A bit of half repping and cheating is common place in the gym, especially when the ego starts to overtake the amount of weight that can really be lifted.
Whilst some cheating has its place, I do see a lot of people doing bicep curls with just plain crappy form and they wonder why they struggle to grow their arms.
A lot of people seem to have a fear of letting their elbows drop below 90 degrees, whether this is ego or inexperience or just not knowing any better, it's not for me to judge... that's a lie, I will judge you, a bit.
One particular example, I had a guy ask for my help with some exercises as he was struggling to grow his arms.
I let him show me how he does bicep curls and sure enough, he grabs the 25kg bar and "hips" it up then proceeds to let his elbows bend to about 90 degrees when he lowered the bar and keep at 90 degrees as he brought the bar towards his body.
Then keeping the elbows at 90 degrees, practically shoulder raises the bar back up only to squeeze the bar a few inches towards the shoulders at the top and repeat.
It was no wonder his arms weren't going anywhere.
So I gave him a 15kg bar and made him do full range of motion curls.
Not only did he get some hefty arm DOMS, but within 2 weeks he was noticing some growth in his arms. Winning!
I mean, if you're doing a bicep curl and having to arch your body so far backwards (combined with a total lack of arm extension) you might as well be doing a Bray Wyatt impression then it's no wonder you're growing nowhere.... pun intended.
Hint: If your hip drive is doing more work than your arm drive for a bicep curl, you're doing it wrong.
So here is a very simple solution to helping you to understand what a full range of motion, no backwards leaning biceps curl should feel like - Wall Bicep Curls.
1. Grab a pair of dumbbells ( I prefer them over a barbell as you can get a bit more range of motion.
2. Stand with your whole back against a wall and walk your feet forward about 6 - 8 inches
3. Hold the dumbbells by your side with the back of your upper arms touching the wall
4. If possible, let the back of the dumbbell touch the wall too
5. Bend the elbows and curl the dumbbells all the way to the top
6. Reverse the motion and with control, let the dumbbells come all the way back down and touch the wall or at least brush the sides of your legs
If you've been cheating your reps for a while, you'll be surprised at how much weight you'll need to drop to start with and how much more you'll be feeling this in the morning.
Expect some T-Rex arm level soreness to begin with.
This is my, mostly, Personal Trainer musings and information which I hope you'll find helpful!