The Biceps is an all-time favorite when it comes to building muscle and getting those bigger arms. The biceps, although they don’t grow as big as your triceps can. Your arms from the side look bigger and your forearms get worked as well when doing biceps exercises. It’s a win-win situation whether you wear a T-shirt or a full sleeve shirt that is or isn’t rolled up. You will look amazing in all three.
However, a lot of people aren’t able to grow them as optimally. This can be due to a variety of reasons ranging from not doing the proper range of motion, proper form, relying on assistance from secondary muscles etc. But after reading this, you will know not only some of the best biceps exercises but make sure you are training your biceps optimally for maximum growth.
The Barbell Curl
The barbell curl is a staple in almost every gym-goers goer’s bicep routine. Despite everyone doing it, not a lot actually train their biceps optimally. Trying to lift too heavy is one of the biggest reasons for that. If your left is weaker than your right or vice-versa. Not only one of the arms will not grow as fast, but at heavier weights it will just require assistance from other muscles.
When your muscle for a specific movement is not strong enough and the exercise is similar to something like a barbell curl. Where other muscles can take over, such as back and shoulders in this case. You will miss out on potential growth. This leads to back and shoulder pain because this movement is not meant for your back and shoulders but just your biceps. So practicing proper form makes this exercise an amazing biceps builder.
The way to perform this movement is to stand with your chest up and shoulder back and down. Engage your core with the barbell in your hand and elbows flared from shoulder width slightly and curl the weight without moving your torso. Your back stays straight and your shoulders back. Avoid any support from either muscles.
As you curl the weight, keep your elbows in front of your body and do not let your shoulder come forwards to prevent hunching. They stay back and down. Hold the curl when slightly below your lower chest for maximum peak contraction. Curling the barbell beyond this point will make this a shoulder exercise as the shoulders will take over with support from the chest. The barbell curl can be performed both on a normal barbell or an EZ- curl barbell.
The Dumbbells Curl
The dumbbells curl is one of the best if not best biceps exercises as it helps you isolate both hands to train both biceps optimally. It’s an effective way to both build muscles and train a lagging bicep. The barbell curls allow you to lift more weight. However, most often than not, your secondary muscles intervene during the movement due to the weight being more than what your biceps can curl, fatigue or wrong technique. The dumbbells make sure that you are training your biceps and only biceps if done with proper form.
To make it more accurate as an isometric exercise. Stand with your hips and upper back against the wall and do your bicep curls and you will easily make this the best exercise for your biceps, because now no support muscle can intervene within the movement. The same goes for the barbell, but what it doesn’t factor in is the fact that your left bicep is weaker. The right biceps starts supporting and hence gets trained more. The dumbbell curl prevents that as well.
Hammer curl (Dumbbells/ Rope extension)
The hammer curl is an extremely important exercise if you want to target your biceps completely. Hitting the brachialis, which is an elbow flexor but is located under the biceps brachii muscle. Training your brachialis makes it grow and push your biceps up. Making it look taller as it grows. If you’re looking to add an extra inch to your arms, This biceps exercise might help you do just that.
Now you can perform the hammer curl both with dumbbells or on a cable machine at the gym with a rope extension. The dumbbells provide an excellent range of motion and are an at home alternative to the machine as well. You get to train your brachialis as well as progressively overload it.
To perform the movement with dumbbells. Stand with both feet at shoulder-width apart. Chest up and shoulders back and a very slight bend in your knees. The whole movement is supposed to be done with a neutral grip. Start with both dumbbells in hand and curl the weight until it reaches just below your shoulder and repeat.
Performing this movement on the machine allows your biceps to have constant tension on your biceps compared to the dumbbells version. The range of motion, however, is better and easier on the wrists. The way to perform this movement is exactly the same. The only difference being you start with a neutral grip and end it with a supinated grip. Then from the supinated grip back to the neutral on the way down.
Chin-ups are the most underestimated exercise. People prefer to do pull-ups as chin-ups seem like an easier alternative to some. However, It is one of the best biceps exercises that you can do at home. Doing chin-ups and progressively overloading them, whether it is more reps or a dip belt, is going to allow you to build both a massive biceps and a bigger chest. The chin-ups work your chest and biceps more than they do any other muscle.
If you want to progressively overload this exercise but don’t want to use the dip belt as it requires more weights to be added to it. You can substitute ankle weights. Wearing ankle weights while doing chin-ups is going to increase your overall body-weight, hence allowing you to progressively overload this movement even if at home or at the gym without a dip belt.
To perform this movement, you can grab the bar at shoulder width or slightly narrow than it with your palms towards you. Do not jump up to start the reps. Start from the ground, hold the bar and pull yourself up using nothing but your biceps. A single rep is only completed once your chin is above the bar’s height and ends with you stopping just before you hit the ground and repeat.
Reverse Grip Lat Pulldown
The lat pull down machine can be used to replicate the movement of a chin-up as well. If your not into doing chin-ups or can’t and you have access to the gym. You can train yours bicep on a lat pull down machine. The way to perform this movement is similar to a chin-up but seated. You start with the bar in both hands. Your grip should be inwards (palms facing you) as you would hold the bar during a chin up. Now, pull the bar down and bring it up to your upper chest and hold. Let the bar go back up slowly after 2-4 seconds and that’s one rep. The lat pull down can be an effective exercise when it comes to working your biceps, as well as allow you to control the weight you can do. Whereas with the chin-ups, you start with your bodyweight first. This can be easy or difficult based on your biceps strength or bodyweight.
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- For the top exercises to build muscle both at the gym or at home in general. Read https://www.omni-list.com/top-exercises-for-building-muscle-at-the-gym-or-home/
- For the Top 3 Triceps Exercises you can do to build Horseshoe Triceps. Read https://www.omni-list.com/top-3-triceps-exercises-for-horseshoe-triceps/
- For the Top 3 Shoulder Exercises to build boulder shoulders. Read https://www.omni-list.com/top-3-shoulder-exercises-to-build-bigger-shoulders/
- For a list of the Best Chest Exercises. Read https://www.omni-list.com/best-chest-exercises-how-to-build-your-chest-fast/