Other than having some quality chat, a dope hairstyle and the freshest kicks, what’s the one other thing gym bros’ believe is the secret to picking up chicks? That’s right, huge biceps.
So often the true sign of masculinity – along with a pumping chest, naturally – being able to curl more than your friends has been a source of ridicule for years. You may be taking a sly look at your own arms as you read this, putting some tension into them or curling them and nodding in agreement that yes, your arms are perfectly fine.
But they can always be bigger. But just how do you make that happen? Friendly German fitness blogger Jo Lindner – @joesthetics – has the answer: variation in curling technique.
The German God for bros everywhere, Jo posts regular tips and tricks videos to his Instagram page that are easy to understand and could well be the secret to unlocking your full fitness potential. Some of his recent posts have paid particular attention to the biceps, and we’re inclined to listen in, because, well…just look at the frickin’ size of his arms.
Jo’s first advice comes when using a straight barbell to carry out biceps curls. Chances are you already use one of these when you hit the weights floor, but were you aware of the effect holding it in different places can have? A wide grip will work the inner part of your biceps while holding the bar in the centre works the outer part. You’ll need to incorporate both movements if you want to see your peaks grow.
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Most importantly, says Jo, “you want to make sure your keep your elbows close to your body”. Why? Keeping them close to your body at all times exerts more pressure on the bicep muscle. If you move them away from your body in order to facilitate lifting heavier weight, you start to bring other muscle areas to the fore, meaning the bicep doesn’t get worked as much.
Jo has some quality tips when using dumbbells for single-arm curls, too. When performing this exercise, he says that instead of performing it in the conventional sense – standing upright, curling your arms upwards – you can bend over slightly, move the elbow so it’s slightly behind you and lift the weight up beside your body. Both methods will give you bicep peaks to woo any muscle-loving lass.
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He then moves on to the preacher curl machine. This is another favourite of gym bros who like to push their cheeks out while looking at themselves – and their muscles – in the mirror. Rather than grip the handles (a technique we imagine most of us do) Jo says you should instead rest it on the base of your hand. His reasoning, “because here you then have the most tension in your biceps always”, a little lost in translation, but we understand what he means.
If you grip the handles in a traditional sense, you take some of that tension away, either by using the wrist or by activating the forearm.
What you may also notice in Jo’s videos, is that even though his arms are bigger than most peoples’ heads, he doesn’t live incredibly heavy weights. The dumbbells in one of his other videos, for example, are ‘only’ 16kgs. For a man of his size, we’d argue this weight would be a walk in the park. But he does it to show that technique needs to come before all else.
Add these techniques into your next workout routine, whether it’s at home or when you eventually get back into the gym and watch those peaks rise.