Arm strength involves many factors and muscle groups, not just your biceps and triceps, but grip and forearm strength as well, together with mobile shoulders.
Strong arms are helpful for stabilising lifts, essential for gymnastics movements, and important for presses, pull ups and throws.
Your arms as a whole should be trained to achieve balance. This is also important for mobility and strength, and to keep your elbows and shoulders healthy after placing big loads of stress in them.
Even though CrossFit is usually based on functional movements instead of bicep curls, these dumbbell arm exercises to build muscle will help you get stronger and perform better in your workouts.
Don’t neglect your accessory work.
INCLINE BICEPS CURL
This exercise maximises the focus on your biceps, especially the long head. The incline press curl prevents athletes from “cheating”, so take a lighter weight than you’d use for standing curls. Sit back on an incline bench with a dumbbell in each hand and, keeping your elbows close to your torso, rotate the palms of your hands until they’re facing forward. Curl the weight towards your shoulder while maintaining the upper arm stationary. Breathe out as you contract the biceps.
Ensure you move only your forearms and continue the movement until the dumbbell is at shoulder level. Hold it there for a second.
An alternative for this exercise is performing plank with bicep curls. Get into a plank position with a dumbbell under each hand. Keeping your body as still as possible, bring one dumbbell toward your shoulder and lower it back down, then repeat on the other side.
The advantage of performing an incline biceps curl, however, is that athletes are forced to keep perfect form and prevented to aid the arm movement by compensating with other parts of their body.
- Dumbbell-workouts: Photos courtesy of CrossFit Inc