What bicep exercises are going to pack on the most muscle onto those sleeve-splitting arms of yours? I’ll tell you. The ones that have the maximum effect! Plus there is a hidden bicep workout trick hidden in the post, so see if you can find it!
In this article, I am going to show you my Top 7 Bicep Exercises For Size and how you can incorporate them into your training routine. Nothing is better than having those pumped up arms hanging down your side.
The biceps are often overlooked for training effectively, given they are actually quite a small muscle group by comparison with the rest of the muscles.
When I first started training for bodybuilding, I was told that if you want bigger looking arms, then I was to hit my triceps. They are by comparison to the biceps, bigger muscles. So I did just that and my triceps exploded.
Therein lay its own set of problems (such as not isolating my chest during bench presses lol). However, while I was more focused on my triceps, I forgot about my biceps.
The Biceps and Functional Movements
The biceps consist of two muscles heads. The biceps brachii long head and the biceps brachii short head.
It is easy to think that the biceps are the strongest muscle in the arm. However, the truth is they are not.
Their primary function is rotation of the forearm, along with flexing of the elbow.
In addition to this, the forearm can often over power the biceps during bicep exercises (part of the hidden trick).
My Top 7 Bicep Exercises For Size
Each head of the bicep can be worked independently from one another. But these bicep exercises will target your biceps as a whole.
Not just for aesthetics and size, but also for overall functional bicep fitness.
Here are my top 7 bicep exercises for size.
Barbell Preacher Curls
The barbell preacher curl bicep exercise is a great one for focusing attention to the long head bicep. There are two ways to grip the EZ bar.
With an underhand grip, gripping with your hands closer together will isolate the long head muscle a lot more.
However, if you spread your hands further apart, you will still hit your long head bicep, but you will also start working the short head.
Focus on maximum contraction at the end, while slowly controlling the weight on the way down. Read how to perform barbell preacher curls correctly.
Standing Barbell Curls
This particular bicep exercise is often trained incorrectly. Many times you see those rocking their torso to get the weight up, or not focusing on full range of motion and maximum upper contraction.
If the barbell curls exercise is done correctly, you can pack on some insane size.
The barbell curls exercise is also an exercise that tends to get lifted by ego, rather than discipline. It is about how much you can be seen to lift, rather than being seen to lift correctly.
I love doing barbell curls as part of my arm workout routine, but I never load it too heavy. Rather start at the bottom, and slowly curl the bar towards your chin.
Once you reach the top, contract your biceps and hold for a second, then lower back down to your waist.
Repeat this process, slowly and controlled and you will see significant gains in little no time.
Standing Plate Curls
This is a great one for me. If you are looking for a swollen pump and insane burn, then standing plate curls are for you. They give good length to the long head bicep and also upper forearms.
It is a very simple exercise, but one that should be done slowly and strictly.
Just grab a plate (any weight, but you want to get at least 12 reps with burn starting at rep 8) and hold it at the top.
Start with the plate by your waist, then simply curls your biceps up towards your chest.
Your arms don’t leave your torso, nor does the plate reach your chin. Just hold the plate still against your waist and curl it up.
Squeeze and hold at the top, then lower back to the start and repeat.
Concentration curls are an awesome one for working both the short and long head bicep at once. The giveaway for this bicep exercise is the name of it.
A concentration curl is exactly that. It concentrates all focus and blood flow to the biceps.
Variations of the concentration curls can be done on an exercise ball or by leaning over and hanging your arm towards the floor.
You will be curling upwards, without the support of your inner quad. Depending on your back strength, you may tire from supporting your weight while curling the dumbbell.
I normally do concentration curls at the end of my workout, when my muscles are fatigued. I don’t need to go heavy with this exercise, but I can focus more on contractions.
Single Arm Barbell Curls
This is an under used bicep exercise. What I love about the single arm barbell curl is that it isolates the bicep and forearm all at once.
The benefit of this exercise is that you need to work on balancing the barbell. Once you have achieved balance, you need to start the curl.
However, once you start curling, you not only work the biceps and forearm, you also work stabilizer muscles as well.
The more your arm tires, the more you need to stabilize the bar.
Don’t think ego here. Think focus and balance. You will need it!
Cable Flex Curl
The cable flex curl exercise is perfect for isolating the long head bicep, especially developing the “peak”.
You don’t need to go heavy on this exercise, as it is more about contraction that weight.
Start by grabbing the handles with an underhand grip, and stretch your biceps out completely.
Slowly contract your biceps (try to keep your triceps parrallel to the floor) towards your head.
Once you reach your ears, squeeze your biceps even more and try to touch your fingers behind your head.
At this point, hold the contraction for 1 to 2 seconds, then slowly release back, extending your biceps. But keep the tense on the way down.
This will also work your biceps in the negative direction. Once you have reached the starting position, repeat the steps again. Slow and controlled is best.
Seated Dumbbell Preacher Curls
This bicep exercise is perfect for adding focus and concentration to the short head bicep muscle.
The trick with this exercise is to not relax the bicep at the top. It is too easy to reach the top and drop your fist downwards.
This releases tension on your bicep (even for a second), which is something you don’t want.
For this exercise, you want to be contracting your bicep from start to finish. Not do the lift by trying to touch your fist to your shoulder.
Many people make this mistake when doing seated dumbbell preacher curls.
Also be careful not to drop the weight back down to the start position. This is a perfect way to tear your biceps.
Slowly lower your weight down to the start position. But not too far down that the weight is hanging from your shoulders, rather than being held by your biceps. Read here for the best way to perform dumbbell preacher curls.
A Tip For Getting More Isolation On Your Biceps
Ever heard of “fat boy” grips. These are perfect for focusing attention on your biceps.
If you don’t have these kind of grips, then you can try pre-exhaust your forearms. Do some forearms curls before you work your biceps.
The trick here is to take the strain off your forearms and put it onto your biceps. When your forearms are weaker than your biceps, you will hit your biceps harder!
You will feel that your forearms are no longer able to assist the bicep curl. Thus, forcing the bicep to work harder to complete the curl.
But be careful with this. It is more an intermediate to advance technique.
Conclusion on My Top 7 Bicep Exercises For Size
Look, there are so many different bicep exercises available to do, but I wanted to show you my top 7.
The main thing to remember about bicep exercises, is that they are essentially a show off exercise. Every movement is a bicep flex essentially.
So don’t worry about it looking vain. You are supposed to flex your biceps. This is how they are worked!
Always keep tension on your biceps at all times. If you are doing standing curls, don’t lower the weight down until it is hanging off your shoulders.
The weight should always be supported by your biceps.
Please feel free to drop your comments below if you want to add something, or you think I have missed something important.
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