Hometown: Cleveland, Ohio

What to Expect During Natalie’s Classes: My instructor journey began with yoga teacher training and I think that still heavily impacts all of the class formats I teach. It’s always my goal that students walk out of my classes feeling accomplished, a little lighter in the mind, and excited both about what they’ve accomplished as well as the constant room for continued growth.

Favorite Quote: “You’ve always had the power my dear, you just had to learn it for yourself” – Glinda from the Wizard of Oz. I thought I was Dorothy for a significant part of my childhood and this one has always stuck out to me.

Outside ENRGi: I work in digital marketing, volunteer with dogs, spend lots of time exploring the city with friends and going to a lot of movies with my sister.

Guilty Pleasure: If I HAVE to pick just one – cheeseburgers (with a beer and fries on the side and maybe also a pizza).

Whether you want to build strength or just want to look great in a tank top (or both), you’ll have to pay attention to bicep exercises. But doing the movements correctly is more important than inventing new ways to do the exercises.

To get the most out of your upper-body workouts, choose not to use a barbell, but to pick up dumbbells and do exercises on a power bench.
Why the barbell is not the most effective tool for pumping the biceps

All biceps exercises can be effective, but some provoke the athlete to make common mistakes. Exercises with a barbell bar are just such, according to a professional coach from New York, Samuel Chan. And here’s why:

1. We tend to swing the barbell while moving

Swinging the barbell is one of the most common mistakes in biceps exercises that Chan sees in people. The use of momentum when lifting the bar causes the elbows to move to the sides, which relieves the load on the biceps.

To correct this error, it is necessary to reduce the weight until it is possible to perform each repetition solely by the force of the biceps, and not by the momentum. Using a mirror will help you notice any unwanted movement of the elbows.

2. The range of motion is not effective

If there is no correct range — from a fully extended arm to a fully bent elbow — then there is no high efficiency, ” says Chan.

“The end of any movement, as a rule, is associated with the greatest weakness, and we do not always distribute the load correctly,” says Chan, noting that this is more often the case with the barbell.

“Fully flex and then fully extend your arms with each rep to get the most out of the bicep exercises,” he adds.

3. High load on the wrists

Finally, using a barbell can be burdensome on the wrist, causing pain or discomfort because you can’t bend your arms the way you normally would, says Chan.

Instead, Chan recommends using a barbell with a curved neck. It is more comfortable for the hands than a straight one. In the end, there are more convenient exercises.
3 effective exercises for working out the biceps

The best exercises will affect the upper arm at different angles, says Chan. Since the biceps is a two-muscle joint that crosses the elbow and shoulder, you can lift weights in different positions to achieve the best effect.

You need to choose exercises that load the maximum number of muscles. The more muscles you load, the stronger your biceps will become.

Choose a weight that will allow you to perform each exercise as efficiently as possible.
1. Flexing the arms with dumbbells in the standing position

Flexing the arms with dumbbells in the standing position

Training level: Beginner

Exercise: training with dumbbells

Load: hands

Stand with your feet hip-width apart, with dumbbells in each hand
Keep your back straight, elbows pressed to your sides. Pull the dumbbells up to your shoulders
Lower the dumbbells, keeping your elbows locked on your ribs

2. Spider movement

Spider movement

Training level: Intermediate

Exercise: training with dumbbells

Load: hands

Place the bench at an angle and take the dumbbells in your hands
Lie on the bench with your stomach, hanging your hands with the dumbbells down
With your elbows pressed to your sides, pull the dumbbells up to your shoulders
While controlling the load, lower your hands down

The Council

Start doing this exercise from a position where the arm is already bent, says Chan. This will allow you to maximize muscle tension more effectively.
3. Bending the arms on the bench with a tilt

Bending the arms on the bench with a tilt

Training level: Advanced

Exercise: training with dumbbells

Load: hands

Sit with dumbbells in your hands on an inclined bench, leaning against it with your back
Lock your heels and pull your shoulders back and down
With your elbows pressed to your sides, lift the dumbbells to your shoulders
While controlling the load, lower your hands down


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