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A latest study researched which exercise was the most beneficial for your biceps. The researchers looked at 8 commonly used exercises people would use to target their biceps. A list of eight was compiled.
With these exercises in mind researchers then recruited 16 healthy individuals, eight women and eight men, who had experience with weight training between the ages of 18 to 24 years. When the individuals were performing the exercise they were hooked up with electrodes to the major areas of the arm that include the biceps brachii (BB), anterior deltoid (AD), and the brachioradialis (BR), which then measured total muscle activity via an EMG machine.
The results found that the Concentration Curl was the most efficient when it came to the 8-bicep exercises. It is important to see though that when the biceps are being trained other muscles like the AD and BR can also become really involved in the lift. Thus it takes away the load from the bicep, which reduces its effectiveness.
The research also found that for the AD, the incline curl, concentration curl and chin up had less muscle activation when compared to the barbell curl. Where in the BR both the incline curl and preacher curl had less activation compared to the EZ curl.
“When you look at it, the concentration curl was significantly better than anything else. And I think the reason is that you’re really isolating the biceps muscle more so than in any of the other exercises,” explains Porcari. “Some of the other exercises called into play the anterior deltoid or the front of your shoulder more, and for a lot of those, it’s almost natural to just swing your whole arm or shoulder forward to stabilize before you lift.”
So if you like pumping weighs hard and want that bicep to pop with all its glory go with the concentration curl but if you want all round fitness in the arm then your options are a plenty. Just check out all MH workouts to get your biceps burning, the good way.
“Definitely don’t skip the concentration curl if you want to get stronger biceps,” says Young. “But variety is the spice of life. And you should mix it up and choose from any of the other exercises we tested because they’re all pretty much just as good one another.”