#3 - Barbell Leverage Curls
The standard barbell
curl is a great bicep exercise. So I'm going
to turn it 90 degrees and make it even better!
I find this exercise actually gives me better tension
on the upper arm flexors than most standard curling
For this version of
the barbell curl, you're going to be making use
of a very different concept in resistance. You're
going to be turning the barbell 90 degrees (like
I mentioned above) and curling the barbell LENGTHWISE.
I'll explain in more
detail about why it's so effective after you see
exactly what it is. It'll make it easier to get
the idea of why it's such a powerful concept.
First, get an EZ bar
and load one end of it. The bends in the bar make
it much easier on the wrist as you're doing this
exercise...much more so than a straight bar.
You really don't need
much weight - just a 5 or 10 lb plate will be fine
for starters. The way you lift the weight is going
to make that small amount feel like a whole lot
Here's a shot of me holding
the bar loaded with one plate on the end. You know, I
just realized this sure looks like a fishing trophy pose...just
caught me a a 30 lb steelhead!
Right, so now, you're going
to hold the bar lengthwise with one hand. Grip it just
a bit past the center on the angled part. The rest of
the bar will run directly up the back of your forearm.
The loaded end should be down. The pictures show it better
than I can explain it.
You'll need to experiment
a bit with where you grip, but as you can see in the picture
below, where I'm gripping on the bar is where it angles
backward. This takes some of the pressure off the wrist
as you're doing the exercise.
Now comes the fun part...start
raising the loaded end of the barbell up with a curl motion.
The length of the bar will press against the back of your
Keep curling all the way
up as high as you can. It looks like very similar to reeling
in a fish with a fishing pole (boy, I just keep beating
the carp out of this fishing analogy, don't I? :)
If you need a little help,
you can spot yourself with the other hand.
Here's what the exercise
looks like with the other hand.
Now here's a view from a
bit further back.
That's the movement!
It's So Good
This type of
leverage training hits the muscles from a very different
angle because of how you're applying leverage to the bar.
You're basically making the
barbell an extension of your arm, placing the
resistance further out from the fulcrum (pivot point).
you can use less actual weight but still get more resistance.
speaking, when you do a regular barbell curl, the fulcrum
of the exercise is INSIDE the elbow joint. When you do
THIS exercise, the fulcrum actually moves OUTSIDE the
elbow joint. This fulcrum is where the barbell contacts
the bottom of your forearm as you curl up.
into too much anatomical and kinesiological detail, the
bottom line is, using the barbell like this greatly changes
how resistance is applied to the muscles and provides
an excellent growth stimulus BECAUSE it's such a huge
change in how the resistance is applied.
good thing about this exercise? At the top of the
curl, the weight is still away from your body at an angle,
and you still get tension even at the top of the range
Just be sure
you don't whack somebody walking in front of you when
you're doing this one at the gym...
On the other
hand, it WOULD teach them a good lesson about walking
in front of you while you're training...