lighter weights for which then limits some of the hypetrophy stimulus that you see from the stretch bicep exercises like an incline dumbbell curl.

That said, you do want to preferentially stress the biceps in their most contracted position and to do that you are going to have to choose something other than a standing barbell curl.

This is where something like the spider curl turns out to be the perfect complimentary exercise. This is due to the fact that the spider curl has an ascending resistance curve. As the weight gets closer to the end of the rep the so too does the resistance felt by the biceps. Applying this increased tension on the biceps in their most fully contracted or shortened position can be a great stimulus for growth and a good way for those that have trouble feeling their biceps during bicep workouts to get to respond.

Pairing the spider curl and barbell curl up together in the same biceps workout is a great way to maximize the gains you see from your training.

Remember, it’s not always what biceps exercises you do but how you do them that results in the greatest growth and arm size.

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