Points of Flexion

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The Concept of Points of Flexion Training: Targeting All Three Anatomical Positions

Points of Flexion training is not a new concept. In fact, it has been around since the 1970s and was first credited to Arnold Schwarzenegger. The concept involves training a muscle in all three of its anatomical positions: stretched, mid-range, and shortened. By using different angles, the strength curve changes, targeting various aspects of the muscle, and emphasizing the muscles being used at the time.

Targeting Biceps with Three Different Exercises

To better understand the Points of Flexion concept, let’s take a closer look at the biceps. The incline curl targets the stretched position, while the standing or seated curl variation targets the mid-range position. The Scott curl, also known as the preacher curl, targets the shortened position.

Scott Curl vs Preacher Curl

The Scott curl and the preacher curl are popular exercises targeting the biceps muscles. The main difference between the two exercises is the equipment used and the angle of the arms. The Scott curl is performed using a barbell, while the preacher curl is done on a preacher curl bench, placing the arms in a fixed position. However, the two exercises are often used interchangeably.

Recruiting Long Head Biceps with Incline Curl

The incline curl targets the long head of the biceps more, especially when the elbows are behind the body. As the angle on the bench gets lower, the long head is recruited even more preferentially. Using a neutral grip on the incline curl also increases the recruitment of the long head.

Mid-Range Position with Standing or Seated Curl

The standing or seated curl variation targets both the long head and short head equally, making it an ideal exercise for the mid-range position. Seated curls have shown higher EMG activity in the biceps than standing curls due to the nature of our bodies effectively mitigating stress in a standing position

Emphasizing Short Head Biceps with Scott Curl

The Scott curl, also known as the preacher curl, places the elbows in front of the body, emphasizing the recruitment of the short head of the biceps. The flatter the angle on the arm pad, the more recruitment we’ll get out of the short head.

Incorporating Points of Flexion into Your Training Program

Incorporating Points of Flexion into your training program is easy. There are two simple ways to incorporate this: using a variation of each angle in one workout or picking one position and only varying the angle in each phase.

A Sample Bicep Workout Program Using Points of Flexion

Here is an example of a bicep workout program that incorporates Points of Flexion:

A1: 40-degree Incline Curl – DB – Supinated grip; 4×6-8, 4010, 10s Rest

A2: Seated Curl – DB – Supinated Grip; 4x 6-8, 3010; 10s Rest

A3: Scott Curl – EZ Bar – narrow, supinated grip; 4x 6-8, 4010, 120s Rest


The Points of Flexion concept has been around for decades and is a proven method to target all three anatomical positions of a muscle. By incorporating different angles into your workout program, you can effectively target different aspects of the muscle and emphasize the muscles being used at the time. Incorporating the incline curl, standing or seated curl variation, and the Scott curl into your bicep workout program is a great way to incorporate Points of Flexion and maximize your results.


Robert Jacobs
USAW, PICP, BioSignature, Metabolic Analytics, NKT, Nike-SPARQ, NASM-PES, CES & CPT

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