Best Bicep Exercises to Build Muscle Mass
Working out your bicep muscles often and well is one of the keys to having a well-balanced and fruitful strength-building routine. Your bicep muscles are at the core of performing a lot of exercises and daily movements; not to mention, a beefed-up bicep can look pretty mean.
Here’s how you can potentially benefit from concentrating efforts on building your bicep muscles:
- Improved Agility – When you have stronger bicep muscles, it can help you perform daily movements like pushing and pulling much more easily. Your forearms, wrists, and shoulders rely directly on the strength of your biceps, so keeping them strengthened and regularly engaged is essential.
- Improved Performance – Many exercises rely on the strength of your biceps in order to perform the required movements properly. If you’re looking to improve your upper body exercises, focusing on your biceps is a great place to start.
- Improved Flexion – The strength of your biceps directly impacts the flexion of your elbows, shoulders, and forearms. To improve movement in the aforementioned areas, try building the strength in your biceps.
Before you get started, it’s important to keep in mind that not all bicep exercises are created equal. If you’re looking to really maximize strength-building efforts in your bicep area, we’ve got some great workouts below to help get you moving in the right direction.
When you’re looking to build significant strength in your bicep and back area, chin-ups are definitely the way to go. To perform a chin-up, place your hands with palms facing toward you on the overhead bar. Allow your arms to extend and hang loosely. Proceed to pull yourself up until your chin is just over the bar, hold for a second, and then slowly lower yourself back down to the starting position.
Cable curls not only build your bicep muscles, but this exercise can also help increase your time under tension (TUT) and improve your overall range of motion (ROM). To perform this exercise type, set your cable height according to preference and grip the handles securely. Then, proceed to curl utilizing the varied motion you’ve chosen. There are many different types of cable curls you can perform, but each one should help improve your bicep strength in its own way.
Zottman curls rely on interchangeable movement throughout the curling process. When performing Zottman curls, you can build strength in your bicep, brachialis, and brachioradialis muscle groups. To do this exercise, use dumbbells and grip them with palms facing forward away from your body. Keep your upper arms positioned firmly and curl the dumbbells up towards your shoulders simultaneously. On the way back to the starting position, rotate your palms to face backward away from your body. Repeat this motion for your predetermined amount of reps.
EZ Bar Preacher Curls
You’ll need the specialty EZ bar to perform this exercise. This version of curls is excellent for building bicep and wrist strength. To accomplish this exercise, sit straight with shoulders back and chest straight. Grip the bar with your palms facing up on the inner-angled portions and slightly less than shoulder-width apart. Curl the EZ bar towards your chest while flexing your biceps. Be sure to pause momentarily when curled towards the chest, and then lower the bar back to the starting position.
Reverse Grip Bent-Over Rows
Bicep and back muscles are target with this rowing exercise. You’ll want to begin this exercise by gripping the weighted barbell with an underhanded grip that is placed shoulder-width apart. Enter into the bent-over row position by placing your back angled towards the floor, your posterior angled backward, and your knees slightly bent. While keeping the same position, pull the bar up towards your chest by extending your elbows back. Lower the bar back to the starting position to complete the repetition.
Mastering the barbell curl is an essential part of any strength training routine. When you’re looking to build significant muscle mass and strength in your bicep area, barbell curls are among the best exercises you can do. Using a weighted barbell, place your hands with palms facing upwards a little over shoulder-width apart. Keep your chest straight and curl the barbell upward toward your chest area. Lower the bar back to the starting position to complete the repetition and repeat.
Hammer curls are excellent for building your forearm and bicep muscles. To begin, grip a barbell on each side using an overhanded grip. While keeping your wrists in the same position, lift the barbells toward your chest area, and then lower the barbells to the starting position to complete the rep. Repeat this movement for your predetermined count.
Concentration curls are generally utilized to help increase your TUT, which is important for overall bicep strength-building. To perform this exercise, use one dumbbell and grip with an underhanded grip. Sit with feet shoulder-width apart and place your elbow just to the inside of one of your knees. Curl your dumbbell up toward your chest area, and then lower back down to complete the rep. Do several reps on one side before switching to the other arm and continuing the same movement.
Inclined Dumbbell Curls
The inclined dumbbell variation of curls is excellent for building your ROM in the bicep area. To complete this exercise, you’ll need to sit on an inclined bench that is set to between a 45 to 70 degree angle. Take two dumbbells and hold them with an underhanded grip. Curl each dumbbell up toward your chest and back down to the starting position again. Your shoulders should be kept back and slightly ridged during movement; the goal is to keep your shoulders disengaged from this particular exercise.
Straight Bar Reverse Curl
Your biceps and brachials are worked when you perform straight bar reverse curls. To perform this exercise, grip the weighted barbell with an overhand grip that is shoulder-width apart. Curl the barbell up toward your chest area while keeping your wrists in the same position. When the barbell is in the upward position, your wrists should be facing out and away from your body. Slowly lower the barbell back down to complete your repetition.