When I do bicep curls and hammer curls, my forearm muscles usually get too sore for me to continue before I feel my biceps giving in. I am also aware that my forearm muscles have definitely got bigger quicker than my biceps. I do alternating dumbell curls, turning the dumbell 90 degrees through the movement and then I do hammer curls. Before I get to the biceps I have already done various pulldowns and rows which I know will use the arms.
Can anyone advise me if my form may be wrong or if I should be isolating my biceps some other way - maybe even doing them with other body parts other than the back? Also can anyone give me any exercise variations to help isolate the biceps? BTW, my arms have always been weak and my triceps are currently a fair bit stronger than my biceps.
Well to tell you the truth, when you workout your upper body your always hitting your biceps because they do allot of work. You can't really isolate them except by do curls and chin ups. Since your forearms really burn you may be using too heavy of a weight. I think the closest you can get to isolating the bicep is cable curls, and possibly concentration curls. I may be wrong. Good Luck
I like concentration curls. Also I switched and now do my biceps with my chest routine and triceps with my back routine so I have more strength in my biceps because they get hit pretty good from doing my back but are pretty much at full strength after doing my chest. As for your forearms it's always easier on my forearms to be doing bicep exercises with dumbells rather than with a barebell.
Keep Pumping...see what happens
Hammer curls primarily work the sides of the forearms, not the biceps, so it's normal for your forearms to get tired.
In any case, here's my advice. Very low weight, very high rep, perfect form barbell curls. Hold the barbell so that your arms are by your sides as straight as possible, forearms straight out from them to your grip on the bar. I use 20-40 pounds for 50+ reps. This allows me to demonstrate perfect form and concentrate on isolation of the biceps. You can also do them single arm, with dumbells.
TWilliams82 - does that mean that you start with upper arms by your side, elbows bent at 90 degrees and arms holding the bar in front of your stomach? Or do you start with completely straight arms, arms as close to straight up and down as possible, with the bar just in front of your hips?
My favorite curl workout sounds weak until you try it.
I do curls in the following manner
Hold your hand out like you're going to do a regular curl do 2 regular curls
then turn your thumb inward 45 degrees, the half way point between a regular curl and a hammer curl, do 2 of them.
2 hammer curls
2 curls at the next 45 degree angle
then 2 reverse curls.
Do it in a smooth 10 reps like any other curl workout.
sounds wimpy, but try it. provide a good workout, and works out a lot more muscles than regular curls.
Forarms are worked out in a proper curl, because it's the forearm that brings your hand down from the curl position (as well as triceps) so if you're doing the proper smooth and slow movement both up and down, then you're working out your whole arm (minus your wrist flexors, keep that wrist stable!!!)
>>>>TWilliams82 - does that mean that you start with upper arms by your side, elbows bent at 90 degrees and arms holding the bar in front of your stomach? Or do you start with completely straight arms, arms as close to straight up and down as possible, with the bar just in front of your hips?<<<
Sorry, I didn't make it clear enough. I meant at 90 degrees or so, or slightly lower. The most important thing is that your elbows line up with your wrists and that your shoulders are directly above your elbows.
Thanks for the feedback people. I have used the barbell when increasing weights so I might try them and/or concentration curls (maybe alternating them with each workout), then follow them with hammer curls for the forearms. One problem at my gym is that all fixed dumbells go up 2.5kg each after 10kg while the fixed barbells only go up in 2.5kg total bar weight - and trying to increase your lift by 20% or 25% is a big jump for anyone.
I will see if I can make any progress keeping them with by back exercises, if not I will try doing my biceps onto my chest days and my triceps onto my back days and to see if that helps.