Vivian Grisogono

ELBOW FLEXION / BICEPS CURL

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Benefits: Strengthens the front-arm muscles (mainly biceps and brachialis) concentrically, against gravity, and eccentrically, in the direction of gravity. Maintains a full range of functional movement in the muscles. Helps protect the elbow against degenerative change. Counteracts the effects of using the arms in the bent position for long periods, as in typing, hand writing and sewing.

Position: Standing or sitting, with back straight, head up; or, preferably, sitting on a bench with a slanted backrest, with your head and back supported; arms by your sides, palms facing forwards.
Movement: Bend your elbows to bring your hands towards your shoulders, then slowly straighten your elbows to lower the hands. If one side is particularly weak, exercise one arm at a time, and do more repetitions on the weaker side.
Progression: Use light weights in your hands, and gradually increase the weights as you get stronger. If one arm is much weaker than the other, use the weights on that side only until it becomes stronger  and balances with the other side.
Repetitions and frequency: 5-10 times, 1-2 times a day.
Note: Avoid pain. Breathe normally. Keep your back and head still, and try not to look down at your hands. As the biceps are strong anti-gravity muscles, they strengthen quickly in normal circumstances, and can easily bulk up and shorten if you fail to do the full range of movement. So make sure you straighten out your elbows on each movement. Don’t use weights which are too heavy: if your back moves while you do the exercise, it means you need lighter weights.
After injury: Vital after any injury involving the front of the shoulder, arm or elbow, as soon as recovery permits.

More in this category: SHOULDER ROTATION STRETCH »