The 12 Greatest Biceps Workout routines for Arm Measurement

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Huge biceps. For some lifters, that’s the last word weightlifting purpose. Not profitable gold medals in competitors or hoisting a whole bunch of kilos overhead. Simply constructing some eye-catching sleeve-stretchers. And, frankly, there’s not a factor unsuitable with that.

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Altering your physique to fit your personal targets, and constructing muscle for muscle’s sake, continues to be completely acceptable, regardless of the latest prevalence of purposeful coaching, impediment racing, or performance-driven exercises. Nevermind the truth that straight coaching your biceps can contribute to joint well being and may very well increase efficiency in lots of lifts. So, within the spirit of getting large ol’ arms, listed here are a number of the greatest methods to develop your biceps.

12 Greatest Biceps Workout routines

Cheat Curl

Performing the cheat curl is doing the unsuitable factor for the best purpose. As an alternative of a strict barbell curl, which might be efficient by itself, you’re intentionally utilizing some physique English to drive a heavy weight to the highest place after which controlling the eccentric (damaging or reducing section).

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Through the use of your hips and legs purposefully to elevate the weights, reasonably than unintentionally loosening method resulting from fatigue, you stay answerable for the train and scale back the chance of damage whereas benefiting from heavier weights and elevated muscle pressure.

Learn how to Do the Cheat Curl

Stand with an underhand, shoulder-width grip on a barbell. Barely bend your knees and push your hips towards the wall behind you. Hold your again straight and slide the bar down alongside your thighs. Forcefully straighten your physique whereas curling the burden towards chin-level. Brace your abs within the high place and slowly decrease the burden. Hold your elbows pinned to your sides whereas straightening your arms.

Repeat your entire course of for every repetition. Make sure you use your legs and hips to drive the burden up, not merely your hips and decrease again. Take roughly three seconds, or longer, to decrease the burden on every repetition.

Advantages of the Cheat Curl

  • The hip drive and elevated muscle recruitment permits comparatively heavier weights for use, which may contribute to constructing dimension and power.
  • Reducing the burden slowly will help to construct extra muscle than reducing at a sooner pace. (1)

EZ-Bar Curl

The EZ-bar permits a semi-supinated (angled) grip, which reduces the wrist pressure many lifters from utilizing a totally supinated (palms up) grip on a straight barbell. The shift in hand place additionally impacts muscle recruitment by activating extra forearm musculature than a straight bar.

The a number of sections of an EZ-bar additionally lets you simply change your grip width from “large,” to “reasonable,” to “shut.” Grip width will have an effect on your efficient vary of movement, which is able to affect muscle activation.

Learn how to Do the EZ-Bar Curl

Stand with a shoulder-width, underhand grip on the bar. Pull your shoulders again and preserve your torso upright. Barely bend your knees and set your stance to a cushty width. Hold your elbows stationary as you curl the burden towards the entrance of your shoulders. Pause briefly earlier than reducing the burden to full extension.

Advantages of the EZ-Bar Curl


Many lifters think about the chin-up to be primarily a again train, however the supinated (palms up) grip drastically will increase biceps recruitment in the course of the train. This makes it excellent for a biceps-focused exercise, particularly if it’s preceded or adopted with extra direct biceps coaching to extend cumulative fatigue on the muscle.


By flipping your grip, you enhance the leverage in your biceps to contribute in the course of the motion, which locations extra stress straight on them and comparatively much less stress on the bigger again muscle tissues.

Learn how to Do the Chin-Up

Seize an overhead pull-up bar with a shoulder-width, palm-up grip. Enable your physique to be supported by your straight arms. Pinch your shoulder blades collectively as you pull your physique towards the bar. Hold your neck in a impartial place and keep away from extending your chin to the bar. When your mouth is roughly degree with the bar, pause briefly earlier than reducing your physique to full extension.

Advantages of the Chin-Up

  • The chin-up is considered one of comparatively few compound (multi-joint) workout routines which primarily work the biceps. Compound actions are extremely efficient at constructing power and dimension (3)
  • This motion permits for utilizing probably heavy weights in comparison with different biceps workout routines, which is helpful for dimension and power.

Alternating Supinating Curl

This train places a twist — pun fully supposed — on the basic dumbbell curl to ship elevated muscle recruitment. Supinating, or rotating, your hand as you curl the burden up lets you activate extra arm muscle tissues and it really works the biceps to their fullest capability.

Every repetition takes your arm by way of a major vary of movement and full muscle contraction by turning the wrist from a impartial place to a totally supinated (palm up) place, which maximally recruits the muscle tissues of the biceps and forearm.

Learn how to Do the Alternating Supinating Curl

Stand holding a pair of dumbbells by your sides together with your palms dealing with your hips. Curl one arm upwards, maintaining your thumb up in a impartial place. As your hand passes your ab-level, start rotating to a palm-up place as you proceed curling. Within the high place, your pinky must be barely larger than your index finger. Reverse the movement to decrease the burden, after which carry out a repetition with the other arm.

Advantages of the Alternating Supinating Curl

  • The biceps muscle performs a major function in supinating the forearm in addition to flexing (bending) your arm. (4) This is likely one of the only a few workout routines to particularly incorporate the supinating perform, which will increase total activation of the biceps.
  • Utilizing a impartial grip within the preliminary portion of the train recruits the brachialis and brachioradialis, making the alternating supinating curl an environment friendly approach to practice the biceps and forearms.
  • Alternating arms and performing the motion unilaterally (curling one arm at a time) lets you use a barely heavier weight than curling each dumbbells collectively. (5)

Barbell Spider Curl

The barbell spider curl works the biceps from a singular angle for a variation in coaching stimulus. That is basically a “reverse incline curl,” as a result of it requires mendacity chest-down on an incline bench and permitting your arms to hold vertically down.

By positioning your higher arm in entrance of your torso, the brief head of the biceps is extra strongly recruited than the lengthy head. Some lifters might not discover a major distinction within the growth of both head, however for physique-conscious lifters, emphasizing both biceps head can play a major function in constructing an aesthetic physique.

Learn how to Do the Barbell Spider Curl

Set an incline bench to a low-to-moderate angle, roughly 30 or 45-degrees. Lie your chest on the bench whereas holding a barbell with a supinated (palm up) grip at roughly shoulder-width. Let your arms grasp straight towards the bottom. Curl the burden with out shifting on the shoulder. Your higher arms and elbows ought to stay pointed on the floor as the burden strikes. Pause briefly within the high place to maximise the height contraction. Decrease slowly with management and keep away from swinging the burden.

Advantages of the Barbell Spider Curl

Incline Dumbbell Curl

The incline dumbbell curl is a basic bodybuilding train, identified for its distinctive angle which places the biceps and shoulder right into a stretched place and will increase recruitment of the lengthy head of the biceps.

Whereas the stretched place is crucial for the incline curl, it could be traumatic in your shoulder joint. You may modify the incline as wanted, larger or decrease, to accommodate your individual mobility and suppleness. The hot button is to take care of bench-contact together with your head, shoulder blades, and decrease again to make sure an inclined place.

Learn how to Do the Incline Dumbbell Curl

Lie again on an incline bench set to roughly 45-degrees with a dumbbell in every hand. Hold your head, shoulders, and tailbone towards the bench all through your entire motion. Straighten your arms and rotate your palms ahead. Hold your palms dealing with up as you curl each weights towards your biceps. Your elbows ought to stay pointed to the ground and shouldn’t transfer ahead. Slowly decrease the weights to a full stretch.

Advantages of the Incline Dumbbell Curl

  • Coaching the biceps with a singular angle, in an inclined place, contributes to extra muscle progress than performing workout routines that are too just like each other. (8)
  • The incline dumbbell curl places the shoulder right into a stretched place. As a result of the lengthy head of the biceps crosses over the shoulder joint and is concerned in shoulder flexion, this curl variation emphasizes the lengthy head greater than the brief head. (9)
  • The stretched place of the arm can contribute to improved shoulder mobility and biceps tendon power. (10)

Single-Arm Preacher Curl

The barbell or EZ-bar preacher curl is a time-tested muscle-builder, however performing the train with one arm at a time can permit even higher concentrate on the muscle. Unilateral (single-side) coaching will enhance muscle recruitment and emphasize on every arm greater than a barbell train.

The higher arm assist and stationary shoulder place de-emphasize the lengthy head of the biceps and enhance recruitment of the brief head.

Learn how to Do the Single-Arm Preacher Curl

Begin with a dumbbell curled to your shoulder, together with your palm dealing with your physique. Press your chest towards the flat aspect of a preacher curl bench and relaxation each underarms snugly on high of the pad. Lay your elbow and triceps on the angled aspect of the bench, maintaining the dumbbell within the high place. Keep a palms-up grip as you slowly decrease the burden. When your arm is almost straight, curl the burden again to the beginning place.

Advantages of the Single-Arm Preacher Curl

  • The preacher curl bench helps the higher arm which reinforces strict method and limits dishonest or momentum.
  • The one-arm preacher curl emphasizes the brief head of the biceps.
  • The unilateral motion permits lifters to deal with frequent muscle asymmetries between arms by specializing in every arm individually.

Single-Arm Low Cable Curl

The low cable pulley places the biceps beneath fixed pressure, in comparison with barbells or dumbbells which depend on gravity and leverage to supply resistance. This leads to cables providing higher time beneath pressure and a stronger muscle-building stimulus. (11)


The one-arm low cable curl might be finished both dealing with the cable stack or dealing with away from it. Dealing with away will put a higher stretch on the biceps, just like an incline curl, and is the more practical choice.

Learn how to Do the Single-Arm Low Cable Curl

Assault a single deal with to a low cable pulley. Seize the deal with, flip your again to the burden stack, and take one or two small steps ahead. With a palms-up grip and your hand by your aspect, your straight arm must be very barely “pulled” behind your torso by the burden. Hold your elbow stationary whereas curling the deal with towards your shoulder. From the highest place, totally straighten your arm earlier than repeating the subsequent repetition.

Advantages of the Single-Arm Low Cable Curl

  • This cable curl variation places the muscle beneath fixed muscular pressure which may enhance muscle progress.
  • The very long time beneath pressure and lengthy vary of movement make the train extremely efficient with comparatively mild weight, making it excellent for lifters whose joints can’t tolerate heavy hundreds.

Focus Curl

The focus curl is a basic biceps train, typically carried out by starting lifters instinctively with out formal route. It may be an especially efficient approach to goal the biceps with minimal recruitment of different muscle tissues.

The setup of the focus curl lets you, rightfully, consider the working arm throughout every set. Not solely is the motion strictly carried out by one arm at a time, however you’re wanting straight at your muscle because it contracts and stretches for every repetition.

Learn how to Do the Focus Curl

With a dumbbell in a single hand, sit on a bench or chair together with your ft set well-beyond shoulder-width. Brace the triceps of the working arm close to the same-side knee. Curl the burden towards your face whereas sustaining a palm-up grip. Don’t permit your legs or torso to swing the burden up. Slowly decrease the burden to finish extension.

Advantages of the Focus Curl

Zottman Curl

The Zottman curl, named for American strongman George Zottman, working the biceps and forearms by way of a wide range of motions for optimum muscle recruitment. It combines a regular dumbbell curl and a reverse curl, whereas testing and constructing wrist mobility.

For those who can handle the required coordination (which is easier than patting your head whereas rubbing your abdomen), then you possibly can construct greater, stronger arms with this environment friendly motion.

Learn how to Do the Zottman Curl

Stand holding a dumbbell in every hand by your sides. Curl one arm palm-up towards your shoulder. Within the high place, rotate your hand palm-down and decrease the burden to full extension. Subsequent, curl the other hand palm-up towards your shoulder earlier than rotating it palm-down for the reducing section. If you’re snug with the fundamental motion, goal to maneuver your arms on the similar time — elevating one hand palm-up whereas concurrently reducing the opposite palm-down.

Advantages of the Zottman Curl

  • The Zottman curl recruits a number of muscle tissues of the arm — together with the biceps, brachialis, and brachioradialis — in the course of the a number of phases of the train.
  • The numerous hand positions and use of supination and pronation (turning the palm up and down, respectively) will assist to construct total wrist mobility and will enhance wrist and elbow well being.

Hammer Curl

This easy adjustment to the usual dumbbell curl will increase recruitment of the forearm muscle tissues, lets you transfer comparatively heavier weights, and builds grip power.

The thumbs-up place emphasizes the brachialis and brachioradialis, together with the biceps, making it an environment friendly approach to practice the forearm in addition to the higher arm.

Learn how to Do the Hammer Curl

Stand holding a pair of dumbbells at your sides together with your palms dealing with your hips. Curl each weights up towards your shoulder whereas maintaining your thumbs up. Enable your elbows to maneuver barely ahead as you carry the burden into the highest place — this may enhance total muscle recruitment. Pause briefly earlier than reducing to full extension.

Advantages of the Hammer Curl

  • The hammer curl lets you elevate heavier weights than any palms-up curl, which may profit dimension and power good points.
  • The neutral-grip hand place emphasizes the brachialis and brachioradialis, which aren’t considerably recruited throughout different biceps curl variations.

EZ-Bar Reverse Curl

The EZ-bar reverse curl shares lots of the advantages of the usual EZ-bar curl — diminished wrist pressure and a constant gauge for adjusting grip width — and it provides even higher recruitment of forearm muscle tissues as a result of angled palms-down grip.

The semi-pronated (partially palms-down) grip will increase activation of the brachialis, brachioradialis, and wrist extensors, together with some recruitment of the biceps. This makes the motion a really environment friendly approach to practice the decrease arms.

Learn how to Do the EZ-Bar Reverse Curl

Stand with a shoulder-width, palms-down grip on the bar. Pull your shoulders again and preserve your torso upright. Barely bend your knees and set your stance to a cushty width. Hold your elbows stationary as you curl the burden towards the entrance of your shoulders. Pause briefly earlier than reducing the burden to full extension.

You might discover the train extra snug utilizing a thumbless or “false” grip, inserting your thumb subsequent to your index finger as a substitute of wrapping it across the bar. This method would require higher grip power as you squeeze the bar more durable all through the motion.

Advantages of the EZ-Bar Reverse Curl

  • The mixture of utilizing an EZ-bar and a predominantly pronated (overhand or palms-down) grip considerably will increase brachialis, brachioradialis, and forearm activation in comparison with supinated (palms-up) biceps workout routines.
  • The angled hand place reduces stress on the wrist joint, making the train extra snug for lifters with mobility issues or joint points.

The Biceps Muscular tissues

It sounds counterintuitive, however “the biceps” are literally simply fabricated from your biceps. A number of intently associated muscle tissues within the higher and decrease arm must be developed for an ideal wanting set of biceps.

Biceps Brachii

The first biceps muscle on the entrance of the higher arm consists of two heads working collectively. The brief head of the biceps, typically referred to as the “internal head,” runs from close to the elbow to the highest of the higher arm. The lengthy head, typically referred to as the “outer head,” runs from the elbow over the shoulder joint and attaches to the shoulder blade.

person in gym curling dumbbell
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The biceps are well-known for working to flex (bend) your elbow, however in addition they perform to pronate and supinate your wrist and forearm — turning your palm up and down. That is one purpose why workout routines just like the alternating supinating curl lead to stronger muscle contractions and higher total progress.


The brachioradialis runs alongside the thumb-side of the forearm from the wrist space to the decrease a part of the biceps. It’s closely activated when curling, significantly when the hand is in a impartial (thumbs up) place. The brachioradialis additionally performs a job in stabilizing the forearm muscle throughout and after supination or pronation.


This typically under-appreciated muscle is definitely situated “beneath” the biceps, close to the elbow joint. When the brachialis will increase in dimension, it has the impact of “lifting” the biceps to make it seem bigger. The brachialis turns into the first arm flexor when utilizing a impartial grip, which is why actions just like the hammer curl goal it effectively.


The wrist flexors and wrist extensors, on the decrease and higher a part of the forearm respectively, are largely answerable for lifting the hand on the wrist joint. These muscle tissues are sometimes statically skilled throughout most biceps curl variations, to stabilize the hand and wrist.

Nonetheless, workout routines just like the Zottman curl or the cheat curl might recruit the flexors or extensors extra considerably as a result of involvement of extra dynamic lifting method.

How Typically Ought to You Prepare the Biceps

Direct biceps coaching will probably be an element of your particular purpose and your total coaching cut up. Two efficient approaches are to both carry out a reasonable quantity of biceps work instantly after coaching a bigger physique half or to carry out a low quantity of biceps coaching extra ceaselessly.

As a result of your biceps are recruited throughout virtually all again workout routines, ending your again exercise with two or three biceps workout routines (every for 2 to 4 units of eight to 12 reps) is an environment friendly approach to totally exhaust the biceps.

With this method, the workout routines must be as assorted as potential. For instance, performing the cheat curl, EZ-bar curl, and single-arm cable curl would all practice the biceps with an identical stimulus. Performing the EZ-bar curl, incline curl, and Zottman curl would ship higher selection, elevated muscle recruitment, and stronger stimulus for progress.

muscular person in gym curling barbell
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An efficient different is to carry out one biceps train for 2 to a few units of six to fifteen reps on the finish of your exercise three to 5 days per week. With this high-frequency method, your biceps are skilled typically, however the low quantity permits for optimum restoration and progress. (13)

The decrease quantity per exercise additionally prevents biceps fatigue from interfering together with your different coaching for different physique components. For this technique to be best, use totally different workout routines and/or a distinct set/rep scheme in every exercise. For instance, carry out cheat curls for 4 units of six within the first exercise, single-arm preacher curls for 3 units of 12 within the subsequent exercise, hammer curls for 3 units of eight within the subsequent session, and many others.

Learn how to Progress Your Biceps Coaching

One important component for maximizing your biceps progress is coaching with a wide range of hand positions and arm angles, both in a single exercise or all through the week. It will optimize total muscle recruitment and stability activation of the most important arm flexors — biceps lengthy head, biceps brief head, brachialis, and brachioradialis. (14)

Make sure you incorporate “basic” palm-up curls just like the barbell spider curl, palms-down curls such because the EZ-bar reverse curl, actions together with your higher arm in entrance of your torso just like the chin-up, and actions together with your higher arm angled behind your torso together with the incline curl.

person wearing hat outdoors performing chin-ups
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One significantly efficient method to extend coaching depth and quantity is the mechanical benefit drop set. This can be a particular kind of superset which pairs related actions with easy changes to enhance leverage so as to carry out extra whole repetitions.

For instance, if you would possibly start with alternating supinating curls. If you method muscular fatigue, transition instantly (with out setting the dumbbells down) and start performing hammer curls. As a result of hammer curls put the brachialis in a stronger place to contract, it is possible for you to to finish extra repetitions earlier than once more reaching muscular fatigue.

Many individuals unintentionally stumble onto this system when performing strict barbell curls, as they inadvertently transition to cheat curls to finish a difficult set.

Learn how to Heat-Up Your Biceps

Whereas the elbow joint is mostly overstressed or aggravated by sure triceps workout routines, biceps coaching may also play a essential function in figuring out joint well being. As a result of the elbow is held in place throughout most biceps workout routines, the joint might be put beneath vital pressure. A radical warm-up can go a great distance towards stopping any extreme stress.

Earlier than any biceps coaching, get blood flowing all through your higher physique. Alternating low-rep push-ups with high-rep band pull-aparts for 2 or three units is an effective begin. Following that with (maybe counterintuitively), a lightweight weight, excessive rep triceps train alternated with a lightweight weight, excessive rep biceps train for 2 units. With these 4 actions, you’ve acquired an environment friendly approach to method your biceps warm-up. Proceed the coaching with a comparatively mild first set on every biceps train, and get to work.

Don’t Be Scared to Prepare for Huge Arms

Direct biceps coaching has developed an unlucky repute lately, with some lifters considering it’s purely for “self-importance.” To begin with, no it isn’t. Setting a purpose of lean, muscular 17-inch arms isn’t “self-importance” any greater than setting a purpose to squat 5 plates per aspect. Secondly, biceps coaching can play a performance-boosting function in higher physique power, stability when dealing with heavy weight, and shoulder, elbow, and wrist joint well being. So, you need to construct your biceps? Glorious. You’re now armed with the best methods to get there.


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