10 Bicep Exercises For Bigger Arms

10 Bicep Exercises For Bigger Arms

There is a reason why flexing your biceps is a common symbol used to showcase your strength.

The biceps, although small, are some of the most noticeable muscles by those around you. Having big, defined biceps can be a head-turner for sure!

The best part is that these muscles aren’t just there for show. They serve a purpose, and we use them often without realizing it.

If you’ve ever taken the trash out or carried a load of laundry, which I’m sure you have ... you know exactly what I mean. That's right, you used your biceps to help you do that.

If you like training your back in the gym, it’s a safe bet to say that you train your biceps during those exercises a good amount too. That means when you get stronger biceps, your back exercises can benefit as well!

Before we get into the best exercises for training your biceps, I want to make sure you understand what your biceps are and what they do for you.

The Biceps: What Are They and What Do They Do?

The biceps are a small muscle group on the front of the upper arm that connects from your shoulder joint to your elbow joint. The main function of your biceps is to flex your elbow and turn your wrist.

Essentially, your biceps allow you to pick things up and hold them off the ground.

They are also very much involved in pulling things toward you. That’s why there are many different exercises for biceps that can help increase their size and strength. We’ll talk about those in a second.

When training your biceps, remember to bring them through a full range of motion. Don’t cut yourself, and your gains, short by not going all the way up and down.

Your muscles will only get stronger in the range of motion you train them. So, if you skip out on the full range of motion, you are leaving a lot of potential strength on the table.

With that being said, let’s take a look at these exercises, shall we?

Best Biceps Exercises

Although there is not one singular answer to the question of which exercise is best for the biceps, I’ll give you plenty to choose from. This list has several key exercises that you definitely want to throw into your routine if your goal is bigger biceps.

1. EZ Bar Curl

This is one of the most popular bicep exercises due to the fact that it puts your wrist in a more comfortable position to curl heavy weight. You can also modify the emphasis to a different part of the biceps simply by adjusting your grip on the bar.

Doing bicep curls with a straight bar can sometimes feel restrictive on the wrists and elbows. Because the EZ bar has angled grips, this means less pressure on both your elbows and wrists.

How To:

Hold the bar in front of your thighs with your palms facing forward on whatever grip you choose. Keep your elbows by your sides and engage your biceps to pull the bar up toward your shoulders.

Squeeze your biceps at the top for a second, then slowly lower the bar back to the starting position. Repeat this for reps.

2. Standing Dumbbell Curl

The standing dumbbell curl is a staple exercise for targeting the biceps. It’s also very versatile due to how easily you can change the emphasis by turning your hands.

You can keep your palms forward, backward, or even facing each other. You can even turn your hands to face a new direction in the middle of the rep if you want to.

Another benefit is your ability to do one arm at a time, but you can still do both together too. Whichever you choose is up to you.

How To:

Stand upright with a dumbbell in each hand and your arms hanging by your sides. Keep your elbows close to your body as you use your biceps to curl the weights up toward your shoulders.

Remember, you can do one arm at a time, or both at the same time. Pause for a second at the top while you squeeze your biceps, then lower your hands back to the starting position. Repeat this for reps.

3. Alternating Hammer Curl

This variation of the dumbbell bicep curl actually targets some of the surrounding muscles of your biceps. It really targets the brachialis underneath the bicep and the muscles of the forearm as well.

The neutral position of the wrist also makes it a little more comfortable of a position to curl heavy weights. Doing these as part of your bicep training can really add to the size of your arms.

How To:

While standing, hold a dumbbell in each hand and turn your wrists so they face each other. Keeping your elbows tucked at your side, curl one of the dumbbells up toward your shoulder.

Squeeze the muscles in your arm at the top for a second, and then slowly lower the weight back down. Repeat with the other arm, and continue until all of the reps are done with both arms.

4. Preacher Curls

The preacher curl involves a strict movement with minimal opportunity for using momentum to cheat the movement. This is great for isolating the biceps and building a mind-to-muscle connection.

There are several variations of this particular exercise, but one of the most common ones uses a preacher bench for support. This exercise should be very controlled and allow you to get a great stretch.

You can use whatever bar you like, but I prefer the EZ curl bar on this exercise.

How To:

Sit at a preacher bench and rest the back of your arms on the pad. The seat height should allow your upper arm to maintain contact with the bench while sitting upright with good posture.

Grab the bar with both hands in whatever grip you choose, and use your biceps to pull the bar up to your shoulders. Pause at the top to squeeze your biceps, then lower the weight slowly back to the starting position. Repeat this for reps.

5. Incline Dumbbell Curl

For this exercise, you must lie back on an incline bench while doing the curl. This eliminates the option of using momentum to get the weight up to shoulder height.

It also uses a longer range of motion and gives a pretty nice stretch at the bottom of the movement. This makes it a little harder to use heavier weights, but it’s quite effective for building muscle in the biceps.

How To:

Lie back on an incline bench that is angled somewhere between 45-60 degrees, and let your arms hang with a dumbbell in each hand. Use your biceps to curl the weight up to your shoulders.

Pause at the top to squeeze your biceps for a second, and then slowly lower them back down to the starting position. Repeat for reps.

6. Cable Curl

Although the cable curl uses the same motion as most other bicep curl exercises, it’s a little different. The addition of the cable keeps the same amount of tension on the muscle throughout the entire movement.

The added tension means it will train your biceps harder at certain points in the range of motion.

The lower weight is a little more gentle on the elbow joints too. So, the cable curl is a great option if you want to increase the size of your biceps without overtaxing your elbows.

You can use different handles in order to target your biceps from different angles too. So, using cables to do your bicep curls is not a bad idea, and they are quite versatile.

How To:

Attach your desired handle to the pulley of a cable machine, and set it to the lowest height. Grab the handle with both hands in your desired grip, and take a step back until the weight is lifted.

Keep your elbows tucked to your sides as you curl the bar up toward your chest. Pause at the top to squeeze your biceps for a second, and then slowly lower back down to the starting position. Repeat this for reps.

7. Chin-Up

The chin-up is a deceptively simple exercise that helps strengthen the biceps and back muscles. Because you pull your own body weight, it’s very functional and puts a lot of load on the biceps.

The emphasis of this exercise really depends on how you perform it. If you focus on pulling with your hands, you’ll engage your biceps more.

If you focus on pulling with your elbows, you’ll likely focus on your back muscles more.

How To:

Hang from the bar with your palms facing you and your hands shoulder-width apart. Squeeze your shoulder blades together, and use your biceps and back muscles to pull your body up until your chin is above the bar.

For proper form, focus on pulling your hands to your chest, and your elbows back behind you. Squeeze your biceps and back muscles at the top for a second, then slowly lower your body back down to the starting position. Repeat this for reps.

8. Concentration Curl

As the name suggests, this type of curl allows for more concentration and isolates the biceps really well.

This is also a great movement to do if one arm is stronger than the other. Make sure to keep the weight the same for both arms regardless of any strength difference though.

This will allow the weaker arm to build strength while the stronger arm still gets training.

How To:

Sit on a bench with your feet and knees wide and a dumbbell in your right hand. Rest your right elbow on the inside of your right thigh.

Engage your bicep to slowly curl the dumbbell up toward your right shoulder. Flex your bicep at the top of the movement and hold it for a second.

Carefully lower the weight back to the starting position, and repeat for reps. Do the same number of reps on the left arm as well.

Again, if one arm is weaker than the other ... start on the weak side, and then match that number of reps on the strong side.

9. Inverted Row

This is a great exercise that targets both your biceps and your back muscles. You can also change which muscles are used most by changing your grip.

If the goal is building your biceps, choose an underhand grip about shoulder-width apart. It does take some core strength to do it properly too, so make sure your core stays engaged the whole time.

How To:

Set up a barbell in a rack or on the smith machine at waist-height. Set yourself up underneath the bar, and hold it with an underhand grip. Your hands should be shoulder-width apart.

Position your heels in front of you and keep your arms fully extended. Keep your core and glutes engaged so that your body is in a straight line from your feet to your head.

Engage your biceps and pull your chest up to the bar while pulling your elbows behind you. Squeeze your biceps at the top for a second, then slowly lower your body back to the starting position. Repeat this for reps.

10. Barbell Curl

The barbell curl is one of the most classic biceps exercises that you just can’t go wrong with.

This bicep curl variation allows you to load up heavier weights, because you lift it with both arms at once. It doesn’t 100% isolate your biceps, but it’s pretty close.

The key is to keep your body from rocking back and forth to gain momentum. That takes away from the work your biceps should be doing.

Keep your body still, and pull with your biceps!

How To:

Hold a barbell at your thighs with an underhand grip and your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Keep your elbows pinched to your sides as you engage your biceps to pull the weight up toward your shoulders.

Squeeze your biceps at the top for a second, and then slowly lower the bar back to the starting position. Repeat this for reps.

Building Your Biceps

The biceps are one of the most visually prominent muscles. They stick out, fill out your sleeves, and people usually notice who has well-developed biceps. It’s just the truth.

However, they are also important for many aspects of daily life. We use them without thinking about it every day.

Strong biceps can also help you lift heavier weights in your back exercises, and that can make a big difference in your physique over time. If you want bigger & stronger biceps, make sure you aren’t skipping out on these exercises!

If you want more exercises for your biceps, you can also get access to great bicep workouts inside the 1st Phorm App. Not only that, but if your goal is to build muscle … the 1st Phorm App can be a great tool to help you do exactly that.

Inside the app, you’ll get access to:

• 1-on-1 messaging with a certified advisor
• Nutrition programming and tracking
• A library of workout programs catered to your goals
• Educational videos and live streams
• A community to keep you accountable

…and so much more! All you have to do is download the app and get started today!

If you need any help in the meantime, we’re here to help anytime. Our team of NASM Certified Personal Trainers and Nutrition Coaches are available to talk from 6AM to 10PM Central every single day! Just give us a call at 1-800-409-9732 or send us an email at CustomerService@1stPhorm.com.

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