When we talk about one of the most visible indications of fitness, big biceps are often what most people look at. As such, bicep-centred exercises such as cheat curls are largely popular. It is however an exercise that requires you to exercise great caution.
This is so as to avoid resultant injuries i.e., due to bad form or overextending yourself.
WHAT TO DO:
- Load the barbell with a weight that will only allow for a few strict, good-formed repetitions.
- Standing, grasp the barbell at shoulder-width and let it rest against your thighs.
- Curl the weight upward, exhaling throughout the movement.
- Lower the weight, inhaling throughout the movement.
- Now, since you loaded a heavy amount of weight that only allows for a few repetitions, you will need to break proper form and swing the weight upward for each remaining repetition to complete your set.
- Use your shoulders and back to do so, but be cautious because (as most of us have been rightly told) swinging weights and lifting with backs, especially jointly, is dangerous.
- Repeat steps 3-4 for as many sets as are desired.
WHAT MUSCLES DO THE CHEAT CURLS WORK?
The cheat curls are designed in such a way that most of the work required to make exercise movements passes through the biceps.
They are therefore the most engaged area as they handle, balance, and facilitate the hoisting of weights while doing the exercise.
Therefore the more you do the cheat curls the stronger your biceps get. The increase in strength comes from the need to adapt in order to handle more weight.
The need to handle more weight also leads to muscle hypertrophy which is what causes an increase in bicep size.
When doing the cheat curls, the back specifically the lower back provides support. The lower back is engaged mostly when doing lifts.
In order to stand a better chance of lifting the weights, you use your lower back to pivot and balance to enable a full range of motion.
The brachii is located on the upper part of the arm. It is responsible for enabling you to hold the weights midair and flexing your arm in order to lift said weights
CHEAT CURLS BENEFITS
The more weight you carry the more your muscles get adept at handling bigger weights. As such, this means that the cheat curls enable you to develop stronger biceps.
IMPROVES YOUR POSTURE
When doing the cheat curls, your back and neck are required to be aligned and neutral in position.
This is in order to protect these vital areas from injuries. However, doing it long enough placates this sort of posture in day-to-day life.
ALTERNATIVES TO THE CHEAT CURLS
- Place a chin up bar in a tall doorway and make sure it’s positioned above your shoulders.
- Adjust your grip. A chin-up begins with your palms facing your body. This is called an underhand grip.
- Grip the bar comfortably but firmly, with your hands spaced shoulder-width apart.
- Raise your body until your chin is above the bar.
- Use your upper arm strength to lift your body toward the bar, stopping when your chin is above the bar.
- Lower yourself back down. Using a slow, controlled motion, lower yourself until your arms are straight. This is the complete range of motion for a chin-up.
DUMBBELL BICEP CURL
- Start standing with a dumbbell in each hand.
- Your elbows should rest at your sides and your forearms should extend out in front of your body.
- Your knees should stay slightly bent and your belly button should draw into the spine.
- Bring the dumbbells all the way up to your shoulders by bending your elbows. Once at the top, hold for a second by squeezing the muscle
- Reverse the curl slowly and repeat.
- Stand up straight with your torso upright. Hold a dumbbell in each hand at arms-length. Your elbows should be close to your torso.
- The palms of your hands should be facing your torso. This is the starting position for the exercise.
- Curl the weight forward while contracting your biceps. Your upper arm should remain stationary.
- Continue to lift the weight until your biceps are fully contracted and the dumbbell is at shoulder level. Hold the contraction for a moment as you squeeze your biceps.
- Inhale and slowly start to bring the dumbbells back to the starting position.
- Repeat for the desired number of reps
- Sit with bent knees and your feet flat on the floor in front of your hips.
- Place your hands on the floor behind you with your fingers facing away from your body.
- Evenly distribute your weight between your feet, buttocks, and arms.
- Slowly scoot your buttocks forward, toward your feet, without moving your hands.
- Hold this position for up to 30 seconds.
- Return to the starting position and relax for a few moments.
- Repeat 2 to 4 times.
MISTAKES TO AVOID
AVOID CONSTANT MOVEMENTS
As mentioned above, the cheat curl is very delicate when it comes to form. Once you plant yourself you need to minimize your movements in order to feel the full strain of the exercise.
STEADY YOUR UPPER ARM
The upper arm allows you to flex your arm and balance weights midair. As such, you need to lock in your upper arm
This means taking up the right positions so that the resultant rocky movement from carrying weights doesn’t prevent you from making the right movements.
An unsteady upper arm means you limit how much weight you can handle. It also reduces your chances of overstretching yourself and causing a shoulder injury.
The cheat curls is a great gateway exercise for advanced weight training. In fact, some might argue it’s a more efficient way of working the biceps out when compared to similar exercises i.e., bicep curl.
This is because the technique used allows for the recruitment of more muscle fibers than other popular bicep exercises.
It is therefore an efficient, effective exercise that can be easily done by anyone.