The perception that big biceps equate to strength, good looks and power on the field leads many athletes to devote hours in the weight room to Curls. After all, who wouldn’t want sleeve-busting guns?
Yet despite their perceived benefits, Bicep Curls do not result in optimal performance gains on the field. Curls only use a single joint, which rarely occurs during competition. Most on-field movements are multi-jointed and activate numerous muscle groups. That's why Curls are considered an assistance exercise, performed only to supplement primary exercises, which use multiple joints and large muscle groups.
Steve Hess, Denver Nuggets strength coach, understands that strong biceps are important to athletes, but he incorporates functional training into the Curl exercise. Hess has his players, like Carmelo Anthony, perform Stability Pad Bicep Curls. Instead of only developing bulky biceps, the exercise also works on ankle strength and balance, training the ankles to be strong and stable for the constant adjustments that happen during competition. Finally, to control the weight during the exercise, stabilizer muscles in the arm and shoulder are activated as well.