Sunday, March 20, 2011

The BEST Bicep Exercise

As personal trainers, we are always looking for the best exercises to attack each muscle group.  We tell our clients we are trying to get the "most bang for your buck."  Well according to a recent publication by Liliam F. Oliveria et al, the standing dumbbell curl and the inclined dumbbell curl (pictured) had more bicep activation for a broader range of motion as compared to the preacher curl.

All three exercises seem to elicit a good bicep recruitment but the preacher curl had a shorter range of motion thus ranking third among the three bicep exercises for effectiveness in this study.  Moreover, use the preacher as a third bicep exercise if you have the time but be sure to include standing barbell/dumbbell curls and inclined dumbbell curls in your bicep routine for best results.

So which is the most effective?  I believe the most effective exercise has to be the inclined dumbbell curl.  The bicep is primarily responsible for elbow flexion and forearm supination.  The bicep is also an assistor with shoulder flexion.  Therefore, one could argue that the inclined dumbbell curl with a 1/4 twist as you flex your elbow and flex your shoulder should be the most effective bicep exercise.

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