We are all well aware that training at the gym involves incorporating various exercises targeted to different body parts between our neck and ankles. We push and pull hundreds if not thousands of pounds weekly to build, shape and sculpt our bodies to a specimen of strength and dedication to meet our aesthetic desire. But why is it that the first thing people divert their eyes to when they ask if you work out are your arms?
They gesture to your biceps and give their interpretation of a front double bicep expecting you to monkey see, monkey do like a trained animal at the zoo. It can be: a) somewhat insulting because your biceps are just a fraction of what makes up the hard work you’ve put in or b) humbling because you have so many other incredible parts to your physique, but your biceps aren’t one of them. Look no further my friend because we have 15 of the best exercises for bigger biceps. Throw these exercises in your routine and the next time a civilian asks for you to flex your biceps, you will do so like a showman who trained like an animal!
1. EZ BAR PREACHER CURL
a.) Holding an EZ bar inside the inner bend, seat yourself at the preacher bench and rest the back of your upper arms against the pad and your chest pressed behind (this can also be done standing if the bench does not adjust properly to your height).
b.) With elbows bent and bar raised in contracted position at shoulder level, slowly lower bar down with a 4 second count until arms are extended. Quickly raise bar up in one second and pause for one second in contracted position.
2. SEATED INCLINE DUMBBELL CURLS
a.) On an incline bench adjusted to 45 degrees, lay back with a dumbbell in each hand with palms facing forward and arms perpendicular to the ground.
b.) Without moving upper arms, focus on using the biceps to curl weight up, pause for one second at the peak contraction and then release in a controlled manner back to the start position.
*this exercise may be performed with alternating arms Standing Barbell 21s
3. LAYING INCLINE BARBELL CURLS
a.) On an incline bench adjusted to 45 degrees, lay chest down with the barbell and let it hang straight down so that your arms are perpendicular to the ground. Focus on your biceps lifting the weight while maintaining perpendicular from your shoulders to the elbows.
b.) Contract your biceps at the top for one second and release back to start position in a controlled manner.
4. STANDING HAMMER CURLS
a.) Stand tall and let your arms fall to your sides with a dumbbell in each hand (select a weight you max out at 10 reps with).
b.) With your elbows maintaining position close to the body, raise both dumbbells to reach maximum 10 reps. Rest for 10 seconds and repeat. Repeat until only 6-7 reps can be reached without sacrificing form.
5. CONCENTRATION CURLS
a.) Sit on a flat bench with legs spread slightly apart. Hold a dumbbell with the back of the working arm rested on the inside of the same leg.
b.) With arm extended towards the floor, focus on using the bicep to curl dumbbell up to contracted position while keeping upper arms stationary. Pause at the peak for a one second contraction and release back to start position.
6. STANDING BARBELL CURLS
a.) Holding a barbell with hands placed shoulder width apart and palms facing up. Stand tall and look straight ahead.
b.) Curl barbell up by contracting biceps while keeping elbows close to the body and upper arms perpendicular to the ground. With a 5 second count, return slowly back to start position.
7. STANDING BARBELL 21S
a.) Holding a barbell with hands placed shoulder width apart and palms facing up.
Stand tall and look straight ahead.
b.) Curl barbell up halfway (until elbows reach 90 degrees) and lower back to start position for 7 reps. Bring barbell all the way up to the top and lower to the halfway point and curl back up for 7 reps. Finally, beginning from the start position, curl barbell all the way up to the top and lower for a full range of motion for 7 reps.
8. STANDING OVERHAND EZ BAR CURL
a.) Hold an EZ bar on the outer part of the outside bend of the bar, palms down. Let arms rest at your sides and EZ bar at the front of your thighs.
b.) While maintaining elbows close to your torso, focus on the biceps to curl bar up towards your chest. Pause for one second and in a controlled manner back to the start position.
* this exercise may be performed in a “21” fashion like the previous exercise
9) ROPE HAMMER CURL
a.) Attach a rope attachment to the lowest level of a pulley machine and hold the rope with palms facing each other. Stand about a foot away or until the cord is taut while holding the rope with arms straight down in front of your thighs.
b.) Using your biceps, curl rope up towards chest while keeping your arms between your shoulders and your elbows perpendicular to the ground. Pause for one second at the top and contract your biceps. In a controlled manner lower back to the start position.
10. DOUBLE BICEP CABLE CURL
a) Adjust the pulley on each side slightly above the head and attach the appropriate handle. Select appropriate and same weight on each side.
b.) Grasp each handle and position yourself in the middle between the two pulleys with arms extended. Keeping chin parallel to the ground looking straight ahead, use biceps to pull handles toward your ears. Release back to start position.