To shake up your Friday arm pump, take a load off and drop down to your knees and focus on a holding pattern.
Men's Health Fitness Director Ebenezer Samuel, C.S.C.S., shifts his position when he wants to really work the biceps. This challenging finisher takes the place of the mindless reps of dumbbell curls you might use to top off your arm day workouts-try this routine instead for a more disciplined capper.
The finisher is so effective because it targets multiple common problem areas for curlers. "First and foremost, you’re curating plenty of time in that forearms-parallel to the ground position, which is the most mechanically challenging moment of a biceps curl," Samuel says. "You’re also refining the entire eccentric [lowering] portion of the biceps curl. Introducing that halfway pause forces you to lower the dumbbells with control."
To perform the finisher, you just need a set of dumbbells. Doing the routine in front of a mirror might help you with the form, but that's not required. Check out these adjustable dumbbells from Bowflex if you want to get your pump on outside the gym.
- Get in a tall kneeling position, squeezing your glutes and core to keep your posture strong.
- Grab a pair of dumbbells. Squeeze your biceps to curl them up simultaneously.
- As you lower the weights, pause at the halfway point, with your elbows at a 90-degree angle and your forearms parallel to the ground. Hold for 1 second.
- Perform another curl. Pause halfway through again, this time for 2 seconds.
- Keep curling, adding another second to the pause for each rep, until you can't continue.
A good goal should be to aim to make it up to 5 reps for each round, according to Samuel. "Use a lighter weight than your traditional alternating dumbbell curl weight, because this can get challenging more quickly than you think," he advises.
Another tip: Count out loud. "That will keep you accountable and insure that you’re getting the most out of each halfway hold and not rushing the counts," Samuel says.
Add the finisher to your arm day routine with 3 rounds, aiming for 5 or however many reps you can finish while maintaining proper form. For more tips and routines from Samuel, check out our full set of Eb and Swole workouts.