From our DO THIS NOT THAT series identifying solutions to common mistakes we see regularly in the gym. Today, we focus on maximizing efficiency of your time in gym training: ARMS.
If you want to get bigger arms, prioritize chin-ups rather than bicep curls. Here’s why!
1. Compound Exercise – Chin-ups are a compound exercise, where curls are an isolation exercise. Compound exercises burn more calories and rise the bodies metabolic rate significantly more than isolation exercises.
2. More Muscle – Doing chin-ups, you will be moving more weight than by doing curls. This means you’re doing more work and more work equals more gains.
3. Varying Grips– Its much easier to vary your grip on pull up bars than it is to switch up while doing curls, often with curls, you’ll need to grab a W-bar or lighter DB’s to do varying grip exercises.
4. Momentum– As you tire while doing curls, most lifters then use a swinging motion to finish the set, this motion places train on the shoulder joint as well as possible causing hyper extension of the elbow. It’s harder to cheat using momentum on chin-ups (so long as you’re not kipping).
5. Injuries – You’re much less likely to end up with tennis elbow (tendinitis) from doing lots of chin-ups than you are from doing excessive amounts of curls. Chin-ups are a closed chain exercise and put less strain on joints as opposed to open chain exercises such as curls.