Top 12 Best Moves for Your Biceps


The 12 Best Moves for Your Biceps




You could make every day arm day with this killer biceps-focused list of moves.

In this article we will discuss the best biceps exercises for developing stronger (and more muscular) biceps. Don’t think you need to train biceps? Think again!
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If you're just as focused on your appearance as building strength and mass—and there's nothing wrong with that—there's no better place to start than your biceps. The muscles are composed of a long and short head, which team up to handle movements like flexing, and curling, that make your arms pop. 


The biceps take up a ton of prime real estate on the front of your arm, and they're probably the easiest part of your body to show off no matter the situation, or who you're trying to impress. Whether you rock a dress shirt or a tank top, a strong set of guns are sure to make waves.

To help you hone those arms, we created this list of 12 go-to moves to work your biceps. Some of these are classics; some are new. Some are a grind; some are fun. Some hit the long head of the muscle; some focus on the short head.

Build Your Biceps With This Badass Arm Plan


1. STANDING BARBELL CURL

This is as basic as it gets. You've probably heard serious lifters carrying on about oblivious meatheads taking up space in squat racks to do bicep curls, so be mindful when and where you load up a barbell — but that shouldn't be an excuse to skip out on the move entirely. Barbells allow you to work both arms simultaneously and evenly, and the position of your grip can allow you to home in on different parts of the muscle.

How to do it: Grab the barbell with an underhand grip, with your your hands positioned about as wide as your hips. To emphasize the inner portion of the bicep, take a wider grip; to target the outer part of the muscle, bring your hands closer together. Start holding the bar at hip height, then squeeze your core and contract your biceps to curl the bar up to shoulder height. Squeeze your biceps at the top of the movement, then slowly lower the weight back to the starting position, controlling the weight through the eccentric movement. Make sure to keep your feet solidly planted throughout the exercise, and don't use your hips to lift the weight.

2. CONCENTRATION CURL

The concentration curl is a biceps isolating standard that you've undoubtedly seen performed in just about any gym. You can rip through reps for volume, or take a cue from the name and focus on the eccentric portion of the move for even better results.

How to do it: You'll need a dumbbell and a bench to start. Sit on the bench, spreading your legs. Rest your arm holding the dumbbell on the same side leg, just below the knee, so that the weight hangs down between your legs. Keep your torso upright by stabilizing your off-hand on your thigh. Curl the weight up, focusing on squeezing the bicep, pause at the top, then lower back into the original position.

3. STANDING RESISTANCE BAND HAMMER CURL

Leave the weights on the rack and give resistance bands a shot to really reap some bicep gains. The bands allow you to work through the full range of the motion by offering resistance (get it?) through the eccentric (lowering) part of the exercise, along with the concentric (curl) lift. The hammer grip, meanwhile, shifts the focus of the work to the brachialis, a lower muscle that can really make your arms look thick.

How to do it: Step on the center of a resistance band, gripping one end of the implement in each hand. Hold the band with your palms parallel to each other. Curl your hands toward your shoulders, maintaining the position of your palms. Squeeze your biceps at the top of the movement before lowering your hands back down to your sides, maintaining constant tension on the band. Keep your elbows stable and in position at your sides throughout the movement.

4. STANDING DUMBBELL CURL

In a biceps-focused list like this, you can’t leave out the classic dumbbell curl. So we didn’t.

But we would ask that you use a weight that makes sense: If you’re swaying back wildly and contorting your body—especially excessively arching your lower back—to lift the load, you should probably get a lighter pair of dumbbells.

How to do it: Grab a pair of dumbbells and let them hang at arm’s length next to your sides. Turn your arms so your palms face forward. Without moving your upper arms, bend your elbows and curl the dumbbells as close to your shoulders as you can. Pause, then slowly lower the weight back to the starting position. Each time you return to the starting position, completely straighten your arms.

5. SPIDER CURL

This biceps move uses smart positioning to blow up your arms. According to Men's Health Fitness Director Ebenezer Samuel, C.S.C.S., the exercise is so effective because you'll eliminate most of the cheating that happens with other, standing curls, which allow you to use body English to lift up the weights. Samuel recommends that you pick a weight in the lighter end of what you might typically work with, so you can handle the full challenge.

How to do it: Grab a dumbbell and sit facing forward on an incline bench. Moving only at the elbow, squeeze you bicep to curl the dumbbell way up with clean form. Make sure to keep your shoulder out of the equation by keeping your back live and engaged.

6. HAMMER CURL

Take your standard-grip curl and flip it on its side. This small difference in the way you hold the dumbbell helps transfer more of the work from your biceps brachii to your brachialis — a muscle that can make your arms look thicker.

How to do it: Grab a pair of dumbbells and let them hang at arm’s length next to your sides with your palms facing your thighs. Without moving your upper arms, bend your elbows and curl the dumbbells as close to your shoulders as you can. Pause, then slowly lower the weight back to the starting position. Each time you return to the starting position, completely straighten your arms.

7. DECLINE DUMBBELL CURL

Lying chest-down on a bench really isolates the biceps since you don’t have to maintain as much tension in your legs and core muscles as you do when you stand. Use various grips in this position to zero in on different parts of your biceps.

How to do it: Grab a pair of dumbbells and lie with your chest against a bench that’s set to a 45-degree incline. Without moving your upper arms, bend your elbows and curl the dumbbells as close to your shoulders as you can. Pause, then slowly lower the weight back to the starting position. Each time you return to the starting position, completely straighten your arms.

8. INCLINE DUMBBELL CURL

The opposite of the decline variation, you’ll lie on your back, allowing your arms to drop down behind your body. This puts an extra challenge on the long head of your biceps brachii because you’re working from a deficit — meaning, you’re starting the movement at a point where you have less leverage than normal.

How to do it: Grab a pair of dumbbells and lie with your back against a bench that’s set to a 45-degree incline. Without moving your upper arms, bend your elbows and curl the dumbbells as close to your shoulders as you can. Pause, then slowly lower the weight back to the starting position. Each time you return to the starting position, completely straighten your arms.

9. KNEELING SINGLE-ARM CURL


Curling a weight with one arm helps you zero in on weak spots. And performing the biceps exercise in a kneeling position will diminish the chance that you use body English to heave the weight up to the top position.

How to do it: Grab a pair of dumbbells. Hold one dumbbell by your side in your left hand, palm facing your thigh. In your right hand, hold the dumbbell with your palm facing outward. Without moving your upper arm, bend your elbow and curl the dumbbell as close to your shoulder as you can. Pause, then slowly lower the weight back to the starting position. Each time you return to the starting position, completely straighten your arm. Perform all reps on your right arm before switching to your left.


10. ZOTTMAN CURL

This exercise targets the three major muscles that make up the biceps—the biceps brachii, brachialis, and brachioradialis—by rotating from an underhand to an overhand grip halfway through the move.

How to do it: Grab a pair of dumbbells and let them hang at arm’s length next to your sides. Turn your arms so your palms face forward. Without moving your upper arms, bend your elbows and curl the dumbbells as close to your shoulders as you can. Pause, then rotate the dumbbells so your palms face forward again. Slowly lower the weights down in that position. Rotate the dumbbells back to the starting position and repeat.

11. CABLE ROPE HAMMER CURL

Just like the dumbbell hammer curl, this biceps exercise will hit your brachialis to build thickness in your arms. But unlike the dumbbell version, the cable machine keeps a more steady and constant load on the biceps for longer, which may elicit more growth, according to Brad Schoenfeld, Ph.D.

How to do it: Hold both ends of a rope attached to the low pulley of a cable machine. Press your elbows into your sides with your palms facing each other. Keep your feet shoulder-width apart, your torso upright, and your knees slightly bent. Keeping your arms stable throughout the move, curl, the rope toward your shoulders, Pause, and reverse the movement to return to the starting position.

12. CABLE ALTERNATING FLEX CURL

Instead of holding your arms by your sides for this variation of the biceps curl, you’ll keep them extended outwards, parallel to the floor. Just holding your arms in this position will put them to work. Adding a curl helps zero in directly on your biceps.

How to do it: Stand between the weight stacks of a cable crossover station and grab a high-pulley handle in each hand. Hold your arms out to the sides so they’re parallel to the floor. Without moving your right arm, curl your left hand toward your head. Slowly allow your left arm to straight and then repeat the move with your right arm.




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