Achieve Your Ideal Physique - My Favorite Movement for Biceps
Posted on July 21, 2015 at 12:00 AM
Gym scenery is similar everywhere; specifically, the free weight area is always full of people doing bicep curls. I know this because I used to be one of them. I think each of us has a muscle group that responds well to weight training, and one or two that tend to lag. Biceps have always been a lagging muscle group for me. When I began training as a figure competitor, I tried countless variations of curls. Not only was it boring, I also felt that I didn't use my time in the gym effectively.
After reading a few articles on how to build biceps I came across chin-ups. I began incorporating chin-ups into my program twice a week, and started to see improvements within a few weeks! Most of us are familiar with the standard chin-up which is performed with an underhand close grip (palms facing the body). It can be tough to work up to multiple sets of this exercise, and it's also challenging to focus on just the biceps when you start to fatigue and other muscle groups take over. Fortunately the Smith machine plank chin-up offers the perfect variation! This is my favorite bicep exercise because you have the ability to adjust the bar height and see your biceps firing with each rep, making it easier to establish the mind-muscle connection.
How to do a Smith machine plank chin-up:
Normally I set the bar at about hip-height and my grip width varies each time. Varying the width of your grip helps to engage different parts of the biceps. With your body in a plank position, focus on pulling your chest up to the bar with just your biceps. Hold yourself at the bar for one second. This will further ensure that you're engaging your biceps. Slowly lower yourself down, focusing on just using your biceps. Don’t forget to watch your muscles engage throughout the exercise to establish the mind-muscle connection. Check out the corresponding video for more detailed instructions!
Muscle fatigue is highly likely when performing exercises like chin-ups. To help your body push through the last few reps and recover faster I recommend PEAK ATP®. PEAK ATP® gives me the power to get those last few reps in, and that's where we make the biggest physique improvements!
Thank you for reading! Until next time, train hard, y'all!
- Erin Stern