The Biceps Curl with a Stability Ball Adds the Extreme Factor!

The Biceps Curl

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Muscles Worked
Core Stabilizers

The biceps muscles is a symbol of power and control. In fact, rolling up the sleeves and showing off the "guns" has been used for centuries upon centuries to display an individual's power.

Everyone knows the generic biceps curl with dumbbells or a barbell. Heck, we see the big men in the gym constantly grunting with huge 80 pound dumbbells in each arm. What exactly does this prove? I'm not sure, but you'll get a heck of a lot stronger if you sit on a stability ball while doing them!

The biceps curl with a stability ball is a fantastic exercise for not only your arms, but also your lower back and core stabilizers. The stability ball forces your nervous system to constantly adjust/readjust as your balance shifts. When all is said and done, it is nearly impossible for your biceps to reach a weight plateau since each repetition is intrinsically different.

First, grab a barbell or set of dumbbells and sit on the stability ball with your back straight, feet flat on the ground and about shoulder-width apart.

Because of the sitting position, you won't be able to extend our arms when lowering a barbell. This is not incorrect; short biceps curls tend to give efficiency and explosive pumping to the muscles. This is in contrast to using dumbbells, which allows full extension of the elbow and a longer range of motion. Each exercise has it's advantages and disadvantages. In other words, do them both on different days for maximum versatility and muscle growth.

Again, your position on the stability ball should stable with a straight back, legs shoulder-width apart and feet facing forward. Hold the barbell with an underhand grip and place it on your thighs for the initial curling position.

Curl the barbell toward your chest and exhale.. Once the barbell nears your chest, hold that position for about 2 seconds and then lower down the barbell to initial position. Remember not to make contact with the thighs when you lower down the barbell! This forces you to maintain appropriate eccentric motion through the exercise. The entire movement should be performed without making contact with the chest or thights. Keep the barbell in the air!

Of course, using dumbbells will use a slightly different movement. You will want to hang the weights to your sides with your palms facing forward. Similarly to many others, curl the weights either simultaneously or individually towards the chest (without making contact).

You can also vary the initial starting position of the dumbbells to involve the rotator cuff and chest muscles. Simply start with your palms facing outward (thumbs pointed behind you) and initiate the biceps curl from that position. This adds variety and complexity to the workout!

Step 1: Sit on the stability ball, grab the barbell with an underhanded grip and place it on your thighs.

Step 2: Curl the bar towards your chest without making contact.

Step 3: Lower the bar toward your thighs without making contact. Maximize the eccentric motion!

Some Tips for the Biceps Curl

  • The elbow joint should be the only movable part in this exercise. Do not overdo the weights! I know you want to show off in front of the girls at the gym, but, if I were you, I'd rather beat my competition than join them in an arm cast.

  • Remember to keep your back straight at all times! You want to isolate the biceps muscle! It will be difficult to explain how you hurt your back while doing a biceps curl. Just avoid it altogether.

  • As I've advocated throughout this site, variety is key. Most importantly, you don't necessarily need to rush to the internet to look up more exercises. Make your own! Create your own weight training program, the SMART WAY!

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