They certainly aren’t the biggest or strongest muscle group of your body, but equally they are one of your greatest ‘show’ muscles, the best bicep workouts are not always easy to figure out but if you get it right then your muscles will look fantastic.
Biceps perform a very basic function – flexing the elbow, gone are the days of having to wield a club around, but their are a whole host of exercises that can shape and define every part of your muscles.
Here 10 of the best:
Many people rate this as their no.1 bicep movement, I personally think of it as good and bad.
Using the inclined bench position will increase the stretch on the long head of the biceps whilst your neutral grip increases a lot of emphasis on the brachioradialls and brachialis. The hammer does take some tension away from the long head stopping the benefit you get from sitting at an incline.
You can test this by putting your right hand on your left bicep, move your left hand from palm up to palm sideways and you will feel the tension change in your bicep.
Bicep brachii consist of two parts with varying attachment points. The long head attaches above the shoulder joint, this means the position of the upper arm in relation to the body how much the head of each bicep helps during the curl.
This gets the humerus behind you, stretching the long head to the max, the more horizontal the bench, the more the long head will be stretched.
This exercise places the arm in front of the body with a rotation in the shoulder, this reduces the use of the long head, it can potentially increase bicep thickness and peak by better short head and brachialis recruitment.
Use your free hand on your off leg to support your body weight. When failure arrives, use a supinated grip. , switch to hammer grip to squeeze out more reps.
This is usually found to be more comfortable than a long bar, this moves some of the weight from your biceps brachii to your other elbow flexors. Some people believe this to be the best biceps builder.
Taking the wider grip than normal approach forces you to externally rotate your shoulder, this makes your humerus change position. This creates more involvement on the short head of your biceps.
When doing any sort of curls, avoid cheating by leaning back, if you are wanting to overload the top then use bands, chains or a partner to induce forced reps.
This is a good exercise to do if you are unsure as to which bicep curl exercise is best, try the Zottman.
You have a palms-up grip (supinated) on the way up and a palms down (pronated) grip as you bring the weight down. All elbow flexors get worked together. The brachioradialis and brachialis take the heat during the negative as well as during the curl itself as well.
The biceps brachii bear the load.
It is best to rotate the wrist as you come up instead of at the bottom before commencing the rep. Some elbow flexors act as supinators as well, rotating the wrist at the top instead of at the bottom will load up that function.
An original exercise, even only doing this exercise will bring you out on top, the amount of wrist rotation determines how hard our biceps brachii work, therefore it makes sense to supinate as much as possible where there is heavy loading involved.
Mess about with grip width, this can reduce the discomfort that some people feel, it also emphasizes a different part of the bicep, a narrow grip emphasizes long head whilst wide grip emphasizes short head.
A basic movement that has become the beacon of fitness, find that hard to believe?
Look around any fitness site, nearly every other banner has a picture of someone doing a dumbbell curl, the curls allow free wrist movement.
Many people will do a little bit of wrist rotation as they curl, try to do as much supination as possible.
This hammer or neutral wrist action will be the strongest curl. All elbow flexors are involved with this, the branchiallis is worked it’s hardest, it is recommended to do this on a preacher bench to minimize cheating.
This is a great way to practice your frontal bicep pose as you train, brachialis recruitment is maximized with this exercise. The higher your elbow, the more isolated your brachialis is from the biceps brachii.
It is a good variation to do one arm at a time, getting your arm straight up against your head, curling behind your head.
These are amongst some of the best bicep curl exercises out there but of course there are plenty more if you look for them.
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