I would like you to share three tips for improving two lifts that you often see being done incorrectly.
The lifts are as follows:
– Curls (Dumbbell, Barbell etc)
– Pull Ups
Interesting choices of exercises, right. I have given advice and critique on squats, deadlifts and various other large compound movements over they years but there are plenty more that catch my attention and the two above are almost always done poorly.
*Record all your form and you will see what you’re doing wrong, you can also feel free to post it in here for feedback. Don’t be afraid of critique, your ego might get bruised but at least you won’t end up on a GymFails video on youtube.
Here are my tips for these lifts.
Corrections for Curling:
1 – Utilise 80 degree seated curls to help reduce unwanted momentum on dumbbell curls. Keep your body tight and focus on smooth controlled reps with no swinging, tempting as it might be. You can stand against the edge of a wall for barbell curls to help reduce momentum, just make sure your back stays against the wall and your hips don’t creep forwards.
2 – TEMPO TEMPO TEMPO! A decent PT I know used to say “Go slow to grow” to his clients so that they would have a focus on increasing TUT (time under tension) and for isolation movements such as curls I couldn’t agree more. Try using a 6-0-3-0 tempo and just watch how your form improves.
3 – Lighten the load and CONTRACT the target muscle with everything you have, too many people go far heavier than they should on this particular exercise and as a result use momentum and forget to contract the target muscle. Don’t be one of them.
Bonus – Use fat grips or thick bars to get some extra arm gains.
Pull Up Priorities:
1 – Full ROM every rep. This means you start from a dead hang (arms straight) then you pull your chin up and over the bar (ideally try and get your chest to the bar if possible), that’s one rep. A lot of people do half reps and cut short their ROM and the top or bottom end of the exercise, don’t be one of them. If you can only do 2 strict reps in a row that’s okay, just do multiple sets of two.
2 – Stop kipping/flailing, you’re not a salmon. This style of pull up has become popular over the years but unless you’re competing in an activity that allows them then they’re best left out of your training. Avoid this by pausing at both the top and bottom of the pull/chin up (1-2 seconds at each point). It’s also worth keeping your abs braced (as if you’re about to be punched) and pinching your glutes hard, this will also help reduce momentum.
3 – Avoid too much protraction at the top. Yep, it can happen, usually because the person doing the movement hasn’t activated their back correctly and retracted their scapula at the start of the movement, you see it in seated rows as well, the person impressively/unfortunately is rounding forwards in a pulling movement. Rectify this by practicing dead hangs and pulling your scapula back and down – https://www.exercise.com/exerci…/hanging-scapular-retraction – incase you’re not sure what I mean.
Bonus – Improve your pull ups by following Pavel’s GTG – https://docs.google.com/…/1oIB-V4m26GwYkbyw_tSKsQlbxs…/edit…
I know there are plenty more teaching points that can be said for Pull Ups/Curls but those three are the most common I give.