The AC curl

Hi everyone. When it comes to bodybuilding or weight training there are countless different exercises to hit different muscles from different angles. For some reason though, many people tend to stick to the same old exercises with little variation no matter what routine they are doing. This is not the way to train for maximum results. Every so often you need to try new exercises, different rep ranges, different planes of motion to shock the muscles into doing something they would not normally do.

The AC curl is basically my own method of doing alternate bicep curls to put the biceps, forearms and brachialis under a different type of strain.

The AC Curl:

The exercise is a play on the incline dumbbell curl. You can use it as a finishing exercise to stretch the fascia or as a starting exercise to really get some blood in the muscle.

How to perform: you will need to use dumbbells that are roughly 60% of what you could normally use for 6-8 reps. lay back on the incline bench with the dumbbells hanging down by your side. Grip should be hammer style (like carrying a briefcase). Starting with your right arm perform 10 reps, twisting your hand as you curl so that your palms are facing up at the top. Once you have completed 10 reps, do not drop the dumbbell. Whilst still holding the weight perform 10 reps in the same manner with your left arm. Again, do not drop the dumbbell when complete. Move back to the right arm and perform 8 reps, then 8 with the left arm, then 6 with the right, then 6 with the left; all the while you are holding onto the dumbbells. Holding the dumbbells mean that although you are not flexing your arm, there is still an isometric contraction on your biceps and especially on the muscles in your forearms. This exercise really burns so determination is what it will take to finish a set. I generally go through the full cycle twice to start off a bicep workout.

The great thing about this method is that it can be adapted for any alternate moving exercise. I will now show you how you can adapt it to work your triceps.


The triceps exercise follows the same principle as the biceps exercise. Although this time you will be lying flat on a bench with 2 dumbbells held directly above eye level. Keep the dumbbells extended fully and don’t let them drift to be held above your shoulder as there is less strain on the triceps when the force of the weight is passing directly down your arm.

Start with the right arm and lower the dumbbell down to just pass your head on the right hand side. Extend the dumbbell back up to lockout whilst keeping your upper arm perfectly still. Perform 10 reps with your right arm and then hold it in place at the top. Perform 10 reps with your left arm in the same fashion. Perform 10, 10, 8, 8, 6, 6 as you did for the bicep exercise. I recommend having a spotter, as fatigue will make it difficult to stop the dumbbells falling on your face.

Enjoy the burn as these exercises really hurt.

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