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Here’s the secret to bigger muscles: Challenge them in a new way. This exercise is a variation of the barbell biceps curl. “You alter your body angle to increase stress on your arms throughout the motion,” says Bill Hartman, co-owner of Indianapolis Fitness and Sports Training in the US.
You’re always stronger at the top of a curl than at the bottom, so this exercise shifts your body to increase tension at your weak point. By building on this soft spot, Hartman says, you’ll potentially work your arms more and build bigger biceps.
HOW TO DO IT 1 Hold a barbell with an underhand grip, your hands shoulder-width apart and let the barbell rest against your thighs.
2 Keeping your elbows close to your body, curl the bar up to shoulder level. Pause briefly and contract your arm muscles.
3 Without changing the angle of your elbows, bend forward at the hips until your forearms are parallel to the ground.
4 Keeping your forearms parallel to the ground, slowly straighten your body to a standing position. Your arms should remain at around the halfway point of the curling motion. Lower the weight and repeat. Perform 3 sets of 8 to 10 repetitions each.
OUR EXPERT’S TIPS
Do drop sets, which increase workload. Start with a weight you can curl only 4 times (say, 25kg) and do 3 reps. Now do 3 sets of 1 rep, using a lighter weight for each set (20, then 15, then 10). Finally, use half your starting weight and do as many reps as you can. Take 4 seconds to lower the weight and 4 seconds to raise it.