3 Bicep Exercises You Need to Do for Bigger Arms
We can both agree on the following statement:
If you’re a guy, biceps are an important muscle group that you want to have developed.
In fact, thepostgame.com found that women rated biceps as the 2nd sexiest muscle on a man.
So it should come as no surprise when you constantly see guys doing “curls for the girls” in the gym.
The only question is: how can you develop amazing and complete biceps that make girls melt?
Not to fear because that’s exactly what I’ll be sharing with you in today’s post.
This is Why Your Biceps Aren’t Getting Noticed
Do your biceps lack that “pop” that just makes them look absolutely amazing? If so, I have a feeling as to why this is the case…
You’re not training your biceps in all 3 of the different ranges of motion!
The Stretch: Most of the tension is at the bottom of the movement, making it hard to start the exercise but easy to finish at the top or end of the movement.
The Midrange: Most of the tension is at the middle of the movement. This is why the middle of a standard barbell curl is called the “sticking point”.
The Peak Contraction: Most of the tension is at the top of the movement, making it easy to start the exercise but hard to finish.
P.S. Peak contraction exercises are also great for building up the mind-muscle connection. So absolutely use these exercises if you’re having trouble “feeling” a particular muscle during a workout.
Sadly, most people only train using 1 range of motion, which is the midrange, when doing standard barbell and dumbbell curls.
Here’s the deal:
If you want complete, developed biceps, you have to train in all 3 ranges of motion.
It’s for the simple reason that if you don’t, then you’re missing out on placing more stress on different parts of your bicep. If you do just plain old barbell curls, then you’re hitting the same muscle fibers, in the same way, every single time. No wonder your biceps don’t look they way you want them to!
What are 3 different exercises that can take your biceps through all 3 ranges of motion? Keep reading below to find out.
Note: Remember that you must also be lean for your biceps to have great definition. Your biceps are never going to look as good as possible with a layer of fat covering them.
Top 3 Best Bicep Exercises (In No Particular Order)
Barbell/Dumbbell Curl (Midrange Exercise)
I’m going to start with what has to be the most common bicep exercise of all time, the barbell curl. This is a midrange exercise as I was mentioning earlier, and it therefore will place the most stress on your biceps during the middle of the movement.
The thing I like most about the barbell curl is the fact that you can load up some heavy weights with this exercise. With most other bicep exercises, you’re usually limited on the amount of weight that you can use because of body positioning, etc.
Fortunately, that’s not the case with this exercise, which makes it really easy to focus on progressive overload (important concept for muscle growth).
What if you want to load up even more weight? Not a problem, just use a cheat curl!
This isn’t a bad exercise if you do it properly (lean forward to build momentum, don’t let your lower back excessively arch, and slowly lower the weight down), and it’s a great way to overload the biceps with a heavier stimulus that it’s not used to.
Give it a try if you’re having trouble adding mass to your biceps!
Incline Dumbbell Curl (Stretch Exercise)
This is my favorite bicep exercise of all time. The positioning of the exercise makes it really hard to cheat using momentum, which is a good thing because you’ll have no choice but to focus on your biceps.
This also means that you won’t be able to use as much weight in comparison to a normal standing dumbbell/barbell curl. For that reason alone, the incline dumbbell curl isn’t nearly as popular as the classic barbell curl, which is a shame.
People in the gym really like to use as much weight as possible, and I’m telling you right now to put your ego to the side. This is a great exercise that can help grow your biceps if you’ve never done it before.
Definitely put it in your routine if you haven’t already.
Spider Curl (Peak Contraction Exercise)
Don’t let the name of this exercise fool you because it really is an outstanding exercise. Sadly, it’s another underutilized bicep exercise.
Again a big part of that has to do with the fact that you can’t use as much weight, but I digress. The reason I love this movement so much is because it’s great for enhancing the peak of your bicep.
So if you’re not satisfied with the way your biceps look when you flex, then definitely give this exercise a shot.
It’s very important that you try to keep your elbows as straight as possible when doing this exercise. The reason being is that if you move your elbows forward you’ll activate too much of your front delt, and we obviously want to target the biceps here.
Below is a video of me demonstrating the exercise…
The Final Piece
The final piece of the puzzle for developing amazing biceps is to make sure that you target both heads of your bicep. You see, your bicep has 2 heads, the long head and the short head.
When you do exercises such as concentration curls or a preacher curl, you’re placing more tension on the short head of the bicep. However, if you want complete bicep development, then you need to focus on the long head as well.
A great way to do this is by incorporating an exercise such as the hammer curl into your workout routine. This exercise will work on the brachialis, brachioradialis, and biceps brachii muscles.
The brachialis muscle usually doesn’t receive much attention because most guys spend their time doing barbell curls instead of hammer curls. However, if you want to have fuller biceps, then you must incorporate some type of hammer or reverse curl into your routine.
How Often Should You Workout Your Biceps?
How frequently you should workout a muscle to spark growth has been a big debate in the fitness world for quite some time now. You have the bodybuilders who like to hit each muscle group once per week, but then others will hit the same muscle 2 or 3 times per week.
So who’s right in all of this? Well let’s look to science for the answer.
A study done back in 2007 compared strength levels of 18 older adults. The first half of the group trained each muscle once per week and the other half trained each muscle twice per week.
No differences were found between the two groups. Another 2007 study compared strength differences between 2 groups of untrained women.
The first group performed 1 set of leg press once per week, while the other performed 1 set of leg press twice per week. The results?
Both had similar gains in strength.
So the answer is obvious right?
Train a muscle once per week. Well not so fast.
Keep in mind the participants of the first study were older (65-79 years old), and participants in the second study were untrained. So what if you’re a younger person who’s been training for 3 years?
Do the results of these studies apply to you? I’m not so sure that they do.
For me personally (yes I’m aware that this is antidotal evidence) I’ve made great progress training a muscle group twice per week. Additionally, working out your biceps more frequently will help to pump more blood, oxygen, and nutrients into the muscle, and smaller muscle groups (such as the biceps) can recover much faster than larger muscle groups (such as the legs).
This isn’t to say that you can’t get results from training a muscle once per week or twice per week because both will give you results. Remember the studies found no differences in strength between the 2 groups. It’s not like one was better than the other. Both groups achieved similar results. With that aside, at the end of the day, progressive overload is what matters most. You need to be adding weight to the bar if you want to build bigger biceps. If you can get stronger training biceps once per week then do it, if not then train them twice per week.
Without a doubt, men care about how their biceps look. Sadly, most guys are missing out on obtaining great biceps because they don’t know how to train them properly.
Luckily that won’t be the case for you anymore. Finally, I’d like to hear your thoughts in the comment section down below.
What are some of your favorite bicep exercises? Which exercise mentioned in the post was your favorite?
Whatever your thoughts are let me know!