I’ve only just recently decided to put focus on direct arm training. I’ve been training consistently for about a year and haven’t done much of any direct arm training until this time. The problem I’m having in designing a decent routine for myself is that unlike other muscle groups such as chest and shoulders I’m having trouble ensuring that I’m not putting in a bunch of redundant exercises.
For example if I’m doing shoulders I know that there are three major heads and I know how to target each of them with different exercises… with biceps that’s not the case. I feel like any time I do more than one movement I’m just doing the same thing over and over… i.e. switching between barbell curls, dumbbell curls, incline dumbbell curls.
I realize however that I simply don’t have the knowledge necessary to create a good arm routine and that it definitely is possible. If anyone has any advice or possibly could even categorize a couple movements as to what part of the bicep they target or what unique benefits they have that would be really helpful.
Thanks in advance.
Barbell Curls - overall mass builder, allows for the most weight to be used
DB Curls - overall mass builder, also trains supination action of the biceps
DB incline curls - allows for overload of the stretch position
Concentration curls - lightweight, isolated exercises, allows for overload of the contraction specifically
Preacher curls - isolates the biceps but is still a major mass builder
Hammer curls - works forearms and brachialis (“lower bicep”)
Pinwheel curls - mostly forearms
“Redundant” variations would be things like cable curls or EZ-bar curls, meaning you’d simply use them instead of something else that does the same thing. I don’t believe any of the exercises I listed above are redundant when compared to each other.
"Anything that puts the humerus behind the torso will stretch the long head. That will cause a stronger contraction in that head, putting extra focus there. The short head will still do some work.
Putting the arms out in front of the torso ie preacher curls, will emphasize the short head a bit more than a regular curl.
So you can do those two movements plus a “regular” movement like alternating db curls or barbell curls."
Don’t forget reverse curls. BB, EZ, DB, Cable and the kpipe variation. I know this is a bicep thread, but I train my biceps and forearms in the same workout, so I thought it was relevant.