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FABULOUS ARMS 4 - Bicep curls

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  • FABULOUS ARMS 4 - Bicep curls

    Originally posted by Sherry 05-07-2004, 01:17 AM
    The arm sequence is only one of many ways to sculpt the arms in T-Tapp. Yet, so many look to this 2 or 3 minute part of the workout as ‘the sequence’. Not true! All the same, it is a great routine to really work the arms.

    The very same underlying critical form factors are exactly the same for this sequence as in other T-Tapp moves. To maximize results, you must have linear alignment, work the muscles from insertion to insertion and work against isometric contractions.

    This Fabulous Arms installment will target the bicep curls in the arms sequence with the next thread focusing on tricep curls.

    Linear Alignment.

    You know how to achieve shoulder alignment. So while standing in the basic T-Tapp stance, add shoulder alignment. Raise one arm until the fingers are pointing to the ceiling. Are the arms behind the ears?

    Teresa often says “arms behind the ears”. Why? Linear alignment will place the shoulders such that the arms are indeed behind the ears. It is impossible to achieve full muscle engagement and completely pull the muscle attachments against the bone without linear alignment. Don’t worry if an injury prevents enough shoulder rotation to achieve getting the arms behind the ears. Just do your best.

    Alignment also means keeping the elbows level with the shoulders and when the arms are completely outstretched, the wrists level with the elbows. Drop or raise the elbows or wrists and the impact of the move is reduced.

    Insertion to Insertion.

    Soooo important. In a previous Fabulous Arms thread, we talked about REACHING with the arms and experimenting with various hand positions. Jazz hands or donut hands work best with a firm fist being a last choice. But you must first REACH away from the body with the wrists and then more completely engage the muscles through a hand position.

    Isometric Contractions / Working Against Resistance

    You already have a fair amount of isometric contraction going on if you are in alignment. There are a couple of things you can do to maximize the degree of contraction.

    So, starting with the bicep curls ……

    Basic T-Tapp stance, shoulders back and down. LATS FULLY ENGAGED.

    REACH far with the wrists, palms up. For now, let’s use jazz hands.

    Are the elbows level with the shoulders and wrists with the elbows?

    Now bend at the elbows to form a 90 degree angle in the arms. Hold there and notice the palm position … and fingers. Did the fingers wimp out? JAZZ them or SQUEEZE them against the thumb for donut hands.

    Still holding … are the palms facing the mirror or your head? Experiment. With the hands engaging all the muscles, turn the palms to the mirror. Notice the contraction in the bicep and upper arm. Now, turn the palms toward the head. WOW! Feel the elbows naturally pull toward the mirror a bit? Feel the additional torque and muscles pulling against the bone?

    HOLD the contraction.

    Pretend your arms are buried in wet, wet sand. S L O W L Y bring your hands to your deltoids/shoulders while pushing against the resistance of wet sand. Try to touch your middle finger to the back side of the deltoid. To push out, push the wet sand away. Oh, it is SO MUCH RESISTANCE!

    In and out … “out all the way”. At the peak of the out, the palms are still facing the head, fingers engaged and arms behind the ears.

    Now for the last part of the sequence: Reach high to bicep curl.

    When you reach overhead, REACH HIGH. No wimpy arms allowed! This means the elbows go straight, palms facing the mirror. Now, there is some confusion about this point from time to time and I too was confused when I first started teaching.

    REACH with the wrists … not the fingers. Try it first with jazz hands, palms to the mirror. Notice how the upper mid back feels. Now, turn the palms OUT to the side walls and notice the strain on the upper mid back.

    If you use donut hands, the momentum may make it LOOK as if the palms are turning out (via a turn at the elbow). But this will cause stain in the lower traps, upper lats and rhomboids if you are not very advanced. So, palms FORWARD toward the mirror.

    As you lower the arms for the bicep curl, the palms turn in toward the head. As you raise the arms overhead for the last part of the arm sequence, the palms turn toward the mirror.

    Extra: Tuck that tush harder at the peak of the arm lift overhead for a flatter tummy.

    "Retired" T-Tapp Trainer