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For tons of guys, the best part of an arm day workout is the finisher. You could pump through dumbbell curls, hammer curls, barbell curls — obviously the big theme here is curls — and you’re probably burning out on reps to feel that incomparable bicep pump.
There’s nothing wrong with ripping though curls (as long as you’re using proper form, of course), but you can finish off your without all that blind volume. Men’s Health Fitness Director Ebenezer Samuel, C.S.C.S., mixes up his bicep finishers by flipping the script to focus on tension — and literally flipping his dumbbells.
To perform the finishing circuit, you’ll need a pair of dumbbells. Don’t get overambitious and pick up anything super heavy, though. Samuel only works with 25-pound dumbbells himself when he does the workout, and advises everyone to work at a weight 10-pounds below what they might use for a standard curl. The motions might feel familiar to start, but that will change fast when you start to feel the tension.
- Curl up with both arms, working to maintain that perpendicular-to-the-ground upper arm position.
- Squeeze, then lower the weight down halfway, with your elbows locked at a 90-degree angle.
- Do 1 slow turnover-and-back, then shift to hammer curl position (weights parallel) and descend.
Next rep, repeat the series, but perform 2 turnover-and-backs. After that, do 3 turnover-and-backs — then continue ascending the ladder, going as high as you can until your form falls apart.
“You’re building and escalating time-under-tension from that forearm-parallel-to-the-ground position again, then adding a little eccentric brachialis work,” Samuel says. “The mid-rep twist creates an opportunity to perfect and learn your supination, helping to build bicep peaks. Your arms also have to stabilize against the movement of those twists.”
Once your arms can’t take any more reps in that first set, you’re not done. Perform two more sets for a total of three to really finish off your arms and get a bicep pump you won’t soon forget.
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