22 of the Best Biceps Workouts to Increase Size and Strength

October 30, 2015

22 of the Best Biceps Workouts to Increase Size and Strength

Biceps are often the first muscle group we think of when starting a workout program. There aren’t many health benefits of oversized arms, but they are one of the most noticed muscle groups of the body. For this reason, you may want to step up your biceps exercises! If you are aiming for maximum size, another important point is that lifting heavy must be prioritized. Since building more size is achieved through a combination of a heavy lifts, enough volume, and eating the proper amount of calories, it's a wise decision to focus on exercises that will allow you to lift the heaviest weight possible.

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Here are 22 of the best biceps workouts to increase size and strength.

  1. Barbell Curls

    This exercise is perfect for loading the biceps. By using a barbell you will be able to lift more than if you used dumbbells, because both arms will be working together to perform the movement. It is also important to make sure that you don’t cut the movement short by using your momentum to lift the weight. It might help to stand against a wall while doing this workout. By doing this, it will prevent you from rocking back and forth to raise the weight as you get tired.

  2. Incline Inner Bicep Curls

    The biceps actually consists of two portions, the long head and short head. Since the long head attaches above the shoulder joint, you will be isolating this portion with the incline position you’ll be in. The more horizontal the bench, the more the long head will be stretched. Check out number 2 on this list to learn more about this killer workout.

  3. Standing Dumbbell Curls

    This exercise is great for anyone. This classic curl workout is one that you could do at home or in any gym because it only requires dumbbells. Something to keep in mind when doing this one is to make sure not to rock and use your momentum to raise the weight. If you find yourself doing this, lose some of your ego and lower the weight.

  4. Drag Curl

    Perform this exercise as you would the conventional dumbbell curl, but stand tall and drive your elbows back as you curl so the head of each dumbbell touches the front of your body throughout the rep. It should look as though you’re dragging the weights up along your torso. You will definitely feel the burn with this exercise! Check out this link to learn more about this biceps workout.

  5. Seated Bicep Barbell Curl

    This biceps workout is one of the best to add mass, peak and overall thickness. If you've been struggling with skinny arms or finding a workout that will produce results, check out this video and give this biceps workout a try.

  6. Chin-Ups

    Check out number 5 on this list. Chin-ups are a perfect functional movement for completely targeting the biceps. You can add weight with a dip belt or weighted vest as you get stronger, which ensures you can keep progressively overloading your muscles.                 

    man performs chin-ups

  7. Reverse Curls

    These are performed just like regular barbell curls with the only exception being that the palms are facing down. This forces other muscles such as the brachialis and brachioradialis to work extra hard. Make sure you keep your elbows locked into your sides, and wrists straight throughout the set.

  8. Lying Barbell Curls

    Kneel on an inclined bench, with your chest leaning against the backrest and your arms hanging over the other side. By lifting the barbell in this position, you will be isolating the biceps completely. Check out this link for a quick video demonstration.

  9. EZ Bar Biceps Preacher Curls

    EZ bar biceps preacher curls are one of the best ways to emphasize the brachialis, which adds thickness and width to the biceps and isolate the inner and outer heads of the biceps muscle. They also produce a ridiculously amazing skin-tearing pump. Check out number 3 on this link for the perfect bicep workout!

  10. Supinated Bent Rows

    More resistance brings muscle gain and more weight equals more resistance. You can pack more weight into a bicep workout using rowing. Bent over straight bar rows can let you work double the weight over your standard curling or straight bar curls. Check out number 4 on this link to learn more. 

    biceps exercise bent over row

  11. One-Arm Gym Ball Preacher Curls

    This exercise is great for really isolating each individual arm. Many of us tend to have one arm that is stronger than the other, but with this workout, it takes that bias away. With this one, you will have equally strong arms that can show off to all your friends. To learn more about this exercise follow the link above.

  12. Offset Grip Bicep Curls

    Basic anatomy of the body tells us that not only do our biceps perform elbow extension but they are also involved in forearm supination. With this in mind, by switching up the way you grip a dumbbell, there will be a direct effect to your biceps muscle recruitment. So, when doing dumbbell biceps curls, try to hit both elbow flexion and forearm supination by holding the handle in a unique way.

  13. Total Gym Fit Biceps Workout

    This bicep cable machine may be the perfect addition to your home. It gives you the opportunity to perform multiple different biceps exercises, with various different weights. You will love the convenience of this in-home biceps workout machine. Follow this link to learn more!

  14. Alternating Dumbbell Curls

    Here we have what is pretty much a dumbbell version of the barbell curl, but you will be alternating with each arm, each rep. The benefit of alternating like this is that allows you to really focus on each arm individually, forcing you to strengthen each equally. Focus on form with this one especially because it is very easy to cheat on your form.

  15. Cross-Body Hammer Curls

    This is a great exercise for beginners, but there are a couple things to keep in mind when doing these. First, perform the movement with a controlled pace, not allowing momentum to contribute. Lastly, do not allow the elbows to flare. Keep your elbows tight to your sides the entire time. This will give you muscle contraction your biceps need!

  16. Bicep Cable Curls

    This movement is similar to the standing barbell curl, but cable resistance provides constant tension on the muscles at all times. It is very important to not let the weight plates touch during the exercise, keep the tension on the bicep muscles. For variety, use different bars attached to the low pulley to work the muscles at different angles.

  17. Cable Concentration Curls

    Concentration curls are an excellent way to finish off your biceps workout and pump up your guns. Cable concentration curls have the added advantage of smooth resistance to build fuller biceps. Check out number 5 on this link to learn more about this exercise! 

    cable biceps curls

  18. Crazy 8s

    These are for more of the advanced individual. First, begin with weights in each hand, elbows at your sides with palms up. Raise the weights halfway up and lower down to the starting position eight times. Next, begin with the weights at the halfway point and raise them up towards your shoulders, lowering them only halfway down. Finish the set with full bicep curls, all the way up toward your shoulders and all the way down towards your thighs, staying aware of your pace and repeating each rep with a full range of motion. You will be crying by the time you're done with this one!

  19. Biceps and Arm Circles

    Building strong biceps isn’t just for the guys. Ladies, number 6 on this website is the perfect full-body strength workout! Stand with legs slightly wider than hip-width, a dumbbell in each hand, elbows bent and palms up. Keeping spine straight, squat and circle left hand up and in toward your shoulder in a circular motion. You will feel the burn in both your biceps and quads!

  20. Seated Rows

    These are considered compound movements. They force your body to work multiple muscles at the same time, while still building mass to your target muscle group, the biceps. Try out this exercise for a great multi-muscular bicep workout!

  21. Eccentric Bicep Curl

    This eccentric dumbbell curl is a great exercise for generating muscle growth. Try it with different grips to really maximize the intensity. By doing these negative reps you will be lengthening the muscle and putting it through more stress than with usual movements. Check out this link to learn more.

  22. Reverse Cable Curls

    Check out number 5 on this list! It’s just like a normal cable curl but with an overhand grip. It’s important to realize that you will not be able to go super heavy on this exercise because the slow eccentrics will really burn and fatigue your muscles. Follow this link to learn more!



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