5 Biggest Biceps Training Mistakes


Make any of these five common biceps training blunders and you can expect to look like a joke rather than “The Oak”!

By Bill Geiger, MA and Jimmy Peña, MS, CSCS

Photos of IFBB Pro Dan Decker

1. Not Locking Your Elbows By Your Sides

Even a lot of experienced bodybuilders get this one wrong because they’re trying to go heavy and increase the range of motion. Curls are a single-joint move, but when you pull your elbows away from your sides in an effort to go higher as you raise the weight, they become a multijoint exercise. Because this shifts some of the emphasis to the front delts, they now share the workload with the bi’s. Instead, fix your elbows to your sides and don’t let them travel forward. At the top of the motion, you shouldn’t be looking directly at the bar; rather, the bar should be near the top of your chest.

2. Failing To Extend Your Elbows

This one would be funny if it weren’t committed by so many trainees. Clearly, to flex the biceps you must bend the elbow, so essentially the degree of elbow bend must change by opening and closing over the course of each rep. Curiously, you’ll see guys who instead rock at the waist and lean back as they curl with almost no change in elbow bend. That’s simply not a rep, and your arms won’t grow! Instead, reduce the weight and pay attention: The angle in your elbows should approach 180 degrees at the bottom, where your arms are almost fully extended, and be decidedly less than 90 degrees at the top of each rep.

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