How To: Tricep Kickback (Dumbbell)

Today we are going to go over a bicep dumbbell curl. The first thing that we want to talk about when we are doing a bicep dumbbell curl is posture. We are going to start off with a standing bicep curl, although you can do these in a seated position. Why I like to teach them in a standing position is because I like to put my clients in a unique stance. When you do a bicep curl, the main function is flexion at the elbow; any other movement in the rest of the body is unnecessary and will take away work from the bicep and other muscles will take over. The position that we get into is very important. So what that looks like is we want to take the shoulders in a retracted position. The reason why this is so important is that already most people have this issue where they have a rounded shoulder and when they go to do bicep curls what ends up happening is that the front of their shoulder starts to kick into the movement which is why some people feel this in their shoulder. So what I want to do is retract the shoulders back, peel the elbows back by my side when I do this bicep curl. Once I come to this position here, my bicep is fully flexed. Any more movement, look where the dumbbell would end up being right there, any more movement from here to here is now shoulder flexion which is not working my bicep. So you don’t need to take this all the way to the top of your chin like some people do. All you want to do is take it all the way up to full flexion. You will feel the bicep fully flexed, the shoulders still in that retracted position. In order to get the dumbbell any higher, I would have to roll the shoulder forward and then the shoulder takes over — we don’t want that. So I’m going to start you guys off in a standing position and we are actually getting in to what we call a “split stance”. And in the split stance I am going to shift my weight on to my front foot and my back foot is on my toe. The purpose of this and why I love to teach this to clients is because this creates a little instability. And when it creates instability it kind of forces you into good posture. Just an old trainer trick that we used to do. When you have somebody that is lifting dumbbells and they are rocking and they are moving it will throw them off balance. This kind of forces them into good posture. So I’ll take a client, I’ll put them in a split stance, weights on the front foot, I’ll tell them to take their shoulders in a retracted position, and their elbows by their side. I also like them to imagine that you have a pin that goes through your elbow, in through your side, and out the other, and that it has to move on that axis. You never want that elbow to move from that point of axis. So it stays pinned right by the side the entire movement. Alright, now lets talk about range of motion. One of the most common mistakes that I see people doing is either shortening their range of motion too much or going to far when they do a curl. Now I kind of touched on this a minute ago when I talked on the position of the elbow being pinned on your side and this is how high you need to go up. You don’t need to go any higher then this. Common mistake I see is the rocking of the elbows and the shoulders. That’s too far. You don’t need to curl all the way up. It doesn’t mean that is wrong or its bad. It just means that youre going to incorporate other muscles that you may to be trying to work. And your trying to develop your bicep and thats our main focus, then we are just trying to get right to the top and squeeze the bicep. Now the other mistake that I see people do is that they catch it at the bottom. You see I have a ten degree bend at my elbow. You can open up and fully extend the arms. You’ve heard people talk about don’t lock the joints out. It is completely safe to lock the joints out if you keep tension in the muscle. What do I mean by that? It means when I come all the way down, I don’t relax my bicep and let the joints take the weight. I want to keep the biceps tense. This is probably where people get that 10 degree bend where they are constantly tensing the bicep. But you can actually open all the way up, fully extend, but still be mentally concentrating and keeping tension in the bicep. So we want to take the arms through its fullest range of motion, open it all the way up, and come all the way up to a squeeze without rocking the elbow or the shoulder. So full range of motion, looks just like this. Shoulders are peeled back, elbows are back, all the way up into that flexed position and I am squeezing that bicep at the top. Right there I am at full flexion of the bicep. Any more of this is now shoulders getting involved to get there. So full range, all the way down by my side. Alright now lets talk about alternating dumbbell curls or pronating or supinating the wrist while you do the curls. Now these are great little variations that you can throw into your dumbbell curls. There is not one that is better or worse then the other. But I do like to incorporate some sort of pronation or supination into the curl. Meaning this. So when I come up to a curl. Some people will start in a neutral position and they will come up and curl and they rotate their wrists out, leading with their pinkies as they come up and then rotate back down. Now, you are not getting any more bicep work like that, you incorporate a little bit more of the bracchiealis when you have neutral grip, which is just a muscle that runs underneath the bicep. You will hear a lot of bros talk about that makes the bicep look bigger and meatier because it is a muscle that runs underneath because it creates size underneath and pushes the bicep out. So yeah, it is a great idea to incorporate some sort of alternating or supinating every now and then. Or you can just incorporate hammer curls, and you can get that same effect on your bracchealis. The other thing is alternating the dumbbells back in forth. There is not a real difference between doing both dumbbells together and alternating. The only real difference is that when I alternate I come up here, this dumbbell by the other side is at rest. So I typically can lift more weight when I alternate because I get a little bit more rest in between reps versus doing both of them together. This is going to be a little more challenging. I like to incorporate both of them into my routine, both are great to incorporate. Alright lets talk about how do I know if I’m doing this right or wrong. You’ll know your doing it wrong when you don’t feel it in your bicep. When we are doing an insolation exercise or a single joint movement, it is pretty challenging to not feel it in the right muscle. You should feel this in the bicep. If you do feel this in other muscles, the most common one are probably the front of your shoulders and sometimes your traps. Now that is a dead giveaway that you are rolling your shoulders forward and you are getting this movement and swinging with the elbows. That’s actually really common when people are challenging themselves with weight, they tend to use momentum, they throw it up, and the elbows start to rock. When you start to really notice it in the elbows or the traps you know the muscles are starting to take over and you are not getting much benefit in the bicep. So when you do feel that, retract the shoulders, keep the elbows back. This is where I like to talk about tempo. This is where tempo becomes really important. Sure you can do faster of slower tempos. But when I like to teach this movement, I like to teach you a four second negative, nice and slow and controlled, until you open all the way up, and then you come up one to two seconds. Four seconds on the way down, one to two on the way up. Now when you do that it helps control the weight, it helps you keeps from swinging the dumbbells up and down and incorporating other muscles. Alright if that video helped you guys out make sure you guys like, subscribe, and share. Also if you guys had other questions about the cues, just leave them in the comments we will be coming back periodically to answer your questions. Also if you liked the information in this video you can go to or click the link below. الإنجليزية  

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