Nothing draws attention to your physique more than a pair of sleeve splitting arms. I’m sure we’ve all heard people being asked to flex their muscles, and they never have to ask which ones.
Unfortunately, achieving a pair all of your own is easier said than done. Otherwise, you’d likely see every guy you walked past sporting them.
It wasn’t just a few sets of basic curls that helped Hulk Hogan build those 24-inch pythons, brother.
If you really want to earn a set of biceps you can be proud of, you need to hit them from every angle, using every tool at your disposal.
That brings me to the focus of today’s article, the lost art of the incline inner bicep curl.
A strong favorite among bodybuilders since the days of Arnold Schwarzenegger, I’ll explain exactly what they are, how to do them, and why you should definitely be including them in your routine.
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Incline Inner Bicep Curl Muscles Worked
This may seem a tad obvious given the name of the exercise, but the primary muscle you will be working on is the inner bicep.
This is known as the short head of the biceps and is largely responsible for creating their thickness, as opposed to the long head on the outside, which is what provides their height or “peak”.
As with all bicep exercises, it will work the long head at the same time, as well as the brachioradialis and flexor muscles in the forearms. These will just be worked to a lesser degree than the short head.
All decent workout programs target the biceps in one way or another. But the Ultimate Arms Program by Athlean-X can ensure that no area of your biceps gets left behind, helping to sculpt massive peaks.
How to Do Incline Inner Bicep Curls
1. Get yourself a bench and position the backrest to around 45 degrees. While most benches these days have the angle noted on them, it should be halfway between fully upright and horizontal if yours doesn’t.
2. If your bench allows, adjust the seat until it is perpendicular to the backrest. While not essential, it will provide a more comfortable and better-supported position to lift from.
3. Begin by sitting on the bench with a dumbbell in each hand. You want your back and head resting firmly against the backrest. Your upper arms should be hanging back behind your body.
Now, this is where the inner bicep variation starts to differ from a traditional incline curl.
4. Instead of keeping your forearms by your body like you normally would, twist them outwards. You want them as far out as you can get them while being careful not to over-stretch your shoulders.
This is what makes the move target the inner portion of your biceps. Whenever you twist your arms away from your body to curl, it’s the inner bicep. And if you want to target the outer portion, twist your arms in, so you are curling in front of your body.
5. Make sure that your upper arms are still by your sides and gently twist your wrists outwards to bring your thumbs slightly closer to the floor.
6. Now, raise the weight by contracting your biceps. Try not to curl your wrist towards you, as this shifts some of the impetus to the forearms.
7. When you reach the very top of the curl, squeeze your biceps as hard as you can for a second, before lowering them back to full extension.
Incline Inner Bicep Curls Benefits
Incredible Inner Isolation
The first benefit of this type of curl is the isolation of your inner bicep. While people often know how to isolate individual muscles, it can be much more challenging to isolate certain parts within a muscle group.
If you’re finding the outer head of your biceps is growing at a much faster rate than the inner, adding these, or any curl where your arms are away from your body, for that matter, will allow them to remove the disparity relatively quickly.
Stretching Your Mental and Physical Muscles
Another benefit of these (and any variation of incline curls) is the fact that it allows the biceps to fully extend at the start of each rep.
People may not realize it, but the origin of the biceps is actually over your shoulder joint.
That means it’s not possible to fully extend your biceps without bringing your arms behind your body as you do in incline curls.
The benefit of curling from the full extension is twofold.
Firstly, a muscle contracting from a fully stretched position does so with more power.
This makes for a stronger movement, which can lift more weight and, in turn, enable the muscle to grow at a faster rate.
The other benefit of curling from the full extension is that it allows you to train the muscle through the fullest range of motion possible. This ensures that every portion of the muscle is getting trained and leads to fuller development.
Taking a Seat
The final benefit of an incline curl is that it is done from a seated position. This makes for a much stricter movement, as when standing, there is much more room for momentum or slight cheating to occur.
While this may mean you cannot move quite as much weight, it ensures all of the strain is placed directly on the biceps. This makes it much easier to fully fatigue a muscle, which is the fastest way to make it grow.
While this may seem a very specific exercise, it’s definitely a good tool to have in your arsenal.
Even if you don’t feel you need it now, you may not realize just how much more you could be achieved when you incorporate it into your workout.
There’s also no telling when you may start to develop an imbalance or even just the desire to bring your inner biceps up a bit. Knowing how to quickly resolve those issues before they get too big is much more efficient than trying to fix them after the fact.
Additionally, understanding exactly how and why it achieves the things it does will enable you to adapt to the other parts of your bicep routine using the same principles.
Now, with your new-found knowledge, there should be nothing standing between you and a set of biceps that would make even the Hulkster himself proud.