We want to get the most bang for our exercise buck. This means we can not afford to spend time on exercises that do not serve our greater goals and purposes. Ask yourself, “Why am I doing this exercise? Does it support my goals?” Most people do curls to have bigger arms yet most people exercise to maintain their weight and feel better. That said, let’s look at removing the popular exercise of the biceps curl from our repertoire.
Although it might pump you up for the beach the risk just ain’t worth the reward. The biceps curl over stresses the tendons of the shoulder and if performed too often can lead to biceps tendonitis. Once tendonitis starts it can be quite difficult to continue with the same movements. If you continually drink alcohol eventually you’ll get a hangover. The same goes for how we treat our biceps tendons and the resultant biceps tendonitis.
Yes, I have done my fair share of curls, but the older I get the better my body gets at telling me to perform one exercise instead of another. We all want the guns to pop. However, I almost never make the biceps muscles the focus of my exercises sessions. I’m a busy guy just like everyone else. So with the time I have to spend working out I have to maximize the benefits while mitigating the impact on my body.
The key is to work the biceps with multi-joint movements. Almost every pulling exercise that causes flexion to occur at the elbow involves the biceps. Using rows and other pulls spreads the force over the rest of your body and doesn’t over stress the biceps tendons. Avoid the damaging effects of curls by performing rows and you will have the arms you desire without the the injuries and pain of over use.