This is one of the VERY few times that I'm going to give you permission to use the power rack for barbell curls.
In fact, I'm going to INSIST you use the power rack for barbell curls for this exercise!
With this exercise you actually HAVE to use the power rack in order to perform it...and the reason WHY is going to light up your biceps like crazy.
Basically, one of the weaknesses of the barbell curl is the bottom of the movement...there is very little resistance until you get the bar partway up, plus you get basically ZERO stretch on the biceps at the start of the movement. Stretching a muscle is extremely beneficial for muscle growth.
Now, what if you could do an barbell curl exercise that put a good stretch on the biceps at the bottom then went right into the NORMAL execution of the exercise from there so you get the best of both worlds?
Well, I can tell you from experience, you get GREAT bicep training out of it. And yes, it CAN be done.
Here's how you do it...
First, set the rails of the rack to just very slightly below the dead hang bottom position of your normal barbell curl. Set the bar on the rails and set it right against the uprights. Use JUST the bar the first time you try this one in order to get a feel for how it's done. Then you can start moving slowly up in weight (you don't need a whole lot for this one).
Set your feet back a few inches the bar so you have to lean forward to grab it.
Set your hands on the bar in your normal curl grip then lean forward over the bar, like a ski jumper position. Your thighs will be bracing against the bar in this position.
Notice how my arms are locked out straight with my wrists are bent backwards. This is already putting a good stretch on the biceps.
Now, you're going to use your BICEPS to push your body back up to the standing position. Keep your arms locked out straight and imagine pushing your elbows forward, which will push your body back because the bar is braced against the rack uprights.
Push until you're almost at the normal bottom position of the curl (standing up) and then go directly into the barbell curl.
Do these with STRICT form, going for feel. This takes full advantage of the increased muscle fiber activation that happens when you start an exercise from a stretched position like this.
Come all the way up to the top (this part is really just a normal barbell curl) and hold.
Now lower the bar down under control then, as you get near the bottom, move the bar forward and set it back down on the rails and against the uprights of the rack to begin the process again.
This one will really wake up your bicep muscle fibers.
The stretch at the bottom brings a whole new level of intensity to the barbell curl that you do immediately after that stretch portion.
It's going to necessitate using a bit lighter weight on the curls (to start with), but more than makes up for it by dramatically increasing the tension on the biceps.
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