The waiter curls were popularised by Jeff Cavaliere, a physical therapist and strength coach, as a very effective way of working the long head of the biceps muscles.
Did you know that your biceps muscles have much more growth potential than they currently are? Well. If your answer is no, then you are not alone.
Exercise experts have pointed out that most people are not aware of the growth potential of their biceps muscles.
Well, these muscles can grow immensely, especially when a particular bicep head is underdeveloped.
This is why we have the waiter curls. These curls were popularised by Jeff Cavaliere, a physical therapist and strength coach as a very effective way of working the long head of the biceps muscles.
It can hit this head due to the close grip of one uses on the dumbbell.
Putting more focus on this part of the biceps will make them look more peaked, especially when viewed from behind and in a flexed position.
Read on to learn more about this variation of the bicep curls, including how to perform it in the right form, its benefits, alternatives, and common mistakes to stay clear of.
HOW TO DO WAITER CURLS PROPERLY
Below is a simple guide that will take you through performing this exercise in the right form.
You will require dumbbells for your main weight.
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Start by cupping one end of a moderately heavy dumbbell with both hands and position it in front of your thighs.
While keeping your elbows still, curl the weight towards your chest.
Be sure that the top end of the dumbbell remains straight at all times throughout this exercise.
At the top of the rep, contract your biceps forcefully. Slowly lower the weight down until you feel your arms almost locking out. This is one rep. Repeat for the desired number of reps.
COMMON WAITER CURLS MISTAKES TO AVOID
Stay clear of these common mistakes to get the most out of this amazing exercise.
ROCKING BACK AND FORTH
Avoid rocking back and forth to curl the dumbbell up as this will employ momentum throughout the exercise.
Avoid doing the movements halfway. Ensure that you engage through the entire range of motion of the exercise. Failure to do this will reduce the exercise’s impact on the target muscles.
ARCHING YOUR BACK
Arching the back is another common mistake of the waiter curls, which can lead to too much stress on the spine.
Always aim to keep your body upright throughout the exercise, or, for efficiency’s sake, you can lean slightly forward at the top as this will facilitate the best muscle contraction.
LIFTING YOUR ELBOWS FORWARD
You are advised to avoid lifting your elbows forward during this exercise as this will divert the attention of the exercise to your deltoids instead.
WAITER CURLS MUSCLES WORKED
The waiter curls are an isolation exercise because they involve movements in one joint. However, this does not stop it from working more than one upper and lower arm muscle.
This exercise hits the following main muscles.
Commonly known as just the biceps, this is probably the most known muscle of the entire body. It is located on the front of your upper arm and flexes your elbow and shoulder joints.
Additionally, the biceps are responsible for the supination of the forearm.
Its name, Biceps Brachii means that it is composed of two separate origin sites and a single insertion.
Of these heads, that is, the long and short heads, the waiter curls focus on the long head.
The brachialis lies just under the biceps brachialis and are mostly out of sight. However, it plays a critical role in the size and strength of your upper arm.
It also helps push your biceps up to make them appear bigger or larger.
In this exercise, the brachialis facilitates flexion of the elbow joint.
Located in the lower arm, this muscle is also responsible for the flexion of the elbow joint.
Additionally, it is also involved in the supination of the forearm. These muscles will give you thicker and more muscular forearms when well developed.
WAITER CURLS BENEFITS
The following are the benefits to enjoy if you perform this exercise consistently and in proper form.
BUILDS THE BICEP PEAK
As mentioned earlier, the waiter curls will focus on the long head of the biceps because of the narrow grip one uses while holding the dumbbell.
This will eventually result in a bigger and more prominent bicep peak, enhancing the overall aesthetics of your upper arms.
Before performing the waiter curls, look at your flexed biceps from behind and look at them again 6-12 weeks into this exercise.
If your long head is lagging, most likely you will find your peak a little bit taller during this time.
BURNS THE BICEPS
Waiter curls will make your biceps burn because they produce very potent peak contractions.
This is a unique characteristic of the exercise as most exercises will not offer contractions of such intensity.
While you are also free to perform this exercise as a mass builder, you should perform them as a finishing exercise because of its ability to produce a powerful pump.
Unlike other exercises that require complex equipment, this exercise is highly convenient as the only equipment required is a dumbbell.
Additionally, it requires a small space since it doesn’t require many or complex movements.
WAITER CURLS ALTERNATIVES
This alternative is suitable when you want to work your biceps but can’t access either the barbells or the dumbbells.
This is because this exercise uses plates to work the long head of the biceps.
REVERSE BARBELL CURLS
This alternative works the same muscles as the waiter curls and is also great for general forearm strength and size.
Waiter curls are a simple yet challenging exercise. With only a dumbbell and the desire to improve your biceps, you can perform the exercise anywhere at any time.