Wear Your Bicep on Your Sleeve

I love me a good strength class at the gym, but what really grinds my gears is the lack of correct form going on up in there.  Knees are falling over feet during squats,  heads are down through deadlifts, and most commonly, arms are flailing during bicep curls.

I understand that our instructor needs to get his sweat on too, but my thought is that they should be walking around during sets, correcting bad habits and explaining functionality so we don’t all end up in wheelchairs.  I mean, wheelchairs are hot (ie Artie from glee), but I’d rather save mine for when I am racing the lady with all the trolls down the hall of our group home to get the best seat for bingo night.

Artie from Fox’s “glee”

Proper form during strength exercises is SO important.  You can easily injure your back, neck and knees by doing just one tiny thing incorrectly.  So many times I’ve heard a friend say their neck has been killing them for weeks after a workout. When I ask them to show me what moves they were doing, it was obvious why they were in pain. Improper form.  When you engage muscles you aren’t meaning to, you can easily strain, pull or even tear the poor, unsuspecting little guys.

So since I think it would be frowned upon for me to drop my weights and start correcting Rec Specs, Heavy Breather and Never Heard of Deodorant on their approach to The Plank, I will do so here.

Over the next week, I will be posting various basic strength exercises and their proper form.  If there is one you’d like to see, please let me know!  I’d be happy to add it to the line up.

This week, let’s cover how to do a bicep curl. Watch the video below for form, and start with 3 sets of 15 reps.  If you are alternating arms, that would be 15 reps each arm or 30 reps total. Start out with 3 or 5 lbs weights, and work your way up from there.

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Disclaimer: The quality of the film you are about to see is, what we call in the biz, bush league.  But you see, it isn’t my fault.  Cameron Crowe is skiing in Utah with his family and all of the sound stages at Paramount are taken by Dr. Phil.  It’s apparently “I don’t really want help with my problems, I just want to be on TV” week or something.  Is that show still on?  So, instead of a Canon 7D, you get my waterproof Casio Exilm.  And instead of a lifelike gym set in front of a green screen that makes it look like I am ocean side, you get my basement.  Roll camera!

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4 thoughts on “Wear Your Bicep on Your Sleeve

  1. So I didn’t get to view the entire vid because it won’t load properly (the first 1:06 is good!), but I’ve always found if you’re pushing more weight for resistance training, curl with your back against the wall, knees slightly bent. People have a tendency to hoist with their back when things get a little heavy, so back-against-the-wall keeps lift honest. In my experience, proper back form has been THE most important aspect of safe and effective weight training/exercise (and the most challenging)

    • Brandon, sorry for the loading issues. Seems to be loading fine now. You are right ON that correct back form is important…it’s so easy to hurt your back or use it instead of your arm / leg muscles to lift. Thanks for the “wall” suggestion – then you are in perfect position for some :30 wall sits in between sets of curls! Woohoo!

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  3. Sometimes on bicep day I do what I call "slo-mo curls." Not only do I curl up slowly (cause that weight aint' curlin' on it's own!) but I also curl back down slowly. This helps me to focus more on my form, and also makes me feel like I am working the muscle a bit differently.

    Love the video!

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