Try the best bicep workout for mass to improve your health and strength. When your arms are strong, your functional strength and endurance increases.
There are two types of workouts for the biceps in this article. They are bicep workouts at the gym and with their own body weight. Building up beefy biceps without dumbbells or barbells seems like impossible work unless you’re willing to do pull-ups, pull-ups, and more pull-ups. You can still develop your biceps, even if you don’t have weights, because your body weight provides enough resistance to build good-shaped biceps. There are pluses and minuses in each method. For example, you can work out without weights anywhere and, at the same time, for a bodyweight bicep workout, you should better go to the gym, or you have to buy all the necessary equipment. No matter which way of training you choose, our article will help you get maximum results from your workout.
Best Bicep Workouts at Gym
Bicep workouts at the gym are a quick way to grow your muscles. You will start with the lightweight, and then you can slowly add it. So, in a few months, you will be able to grab more weight and progress quickly in your training. Below you can find the most effective bicep exercises with the weight.
One of the best bicep workouts is barbell curl. This exercise targets the biceps and can make your muscles bigger and much stronger. Load a single weight on both hands. On a barbell. Take a barbell in both hands and lift it to your chin. Then repeat.
You should grab the barbell with your lower grip, a little wider than your shoulders. Your elbows should be placed under the shoulder joint or in front of the ribs. Expose the front of your biceps while pulling your shoulders back into the hollow.
Do it with your chest lifted, and your shoulder blades pressed tightly together. Twist the bar up with your biceps (make sure that your torso and shoulders don’t fall forward, and your elbows stay slightly in front of your shoulders). Repeat three sets of 8-10 reps with a 30-second rest between sets.
Obvious advantages of barbell cure:
- it has a slight learning curve, so it’s ideal for beginners (more advanced lifters will still benefit from the basic mechanics):
- you will be able to load your biceps more and grow them faster.
EZ Bar Preacher Curl
You can increase the amplitude of the exercise movement by twisting on the preacher bench. Consequently, the biceps will be in tension for longer periods and causing their growth. EZ bar rotates the arms inward and makes the movement more comfortable for the wrists; It’s one of the best exercises for the biceps.
How will you perform it? Sit on a preacher’s bench and place the back of your triceps on a pad. The chest is up, shoulders back, and elbows slightly forward. It would help if you were in the same position as you would for a standard biceps extension with the barbell. Grasp the handle of the EZ bar at the inner corners. Put your hands a bit wider than shoulder width. Unbend the bar upward while extending your biceps. Your torso should be locked in place. Make a short pause at the top point of the extension to stretch your biceps. Then lower the weight under control. Repeat 10-15 times.
Advantages of the EZ barbell for extensions on the preacher bench:
- allows you to increase the amplitude of the movement
- creates more muscle tension for biceps growth
- this exercise is more comfortable for the wrists.
Decline Dumbbell Curl
Decline dumbbell curl is a bicep workout with dumbbells that makes your muscles stronger. And resting your chest on the bench helps to prevent the weight from deflecting upward and keeps tension on the target muscles.
Obviously, this movement is more difficult to train than regular dumbbell curls. The intense peak contraction it causes can be worth the extra time investment if you’re serious about bodybuilding.
How to perform this exercise? Place the back of the bench at a 45-degree angle. Grab two dumbbells in a neutral grip. Then sit on the bench with your chest and abs pressed against the backrest. Your arms should hang down on either side of the backrest. Bend the dumbbells toward your shoulders until your biceps and forearms touch. Squeeze your arms firmly at the top point of the repetition. Carefully lower the dumbbell back down under control until your elbows are fully extended. Repeat it in 3-4 sets of 10-15 repetitions with a 30-second rest between sets.
The extra effort you use on this exercise is worth it. Because declined dumbbell curls take longer to perform than regular curls. Your result will be better, and your muscles will be stronger.
Dumbbell Hammer Curl
Dumbbell hammer curl is a bodyweight bicep exercise targeting the upper and lower arm muscles. It is a variation of the traditional supine biceps curls that target different parts of the arm. By performing dumbbell hammer curl, you are primarily working the long head of the biceps brachii and the brachialis.
How to Perform the dumbbell hammer curl? Stand up and take a dumbbell in each hand. Rotate your wrists so that the palms are facing each other. This neutral position of the wrists is more comfortable. It allows you to lift more weight because we are usually stronger in the palm-facing position. Keep your arms at your sides and straighten the dumbbells toward your shoulders while bending your elbows. Lower them back down carefully and slowly. Repeat 10-15 times in 2 sets with a 30-second rest between sets.
Dumbbell hammer curl advantages:
- you can lift more weight in the hammer extension so that you will gain more muscle mass over time;
- this exercise also targets the inner biceps muscle and forearm and creates tighter arms;
- neutral wrist position is more comfortable.
Incline Dumbbell Curl
Incline dumbbell curl is a type of dumbbell extension and an exercise used to build up your biceps with bodyweight bicep workouts. Dumbbell extension at an incline lengthens the negative portion of the dumbbell extension, creating a deeper stretch of the biceps muscle tissue.
To perform an incline dumbbell curl, lie on an incline gymnasium bench at about a 55-65-degree angle with your back leaning against the cushion and select the desired weight from the rack and take a dumbbell in each hand. Take a deep breath and extend both dumbbells toward your shoulders without moving your shoulders and using a palms-up grip. Hold at the top of the movement for about a second, then slowly lower the dumbbells, controlling the situation. Repeat it 10-15 times.
Remember! Do not allow your elbows to move behind your body while performing the exercise; maintain a slight bend in the elbow at the bottom of the movement to keep tension in the biceps.
Advantages of inclined dumbbell curls:
- it helps to target the whole hand muscles;
- helps you create a wider range of motion for better contraction or deeper stretch of your bicep muscles.
Best Bodyweight Bicep Exercises
While doing bicep exercises, you can switch from bodyweight exercises for biceps to bicep workouts with your weight. Below we will tell you about exercises without weights in detail.
Here is a list of them:
- pullUp (Overhand Grip);
- suspension Trainer Biceps Curl;
- inverted row or bodyweight row;
- isometric bar hold;
- towel Chinups.
Let’s learn about all of them more properly!
PullUp (Overhand Grip)
Though you don’t use your biceps quite as much in this version, they still get in on the action—assisting your lats and core. You’re also engaging your biceps, shoulders, chest, and forearm muscles, which require a lot of grip strength. Although pull-up is better known as a back movement.
How to perform pull-ups? Grasp the bar with a cross-grip. Hanging on the bar, bring your shoulder blades back and down to lift your body and create momentum. Pull your body up on your hands. Please don’t use your feet to help with the exercise; keep them pointed at the ground below you. Repeat two sets of min 8 reps with a 30-second rest between sets. For advanced athletes is one arm pull up is great exercise.
Pull up advantages:
- it is a great bodyweight exercise for biceps;
- strengthen the back muscles;
- strengthen the arm and shoulder muscles;
- improves grip and overall body strength.
Suspension Trainer Biceps Curl
Suspension trainer biceps curl is one of the best bicep workouts without weights.
How to perform this exercise? Hold the suspension trainer handles and suspend your body at a 45° angle. Straighten arms with palms facing the ceiling and arms at a 90° angle to the body. Bend your elbows and curl your body up to nearly a standing position. Grasp the handles of the hanging machine with both hands in a lower grip. Lean back to extend your arms fully. With your feet, shoulder-width apart and your back straightened, pull yourself up on your arms (to the exerciser) while twisting. Bend your arms at the elbows and extend the handles as close to your shoulders as possible. Ensure your wrists stay straight so you direct the effort to your biceps, not your upper arms. Repeat two sets of min 10 reps with a 30-second rest between sets.
Here is a tip to make the suspension trainer biceps curl more effective. The closer your feet are to the anchor point, the greater the lean angle on your back. This will make your biceps work harder as they are lifting more of your weight.
Advantages of the exercise:
- this exercise strongly works the biceps with body weight as resistance;
- you don’t need special equipment to perform it.
Inverted row or bodyweight row
Inverted row or bodyweight row provides many advantages of pull-ups, but it also better isolates your biceps. You can also position yourself at different angles to increase or decrease the difficulty of the pull-up.
To perform an Inverted row or bodyweight row, lie down under a bar several feet above you. Hang under the bar with your heels on the ground, your arms fully extended, and your hands in an upper or lower grip. Reach your chest toward the bar. Pause at the top point and return to the starting position. Repeat two sets of 10 reps with a 30-second rest between sets.
The main benefit of inverted row or bodyweight row bicep exercises is that they boost your biceps and are an excellent addition to a full-body workout.
Isometric bar hold
Isometric bar hold is great for getting your body to engage more muscles. While performing this exercise, you use your biceps, lats, shoulders, and triceps. An isometric bar hold is a form of exercise that involves a muscular contraction of a particular muscle or a group of muscles without changing the length of these muscles. Your body will remain static while your muscles are firing away to keep the body inflexible.
How to perform isometric bar hold? Start from a pull-up, but instead of dropping back down, lift your chin over the bar at the top point of the exercise. Hold it for as long as you can, and then carefully lower it to the ground when your strength begins to fail. Repeat 12-15 times.
Isometric bar hold advantages:
- it involves holding the body in a position with no muscle or joint movement;
- helps to build muscular strength and endurance;
- it is an amazing rehabilitation exercise.
By grasping a towel instead of the bar, you strongly intensify the exercise and make the whole move harder. It is certainly not the easiest movement to make, but certainly one of the most effective. Even if it is not body weight bicep workouts, you use only your weight and a towel. If you perform it correctly and along with your arms, you’ll get a serious workout for your shoulders and back.
How to perform towel chin-ups? First of all, you can use two towels to better work your biceps and improve your grip strength. Grab a towel, and slip it over the pull-up bar so that both ends of the towel hang down. If you use one towel, take one end in each hand. Grasp the bar with your palms facing you, grip narrow, less than shoulder width. Pull yourself up until your head is above the bar. Slowly lower yourself to the starting position. Perform pull-ups by holding onto the towels, not the bar. Repeat two sets of min 10 reps with a 30-second rest between sets.
The main advantage of towel chin-ups is that you will use all your hands’ muscles, even the smallest one, and it is not only good for your biceps but also your back.
Here you can read a few more tips to help your best bicep workout:
- Rest more. Resting is very helpful when it comes to muscle growth. Resting for more than two to three minutes between exercises will ensure your muscles are fully recovered. And you can lift at full capacity and achieve your bodybuilding goals.
- Warm up. Warming up before training allows more muscle blood flow, which means more oxygenation and pumping.
- It’s essential to squeeze the muscle at the upper point of each muscle contraction. It will help you focus the tension on your biceps, which will break down muscle fibers and help you build muscle mass.
- Try a dead hang – an excellent and very effective exercise for developing forearm and hand muscle strength – which increases your bicep growth.
We wish you good luck in reaching your goal and hope our article about the best exercises for the biceps will help you this way. Please, consult your doctor before you start a workout; this is an introductory article.
Nina Burkovskaya is a senior content writer at Raisetwice since 2020. She has 12 years of yoga experience and 5 years experience of motivational coaching. On a free time loves to read biographies of the famous people and go for a walk with her dog.