Whether it’s showing off his chest gains or channeling his dad Arnold Schwarzenegger in a classic bodybuilder pose, you can count on Joseph Baena to document his workouts on Instagram. The 21-year-old actor and athlete just shared his favorite way to end arm day in a pair of videos at Gold’s Gym, capturing what he calls his “bicep killers”.
Baena started out his finisher with sets of machine preacher curls.
Baena started out his finisher with sets of machine preacher curls. Preacher curls are effective because they prevent you from “cheating” on the curl by using your shoulders. Watch people at your gym, and you’ll see their elbows shifting forward when they do standing curls. That can’t happen during a preacher curl because you’ve started the curl with your elbows shifted forward already. You wind up isolating your biceps more on preacher curls, and if you squeeze your biceps at the top, you’ll build better biceps peaks.
“Preacher curls seem simple, and they are a great way to help get a pump in your biceps,” says Men’s Health fitness director Ebenezer Samuel, C.S.C.S. “The key: You can’t let the weight do all the work for you. Really squeeze your biceps at the top of each rep. And stop just a moment before your forearms get perpendicular with the ground. Doing so will insure that you don’t let your biceps rest at the top.”
But there’s more to the exercise than just leaning over the bench and straining at the weight. “Also make sure to still think about squeezing your shoulder blades as you do them; this will help protect your shoulders in the long run,” Samuel adds. “Do your best as well to glue your armpits to the preacher curl pad.”
The second exercise, Grimey curls, take the same position on the bench preacher curls to isolate the biceps but switches up the implement. Baena instead holds two 25-pound weight plates in his hands.
The goal here is to perform the curling motion with your hands in a neutral position, like a hammer curl, in order to target the brachialis muscle. Baena doesn’t quite pull the move off perfectly. Due to the size of the plates and their opening, his hands are at an angle, rather than neutral. If you want to give the exercise a shot for your own arm day finisher, make sure that you keep your position at a true neutral—or better yet, swap out the plates for dumbbells to reap the full brachialis benefits.