Do you put in the time on your biceps and still run into plateaus and seeing results? In the fitness world, this is all too common for experienced lifters and for beginners alike.
You continue doing the same thing over and over, expecting you’ll get over that hump or that you’ll magically start seeing results. This is not the case.
You can put in the hard work every day, but at the end of the day, it is about working smarter along with working harder. That is where isometric exercises come in.
Isometric exercises are a great way to build muscle and they’re good for all fitness levels, even if you are advanced, you can benefit from adding isometrics to your workout routine.
Isometrics can help you break through any kind of plateau you are stuck in and helps you get past any struggling points you may have in your current routine.
When you add isometric exercises to the end of your bicep routine, you promote further growth.
You’ve heard the benefits of isometrics, but what exactly are isometrics.
The Mayo Clinic answers this question for us, “Isometric exercises are contractions of a particular muscle or group of muscles. During isometric exercises, the muscle doesn’t noticeably change length and the affected joint doesn’t move”.
So you are generally cutting out the lengthening and shortening part of the contraction because you hold your muscle of choice in a frozen position as it is contracted.
What a weighted hold does to a muscle is forces it to use all its muscle motor units to keep your muscle from lengthening and shortening, creating one heck of a muscle-building burn.
Isometrics for Biceps
When doing bicep training the idea is to work through a natural range of motion. A lot of people do an internal rotation with their shoulders, adding unnecessary stress to their joints and shoulders.
To fix that, you will want to be sitting up with good posture with your biceps and palms facing forward. A number of people struggle at the top of a bicep curl when they are using weight, so that is where we will focus our attention.
First, you will want to grab your dumbbell of choice and get yourself into the isometric position. Now, I would recommend going with a lighter weight to begin with until you perfect the exercise.
Sidenote: My favorite dumbbells are the Bowflex SelectTech Adjustable Weights.
Second, contract your biceps, lifting your forearms up. You will want to bring your forearms up until you reach the top of your bicep contraction.
If we held the weight in this position, we could probably be here for a while. So, to really emphasize on the bicep, slightly bend over, keeping your bicep contracted and holding the weight in place, this is your starting point.
When you do this you are fighting the weight of the dumbbell and the gravity pulling it down, forcing more muscle motor units to fire up.
Now that you have the form, get into position with your weight and hold that form for 30 seconds.
Isometric Bicep Contractions
The goal of this isometric exercise is to squeeze your biceps as hard as you can while holding your weight in position for 30 seconds. Then once you finish your first set, take a 60-second break.
Okay, the first set, piece of cake, second and third set? This is where things get harder.
Maybe you flew through your first set, maybe not, but the second and third set is where you really want to find a position where you can contract the hardest. This means you will need to bend further down or back up to find it.
Find the optimal shoulder angle, chest, or elbow angle so that the only muscle group taking on the resistance is your biceps. The idea is to not make it easy on yourself.
With that in mind, for your last sets, really focus on feeling that burn which you will feel. This is how you will build muscle and strength by working smarter.
Video: Isometrics for MASS! 90 Seconds to Bigger Biceps
Final Thoughts on Isometric Bicep Exercises
This isometric bicep exercise is a fantastic way to end your bicep routine. You can kiss those plateaus goodbye and say hello to bigger, stronger biceps.
Just always be sure to adjust your angles during the exercise, this will promote a higher concentrated contraction. When finding the optimal angles, you will notice better control, range of motion and a better muscle mind connection.
Isometrics does all of that for you, you just have to get yourself into a position to accept the benefits.
Finally, building bigger biceps is one half of the equation to getting bigger arms. Check out the best isometric exercise to get bigger triceps here.