Want Big Biceps? Try These 5 Exercises (with how-to videos)
Biceps are one of the most talked-about muscles in the gym. Everyone wants them but are not prepared to work for them. This article will teach you the best exercises for bigger biceps for size and mass and put you on your way to developing strong muscular biceps.
Performing the most effective bicep exercises along with a good diet will add size and definition to your arms. However, you should know that the biceps are actually quite a small muscle group. Compared to muscle groups such as your triceps, chest, and legs the bicep muscle is relatively small in comparison.
The bicep muscle is made up of 3 muscles called the biceps brachii, brachialis, and brachioradialis. The biceps brachii is the main bicep muscle. The brachialis is the outside bicep muscle and brachioradialis is the muscle that connects the main bicep muscle with the forearm muscle.
All three of these muscles are worked during bicep exercises although some are worked harder depending on the exercise you perform. Let’s take a look at the best bicep exercises for size and mass:
1. Barbell Bicep Curls
Barbell curls are without a doubt the best bicep exercise for size and mass. Due to the full range of motion used within the lift, the bicep muscle gets a great all-round workout. To perform the barbell curl, stand up straight with a barbell secured in both hands. Your palms should be facing outwards when holding the barbell and arms should be extended down towards the thigh area.
Try and grip the barbell with your hands shoulder-width apart. With palms still facing outwards and the barbell down towards the thighs, curl both arms up towards the upper chest area.
Hold the bar there for around a second or so and lower back down in a smooth, controlled manner until arms are fully extended by your sides once again. To switch things up you can also use a close grip (less than shoulder-width apart) or an extra-wide grip (more than shoulder-width apart).
2. Dumbbell Bicep Curls
Dumbbell curls are another one of the best bicep exercises for size and mass. This is a simple variation of the barbell curl where instead of holding a bar, you will have a weight in each hand.
You should be aware that you probably won’t be able to lift the same amount of weight as you do whilst performing the barbell curl so be prepared to drop down a few pounds when you perform this exercise. To perform the dumbbell curl you should follow the exact same routine as you would when performing the barbell curl (see above).
The only difference will be that the dumbbells will be down by your sides and palms will be facing inwards towards your body. Curl the dumbbells up while rotating your wrist outwards so that palms eventually end up facing upwards.
Lower in a controlled fashion and naturally let your wrist rotate back in so that palms are once again facing inwards towards your body just like below:
If you wish you can also perform the dumbbell curl with palms facing outwards.
This can feel a bit tricky and awkward for some. If so try starting with palms facing in towards your body, rotate the dumbbells until palms face out and then curl the weight straight up.
3. Hammer Curls
The hammer curl can also be performed to hit those biceps hard. The hammer curl will also help work and strengthen your wrists and forearm muscles as well as your biceps. Stand up straight with a dumbbell in each hand positioned down by your sides. Ensure your palms are facing in towards your sides this time. Curl the two weights up to around shoulder level and then bring them back down towards your sides.
You can perform this exercise by lifting both weights at the same time, alternating between arms or simply doing one side at a time. Remember not to rotate your wrists outwards when curling the dumbbell up as you do in the dumbbell curl. Keep palms facing inwards towards your sides at all times.
4. Concentration Curls
Concentration Curls are usually used to add variety to a bicep workout as you can hit your bicep muscles from a totally different angle than that of say the barbell curl.
For these, you can either kneel down on one knee or sit on a bench of some sort. Grab a dumbbell and rest the back of your arm on your inner thigh. (as close to the groin as possible) See the video below.
Now curl the weight up in the direction your palms are facing. If you’re holding the dumbbell in your right hand your palms should be facing out to the left forcing you to lift the weight at a different angle than your use to. The weight should be curled up towards the front shoulder area and then lowered gently to the starting position.
5. Preacher Curls
Preacher Curls are great for isolating the biceps muscle. The biceps are worked hard during the preacher curl as no other movements or muscles can be used to help assist you in lifting the weight. Before you can perform the preacher curl, however, you will first need to purchase a preacher curl bench if you’re working out at home.
To begin, choose your desired weight and adjust the seat so that when you sit down, the middle part of your chest is round about level to the pad.
Take hold of the weight with an underhand shoulder-width apart grip and curl the bar up. This can be done with a barbell or a dumbbell. When your forearms are slightly more than vertical, pause for a brief second before slowly lowering the bar back down.
These are the best bicep exercises for size and mass and all you will need to build strong and muscular biceps. Combine these exercises with a solid weight training routine that builds muscle and an effective diet and you will build muscle and become stronger. Be sure to take in a good pre-workout meal and post-workout meal to give your workouts that extra edge!