There are a wide variety of exercises you can perform to build muscle and strength train and each one of these exercises has its limitations and drawbacks. The most common exercise for developing the bicep muscle is barbell curls. As with most other bodybuilders, I started off by doing scores of bicep curls in the hopes of developing my biceps. Barbell curls and bicep development after all seem to just go hand in hand. Through the process of trial and error I discovered that barbell curls have limitations when it comes to bicep development.

The typical weight lifter performs barbell curls in a free standing position. A free standing position means you are standing free of any other forms of support such as a wall or a bench. A free standing position means your muscles have the freedom to sway during each repetition and this reduces concentration on each muscle. The point of a muscle building exercise is to concentrate the force of the weight on to the group of muscles being exercised.

The free standing position reduces this concentration and the result is that your muscles are not fully exercised. The simple solution to the free standing problem is to place your back against a wall during each repetition or to sit on a bench with a barbell in each hand. Eliminating the free standing position from your workout can make an enormous difference on your muscular development. If your gym is like mine then you’ll likely find that standing against a wall during your exercise is simply not feasible. If this is the case then consider using a seat with an adjustable back rest which just about every gym has.

It’s not uncommon for barbell curls to result in pain deep within the forearms and biceps. There is a big difference between the pain caused by lactic acid and the pain caused by not doing an exercise properly. While many bodybuilders may be able to perform barbell curls with little discomfort, this is not the case for most bodybuilders. The solution to the problem is actually a very easy one. Instead of using the standard bar, consider using the easy-curl bar. The easy curl bar can be identified by the sharp twists in the bar itself.

In addition to excessive pain and lack of concentration, perhaps the biggest problem associated with barbell curls is the inherent limited angle of resistance. This means that if your bicep exercises consist primarily or exclusively of barbell curls then you are missing out on additional angles of resistance. For proper muscle development your bicep exercise regimen should heavily incorporate dumbbells. Combining dumbbell and barbell exercises will inevitably have a profound effect on your bicep development.

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