biceps are the showpiece muscles of your physique.
Well-developed biceps really stand out. To maximally
develop the bicep muscles, you need to apply tension
to them in three distinct areas of their range
of motion (if you are familiar with Steve Holman's
"Positions of Flexion" training, you'll
recognize these areas). Most bicep exercises work
only one area at a time. The Squatting Cable Curl
exercise you are about to learn works all three
first area is the stretch position.
position is worked in exercises that place the
most tension on the muscle when it's stretched.
This could be dumbell flyes for the chest or,
for the biceps, incline curls. The body position
of the incline curl (you lying on an incline bench
with your arms hanging straight down) puts a stretch
on the biceps muscle at the start of the movement.
second area is the mid-range.
is basically just the middle of the movement.
Exercises that have most of their tension placed
in the middle of the movement work the mid-range.
For the biceps, this could be standing barbell
or dumbell curls. You'll notice that they are
hardest when you are halfway through the movement
(90 degree bend in the elbows).
third area is the contracted position.
that have the majority of their tension when the
muscle is contracted, such as concentration curls
for the biceps, work this third area.
separately, each of these three areas contributes
to full development of the muscle. For example,
if you wanted to do a bicep routine based on this
theory, you could do one set of incline curls,
two sets of barbell curls, then one set of concentration
curls. This routine would ensure you are working
all three tension-areas of the bicep.
what if I told you there was an exercise you could
do that would work all three of these areas at
once? Each of the three movements I referred to
above lose tension in the biceps at some point
because of gravity and the positioning of the
resistance. There is zero tension in the biceps
at the bottom of the concentration curl. This
factor decreases the effectiveness of the individual
Squatting Cable Curl solves this tension-loss
problem neatly and easily. First, I'll explain
how to do it, then I'll tell you exactly how and
why it works.
To Do Squatting Cable Curls:
do this exercise, you will need a low pulley and
a curl bar attachment (it can be the straight
or cambered bar).
the bar to the low pulley and set a weight that
is somewhat less than what you'd use for standing
all the way down (with your butt down on your
heels) and grasp the bar with a regular curl grip.
Rest the top sections of your forearms on the
tops of your knees. Take a small step back so
that the plates on the weight stack are raised
up (you need to have tension at the bottom of
the movement). You are going to be using your
knees then your elbows as the pivot points for
arms are straight in this position, you
should notice that your biceps are getting
stretched. The weight is pulling foward
and down while your knees are bracing your
does require a bit of balance, especially
when you are first getting used to it.
the curling movement, rolling your forearms
up and over your knees. This rolling pivot
point changes the angle of tension on the
biceps all the way through the movement.
your forearms roll up and over the top of
your knees, the pivot point will then move
to your elbows. This will again change the
angle of tension of the exercise.
movement, curling the bar up as close to
your face as possible. Squeeze the biceps
hard at the top. You should feel an extremely
powerful contraction at this point as your
biceps have had tension on them for the
the feeling of the contraction, you can
lean your body back somewhat (as though
you are about to roll backwards).
reverse the sequence, rolling your forearms up
and over your knees again. Get a stretch at the
bottom (with your arms completely straight and
the weight pulling on the biceps) then repeat.
and Why The Squatting Cable Curl Works:
Squatting Cable Curl works by using the cable
and your body parts and positioning to apply variable
tension to the biceps. It applies tension to the
biceps during all three areas of the movement:
stretch, mid-range and contracted positions.
the very beginning of the movement, when your
knees are pushing your elbows up and the weight
is pulling your hands down, you are getting a
strong biceps stretch. By applying tension to
the biceps, i.e. curling the weight, you hit the
your forearms roll over your knees, the biomechanics
of the movement change. You are now applying direct
tension in the mid-range of the exercise. The
best part is, because you are rolling your forearms
over your knees, the angle of pull is constantly
changing. This means you are getting direct tension
on the many different angles of the mid-range
you come to the point where your forearms roll
completely off your knees and you begin pivoting
from your elbows only, you are focusing on the
contracted position. At this point, you can maximize
the tension of the contraction by consciously
squeezing the biceps hard and pulling the bar
as close as you can to your face.
of the bonuses of this exercise is the fact that
your arms are braced against your legs throughout
the movement. This effectively prevents any cheating
due to body or arm movement. This bracing forces
strict form, which makes the biceps do all the
work in the exercise.
"evolving-tension" movement covers all
three of the major areas of muscular tension at
once. Your biceps get no break from the work at
any point in the movement. This continuous tension
during all angles and phases is an extremely effective
way to build the biceps.
Bring it on!
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