You’re in the right place if you want to find the best exercises for building a bigger and stronger bicep. For building bigger and impressive biceps involves more than doing the same bicep exercises over and over. Biceps are small muscles that need time, knowledge, and intelligence to grow.
Strong and well-defined biceps not only contribute to an impressive physique, but also play a vital role in various daily activities and athletic performances.
To build the bigger and impressive biceps first, we needed to understand the anatomy and functionality of the biceps muscle, which help to perform the biceps exercises at the best level.
Learn about different strategies, the best bicep exercises, supporting muscle group exercises, and lifestyle changes that promote bigger, stronger biceps.
- Biceps Muscles (Anatomy)
- Function of Biceps
- Build Bigger And Stronger Biceps
- Best Bicep Exercises For Bigger Arms And Massive Peak
- 1. Bicep Curl
- 2. Hammer Curl
- 3. Concentration Curl
- 4. Incline Curls
- 5. Spider Curl
- 6. Preacher Curl
- 7. One Arm High Cable Curl
- 8. Reverse Curl
- 9. Zottman Curl
- 10. Drag Curl
- Bonus: Chin Up
- Bicep Training Volume
- Training Plan As Per Your Goal
- Bicep Workout Samples For Beginner, Intermediate & Advance
- Bicep Workout Routine For Beginner
- Bicep Workout Routine For Intermediate
- Dumbbell Bicep Workout Routine For Advance
- Best Biceps Exercises To Build Bigger And Muscular Arm
Biceps Muscles (Anatomy)
The biceps brachii muscle (biceps) is a large, thick muscle of the upper arm.
The Biceps Brachii is attached to the forearm bone called the radius and originates at the scapula in two heads (the bicep gets its name from the two heads).
Your biceps brachii has two heads: short (inner) and long (outer).
- The short head is located along the inner side of the anterior upper arm and the long head is located along the outer side of the anterior upper arm.
- The long head comprises the majority of the biceps’ peak, whereas the short head sits on the inner side and contributes to the biceps’ width.
Function of Biceps
The primary function of the Bicep muscle is to move the forearm towards the shoulder (elbow flexion).
The secondary function of the Biceps is supination of the forearm. This means turning the hand from a palms-down position to a palms-up position.
Building up your biceps can improve your upper body strength and forearm stability, too, which will make it easier for you to throw, lift, push, and pull.
Build Bigger And Stronger Biceps
For those of you who have been trying to achieve stunning biceps, it is highly recommended to start performing the best biceps exercises by seeking the help of a trainer.
If it is not possible or feasible, try to learn the best bicep exercises and techniques to perform that exercises.
Building stronger and bigger biceps requires a combination of proven principles and a structured process. If you follow these steps, you can achieve your desired results by effectively stimulating muscle growth.
- To build muscle, including the biceps, you need to progressively overload them with increased resistance over time.
- Focus on maintaining proper form and technique during your bicep exercises.
- Make sure to work different muscles in your bicep, such as the short head, long head and brachialis. Examples of exercises to include are hammer curls or dumbbell reverse curls.
- To stimulate bicep growth, it is recommended to adjust the volume (sets and reps) and intensity of your workouts. Makes sure that the muscles get enough stimulation to grow and adapt.
- Learn how to maintain the right posture and how you can increase the weights at a slow and steady pace.
- Start doing some mobility training exercises for a few minutes and subsequently do a warm-up for about a minute or two.
- To help you build muscles, eat a balanced diet. Eat enough protein to build and repair muscles. Include lean protein, whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats in your meals to meet your nutritional needs.
- Allow your biceps adequate time to recover between workouts. You should aim for 48-72 hours of rest before targeting the same muscle group again.
Best Bicep Exercises For Bigger Arms And Massive Peak
Before we get into the biceps workout routines that you can follow, let’s see which individual exercises are the most effective for gaining muscle mass
Here are the 10 Best Biceps Exercises that help to build stunning biceps.
1. Bicep Curl
If you’re looking for straightforward bicep exercises to add to your routine, bicep curls are a great staple exercise to get you started.
The bicep curl is a highly recognizable biceps exercise that builds biceps muscle mass. It’s a great exercise for seeing results in strength and definition.
Different ways to do a bicep curl to build a bigger and stronger bicep.
A barbell curl is a pull-type, isolation exercise that works primarily on your biceps and also trains the muscles in your forearms.
- A wide grip focuses effort on the inner biceps (short head),
- Whereas a narrow grip arks the outer biceps (long head).
Note: In the study conducted, they found that the EZ barbell curl showed the highest overall electromyography (EMG) activity in the biceps brachii (BB) and brachioradialis (BR) muscles compared to the dumbbell curl (DC) and barbell curl (BC) variants.
How To Do Barbell Curl
- Stand straight up with your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Hold a barbell with an underhand grip (palms facing up) and your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Allow the barbell to hang at arm’s length in front of your thighs.
- Keep your upper arms close to your sides and your elbows stationary.
- Start the exercise by bending your elbows and pulling the barbell towards your chest.
- Continue curling until the barbell is at shoulder level.
- Hold this position for a brief pause and squeeze your biceps to maximize the contraction.
- Slowly lower the barbell back to the starting position.
- Repeat the movement for the desired number of times.
- Your body should remain fixed. Only your biceps should be used to move the weight.
- Pause at the top of the movement and squeeze your biceps.
- The motion should occur at the elbow to isolate the biceps, not on the shoulders.
2. Hammer Curl
When it comes to building massive biceps and forearms, the hammer curl is an effective isolation workout that targets the bicep, brachialis and brachioradialis.
It is one of the most popular exercises among bodybuilders and regular weightlifters. Hammer curls help build a thicker upper arm by strengthening the brachialis muscle, which is below the biceps.
Hammer curls can be performed using various equipment such as:
- Dumbbell Hammer Curl
- Olympic bar Hammer Curl
- Cable Hammer Curl
- Seated Hammer Curl
How To Do Hammer Curl
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and a slight bend in your knees.
- Hold a pair of dumbbells in your hands with your palms facing towards your body.
- Keeping your elbows close to your body, slowly curl the dumbbell up to your shoulders.
- Pause for a second at the top of the lift, squeeze your biceps, then lower the weights under control.
- Raise and lower the dumbbell slowly.
- Keep your back straight, shoulders relaxed, and core engaged throughout the exercise.
- Keep in control of using your strength, not using momentum or gravity.
- Neither lean back as you lift the weight nor lean forward as you lower it.
3. Concentration Curl
The concentration curl is well-known for its ability to focus on and isolate the biceps brachii muscle. It allows for a strong mind-muscle connection, enabling you to concentrate on the biceps and maximize their activation.
The concentration curl works only one arm at a time, so it helps to find and fix any differences in strength between your left and right arms.
It is performed by sitting on a bench with the torso bent and the back side of the upper arm against the thigh. This stops shoulder movements and is a great way to focus on the biceps.
Concentration Curl Variations for Biceps Growth:
- Concentration curl (seated, standing)
- Cable concentration curl
- Reverse grip concentration curl
How To Do Concentration Curl
- Sit on a bench or chair with your feet flat on the floor, legs slightly apart.
- Hold a dumbbell in one hand and place the back of your upper arm against the inner thigh of the same side.
- Your arm should be fully extended, and your palm should face up.
- While keeping your upper arm still, exhale and slowly curl the dumbbell up towards your shoulder.
- Squeeze your bicep at the top of the movement and hold for a moment.
- Inhale and lower the dumbbell back to the starting position.
- Repeat for the desired number of repetitions, then switch to the other arm and repeat the same steps.
- Make sure that your upper arm remains stationary against your inner thigh.
- Make sure you do the exercise with a controlled tempo and focus on contraction.
- Exhale as you curl the weight up, and inhale as you lower it back down.
4. Incline Curls
It is one of the best exercises to train the long head biceps. This position will have your elbows down at your side’s behind you, which means your long head will be working from a stretched position.
This exercise is performed on an incline bench set at an angle, which helps isolate the biceps and places less stress on the lower back compared to standing curls.
The inclined position offers a wider range of motion, as the arms reach their maximum length at the beginning of the move. Increased range of motion can lead to improved bicep muscle activation and development.
How To Do
- Set an incline bench at a 45-degree angle.
- Sit on the bench with your back against the pad, feet flat on the floor, and dumbbells in each hand.
- Hold the dumbbells with an underhand grip (palms facing up), arms fully extended. Allow them to hang by your sides.
- Keep your upper arms stationary against the bench.
- Curl the dumbbells upwards and contract your biceps.
- Continue to curl until the dumbbells are close to your shoulders. Let’s hold the position for a moment.
- Slowly lower the dumbbells back to the starting position in a controlled manner.
- Repeat the movement for the desired number of repetitions.
- Keep your back flat against the bench, elbows stationary, and wrists aligned with your forearms.
- Go full range to build longer biceps.
- Don’t rely on momentum or a swinging motion when lifting the dumbbells.
- Breathe naturally, exhaling during the upward phase and inhaling during the downward phase.
5. Spider Curl
If you’re looking for a way to get more creative with your biceps workout, why not try the Spider Curl?
It produces an intense muscle contraction on every single rep. That why it is one of the best bicep exercises you can consider incorporating into your training regime if you want a train short head bicep.
Barbell spider curls train your biceps in a shortened (which is to say a maximally contracted) muscle position. This results in a powerful muscle pump that makes your arms appear more vascular, and which can also lead to significant hypertrophy.
Spider bicep curls are usually done with a barbell, but there are many other ways to do them.
- EZ Bar Spider Curls
- Dumbbell Spider Curl
- Flat Bench Spider Curl
How To Do Barbell Spider Curl
- Adjust the bench to an incline, level to a 45-degree angle.
- Lean against the bench so that your chest is supported.
- Stand on the balls of your feet and keep them about shoulder width apart for stability.
- Let your arms hang in front of your torso. From here, have a barbell ready, or have it set-up in front of you.
- Slowly curl the barbell toward your shoulders and squeeze your biceps forcefully.
- Hold the contraction for a moment, and then slowly lower the bar under control until your elbows are fully extended.
- Repeat for the desired number of reps.
- Perform the exercise with a slow and controlled tempo, focusing on the muscle contraction.
- Try different bench angles and grip widths to find the position that works your biceps the best and is comfortable for your body.
- Inhale during the eccentric (lowering) phase and exhale during the concentric (lifting) phase of the exercise.
6. Preacher Curl
The preacher curl isolates the biceps muscles by eliminating momentum and limiting the involvement of other muscles. This allows for a more targeted and intense bicep workout.
With a preacher curl, you get a lot of benefits that don’t come with regular bicep curls. Do preacher curl with a little wider grip to impart more load on short head biceps.
There are many ways to do preacher curls, each of which has its own benefits.
- Dumbbell Preacher Curls: Allow for a greater range of motion and independent arm movement.
- Reverse Grip Preacher Curls: Target the brachialis muscle and emphasizing the outer portion of the biceps.
- Machine Preacher Curl : Provide a more controlled and stable environment for the exercise.
- Cable Preacher Curls: Provide continuous tension throughout the movement
How To Do Barbell Preacher Curl
- Get seated on the Preacher Bench with your chest against the support.
- Grab the bar placed on the preacher bench rack in front of you.
- Curl the bar as in standard barbell curl and get maximum contraction at the top.
- Lowering the bar slowly gives constant stress throughout the movement.
- Lowers the bar to get the maximum extension.
- Repeats the desired number of reps.
- During the last few reps, your biceps short heads should feel burning intense.
- Keep the motion slow and controlled throughout the set.
- Squeeze the biceps as hard as possible as you get the weight to the top.
- Use a wide grip to work the short head biceps and a close grip to work the outer biceps.
7. One Arm High Cable Curl
The High Cable Curl exercise is a great option that will help you to target the biceps and builds width and thickness in the muscle.
There are two main versions of the high cable curl: one-arm and two-arm. Both variations are effective, but the one-arm version allows you to use more relative weight for potentially greater gains in biceps size and strength.
How To Do One Arm High Cable Curl
- Begin by standing sideways next to a high pulley machine, arm extended out at about shoulder height, and gripping the handle with one of your hands.
- Slowly curl the cable towards your head, isolating the bicep until you feel tension, and hold for a count.
- Return to the starting position and repeat for as many reps and sets as desired.
- Repeat the exercise with your opposite arm.
- Hold for a count of two and squeeze your biceps brachii.
- Inhale as you extend your elbow, exhale while squeeze.
8. Reverse Curl
The reversal curl is an essential part of bicep workouts. It is a variation of the traditional biceps curl exercise that targets the brachialis and brachioradialis muscles, as well as the biceps brachii.
This exercise is performed by using an overhand grip (pronated grip) instead of the typical underhand grip (supinated grip), which shifts the emphasis to different muscles of the forearm and upper arm.
Strengthening this muscle can improve grip strength and improve the look of the forearm and upper arm.
Try different variations of the reverse curl to build a bigger biceps.
- Barbell Reverse Curl
- Dumbbell Reverse Curl
- Reverse Ez Bar Curl
- Cable Reverse Curl
How To Do Barbell Reverse Bicep Curl
- With your feet shoulder-width apart, stand upright and hold a barbell in front of your thighs with an overhand grip.
- Maintain a straight back, engage your core, and keep your elbows close to your body.
- Curl the bar up to shoulder level by bending your elbows.
- Continue the curl until the weight is close to your shoulders. Hold the contracted position for a moment.
- Inhale and slowly lower the barbell to the starting position.
- Repeat for desired reps.
- Keep your wrists in a neutral position and avoid excessive flexion or extension
- Your body should remain fixed. The weight should be moved with your biceps only.
- Ensure that your elbows are kept close to your sides with your knees slightly bent.
- Experiment with different grip widths to find the position that is most comfortable and effective for you.
9. Zottman Curl
The dumbbell zottman curl is one of the most effective variations of the bicep curl.
It utilizes different hand positioning at different portions of the lift.
The first portion, the regular curl, focuses on bicep strength. The second lowering portion, the dumbbell reverse curl, allows you to overload the forearms.
You can perform Zottman curls with both arms at the same time, or alternate the arm you lift with.
How To Do Dumbbell Zottman Curl
- Hold a pair of dumbbells to your sides.
- Keep your palms facing up as you curl the weights up to your shoulders. Pause at the top of the movement.
- Slowly rotate your grip so your palms are facing downwards. Lower the dumbbells slowly back to the starting position using an overhand grip.
- When the dumbbells are close to your thighs, again turn your hands while returning to the starting position.
- Perform this exercise in a slow, controlled manner for best results.
- Don’t go heavy. Choose a lighter weight and focus on perfecting your form.
10. Drag Curl
The drag curl workout is a unique bicep curl variation in which you don’t completely bring the weight in front of your body. Thus, you have a more difficult time swinging and using momentum to get the weight up.
As for the long head of the bicep, it is emphasized the most due to the elbow positioning. As you curl up, your elbows pull back behind you, which stretches the long head, activating it to a very high degree.
Variations on the drag curl to build bigger bicep
- Barbell drag curl
- Smith machine drag curl
- Dumbbell drag curl
How To Do Cable Drag Curl
- Set up for the cable drag curl by attaching a straight bar to the low pulley cable machine.
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, your knees slightly bent, and your abs are drawn in.
- Grab the bar with a double underhand (supinated) grip, with your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
- Bring your elbows and shoulders back slightly as you curl the bar upwards. It should feel like you are “dragging” the dumbbell up to your body.
- Squeeze your biceps hard at the top and slowly return to the starting position.
- Try to use a lighter to moderate weight
- Perform this exercise in a slow, controlled manner for best results.
Bonus: Chin Up
Both pull-ups (with an overhand grip) and chin-ups (with an underhand grip) exhibit a significant degree of elbow flexion. However, research has shown that chin-ups significantly target the biceps.
In this exercise, the palms are faced towards the body. Since the lifter is pulling their own bodyweight, the biceps are usually exposed to loads heavier than what one can lift with a barbell.
The chin-up variations for biceps growth are:
- Standard chin-up
- Machine-assisted chin-up
- Band-assisted chin-up
- L-sit chin-up
How To Do Chin Up
- Grasp a pull-up bar with an underhand grip, hands shoulder-width apart or slightly narrower.
- Straighten your arms, keep your knees bent and cross your lower legs.
- Retract your shoulder blades and pull your body until your chin becomes aligned with the bar.
- Pause for one to two seconds at the top, with the biceps under maximum tension.
- Slowly lower to the start position.
- Don’t get in the habit of doing half reps and chasing numbers.
- Lower to almost full extension of the elbow, but avoid locking out completely.
Bicep Training Volume
Of course, the number of sets and reps will be determined based on your fitness journey, but here is a great starting point:
- Beginners: ~10 sets per week
- Intermediate: ~15 sets per week.
- Advanced: ~20 sets per week.
When a certain amount of volume stops being effective and your progress stalls, you can add sets to increase volume and use that as a driver of renewed progress.
The best rep ranges and loads to work with.
- 6-8 reps with heavy load
- 8-15 reps with moderate load
- 15-20+ with light load
The load should bring you to or near failure within the given rep ranges to be effective.
Training Plan As Per Your Goal
- For muscle endurance: Aim for 3-4 sets of 12-15 reps, with a moderate amount of resistance.
- For muscle strength: Aim for 3-5 sets of 6-10 reps, with a heavier amount of resistance.
- For muscle hypertrophy (increased muscle size): Aim for 3-4 sets of 8-12 reps, with a moderate to heavy amount of resistance.
It is always best to start with a lower number of reps and sets, and then gradually increase as your strength improves.
Furthermore, it is important to allow for adequate rest between sets, typically 60-90 seconds.
Bicep Workout Samples For Beginner, Intermediate & Advance
Bicep Workout Routine For Beginner
Here is a beginner-friendly bicep workout routine that can be done at the anywhere:
|Barbell Bicep Curl
|Dumbbell Reverse Curl
This workout plan is a starting point that can be adjusted based on individual fitness levels and goals.
Bicep Workout Routine For Intermediate
Here is an intermediate bicep workout routine:
|Seated Dumbbell Curl
|Barbell Preacher Curl
|Dumbbell Concentration Curl
|Cross-Body Hammer Curl
Dumbbell Bicep Workout Routine For Advance
Here’s a sample bicep workout plan for advanced individuals:
|Incline Dumbbell Curls
|Dumbbell Preacher Curl
|Cable Drag Curl
For anyone interested in strengthening their biceps and gaining muscle, this bicep exercise is highly recommended.
Furthermore, it not only allows for targeted muscle development, but also provides strength. It is easy to do and requires no more scientific details. If done consistently, the results will speak by themselves.
Thanks for reading, enjoy working your Biceps.
Stay Fit, Live a Happy and Healthy Life
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Best Biceps Exercises To Build Bigger And Muscular Arm
Manish brings over 10 years of hands-on experience in weight lifting and fat loss to fitness coaching. He specializes in gym-based training and has a lot of knowledge about exercise, lifting technique, biomechanics, and more.
Through “Fit Life Regime,” he generously shares the insights he’s gained over a decade in the field. His goal is to equip others with the knowledge to start their own fitness journey.