Bicep workouts

Introduction

When starting on a muscle-building program, one of the key body parts that many people want to place a large focus on are the biceps. The biceps tend to be a highly noticed muscle group by others, so if you have nicely developed arms, people are going to know you’re on top of your workout game.

It is important to keep in mind that in actuality the triceps muscle comprises a very large component of the arm, so you must not neglect your triceps work either, which will then give you the perfect balance of what you need to see optimal results.

When you are aiming for maximum size, another important point to note is that lifting heavy must be placed as a priority. Since building more size is a combination of a heavy surplus, enough volume, and plenty of calories, it’s a wise decision to focus on exercises that will allow you to lift the heaviest weight possible.

If you are including these regularly with your workout program and then adding in other exercises that are specifically targeted towards the biceps muscles you will be right on track for developing the best arms you can.

How To Get The Most Out Of This Workout

Move through a full motion

Moving your muscles through the full range of motion will engage the maximum number of muscle fibres, which is the key to faster growth. And avoid swinging the weights up using momentum – cheat reps will hinder, not help, your gains.

Squeeze at the top of the move

At the top of every rep (when your hands are closest to your chin), squeeze your biceps as hard as possible for one second. This will fire up extra muscle fibres to hold the weight steady and increase blood flow for a muscle-building pump.

Stretch at the bottom

At the bottom of every rep (when you arms are fully straight), stretch your triceps as hard as possible for one second. This will help ensure you go through a full range of motion, as well as removing any momentum from your reps.

Here are the best exercises that focus on the biceps to do.

BarBell Curl

Most trainees are slightly stronger when lifting a barbell versus a set of dumbells, so this is a great one for maximum strength development.

When doing the exercise, the primary thing to focus on is that you’re not cutting the movement pattern short at all, and that you’re not allowing momentum to cause you to lean backward as you hoist the weight upwards.

This is one of the most common mistakes with this exercise—momentum performs more of the work than your muscles actually do. If you perform it in a slow and controlled manner, that should reduce the chances of this happening significantly and allow you to place a higher intensity deep within the muscle fibers.

Barbell Curl

  1. Stand up with your torso upright while holding a barbell at a shoulder-width grip. The palm of your hands should be facing forward and the elbows should be close to the torso. This will be your starting position.
  2. While holding the upper arms stationary, curl the weights forward while contracting the biceps as you breathe out. Tip: Only the forearms should move.
  3. Continue the movement until your biceps are fully contracted and the bar is at shoulder level. Hold the contracted position for a second and squeeze the biceps hard.
  4. Slowly begin to bring the bar back to starting position as your breathe in.
  5. Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Incline Dumbbell Curl

This exercise is one of the best to help prevent that momentum issue from happening as we just discussed, since it essentially restricts the movement of the back.

When doing this exercise, you will feel maximum tension on the biceps muscle belly, so don’t be surprised if the weight is slightly lower. As long as you’re pushing yourself hard, using the lower weight but maintaining proper form will be the way to go for results.

Concentration Curl

  1. Sit back on an incline bench with a dumbbell in each hand held at arms length. Keep your elbows close to your torso and rotate the palms of your hands until they are facing forward. This will be your starting position.
  2. While holding the upper arm stationary, curl the weights forward while contracting the biceps as you breathe out. Only the forearms should move. Continue the movement until your biceps are fully contracted and the dumbbells are at shoulder level. Hold the contracted position for a second.
  3. Slowly begin to bring the dumbbells back to starting position as your breathe in.
  4. Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Standing Biceps Cable Curl

If you’re looking to target the deep-tissue muscle fibers, cable curls are a good bet. Since the pattern of movement is less stable with this movement, due to the constant tension provided by the cable, you will call all the stabilization muscles surrounding the biceps into play as you execute the exercise.

You can use a variety of different attachments to perform the cable curls including a rope, a straight bar, or rotating cable handles that allow you to work a single arm at a time.

  1. Stand up with your torso upright while holding a cable curl bar that is attached to a low pulley. Grab the cable bar at shoulder width and keep the elbows close to the torso. The palm of your hands should be facing up (supinated grip). This will be your starting position.
  2. While holding the upper arms stationary, curl the weights while contracting the biceps as you breathe out. Only the forearms should move. Continue the movement until your biceps are fully contracted and the bar is at shoulder level. Hold the contracted position for a second as you squeeze the muscle.
  3. Slowly begin to bring the curl bar back to starting position as your breathe in.
  4. Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Concentration Curl

When done while sitting, these will also limit the degree momentum plays in the execution of the exercise and place all the emphasis right on the biceps muscle.

There will be no helper muscles called into play when doing concentration curls (when done properly), so this is a good one to add in at the very end of your workout when you’re really looking to finish off the biceps and fully exhaust them.

  1. Sit down on a flat bench with one dumbbell in front of you between your legs. Your legs should be spread with your knees bent and feet on the floor.
  2. Use your right arm to pick the dumbbell up. Place the back of your right upper arm on the top of your inner right thigh. Rotate the palm of your hand until it is facing forward away from your thigh. Tip: Your arm should be extended and the dumbbell should be above the floor. This will be your starting position.
  3. While holding the upper arm stationary, curl the weights forward while contracting the biceps as you breathe out. Only the forearms should move. Continue the movement until your biceps are fully contracted and the dumbbells are at shoulder level. Tip: At the top of the movement make sure that the little finger of your arm is higher than your thumb. This guarantees a good contraction. Hold the contracted position for a second as you squeeze the biceps.
  4. Slowly begin to bring the dumbbells back to starting position as your breathe in. Caution: Avoid swinging motions at any time.
  5. Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions. Then repeat the movement with the left arm.

Preacher Curls

 

  1. To perform this movement you will need a preacher bench and an E-Z bar. Grab the E-Z curl bar at the close inner handle, grab the bar from the front bar rest provided by most preacher benches. The palm of your hands should be facing you and they should be slightly tilted inwards due to the shape of the bar.
  2. With the upper arms positioned against the preacher bench pad and the chest against it, hold the E-Z Curl Bar at shoulder length. This will be your starting position.
  3. As you breathe in, slowly lower the bar until your upper arm is extended and the biceps is fully stretched.
  4. As you exhale, use the biceps to curl the weight up until your biceps is fully contracted and the bar is at shoulder height. Squeeze the biceps hard and hold this position for a second.
  5. Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Preacher Reverse Curls

  1. Grab an EZ-bar using a shoulder width and palms down (pronated) grip.
  2. Now place the upper part of both arms on top of the preacher bench and have your arms extended. This will be your starting position.
  3. As you exhale, use the biceps to curl the weight up until your biceps are fully contracted and the barbell is at shoulder height. Squeeze the biceps hard for a second at the contracted position.
  4. As you breathe in, slowly lower the barbell until your upper arms are extended and the biceps is fully stretched.
  5. Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Standing Hammer Curls

Hammer Curls draw their name from the hammer-handle-like grip you have on the dumbbell when you perform the exercise. This move will absolutely hammer your bicep muscles.

Step 1: Grip a pair of dumbbells with a neutral grip (palms facing each other) and hold the weights at your sides.

Step 2: Keeping your torso stationary, flex at the elbow to raise the dumbbells towards your shoulders

Step 3: Stop just short of the dumbbell touching your shoulder. Hold at the top of the position for 1-2 seconds.

Step 4: Return the dumbbells to the starting position in a controlled manner and continue with the reps.

Tip: Do 3 sets of 12 reps each with a 15-20 seconds break in between sets. You can also perform alternating hammer curls by curling one arm at a time.

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