Though the biceps are a fairly small muscle group compared to back or legs, it’s usually the body part that gets the most attention. When you tell somebody you work out or lift weights, the first thing they’re probably going to do is reach out to feel your biceps. It’s assumed to be a good measure for knowing somebody’s strength and size, so it’s important to give these guns some love and attention.
The biceps are engaged in most upper body exercises, but it’s important to train them specifically at least one or two days a week. It’s imperative you have correct form when training biceps. Never use momentum or round your shoulders when doing a curl, but always lift your chest high and move with control. Doing a curl with the best posture possible will force your biceps to stay fully engaged throughout the movement and you will grow much faster! Here are the top exercises for biceps you can start doing this week to kick-start your arm growth!
1. Dumbbell Curls
This is a bicep staple for both strength and size. Though this is a fairly easy movement to imitate, the details make or break the exercise. You may lift one arm at a time or both at the same time; it does not matter as long as you focus on good form. Starting with the dumbbells in each hand at your side with palms facing up, curl the bicep upward while keeping the elbow firmly in place at your side. Squeeze at the top and then lower the bicep back down to starting position. Repeat the curls several times to complete one set.
2. Reverse Grip Rows
The row is an outstanding exercise known for it’s lat-developing qualities but it’s also a great bicep exercise especially with a reverse grip, also called an underhand grip. Stand in front of a loaded barbell and grasp the bar with a shoulder width grip and raise the bar off the ground. Keep your torso about 40 degrees above parallel and pull your elbows up and back, touching your abdomen. Squeeze your biceps once you reach the torso and lower the bar back down to starting position, which should fall around your knees. Adopt a flat back at all times and do not curl or hunch your shoulders. Repeat this motion several times to complete one set.
3. Hammer Curls
For round impressive biceps, hammer curls are a must. This exercise is closely related to a regular dumbbell curl but it hits multiple areas of the arm that regular curls do not, including the brachioradialis and brachialis. These muscles will create a “pop” on the sides of the biceps, as well as definition to your forearms. While holding a pair of dumbbells, turn your palms inward so that they are facing your sides. Engage your biceps and bend your elbows upward like a regular curl but keep your palms facing your body. Keep your flexed elbows close to your sides and squeeze once you reach shoulder level; slowly lower the weights back to your sides. Repeat this motion several times to complete one set.
4. EZ Bar Curls (close or wide grip)
We’ve all used the barbell for curls, but what if you knew there was a bar that was safer and allowed you to lift heavier weight? Well there is, and it’s called the EZ bar. This squiggly bar puts your wrists in a more natural and comfortable position, which will prevent forearm damage in the future and will allow a heavier lift. Perform this exercise with the same posture and form as any other curl, and feel free to experiment with wide and close grips.
5. Parallel Grip Pull-ups
There are several bodybuilders that will swear by the power of a pull-up. Many will tell you it’s the only exercise you need to create bulging biceps. Regardless, it’s a great exercise that should be done frequently to work all areas of the upper body. To target more arms with the pull-up, do the exercise with a parallel grip pull-up. Grasp the handles of two stationary bars overhead, about shoulder width a part, facing each other. More focus will be on your arms instead of your back when you pull yourself up off the ground. Focus on engaging your biceps as you lift your chest up to the bars. Squeeze your arms once you reach the top and slowly lower yourself back down; repeat the pull-up several times to complete one set.
These are five of the best bicep-blasting exercises you could ever do. Don’t feel limited to one kind of grip; feel free to interchange grips, widths and weights in order to keep your body growing. Good luck building bigger and better biceps by chiseling away those sculpted arms!