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Bicep curls are a type of bicep isolation resistance training exercise. Find out what bicep curl accessories can make this exercise even more effective.
Bicep curls are an exercise where you hold a form of resistance in your hands and fold your arms at the elbows while keeping your upper arm in the same position.
The minimum equipment for bicep curls is some form of resistance. Often bicep exercise equipment options like dumbbells, a barbell, or an EZ curl bar are used.
Besides that, there are also a few bicep curl accessories that can help you make the exercise more effective. Depending on your training goals and budget this can make certain of the pieces of fitness equipment below a worthwhile investment.
1. Arm blaster
The main point of the bicep curl exercise is to isolate your bicep muscles. Even so, while folding your arms with heavy weights in your hands it can be easy to unintentionally move your upper arms too.
This can lead to less focus on your bicep muscles and in turn less muscle gain.
One of the bicep curl and dumbbell accessories that can help you avoid this is the arm blaster. An arm blaster is a pad of strong material that hangs down from your shoulders on which you can put your upper arms while doing a bicep curl.
In turn, the arm blaster makes it so it becomes easier to not move your upper arms and isolate your bicep muscles.
A benefit of arm blasters is that they are relatively cheap, especially compared to some of the other bicep curl accessories.
One potential downside is that some people find arm blasters uncomfortable compared to arm blaster alternatives. It can also take a bit of trial and error to find the right height setting for you personally.
2. Preacher curl bench
When talking about bicep exercises you will almost always hear the preacher curl exercise come up. This is no surprise, this is a popular version of the bicep curl because it is so effective at isolating bicep muscles.
There is a bicep curl accessory made for this specific exercise called a preacher bench. A preacher bench is basically a slanted surface with padding for comfort and a seat to sit on.
You put your upper arms on the pad so your biceps are the only muscles you can use to curl a weight up and down. Additionally being seated helps you avoid using other body parts like your legs to move the weight.
The preacher bench can be a highly effective equipment option for bicep curl variations.
A potential downside if you plan to get this piece of fitness equipment for your home gym is that it has a relatively steep price for such a specific training goal.
3. Resistance bands
Resistance bands are a type of fitness equipment that are basically elastic cords. You can use them as separate resistance for your bicep curls but also as an accessory on top of other free weights.
One of the downsides of using equipment like dumbbells, a barbell, or EZ curl bar is that the amount of resistance your biceps experience lowers drastically at the top of the movement.
Resistance bands work the opposite way. Their resistance increases as you stretch them out further.
You can combine resistance bands and other free weights to do bicep curls with more constant tension.
Some of the benefits of resistance bands are that they are relatively inexpensive, easy to store, and very portable. They can also be used in other exercises to train other muscles.
One downside is that resistance bands, even the best ones, are not the type of gym equipment you can use for the rest of your life. At least every few years you will need to replace the last set with new resistance bands.
Besides that, you may need a resistance band anchor for certain bicep exercises.
4. Incline weight bench
A weight bench is a type of padded bench that is a very standard piece of equipment at most gyms. This is not the first accessory people think of when hearing the words bicep exercises.
Even so, you can use an incline weight bench similar to a preacher bench. Simply put it at the desired angle, put your upper arm on the surface, and do your bicep curls.
The main benefit of choosing an adjustable weight bench is that you can use it for a variety of other exercises. Including different bicep curl variations.
So if you are putting together a home gym with a limited budget, a weight bench can serve as bicep curl equipment. Another benefit of a weight bench is that it generally lasts a long time.
A downside compared to a preacher bench is that the surface of the weight bench is a lot narrower. You likely need to train one arm at a time.
Another small downside is that you have to stand behind the weight bench instead of being seated like with a preacher bench.
When your arm leans on the weight bench it should be hard enough to use the rest of your body to lift the weight. Nonetheless not as hard as when you are seated.