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honesty
4/06/2010 4:52am,
I saw this article over in elitfts: http://articles.elitefts.com/training-articles/biceps-blowout-a-case-for-biceps-curls/

The article suggests that bicep curls are a needed part of any workout programme to develop tendon strength in line with muscle strength developed through compound lifts.

What do you guys think on this?

My first question would be why do bicep curls develop tendons, where as it seems to imply that compound lifts do not. What about pull ups etc.?

Emevas
4/06/2010 7:14am,
It's more in regards to elbow flexion. A lot of folks end up with tendonitis of the elbows as a result of a lack of curls or tricep extension work. That said, most folks have been doing bicep curls for years before they got into any sort of serious training, so they tend to be pretty good, haha.

Kickapoo
4/06/2010 7:52am,
It's more in regards to elbow flexion. A lot of folks end up with tendonitis of the elbows as a result of a lack of curls or tricep extension work. That said, most folks have been doing bicep curls for years before they got into any sort of serious training, so they tend to be pretty good, haha.

So is there any real credibility to me needing bicep curls in my routine? I'm on Stronglift 5x5 (version 3) and its my only serious lifting in my life, but back in the day my bicep curl used to be (a lot, proportionately) higher then my benchpress. Should I be okay?

CoffeeFan
4/06/2010 9:14am,
I don't buy it. If your doing compound movements that place stress on the biceps tendon then it will adapt and get stronger, so long as your getting proper rest and nutrition. 5x5 includes chin ups, which place adequate stress on the biceps so unless your noticing some joint issues in your elbow I would say your fine.

Odacon
4/06/2010 2:02pm,
Chin ups are a much better exercise.

Emevas
4/06/2010 10:07pm,
Chin ups are a much better exercise.

I wouldn't say so in terms of a pre-hab movement, which is more what this is getting at.

For a beginner trainee, you can get away without direct arm work for a long time. When you start lifting heavier numbers, you'll more than likely want to start training some elbow flexion work.

On my routine I do 1-2 of curls at the end of one training day and 1-2 sets of band pushdowns at the end of another. If I go too long without doing these, my elbows will be in pain, but it takes very little volume to stay out of pain.

Burnsey
4/10/2010 8:11pm,
For a beginner trainee, you can get away without direct arm work for a long time. When you start lifting heavier numbers, you'll more than likely want to start training some elbow flexion work.


As a beginner trainee, what point would say its time to think about curls or extensions? When you start feeling pain in the elbows? I understand I'm a long way away, still I like to be prepared.

Just as a side note I'm on stronglifts atm.

Kentucky Fried Chokin
4/10/2010 9:46pm,
Is there a particular intensity for developing the tendon?

Emevas
4/11/2010 9:32am,
As a beginner trainee, what point would say its time to think about curls or extensions? When you start feeling pain in the elbows? I understand I'm a long way away, still I like to be prepared.

Just as a side note I'm on stronglifts atm.

Yeah, pain would be an indication, or simply when you move onto a more advanced program that allows for direct arm work.

As for particular intensity, I go light. For band pushdowns, I use a light band and go for a 100 reps total. For curls, somewhere in the 8-15 range.

CarlosJesena
4/11/2010 10:10am,
1.) They are a very good exercise, especially for grapplers. They are not ESSENTIAL, though.
2.) Read this http://www.tmuscle.com/free_online_article/sports_body_training_performance/unconventional_workout_biceps

Emevas
4/11/2010 10:16am,
I think what people need to realize is that elitefts is a powerlifting website. If you're looking to bench 500lbs and deadlift 800lbs, you need to be doing some curls for prehab. Same with if you want to be a strongman, or do any other strength athletics. For a combat athlete, they aren't as essential, as you're doing a large degree of pulling. For your regular gym rat, they're probably essential at some point, just because you're not engaging in any other regular athletics.

I don't really see a need for going too unconventional for a prehab movement.

CarlosJesena
4/12/2010 3:08am,
I think what people need to realize is that elitefts is a powerlifting website. If you're looking to bench 500lbs and deadlift 800lbs, you need to be doing some curls for prehab. Same with if you want to be a strongman, or do any other strength athletics. For a combat athlete, they aren't as essential, as you're doing a large degree of pulling. For your regular gym rat, they're probably essential at some point, just because you're not engaging in any other regular athletics.

I don't really see a need for going too unconventional for a prehab movement.

True. I was just trying to make a point that bicep curls aren't necessarily useless.

Emevas
4/12/2010 10:17am,
Ah, I got the opposite impression from your post, haha.

Cayvmann
4/13/2010 12:05pm,
I would vote for a couple or few sets of curls and press downs per week. I've been lifting off and on for 30+ years and I have less elbow problems when I include some kind of curl and press downs. Not necessarily all out work, just heavy-ish with good form on the curls and reps with the press downs, like Emevas suggests.

A couple of months ago, I started working some prescribed workouts that left out curls and now my elbows are feeling it.

tyciol
4/17/2010 12:38pm,
The main benefit to bicep curls I could see is that the motion looks more similar to putting someone in one of those choke holds like how Dolph Ziggler just wiped out R Truth last night with (epic push for Morrison to avenge).

Furthermore, if someone is trying to do some kind of 'drop set' scheme to totally wipe out their muscles, I guess if you got to the point where you couldn't even do BW pushups any more and only had dumbbells and no kind of assisted chin or lat pulldown device, then you could do dumbbell rows and triceps kickbacks to work your lats and curls to work your biceps.

Plus, curls stress your wrist flexion more directly. I think doing chins increases your wrist flexion a lot since your finger flexors are also wrist flexors but there are also other muscles like: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flexor_carpi_radialis_muscle

Although, since there's other stuff like wrist curls, rollers, etc. it's just one of a bunch of options. Doing elbow curls works wrist flexion isometrically as opposed to actually moving the wrist like you do in a curl targetting it.

Probably hammer curls or reverse curls are a more useful supplement to chins since most of us probably have shitty wrist extensor strength.

GIJoe6186
4/18/2010 12:05am,
I hate when people don't realize how curls are needed. They go from curl master, then find the light, do compound movements and shun curls forever.

Curls are great for helping you pull (any pulling movements), for grapplers it helps when you apply chokes, defend armbars and even body locks.

Even from a purley lifting point of view look at it this way. Most powerlifters include lots of tricep work for their bench. The same goes for your biceps when pulling. If you want to have a heavy row that uses the most of your back muscle you need to have a solid bicep to be able to handle that load. Theres nothing wrong with adding in 2-3 sets of curls after your main workout, just don't make it the focus.