Add Some Height to Those Guns
One of the most often-asked questions that I get is how can someone add a peak to their biceps. Face it. The biceps are glamour muscles. We all know that arm size is greatly influenced by the triceps, but people put so much emphasis on the biceps.
First and foremost, the reason that some people develop long, football shaped biceps while others develop short, high, mountain-like biceps is largely due to genetics. That is not to say that one cannot train their biceps to develop a higher peak, but they will have to work much harder for that peak.
The key to creating the illusion of that high bicep peak is by training the brachialis, a muscle that does not get discussed much, but is a muscle that deserved plenty of attention. The brachialis sits beneath the bicep, and when trained properly, it will push the biceps up higher, which will elevate the peak of the bicep. The problem with proper brachialis stimulation is that the biceps are the main flexors of the upper arm, so recruiting brachialis assistance is not easy with standard curling techniques.
There are exercises, which will attack the brachialis and offer proper stimulation of it, so make sure that you do at least one of the exercises below during every bicep training session.
Gran a pair of dumbbells and hold them at your sides with your palms facing inward toward your thighs. Curl the dumbbells while keeping your palms facing inward. These curls get their name because you grip a dumbbell as you would grip a hammer. As with all curling exercises, lock your elbows to get full bicep isolation. At the top of the curl, squeeze hard and feel that contraction while holding this position for a second or two, then lower the weight slowly.
Hammer Curl Variations
Hammer curls can be done by alternating arms, together and seated. There are also various barbell-type bars that make hammer curls easier to do.
Grab a barbell with your palms facing down and perform a curl. Be prepared to lower the weight significantly from your standard curling weight. This palm positioning will force the brachialis and the brachioradialis of the forearm to work hard. Keep your elbows locked into your sides and wrists straight throughout the set.
Reverse Curl Variations
Reverse curls can also be done with an EZ-curl bar or dumbbells.
90-Degree Preacher Curl
Using the vertical (not angled) side of a preacher bench (or attachment), position yourself over the bench with your armpits pressed into the top of the pad. Grab the weight and allow your arms to hang straight down. Your shoulders are elbows must remain locked during this exercise to recruit the brachialis.
90-Degree Preacher Curl Variations
90-degree preacher curls can also be done with an EZ-curl bar or dumbbells.
Overhead Cable Curl
I love this exercise to close out a superset and you can really get a nice burn from it. With a straight bar attachment on a high pulley, curl the weight over your head far enough so that the bar is behind your head and the end of the curl.