The arm curl machine exercise is a beginner and intermediate strength exercise that isolates and targets your biceps and forearms. It incorporates the arm curl machine for strength and endurance training.
This exercise is extremely easy to learn and perform regardless of your level.
For this exercise, you need an arm curl machine. There are however different variations of arm curls that may require different types of arm curl machines.
These machine variations include the preacher-curl machine which mimics the free-weight movement pattern you would do on a preacher bench. The incline-curl machine allows your arms to hang straight down as you lean back on the incline bench.
The Smith-machine drag curl has the arms moving up and down instead of an arc while pushing your elbows back as you lift the bar. All these variations help the machine better isolate the biceps.
Arm curl machine exercises can be done while standing or seated depending on the type of machine you are using.
The basic principle for an arm curl machine exercise is curling your arms towards your chest after adjusting the desired weight then returning them to starting position.
Good form is very important for this exercise. For example, you have to make sure you do not shrug your shoulders or jut your head forward as this can very easily cause strain.
HOW TO DO ARM CURL MACHINE EXERCISE
- Equipment needed for this exercise is an arm curl machine otherwise called a bicep curl machine.
- Adjust the desired weight on the machine depending on your level of experience.
- For the seated variation,
- Take a seat on the machine with your feet planted shoulder-width apart on the ground for stability during the exercise.
- Grab the handles to the weights while making sure your elbow is comfortably under your tricep.
- Curl your arms to a 90-degree angle at the elbow or to a 45-degree angle to make it more challenging.
- Extend your arms back to starting position while keeping control so that they don’t just drop back to the starting position.
- Make sure you do not lock your elbows since they are being used as a pivoting point.
- Repeat this movement until the end of the set.
- You can lift both arms together or curl one arm at a time.
WHAT MUSCLES DOES ARM CURL MACHINE EXERCISE WORK?
Arm curl machines are generally an arm workout. They primarily isolate and target the upper arm, the forearm and shoulder muscles.
Specifically, the biceps brachii, arm curl machines majorly target the biceps in the front upper arm from the curl movement of the arm. They boost their strength and size.
Arm curl machines also work the deltoids of the shoulder along with the trapezius and generally muscles around the shoulder.
THE BRACHIALIS AND BRACHIORAIALIS
This exercise is very effective for generally working the forearm muscles as well. The curl movement activates the forearm muscles as well as the wrist muscles.
BENEFITS OF ARM CURL MACHINES
Arm curl machines are mostly popular for working the arms and shoulders. This exercise comes with numerous benefits to these muscle groups.
Arm curl machines target the deltoids in the shoulders and this not only increases their strength and size, it also helps in stability training of the shoulder.
This exercise brings the activation of the upper arm, lower arm and shoulder muscles as it isolates and targets them. This forms the basis for muscle toning and fat burning hence loss of weight around these muscle groups.
This exercise is excellent for strength training in the arms and shoulders as it targets these muscles during the workout.
TONING AND SHAPING
Arm curl machines really help in toning your biceps and also burning fat around your upper arm. This will give you more shaped and toned biceps.
ALTERNATIVES TO ARM CURL MACHINES
There is a number of exercises that target the same muscle groups as the arm curl machines and can be used instead.
DUMBBELL BICEP CURL
This exercise has the same principle of curling your biceps only without the machine. Dumbbells are used in the stead of the machine to add resistance to the curls. This is a more cost friendly alternative since it only requires dumbbells.
This is a compound strength training exercise that utilizes a pull-up bar to target the biceps, rhomboids and deltoids. The pull-ups use the same curl concept of the machine to target the biceps and the other muscles.
DUMBBELL BENT-OVER ROWS
This is also a strength training exercises that incorporates dumbbells to work the biceps, deltoids, pecs and rhomboids. The curl and extension of the bicep during the exercise causes muscle activation and toning of this muscle groups.
SEATED DUMBBELL HAMMER CURL
This is a very basic yet highly effective strength exercise when done correctly since it effectively targets your arms and upper body. This exercise also requires dumbbells to perform and relies on the same principle of movement as the dumbbell bicep curl.
MISTAKES TO AVOID WHEN DOING ARM CURLS
Like most exercises arm curl machines require good form to do in order for them to be effective and to avoid strain on your shoulders and elbow.
IMPROPER ELBOW POSITIONING
Keep your elbows suspended in the air and not directly on the pad. Keeping your elbows on the pad will increase the friction, making it uncomfortable and difficult to do the exercise correctly.
GOING TOO FAST
You should focus more on proper form than rapid execution of the exercise. Lift the handles slowly and smoothly and lower them just as slow to make the exercise more effective.
ADDING TOO MUCH WEIGHT
Adding too much weight for your level is dangerous as it causes too much strain on your arms and shoulders also your elbows will not have a full range of motion. This will greatly reduce the effectiveness of the exercise.
IMPROPER POSITIONING OF THE TRICEPS
Your triceps should not come off the padding while you curl. Bringing them off the pad can cause too much strain on your shoulders and neck.
DOING INCOMPLETE CURLS
For this exercise you have to make sure your elbows curled at a 45-degree angle for maximum efficiency of the exercise. For other variations the elbows can curl 90 degrees depending on the exercise and difficulty.
Arm curl machines are an excellent way of isolating and targeting your upper arm specifically your biceps. This is crucial for having stronger and more shapely and toned upper arms
The versatility of this exercise by varying the weight on the machine makes it suited for all levels depending on their desired weight.
You should also have prior knowledge of your limits before doing this exercise. Putting too much weight can cause strain in your arms, shoulders and neck.