Arm training: personal trainer advises against bicep curls

Bicep Curls: The dumbbell arm curl is probably the best known of all muscle-building exercises.

Bicep Curls: The dumbbell arm curl is probably the best known of all muscle-building exercises.
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Personal trainer Chrissy Signore rated five different arm exercises for their effectiveness in building muscle strength.

She says that some arm exercises are less efficient and make you more prone to injury.

Bicep curls are among the most inefficient arm exercises because they only work one muscle, according to Chrissy Signore.

Arm exercises are an essential part of any training plan, but many people choose workouts that are inefficient and error-prone. That’s what personal trainer Chrissy Signore told Business Insider, who ranked five exercises for us based on how effective they are and how high the risk of injury is.

She says that exercises that target many different muscle groups, like pushups, are better for building muscle than exercises that target just one muscle, like bicep curls. Signore ranks bicep curls and double tricep extensions as the two worst exercises for an arm workout, because they only work one muscle and can be easily misexecuted.

5. Bicep curls are not effective

Signore, the founder of the Correlation fitness program, believes that bicep curls are not a good exercise for the arms because they only work the biceps and it’s easy to go wrong.

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She points out that men often lift weights that are too heavy, causing them to throw their core forward, roll their shoulders inward, and swing their arms to bring the weight over their shoulders. The personal trainer explains that such poor posture can strain your core and make your posture worse because it strains your shoulders.

In contrast, Signore notes that women tend to be underweight here. She says that for a set of 10-12 reps, you should start to feel muscle fatigue as early as the eighth rep.

She emphasizes that the bicep curl isn’t particularly helpful either because in everyday life you rarely just use your biceps to lift or move objects. Exercises that work more upper body muscles are more convenient and save time because they work more muscles at once.

4. Double triceps extensions can cause injury

Signore says the single dumbbell triceps extension is a great exercise. However, performing the exercise with two dumbbells held at the same time can quickly lead to injury. To perform a single triceps extension smoothly, he recommends following these instructions:

  • Support yourself with one hand on a bench.
  • Hold a dumbbell in your other hand, palm facing in.
  • Raise the dumbbell so your elbow is bent at your side.
  • Your arm should be at a 90-degree angle so you don’t extend it any farther than you can.
  • Return to the 90 degree angle and repeat.

In the double triceps extension, you lean your body forward unsupported across a bench and perform the movement with both arms at the same time. Signore says that many arch their backs and stretch their necks instead of keeping them straight, which can put pressure on the neck and lower back. Finally, he advises making sure you don’t swing the weights with you during the exercise.

3. The dumbbell curl and dumbbell press are much more functional

Signore explains that the dumbbell curl and press is a modification of the biceps curl that makes the exercise more effective. The bar is not only pushed with the elbow toward the shoulder as in a classic bicep curl, but is also pushed overhead while rotating the hands so that the palm faces forward.

The dumbbell curl and press engage many more upper-body muscles, he says, including the biceps, shoulders and triceps. When lifting and moving something in everyday life, it is common for all of these muscles to work at the same time. Signore emphasizes that he must be careful not to push the press too hard and potentially injure his shoulder.

2. Push-ups are versatile

Pushups work not only your arms, but also many other muscles, such as your core, triceps, chest, and outer shoulders. Also, there are many variations that can make them harder or easier and target different muscles.

Bring your elbows closer to engage your triceps more, he explains, or do what’s called a T-bend to work your biceps and shoulders. For the T-push-up, you should reach up and behind you with one arm as you come out of the push-up. Make sure to switch between both sides.

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Wall balls work the entire body.

Wall balls are Signore’s favorite arm exercise because they involve almost the entire body in the exercise. And this is how you do it:

  • Stand about three feet from a wall with a 10- to 20-pound medicine ball in your hands and a straight back.
  • With your feet shoulder-width apart and slightly flexed, you squat down and throw the ball with a powerful upward thrust against the wall.
  • Catch the ball easily and crouch down again.

Wall balls work the shoulders, biceps, triceps, chest, back, abs, glutes, hamstrings and lower legs, she says. Chrissy Signore’s Tip: 30 seconds at a time, or 10-15 reps.

This article was translated from English by Melanie Gelo. You can read the original here.

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