There are several reasons why you may want to exercise your biceps to pave the way for muscle growth. Apart from being able to perform everyday tasks more effortlessly with stronger arms, you will also most likely enhance the results in any of your workouts with increased arm strength. This article lists down some of the highly recommended exercises for your biceps that will foster the growth of your muscles, yielding stronger arms.
Standing Reverse Barbell Curl
Most people may have tried doing the barbell curl but what many don’t realize is that a reverse grip while doing this exercise can have a significant impact on the effectiveness of the workout. For this reason, the standing reverse barbell curl is considered to be one of the most effective bicep exercises, albeit not that popular. Aside from the dumbbells, you no longer have to have any other equipment to complete this exercise because you need to do this standing with your feet shoulder-width apart as you lift the weights to the front of your shoulders.
Standing Cable Curl
Another bicep exercise that you can do is the standing cable curl that will most likely work out different sections of your body, especially the brachioradialis muscles in your biceps. While standing with your feet shoulder-width apart facing a cable machine, hold to the handles with your palms facing forward. Extend your arms straight to the floor and while keeping your elbows and shoulders stationary, lift the weights to the front of your shoulders.
Standing Dumbbell Curl
There is also the option for you to try the standing dumbbell curl which is a classic favorite for those building their bicep muscles. With this exercise, you need to hold a dumbbell in each of your hands with your arms hanging by your sides. To perform this exercise correctly, you have to ensure that your elbows are close to your torso and your palms should face forward. While keeping your arms stationary, curl the weights you are holding up to your shoulder level and feel the contraction in your biceps.
Alternating Incline Dumbbell Curl
If you go for an alternating incline dumbbell curl, you will notice a bulge in your biceps in no time because this exercise will tend to strengthen the upper section of your brachii. You will need an incline bench for this exercise, as well as a couple of dumbbells that you will need to hold in each hand with your palms facing forward. Slowly lift one of the weights to the front of your shoulder, reversing the movement to return to your starting position. Complete this exercise by doing the same motion on the other side.
Seated Alternating Dumbbell Curl
Put a bit of variation in your dumbbell curl by performing it while seated on a 90-degree bench with a dumbbell in each of your hands. Make sure that you grip the weights with your palms facing forward. While keeping your elbow and shoulder stationary, lift one of the weights to the front of your shoulder, pausing, and squeezing your bicep. Reverse this movement for you to go back to your starting position.
Seated Alternating Hammer Curl
The seated alternating hammer curl is not a very popular exercise for the biceps but it is a favorite for numerous bodybuilders. With this exercise, you will be able to focus on each of your arms individually as it allows you to switch between its different muscle groups. Find a 90-degree bench that you can sit on while holding a dumbbell in each of your hands. While keeping your elbow and shoulder stationary, lift one of the weights you are holding to the front of your shoulder. Reverse the movement for you to get back to your starting position and repeat what you have done on the other side.
You can also try performing the hammer curl, which is characterized by how you hold the dumbbell. In this case, you have to flip the dumbbell on its side because this will transfer more of the work from the brachii of your biceps to your brachialis. The latter is the muscle in your arms that tend to make your biceps look larger. To progress from this workout, you can further move on to the cable rope hammer curl, with the machine providing a more steady and constant load on your biceps.
Your biceps are made of three major muscles which are the brachii, brachialis, and brachioradialis. The Zottman curl exercise targets all of these muscles which is why it is one of the perfect exercises to develop your biceps. To perform this exercise, your dumbbells must hang from your sides, with your arms turned so that your palms are facing forward. From there, bend your elbows, curling the dumbbells towards your shoulder without having to move your upper arms.
Barbell Bent-Over Row
The barbell bent-over row involves the pulling action, which makes your biceps active. However, in doing this exercise, you have to maintain a neutral spine while your hands are shoulder-width apart. Try pulling your elbows behind you, holding for at least a second before you control the load back down. Another thing that you need to ensure though is that each line of the pull should be in the belly button and not in the sternum.
Underhand Seated Row
The underhand seated row is one of the best exercises that you can perform to develop your biceps because in doing so, your biceps are in the direct line of pull. Perhaps this can be attributed to the fact that you are sitting down and rowing while performing this exercise, allowing your biceps to work a little bit harder with every repetition. Just keep in mind to bend your knees and hold the bar with an underhand grip. Your grip should also be shoulder-width apart. While leaning slightly, you should keep your back straight, using your back muscle to drive the bar towards the direction of your belly button.
Finally, you can also consider performing the chin-up which is not the easiest workout to master but one of the most effective ones when it comes to building the muscles in your biceps. However, you have to exert the effort to do it properly because in doing so, even your shoulders and back will have a serious workout as well. In this case, when you grab the bar, you have to make sure that your palms are facing towards you and your grip is narrower than your shoulder width.
Even if you perform the exercises for the biceps listed above correctly, if you haven’t warmed up your muscles accordingly, then you might not be able to maximize the effectiveness of the workout. Keep in mind that it is easier to work out a warmed-up muscle, allowing it to work better after. Perhaps this can be attributed to the increase in your body temperature that will significantly aid in reducing the risk of rips and tears in your muscles. When you warm-up, you will also have better blood circulation, allowing your blood cells to transport oxygen and nutrients to your entire body seamlessly.
As much as possible, take the time to change up your routine at least every six workouts. The reason behind this is that there is a great chance that after constantly performing the same workouts for about six times, your body may have already adapted to it. Thus, you will no longer reap the same benefits that you once experienced from the same set of exercises. Challenge your body a bit more by switching your workouts accordingly.
When you are lifting, you have to be conscious of your breathing. The reason behind this is that not breathing while you are doing a big lift can cause your blood pressure to spike. As a result, you may feel dizzy and this is where injury often stems from. What you need to practice is to constantly have structured and rhythmic-like breathing that will deliver the right amount of oxygen throughout your body. In this case, even your muscles will be able to “breathe” better.
Finally, take the time to rest between your exercises. A general rule of thumb is to rest for about 30 seconds to a minute between your sets. However, this time frame is insufficient in allowing your muscles to fully recover. For this reason, it is a better idea to take more time to rest, reaching up to four minutes to allow your muscles to return to their full strength before you perform another set.
The exercises for your biceps that are listed above are only some of the ones that you can consider adding to your routine. Some of the other ones that you can try include the incline dumbbell curl and the regular EZ bar curl, as well as the decline dumbbell curl and the concentration curl. Just make sure that apart from familiarizing yourself with these exercises, you also need to take the time to ensure that you are doing the best practices to get the most out of your workout.