Bicep Training For Fighters! More than just nice peaks!
By Michael Camp, DPT, CSCS, PES
Our first article about beginning bicep training discussed the anatomy and physiology, and a basic bicep routine to get you started. Now lets discuss the importance of biceps in fighting and why training them is necessary.
Throwing a punch involves utilizing every muscle in your body, whether you believe it or not! But in this article, we are discussing the role your biceps play. Make a fist and does your bicep contract? Raise your arms up to fight, do you keep them straight or are your elbows slightly bent? Fighting relaxed is key, but maintaining a slight contraction will prepare your neuro-muscular system to be able to respond when that brain sends the message to smash your opponent. How about throwing an uppercut, is your arm straight or elbow bent. Your body weight and speed is key behind the punch, but making sure your arm stays flexed requires strong biceps and forearms or the punch will lose its transfer of power as you land your strike!
Biceps are very important in protecting yourself during a fight when blocking punches. Having strong arms is essential when it comes to fighting, whether it’s a 10 round fight, or 3 five minute rounds. Rocky Marciano used to hit his opponents in the arms to break them down, before delivering that final head strike. In MMA, strong biceps are important when executing a rear naked choke or guillotine choke. Many fighters lose stamina or strength in their arms when trying to finish a submission. Don’t be one of them!
Here is a routine YOU must do to help build bicep power!
1) Pull ups –with your palms facing you, begin with your arms fully straight and then pull yourself up, until your chin is at the height of the bar. Perform 3 sets to good muscle failure.
Tip- no body rocking.
2) Standing Dumbbell curls- begin with your arms down at your side holding the dumbbells. Begin to curl your arm up, and in the top position turn your pinky out to get the full action of bicep, which is elbow flexion and supination.
Perform 3 sets of 8-10 tough reps.
Tip- slowly lower the weight to get the negative, and powerfully raise it up.
3) Standing Rope cable curls- Take a split rope and attach it to a low cable.
Grab the ropes with a “false grip” this means the thumb is on the same side as your fingers. Keep your elbows tucked into your side, and explosively curl your arms up. Slowly lower your arms back down.
Perform 3 sets 20-25 reps.
This workout will hit your different muscle fiber types, attack from various angles, and prevent injury! Do this workout once or twice a week in addition to your other training and experience the difference in your punches and the girls taking notice to your arms.