If you’re looking to add some size and definition to your arms, then check out this list of the 10 best biceps exercises. No matter what your fitness level, there’s an exercise on here that will help you achieve the massive arms you desire. Plus, each exercise has been linked to the corresponding video for further instruction and reference. Once you master these exercises, it won’t be long before you have biceps that are bigger than most people’s waists!
1) Barbell Curls
The bicep curl is one of, if not THE most popular exercise for building muscle. It’s easy to do, requires little to no equipment and can be done in almost any gym. In fact, you probably do some variation of it at least a few times each week. However, there are variations that allow you to increase your workload and focus on different parts of your biceps.
2) Incline Dumbbell Curls
Incline dumbbell curls are one of my favorite biceps exercises. They’re great for hitting both the long head and short head of your bicep—and can be easily done without a spotter, unlike many other bicep exercises. To perform them, grab two dumbbells and place them by your side on an incline bench set to 45 degrees. Let them hang down toward your body so that they’re in line with your torso, not reaching past it.
3) EZ Bar Preacher Curls
Place a barbell on a preacher bench, then lie back and grasp it using an underhand grip. Let your arms hang straight down from your shoulders, elbows slightly bent. Keep your upper arms still against your torso as you bend at the elbows and slowly raise the weight to shoulder height, keeping your forearms perpendicular to your torso. Pause for a beat and slowly lower under control back to starting position.
4) Close Grip Bench Press
This exercise is great for more than just biceps; it hits your triceps, shoulders and chest too. Just like traditional bench press, you lay flat on a bench and lower a barbell to your chest (be sure not to bounce off your chest). However, when you push back up, only let the bar come three-quarters of an inch off your chest—the close in close grip bench. This really gives you that pumping up feeling.
5) Hammer Curls
With their cocked grip, hammer curls target your biceps brachii and brachialis to build both heads of your bicep. When you curl a dumbbell using an underhand (supinated) grip, you put more stress on your brachialis than if you used an overhand (pronated) grip.
6) Spider Curl Machine
This exercise will help you develop a natural peak in your biceps. It’s important to create a distinct separation between your bicep and tricep muscles. It targets one muscle group, hitting it hard for maximum results! To perform, stand facing away from the machine, holding onto each handle. Keep your elbows bent and pull forward as far as you can without moving your upper arms. Squeeze at peak contraction for a second before returning back to starting position.
7) Standing Dumbbell Curls
Standing curls can help you develop big, beautiful biceps. Hold a dumbbell in each hand and let your arms hang at your sides. Curl both weights upward until they meet at shoulder height. Slowly lower them back to starting position, keeping your elbows tight against your sides throughout. Repeat eight to 12 times for two sets. Don’t cheat by swinging or using momentum; do each rep slowly and make sure you feel it in your biceps as you reach peak contraction.
8) Cable Rope Overhead Triceps Extension
This is a great exercise to help you build big triceps. Stand directly in front of an overhead cable machine and grab an overhand grip on each handle. Extend your arms over your head, keeping them straight (as though there were a hinge at your elbows). Bend both elbows as far as possible, pause, then return to starting position. Repeat for specified reps.
If you’re looking for big biceps, do chin-ups. Chin-ups are one of the most effective exercises for building bicep size and strength. To perform them, grab a pull-up bar or some sturdy objects that can support your weight, and hold yourself up with your arms. Bend at your elbows until your chest reaches or passes over that bar—you should feel a good stretch in those biceps at peak contraction. Once finished, slowly lower yourself back to starting position.
10) Seated Plate Twists
This movement is great for building not only your bicep, but also your core. Start seated on a bench with one leg extended straight in front of you and one bent so that your ankle rests on your knee. Holding a plate at arm’s length, twist it from side to side as many times as you can in 30 seconds. Rest for 15 seconds then repeat.