Friday, 12 September 2014

Upgrading your armoury

I'm a big believer in regularly changing your exercises to see continued progress. Using the same exercises for months in and out (even if you are changing other variables such as reps/weight/tempo etc.) will soon see you plateau. I know this because I was once that guy! Try these different arms exercises to inject some variety and results into your routine...

Seated low pulley cable concentration curl
A fantastic finisher to your biceps work, you'll get a massive burn! With the elbows in front of the body the short head of the biceps are recruited thoroughly. Make sure you make the most of every rep and squeeze the biceps hard at the top. 

Lying ez bar skull crusher with pulley cable attached 
The problem with the lying skull crusher on a flat bench is it mainly works the triceps through the bottom part of the strength curve. Attach a pulley cable to the bar and the triceps will be under constant tension through the whole of the strength curve. For even more fun, have your training partner remove the cable from the bar when you've finished your reps, so you're free to bust out some more (like a drop set).

Ez bar preacher curl holding onto straps
Like with the previous exercise, the ez bar preacher curl only works the biceps through the lower end of the strength curve. In other words as you curl the bar up towards your shoulders the tension tends to minimise in that top position. However if you place the weight outside the centre of gravity (like a kettlebell) and hold onto 2 straps, tension will be on the biceps through the whole range of the strength curve. This exercise tends to work best with a slower tempo like 3031.

Thick grip reverse barbell curl 
Thick grips will recruit more motor units than a standard bar. You'll work the forearms harder and improve your grip strength. Flip your grip and your biceps no longer get an effective line of pull. Therefore the brachialis come into play (the golf ball shaped muscle on the side of 
the arm between the bicep and tricep) a muscle of the arms that is often undertrained.