There are a number of exercises for building your biceps but you can not perform all of them in one day, right? You need to train every muscle at least twice a week and if you are not, well you should be! Moreover, the compound exercises you do actually work on more than one specific muscle e.g. Bent Over Rows is an exercise for back muscles but it also works your biceps.
Although your biceps are only 1/3 of your upper arm muscles yet it does not mean that they do not add up to building bigger arms. Training your biceps is primarily important because they are being used in pulling movements and weight lifting exercises. You need strong biceps to carry heavy weights.
We have enlisted 6 best exercises for biceps that you can perform on alternative days in a week that would help you in building arms strength as well as increasing your muscle mass.
1. Preacher curls:
There is a reason that preacher curls is at the top of the list. It is an isolation exercise that keeps maximum tension in your biceps during the whole range of motion. This can be very effective and easy exercise if you do it with an EZ bar because your elbows flexion is supported with EZ bar grip.
For beginners, it might be a little tough to lift the weight on a preacher bench. Try lifting empty bar first and use light weight if using dumbbells.
- Isolation exercise.
- Controlled movement due to fixed position of upper arms.
- Less chances of mistakes.
- Allows to focus on negative movement.
- Helps you achieve stability of biceps curls.
How to preacher curl:
Preacher curls are performed on a preacher bench which is an angled bench with a fixed pad for placing your upper arms. You can perform preacher curls either with a barbell, an EZ bar or with dumbbells. Try doing it with an EZ bar.
- Hold an EZ bar at the narrow grip and sit on the preacher bench.
- Bring the bar at the arms-extended position while resting your upper arms on the pad.
- Bring the bar up at about your shoulder height and pause for a sec.
- Slowly lower the bar at the starting position.
Preacher curl variations:
- Preacher curls with dumbbells.
- Preacher curls with barbell.
- One-arm Preacher curls.
- Preacher curl machine.
- Preacher hammer curls
2. Concentration curls:
Concentration curls are so named as they allow you to concentrate solely on the curling movement. They can also help improve muscle activation during other exercises by allowing you to focus more on the muscles.
This exercise can also help to improve your balance by allowing you to focus on one side of the body at a time. Concentration curl gives you an extra range of motion which is very helpful in building muscle mass.
Benefits of concentrations curls:
- Concentration curls tone your biceps
- Build the muscle groups in your arms
- Help you practice your lifting form
- Let you focus on the eccentric phase of movement
- Strengthens the weaker side of body
How to Concentration Curl:
- First, sit on a bench that is high enough that your knees are bent at 90° with your feet flat on the floor.
- Take a dumbbell in one hand and fix your upper arm on your inner thigh and extend your arm off the roof.
- Now curl your arm slowly up using your forearm. The resting position of your upper arm help you keep it still.
- Take a slight pause as you reach top position. Squeeze your biceps and then slowly go down again.
Concentration curl variations:
- Standing concentration curl
- Hammer concentration curl
- Cable concentration cur
3. Incline bench dumbbell curls:
When it comes to biceps cuts, there is nothing as effective as incline bench dumbbell curls. This exercise tones your biceps brachii and gives you more attractive arms.
This isolation exercise focuses on both the long head and short head biceps brachii. The muscle activation is also maximum due to which it might be difficult to lift heavy weights at the beginning.
Benefits of incline bench dumbbell curls:
- Increased range of motion for more muscle activation.
- Sole focus on the muscle, exclude any body momentum.
- Maintains muscular tension for whole range of motion.
- Build Bicep Strength and Definition
How to incline bench dumbbell curl:
- Pick up a pair of dumbbells and sit on a bench angled at about 45 to 60 degrees.
- Start from an arms-fully-extended position and lift the weight up.
- Keep your straight back and elbows slightly below the body.
- Lower the weight slowly to the starting position.
Incline bench dumbbell curls variations:
- Incline bench cable curls.
- Flexor Incline Dumbbell Curl
- Alternating incline dumbbell curls
4. Hammer curls:
Hammer curls is different from other biceps curls with respect to their neutral grip. These are also known as the neutral grip biceps curls. Hammer curls are very important for building arm strength.
Hammer curls put less influence on the wrists and more on the flexor muscle i.e. the forearm muscle (brachioradialis). Hence, it improves grip strength in addition to building strong and muscular arms.
Benefits of hammer curls:
- Work multiple muscles in your arm.
- Develop your grip strength.
- Put less stress on your wrist.
- Allows you to lift more weight.
How to hammer curl:
Although there is a relatively smaller range of motion in the case of hammer curls yet they play a very significant role in your biceps workouts.
- Start with picking up a pair of dumbbells with a neutral grip.
- Now move the dumbbells up keeping your elbows in line with body.
- Squeeze at the top for a sec and lower the dumbbell slowly to the starting position.
- Keep a neutral spine and avoid using body momentum.
Hammer curl variations:
- Preacher hammer curl.
- Seated hammer curls.
- Alternative hammer curls.
- Rope cable curls.
5. Barbell curls:
The one of the traditional and classic exercises for biceps curls. Barbell curls are very good to start your biceps workout and specially for beginners, it is the one exercise to rely on for some time as a starter.
Barbell curls are more effective with an arm blaster. However, you can also perform it in many other variations. Barbell curls target a group of muscles in your arms to build strength and muscles.
Benefits of barbell curls:
- Simple and easy, perfect for beginners.
- Ables to develop stronger arms and lift more weight quickly.
- Increase your upper-body strength
- Improved grip strength
- Injury prevention (to the elbows/arms)
How to barbell curl:
- Hold the bar at shoulder-width and unrack it.
- Keep your elbows in line with the body and lift the bar up at shoulder height.
- Squeeze at the top or a sec and lower the bar at the starting position.
- Keep a straight spine and chest up but do not arch your back.
- Beginners should start from empty barbell without training plates.
Barbell curls variations:
- Wide grip barbell curl.
- Narrow grip barbell curl.
- Barbell preacher curl.
- Reverse grip barbell curls.
- EZ bar curl.
6. Biceps cable curls:
Cable curls relatively keep more tension in your muscles during the whole set as the weight is always suspending. This makes it a very effective exercise for growing more muscles.
This is a very useful exercise if you want some serious gains and it requires relatively less weight to be effective due to the constant resistance.
Benefits of cable curls:
- Activate more muscles by keeping constant resistance.
- Build muscle strength.
- Works a group of muscles.
- Improve lifting form.
How to biceps cable curl:
- Set the weight on the pully and position of the pully to the lowest.
- Hold the cable bar using an underhand grip.
- Stand with a straight spine keeping your elbows slightly above your body.
- Pull the bar up to your shoulder height.
- Squeeze for a sec and lower the bar slowly keeping tension in your arms.
Biceps cable curl variations:
- Wide grip bar cable curls.
- Preacher cable curls.
- Rope cable curls.
- Cable curls with elbows supported on a bench.
- Single arm cable curl.
- Overhead cable curl.