Tip: Do the Constant-Tension Curl

Stretch out those shirtsleeves by adding this unique exercise variation to your arm training plan. Here's how to do it.

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Want to take advantage of muscular tension, isometric potentiation, unilateral-enhanced neural drive, and other big words and phrases? Then check out this "new" way to curl.

The Constant-Tension Alternating Curl

  1. Start with both arms in the fully flexed position – the "top" of the curl.
  2. Lower the working arm while keeping the non-working arm flexed near the top.
  3. Curl up the working arm until both arms are once again flexed. Then switch arms and do the same thing. You keep on alternating this way until the set is completed.

The benefits, according to Coach Christian Thibaudeau, are:

  1. The biceps are under constant tension. While the non-lifting arm is "waiting its turn," it's still contracted isometrically.
  2. You're performing a unilateral dynamic movement.
  3. You're preceding the dynamic action by an isometric one.

The downside is that you can't use as much weight, so you won't create as much muscle damage. This is why it's important to use this exercise as a secondary biceps movement, after a heavier exercise. The technique can be used with dumbbell preacher curls. Give it a shot.