Exercises to Build Your Bicepsūüí™ūüŹľ

Exercises to Build Your Bicepsūüí™ūüŹľ

The Bicep Muscle

The biceps is a large muscle situated on the front of the upper arm between the shoulder and the elbow. Also known by the Latin name biceps brachii (meaning "two-headed muscle of the arm"), the muscle's primary function is to flex the elbow and rotate the forearm. The heads of the muscle arise from the scapula (shoulder blade) and combine in the middle arm to form a muscle mass. The other end attaches to the radius, the outermost of the two bones that make up the forearm. (VeryWellHealth, 2022)

Bicep Exercises:

1. Barbell Curl

The barbell curl is a classic biceps-builder. This exercise targets the biceps and can add plenty of muscle when performed properly. Generally, this exercise is simple, and you can add more weight than dumbbells because you are using both hands. T get started, Simply load up a barbell, hold it in both hands, lift it towards your chin and repeat.

How to: 

Grab a barbell with an underhand grip slightly wider than the shoulders. With the chest up and shoulder blades pulled tightly together, expose the front of your biceps by pulling the shoulders back into the socket. The elbows should reside under the shoulder joint or slightly in front of the ribs. Curl the barbell up using the biceps, making sure not to let the torso lean forward, the shoulder collapse forward, or the elbows slide backwards to the side of the body. They should stay slightly in front of the shoulders. (Barbend, 2022)

2. Chin up 

The Chin-up is a bodyweight exercise that can induce growth of the biceps. Since you will pull up your own body weight, the biceps are usually exposed to loads heavier than one can lift with a barbell. For example, you probably can't curl your entire body weight. 

How to:

Hang from a bar with palms facing you and the hands about shoulder-width apart or slightly wider. From a dead hang, squeeze your shoulder blades together and pull your body up, making sure not to let the body fold inwards until your chin is at or above the bar. (Barbend, 2022) 

3. Hammer Curl

The hammer curl is essentially curling dumbbells with the palms facing each other. This neutral wrist position is more comfortable. 

How to

Hold a dumbbell in each hand while standing. Turn your wrists so that they’re facing each other. Keep your arms tucked in at your sides and flex your elbows to curl the dumbbells up towards your shoulders. Lower them back down with control. (Barbend, 2022)

4. Incline Dumbbell Curl

To perform the incline dumbbell curl, you need to lay back onto an incline bench. Curling from an incline takes the momentum out of the equation so that the lifter can’t cheat the weight up. This exercise with lengthened, extended arms creates a longer range of motion, which makes this curl variation more effective.

How to:

Lay back on an incline bench, angled at about 60 degrees, with a dumbbell in each hand. Let your arms hang so they’re fully extended. Without moving your shoulders, curl the weight up to your shoulders. Hold the top of the movement for about a second, and then slowly lower the dumbbells with control. (Barbend, 2022)

The row is generally a back exercise, but when reversing your grip, you are now also working the biceps. 

How to:

Grab a barbell with an underhand grip that is about shoulder-width apart. Assume the proper bent-over row position, with the back flat and chest up. Row the barbell to the stomach. Pull with both the back and the arms, lowering the weight under control and repeating for reps. (Barbend, 2022)

6. Cable Curl

When you curl a dumbbell or barbell, the movement is hardest at the midpoint of the lift since the weight is furthest from the body. However, cables keep tension on the muscle throughout the movement, as the weight stack you’re lifting is suspended throughout. This adds more tension to the muscle for more growth. 

How to:

Attach the desired handle to the pulley of a cable machine set to the lowest height. Grab the handle in both hands and take a few steps back so there’s constant tension on the cable (the weight stack should be elevated the entire time). Curl the bar up to your chest and then slowly lower it back down. (Barbend, 2022) 

7. Concentration Curl

The concentration curl is all about focus and feeling your biceps work. Sit down on a bench, rest your elbow on the inside of your thigh, and curl a dumbbell from full extension to contraction.

How to:

Sit on a bench with your feet set wide enough to allow your arm to hang in the middle, with your elbow resting on the inside of the thigh. With a dumbbell in hand, slowly curl the dumbbell upward at a controlled tempo, concentrating on contracting the biceps to move the load. At the top of the movement, flex as hard as possible, then slowly lower the load. The key is not to lose tension on the biceps at any point in the range of motion. 

(Barbend, 2022)

8. TRX Suspension Curl

This curl variation is great for anyone with limited access to free weights, cables, and machines. Like other suspension-based exercises, you can also easily adjust the difficulty of the exercise by adjusting your body position ‚ÄĒ the more upright your body position, the easier it will be.¬†

How to:

Once the TRX suspension has been secured, grab hold of the handles, take a few steps forward, lean back, and curl your body weight up. To increase the difficulty of the exercise, you simply adjust your body position. The further you lean back, the more of your body weight you will resist during the movement. If you want to make the exercise easier, you can position your body to be more upright (Barbend, 2022)

8. High Cable Curl

This high cable curl variation has the lifter curling the cables while the shoulders are flexed, and palms are facing up. The cables will be set just above shoulder level while performing this exercise on a functional trainer or cable tower. 

How to:

Set a cable pulley to about shoulder height and attach D-handles to each cable pulley. Grab the bar with a supinated grip (palm facing up). Keep tension on the biceps all the way to the top of the movement, then slowly lower the load back to the starting position. Maintaining tension in the upper back will help keep shoulders stable and arm position constant, driving up tension in the biceps. (Barbend, 2022)

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