JAMES GRAGE’S HOME WORKOUT: USING BANDS FOR BIGGER BICEPS
To build the biggest biceps possible, you need to do curls – essentially the only isolation movement there is for biceps – on a regular basis.
Whether you use free weights or resistance bands, learn some awesome tips on how to properly train biceps for maximal growth and ultimate efficiency. Follow along as James Grage thoroughly explains the original free weight exercise and the resistance band equivalent, giving you the freedom and flexibility to train anytime, and anywhere.
Building your biceps doesn’t necessarily require all of the heavy gym equipment. While dumbbells, barbells, cable stations, and power racks might be good. They aren’t the only equipment that will get the job done.
Let’s look at the goal of building muscle, specifically. What your body responds to is tension or resistance. And there is a myriad of ways to get that effect. For example, curl a giant rock – this creates resistance. Or sit on a bicep machine in a gym – that’s resistance too. Free weights, resistance bands, machines – they are all tools that create mechanical tension to build muscle.
Your muscles don’t know the difference between resistance provided by a free weight (barbell or dumbbell) versus a fitness strength band. And these resistance bands, in particular, provide all the tools you need – five different sizes of bands that accumulate to hundreds of pounds of resistance. With the ability to stimulate growth and spark muscle in even the most stubborn parts of the bicep.
Most importantly, you don’t have to rely on going to a gym or finding one. With a set of resistance bands you have the freedom to train anywhere, anytime. You can do it at home, on the road, or even on the beach! So let’s jump into it!
Exercise 1: Preacher Curl
As you can see from Grage’s body position, his elbow is out in front of him, which is key when performing preacher curls. This is called flexion at the shoulder – meaning you are bringing your arm in front of your midline. By doing this, you are putting the outside head of the biceps in a bio mechanically weak position. Making the inside head (shorter head ) of the biceps work just a bit harder. Now, you are going to work both heads of the biceps at the same time, as there is no such thing as true isolation. However, this does allow you to target one specific part (inside head) more than the other.
Exercise 2: Seated Dumbbell Bicep Curl
To target the outside head of the biceps, you are going to do the exact opposite from the first exercise. Grab your dumbbells, and drop your elbows behind your body. This is called; Shoulder Extension. By doing this, you create more tension on the outside head of the bicep. In other words, you are stretching the outside head of the bicep slightly, to get a better contraction. When curling up to the top, make sure your pinkies are up, and slightly twist your wrist to properly perform the exercise.
One of the cool things about resistance bands is their ability to work multiple planes. Unlike free weights, you are no longer relying on gravity. With bands, we’re not confined to gravity’s pull on a dumbbell to feel that resistance. The bands themselves are the resistance. Stand up, lay down, it doesn’t matter. In pulling the band, we can achieve the tension we need to build muscle in any plane.
Now you are standing up, performing your favorite gym exercises but on your feet. TRAINING LIKE AN ATHLETE!
Exercise 1: Standing Band Preacher Curl
A key to training with resistance bands is having enough tension at the beginning of the range of motion. You can either pre stretch the band by stepping further back, or by simply reaching further forward toward your anchor point.
A solid base is just as important. In this case, one foot forward, one foot back, contract your abs, and curl up.
Make sure you focus on keeping your elbow in one fixed spot. Turn your pinkies just like you would with free weights, to get that peek contraction.
Exercise 2: One-Arm Standing Behind-The-Back Band Curl
To perform the opposite of a preacher curl you will turn around, as shown in the image above. Make sure your elbow is behind you, just as you would with the bench. Keep your elbow in one fixed position, get a nice stable base, contract those abs, and begin curling.
It’s that simple. The resistance band equivalent of doing the same movements in the gym. Good news is, you don’t need a gym anymore, or any of the heavy gym equipment. All you need is a set of resistance bands, one place to anchor them, and you’re ready to build some muscle!
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