Cheat Curls are one of the biceps exercises where
cheating can be used effectively. Curls are essentially a rotary
movement, yet the resistance of the weight works vertically. In other
words, you are lifting with a circular motion but gravity continues to
pull the weight straight down. Sometimes during the curls movement you are
lifting out, other time lifting up, but the resistance is always up and
down. So you are not continuously lifting in direct opposition to the
weight. This makes the curls exercise less effective in certain parts of the
The designers of curls machines state
that their equipment, which acts with a rotary rather than linear
motion, is better for doing curls than barbells or dumbbells. However,
you don't need a complicated machine to overcome this difficulty.
Instead, you can do some of your curls using a weight that is too heavy
for a strict movement. So even though you are using your back and
shoulders to help "force" the weight up, you are also forcing the biceps
muscle to work to the maximum at every point along the movement.
The barbell or dumbbell is harder to
lift at the point where your forearms are parallel to the floor than at
the beginning of a curl when your arms are pointed more toward the
floor. Doing cheat curls, you can use a weight that feels very heavy in
the "easy" part of the movement and then cheat a little to get you past
the "hard" part where the resistance is too great to overcome using
Handling a heavy amount of barbell
cheat curls does not help create great biceps shape or give the biceps
muscle a high peak, but it certainly is effective as a mass builder.
However, cheat curls should be no more than 10 percent of your biceps
program. You also need a variety of strict movements to develop the
complete quality of the biceps muscle.
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