All guys want bigger biceps, that is not a secret! The problem is building up your arms is not that easy if you are new to working out. It takes a lot of effort and motivation to build up your biceps and get 18-inch pipes! With the right diet and exercises, however, you will be well on your way.
There are a bunch of exercises that directly hit your biceps and help them grow.
The Barbell Curl
Probably the most well-known of the exercises I will mention, the barbell curl is simple - yet very effective! You simply stand upright with a barbell (the long pole), keep your elbows straight, and lift up to your shoulders.
Here's a Youtube video below on how to perform the barbell curl. Notice how he keeps his elbows tight - do NOT swing your arms up to your shoulders, and do not lift more weight than you can handle! Aim for 8-12 reps for 3-4 sets.
This is a great exercise that really focuses on building your biceps. You use dumbells for this exercise, typically 15 to 45 lbs. Aim for 12-15 reps and 3 sets.
Sit on a bench when doing this exercise. Grasp the dumbbell in between feet. Place the back of your upper arm to inner thigh. Lean into leg to raise elbow slightly. Raise the dumbbell to front of shoulder. Lower dumbbell until arm is fully extended. Repeat. The continue with opposite arm. No rest between arms!
These video's are from the YouTube channel "Instructional Fitness." I choose them in particular because I feel they do really know what they are talking about! Definitely check out their other videos when you get the chance.
These are probably my favorite biceps exercise because they hit your forearms as well. I really find that these hit your arms HARD when you are working out. I always get a good pump from hammer curls.
They are called hammer curls because that's how it looks when you are lifting. To do them, you place two dumbbells to sides (I do 20-30 lbs.), palms facing in, arms straight. To execute, with the elbows to the side, you raise one dumbbell until forearm is vertical and thumb faces shoulder. Then lower to original position and repeat with the other arm.
I usually perform Hammer Curls after doing other bicep exercises first.
Incline Dumbell Curls
This bicep exercise hits your upper biceps. You want to sit on an incline bench (45 degrees) with two dumbells, palms facing forward, and let both dumbells hang. Alternate each arm, raising one dumbell at a time. You can go both at once, but I would prefer alternating, so you can focus on each arm at once.
It's a really good bicep exercise because they put a lot of focus on your biceps and not other body parts. You'll really start to see your bicep swell up after a couple of reps. Form is very important. Don't do more weight than you need!
These are just a few of my favorite bicep exercises. Remember, biceps are not the only part of your arms - you've got to hit your triceps, shoulders and forearms as well! I will be posting a separate article on my favorite tricep exercises, coming soon.
It's also important to note that several major exercises hit these secondary body parts as well. For example:
- Bench press hits your chest but also your triceps.
- Rows and Lat Pulldowns hit you back but also your biceps.
- Deadlifts hit your back but also your biceps.
And remember to never overwork yourself at the gym - one of the keys to building muscle is to have the proper diet and rest. Working out too much can be very counterproductive!