How To Do The Trx Bicep Curl Properly

There is a wide variety of exercises that can work your biceps, but the trx bicep curl is one of the few that stand out.

Instead of the typical resistance bands and free weights, this exercise uses suspension cables to build tension in your biceps for a very thorough workout.

This exercise is more challenging than most bicep workouts because it is performed from a suspended position which forces you to engage your core to keep you stable.

What makes it even better is the fact that you can easily adjust the difficulty level by shifting the cable angles and your body position.

Here’s how to do the standard version correctly;

  • Attach the suspension cables to an anchor point located above your head so that they are hanging about mid-length.
  • Stand upright facing the anchor point and grab the handles.
  • With your core tight, step your feet towards the anchor point to keep the cables tight and your body leaned back slightly.
  • Bend your elbows and position them higher than your shoulders.
  • Make the handles face your forehead.
  • Maintaining a plank position, lower your body slowly towards the ground until your arms are fully extended.
  • Then, bend your arms slowly and with control to help you curl yourself back to the starting position.
  • Repeat these steps for the number of reps you desire.

WHAT MUSCLES DOES THE TRX BICEP CURL WORK?

The biceps brachii (aka biceps) are the primary movers in this exercise.

By positioning your elbows at a higher position than your shoulders, you put more emphasis on your biceps than any other muscle involved.

Other muscles that you recruit during the trx bicep curl are the forearm flexors, core, brachioradialis and brachialis.

BENEFITS OF THE TRX BICEP CURL

STRENGTHENS SHOULDER FLEXION

By recruiting the brachialis which is responsible for elbow flexion, the trx bicep curl helps enhance the functional strength of your elbows for your everyday activities.

CAN BE MODIFIED

The trx bicep curl can be quite challenging to beginners. For this reason there are a few modifications you can apply to suit your level of fitness.

The first one is lengthening the suspension cables to allow you to sit on the floor. As long as you keep your core braced and the cables tight you can still work the biceps effectively.

The advantage of this modification is that it provides you with more stability if you find the standard position too unstable for you.

Another way of modifying the trx bicep curl is by staggering your stance so that you gain more stability as you perform the exercise.

If your fitness level is advanced and you’d like to try out something more challenging, balancing on one leg throughout the movement can do that for you.

The one-leg position makes you more unstable, forcing your core to work much harder to keep you from falling.

IMPROVES GRIP STRENGTH

When you hold on to the suspension cables tight, you activate the brachioradialis muscle in your forearm which is responsible for providing grip strength.

Working this muscle improves your ability to perform other movements that require grip strength such as deadlifts and pull ups.

ALTERNATIVES TO THE TRX BICEP CURL

CABLE PREACHER CURL

Also known as the Scott curl, this is a highly effective isolation exercise for the biceps which also works the brachioradialis and brachialis.

It is a great alternative because it also uses cables to keep maximum tension in your muscles as you work out.

To do the cable preacher curl properly:

  • Begin by placing a bench in front of a cable machine set at a low pulley with a bar attachment.
  • Then, grab the attachment and let your upper arms rest on the bench. Your chest area should be on the padding.
  • Now, contract your biceps to curl the weight upwards. Exhale as you curl up.
  • Hold at the top for a few seconds.
  • Then, lower the bar down slowly until your arms are stretched out.
  • Perform as many reps as you want.

ZOTTMAN CURL

This often forgotten bicep exercise does a  good job isolating your biceps and brachialis during the concentric (curling) and eccentric (lowering) part of the exercise respectively.

To get the most out of it, perform the eccentric portion of it slowly and with control.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Hold a dumbbell in each hand with your palms facing inwards.
  • Stand straight with your feet hip-width apart.
  • Keeping your elbows tucked to your sides, curl the dumbbells up towards your armpits. As you curl them, rotate your wrists to make your palms face up at the top of the rep.
  • Keep rotating your wrists until your palms face down.
  • Lower the weights slowly to return to the starting position, making sure your palms face in as you do so.

TRX BICEP CURL MISTAKES TO AVOID

INCORRECT STARTING POSITION

Before you begin this exercise, conduct a full body alignment check.

Is your core braced? Body leaned back? Feet walked out?

Getting your body in the correct position at the start helps prevent injury and makes the exercise more effective.

LOOSE SUSPENSION CABLES

Whether the trx bicep curl is effective or not highly depends on how tight the suspension cables are from start to finish.

Pay attention to how the cables feel during this movement and adjust them in case of any slack so that they maintain the resistance they provide.

DROPPING YOUR ELBOWS

At no point during this exercise should you drop your elbows to your sides. Try to keep them parallel to the floor at a 90⁰ angle, with your palms facing your forehead.

Otherwise this exercise would very quickly turn into a back movement instead of a bicep workout.

USING JERKING MOVEMENTS

Avoid fast movement during this exercise. If you find it too difficult, simply apply any of its modifications to match your fitness level.

CONCLUSION

The trx bicep curl may be challenging to beginners, but the best part of it all is that you can always modify it to suit your level of comfort and fitness.

If it still doesn’t work for you even after modification, you’re free to pick any of the alternatives in here which will work just as well.

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