4 Exercises to Build Bigger Biceps
June 15, 2016
Whatever you call your biceps, from pythons to guns, one thing is for sure: the pair make up one of the most coveted muscles to show off. Under a snug t-shirt or a ribbed tank top, volume is what you always want on display. The biceps are made up of several muscles, including the biceps brachii, brachialis and brachioradialis. If you’re looking to have bigger guns, you need to make sure you train all of these different parts.
There are a few biceps workout tips and training strategies you can follow to really get the most results out of every exercise you perform. Just like with other parts of your body, your biceps can get used to your workout routine making less of an impact over time. So it’s important that you mix it up, switch up equipment, angles, even how you hold a barbell.
For example, if you perform a shoulder-width grip, that allows you to use both the long and short head of your biceps equally. The wider you go from there though, the more short head emphasis, the narrower the grip, the more long head emphasis. So, in this case, if you combine the two different approaches to lifting weights, you’d increase the size of each bicep head creating bigger guns in general.
The Standing Biceps Cable Curl
In this bicep exercise, the cable curl bar is attached to a low pulley. While you keep your arms stationary, with elbows close to your torso and an underhand grip, you curl the weights by only using your forearms. Contract the biceps as you exhale, hold for a second as you squeeze the muscle and slowly bring the curl back.
The standing biceps cable curl is a lot like the standing barbell curl, but it differs in that the angle of loading comes from both the down and forward movement, giving you continuous tension on the muscle, through the entire full range of motion. So there’s no rest at the bottom or top, making it more challenging, especially as you progress through your fitness journey and use heavier weights.
The Reverse-Grip Barbell Row
This biceps exercise is a movement that involves multiple joints that allows you to lift really heavy, using a reverse grip, so you can really engage your biceps. It’s a great exercise to include when your training both your biceps and back.
Start the reverse-grip barbell row with your palms facing up, keeping your torso forward and back straight. As you lift the barbell, exhale and keep elbows close to your body. Lift, contract, squeeze the back muscles and hold for a second. Then slowly lower the barbell back as you inhale.
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Rope Hammer Curl
When your palms are facing up during a curl exercise, it not only works out your biceps it also heavily recruits the brachialis and increases its girth. By assisting your training with a cable training, you get continuous tension throughout the entire movement giving you a slight edge over a dumbbell hammer curl. The fact that you’re flexing your elbow may also activate your biceps even more, especially on the long head.
Dumbbell Concentration Curl
According to an American Council on Exercise study, seated dumbbell concentration curls produce 97% biceps activity, while cable curls and chin ups each yield 80% and barbell curls turn out 76%. As you can see, by fully isolating your biceps, you can maximize stimulation. A dumbbell concentration curl allows you to effectively develop the peak of your biceps, creating some good looking guns.
In a dumbbell curl, the long head of the biceps brachii is activated much more than the short head. To start your dumbbell concentration curl, simply sit on bench, with a dumbbell between your legs. Keep the back of your upper arm against your inner thigh to isolate the biceps muscle, lean into the leg and raise the dumbbell slowly. Breathe out as you curl the weight and contract your muscle. Don’t forget to draw power from your arms.
Don’t fall in a biceps training rut. Practice a routine that includes these top four exercises and maximize your workouts every time. Don’t forget form to adjust your weights as you evolve.