The Best Exercises For Developing Your Biceps

Posted on December 25th, 2017 at 6:04 pm by

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When you see a set of jacked arms it is always impressive.  Taking time to carefully develop the bicep muscles requires focus, diligence, and a lot of curls!

Below are the 3 best exercises for sculpting your biceps!  Some of the exercises might be new, if so, take the time to look up a video on proper form.  Also, make sure to play around with different variations.  Variety is not only the spice of life, it is also important for optimal muscle growth!

Bicep Curls

Barbell curls are the king of biceps exercises.  All of the great bodybuilders have spent their time doing curls, and for good reason! Bicep curls are the most effective exercises for growing bigger arms.

Image courtesy of patrisyu at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

When doing curls, make sure to switch it up.  Use different angles and rep schemes to hit the different muscle fibers in your biceps.  I like to do higher rep work (12-15 reps) as well as heavy, low rep sets (5-8 reps).

One tip is to do dumbbells curls.  Using dumbbells are crucial because they force each arm to learn to work independent of each other.  This means that you won’t create muscle imbalances, which can lead to injuries.

Also, make sure to do neutral grip “hammer curls”.  This will help to develop the brachialis muscle, which is the secondary, smaller bicep muscle group. Remember, the “bi” in bicep means two, which refers to the two different muscles that make up the biceps area.

Each exercise variation you do will allow you to hit different fiber types.  So mix it up!  Your options are limitless, with dumbbell curls, cable curls, seated, standing, etc… Make sure to take advantage and find a variation that works best for you.

Pullups

Pullups are one of the best exercises you can do.  Period. When I say pullups, I’m referring to both chinups and pullups (palms facing you and palms away).  Doing pullups will add mass to your arms and upper back (traps, lats, etc…).

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Once again, variation is key.  Do both pullups and chinups.  You can add weights (either a weight vest or dip belt), try different hand variations (super wide grip, narrow grip, etc…).

If doing high rep pullups is difficult for you (say 10+ reps), then make sure to do a slower eccentric (lowering) motion.  For instance, do a pullup, then count to five as you lower yourself down.  This will help you get stronger as well as add more muscle mass.  In fact, research shows that eccentric-focused training adds more muscle mass than regular concentric training (source).  So make sure to add in those negatives!

Rows

An often overlooked movement, barbell rows are awesome bicep growing exercises! Rows force your arms and back to work in unison, which forces them to grow together.

By U.S. Naval Forces Central Command/U.S. Fifth Fleet (USS Mesa Verde (LPD 19)_140813-M-MX805-059) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

While there are many different row variations, one thing is constant – make sure to keep your back straight!  Also, do them both supinated (palms facing you) and pronated (palms facing away).  This will hit different muscle fibers and lead to more growth.

While rows are typically done with barbells or on cable machines, a great alternative is single arm dumbbell rows.  They work each arm independently, which will help to even out muscle imbalances and weaknesses.

If you prefer bodyweight exercises, you can also do inverted rows (either on a bar or on rings).  These are great exercises for building mass.  I like to add them in after a workout to “finish off” my arms.  These are especially difficult if you do a slow eccentric (i.e. lowering yourself).

Make Sure To Recover

Exercising is only one piece of the puzzle, make sure to eat right and help your body recover after working out.  Eating a balanced meal with protein and carbs after you train will help your body to burn fat and build muscle.

Make sure to also get enough sleep.  Getting deep, restorative sleep is very important for muscle growth.  Remember, your body grows during non-REM sleep, this is when your body naturally releases growth hormones to build and repair damaged tissue (source).

So make sure to prioritize sleep!  Aim to get at least 7 hours each night.  The gains you get from it will make it well worth the effort.

Now that you have the tools you need, make sure to start putting these tips into action. Jacked arms are achievable – just make sure to put in the hard work!

BIO:

David Brett is a fitness coach and writer over at www.brettsfitnesstips.comYou can find his recent writings on health, wellness, and fitness there.

 

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