10 Bicep Exercises You Have to Try
With the sun’s, out guns out season approaching fast, it’s time to kick up your training a notch and start making some progress.
Your bicep is certainly not the biggest or strongest muscle in your body, but they are many lifters’ favorite glamour muscle. Or bicep has two heads to the muscle and helps us flex our elbow. There are so many bicep exercises to try, but there are ten exercises that you should incorporate into your workout.
Related - Building the Best Biceps Workout
Instead of standing in front of the mirror doing endless dumbbell curls in hopes you can build a nice set of biceps, let’s check out the list of the top ten bicep exercises.
10 Bicep Exercises You Have to Try
There are a lot of effective bicep exercises. It’s unfortunate many lifters just stick to the basics without trying anything different.
#1 – Incline Dumbbell Hammer Curls
If you have a bad habit of swaying your body to perform curls, sitting on a bench could help. Rated #1 by a multitude of lifters, the incline bench position increases the stretch on the long head of your biceps.
Hammer curls are great because it helps save your wrist and elbows from the strain of a curl.
#2 – Standing Concentration Dumbbell Curls
Concentration curls are great because you have to rely on your biceps to do the work. You can’t use body English or cheat reps.
This exercise may decrease the recruitment of your biceps’ long head; this exercise does increase your bicep thickness and peak due to better recruitment of the surrounding muscles.
Try throwing a hammer grip concentration curl for a burnout set.
#3 – EZ-Bar Curls
I personally struggle to curl with a straight bar — I just don’t have the flexibility in my shoulders, wrists, and elbows. The EZ-bar makes curling much easier.
A standing EZ-bar curl engages both the long and short heads of the biceps and the bend in the bar makes this exercise more comfortable on our joints.
Stand tall and rigid when performing these and try not to do cheat curls. The longer time under tension you have, the better.
#4 – Incline Dumbbell Curls
Hop onto your incline bench from earlier and perform regular dumbbell curls. The more horizontal your bench is during the workout, the more the long head of your bicep is worked.
This doesn’t mean to lay the bench flat, but using the same angle you would do an incline dumbbell bench press would be alright.
#5 – Wide-Grip Standing Barbell Curls
If you really want to trigger some lifters, perform some wide-grip standing barbell curls in the squat rack. It’s funny they get mad, but don’t even squat… so who cares?
You’ve seen all of your favorite bodybuilders using this exercise, and for a good reason. When using a wider grip, you are able to get more involvement from your short head of the bicep. This is due to the external rotation in your shoulder — changing your upper arm position.
#6 – Zottman Curls
Zottman curls are great because you get to work your biceps brachii (the two heads) as well as the brachialis and the brachioradialis.
To perform a Zottman curl, use a dumbbell to perform a curl with a supinated grip. As you reach the top of the curl, you will pronate your palms and then lower the weight. So in short, you’re performing a dumbbell curl and then training the negative on your forearms and supporting muscles.
This is a great movement and you will really see your arms come to life with Zottman curls.
#7 – Barbell Curls
Regular grip barbell curls are one of the best movements you can do. Many pro bodybuilders and jacked freaks like this exercise, so it’s time to start doing them.
Playing around with your grip width is going to emphasize different parts of your bicep. When you have a narrower grip, you will emphasize the long head of your bicep, while the wider grip emphasizes the short head.
If you feel uncomfortable doing these due to the strain in your wrist, shoulder, or elbow — you may want to try a different exercise.
#8 – Dumbbell Curls
The classic dumbbell curl is a great exercise for those who just aren’t able to comfortably perform barbell curls. Dumbbell curls allow you to correctly use your body mechanics, but this exercise is notorious for cheat reps.
For something new, try to adopt a slight extra rotation of the wrist and forearm as you curl the weight — this will thicken the muscle group.
#9 – Preacher Hammer Curls
Hammer curls are a great exercise to add depth to our arms but also helps build a bigger bench press.
The hammer curl is also our strongest curl due to our elbow flexors being actively involved. The wrist and forearm are also in a power position.
Perform hammer curls on a preacher bench to minimize body English and ensure you are getting maximum muscle recruitment.
#10 – Overhead Cable Curl
I’ve personally never been great at overhead cable curls, but if you really want to look like a douche in the gym, this is the exercise for you.
This exercise is great for practicing a front double bicep pose. You can perform this exercise curling with both arms at the same time or alternating.
Be sure to set the cables at the right height and make sure everyone sees you when you are doing these — you’ll gain at least three pounds of muscle if you do.