Working your Biceps and Triceps

January 22, 2010 // Al Kavadlo

Gun showAnyone can get tickets, but if you want to be IN the gun show, you gotta earn it!

The biceps curl is one of the most popular and famous exercises that there is, but that doesn’t mean that it’s the most efficient.

Personally, I prefer compound exercises like pull-ups and rows. Funny thing is, if you do pull-ups or rows, you’re already doing bicep curls.

Think about the motion your arm does when you do a curl. Now think about a pull-up. The same activity is happening at the elbow joint: flexion.

The only difference is that when you do a pull-up or a row, you’re also working the muscles of your back and shoulders. That sounds more efficient to me. There are so many variations on pull-ups and rows (such as the Australian pull-up) that you can keep yourself busy for a while without having to concern yourself with isolating your biceps.

You can do pushups at home.  It's no big deal.

You can do pushups at home. It's no big deal.

Triceps extensions are pretty much the same story.

The triceps muscles are activated any time you extend the lower half of your arm away from the top half.

If you do compound movements like push-ups, overhead presses, and dips, you work your triceps PLUS a whole slew of other muscles.

Pullovers are another great triceps exercise. (Plus they work many other muscles!)

In the world of bodybuilding/training for pure aesthetics, I will grant that curls and tricep extentions have their place. (Bodybuilders still do pull-ups, too, though!)

However, if performance is a higher priority, then you’re better off focusing on compound movements. Don’t worry–you’ll still be able to get into the gun show!