The Best Bicep Exercises

Big Guns, the focal point of every man’s weight training goals, right? Having that perfect softball shape perk up into position upon flexing is a dream come true for weightlifters alike and one they are sure will turn them into a major babe magnet.

General Tips for Weight-Lifting:

No matter what your goal is in the weight room, there are some general guidelines that should be followed to facilitate the best gains as well as preventing injury.

1. Type of training equipment: free weights or machines
2. Frequency: 2-3 times per week
3. Number and order of exercises: 8 to 10 exercises selected, larger muscle mass and more complex exercises first and smaller muscle mass, simpler exercises second
*A well designed program should consist of both single and multiple joint exercises. This will facilitate whole body fitness and increase overall body strength as well as physique.
4. Number of sets per exercise: 2-3 sets
5. Repetitions for each set: 5 to 12; should be varied on a regular basis
6. Weight to be used for each set: 65-85% of 1-repetition maximum; one or more sets should involve maximal effort
7. Rest periods: 1 to 2 minutes between sets; 1 to 3 minutes between exercises
(Chromiack, 5-6)

Best Way to Build Biceps:

The biceps, also known as elbow flexors, are made up of 3 main muscles. Biceps brachii (long and short head), brachialis, and brachioradialis. The best way to build theses muscles is by performing a combination of both, compound lifts (multiple joint exercises), as well as isolation exercises, which target a single muscle group.

Compound lifts build the whole body. Just as squats, lunges and deadlifts work large muscle groups of the lower body, there are compound exercises that are great for the entire upper body, including the biceps. Usually these include exercises where pulling and pushing are critical components of the exercise. Examples of compound exercises that work the whole upper body, including back muscles, biceps, triceps, forearms, and shoulders are chin-ups (vertical pull), inverted rows (horizontal pull), military press (vertical push),and bench press (horizontal push).

According to Joe Dowell, a trainer for professional athletes and celebrities, “if you really want big arms, you need to focus the majority of your training time getting stronger in the compound lifts.”

Isolation exercises target one individual muscle group. Such as with bicep exercises, the biceps brachii, brachialis, and brachoradialis are targeted and are basically built by using different arm positions and grips to perform exercises that focus on that one general area.

Best Isolation Workout for Biceps (by Joe Dowell):

1. Incline Dumbbell Curls: this exercise focuses on the long head of the biceps brachii and is performed by sitting on an incline bench where the shoulders are extended just beyond neutral and the elbow joint is behind the torso. Curl is perfomed in a supinated ( palms up) position, creating a line of pull directly opposite the resistance. Sets:4, Repetitions: 6-8

2. Seated EZ Bar Cable Preacher Curls: this exercise focuses on the short head of the biceps brachii and is performed by placing the shoulder joint in a pre-flexed position with the elbow joint out in front of the torso. These types of bicep curl exercises are essential. (Suggestion: use a low pulley to ensure that the maximum overload is at the top of the movement). Sets: 3, Repetitions: 10-12

3. Standing Dumbbell Hammer Curls: this exercise focuses on the brachioradialis and is performed with the palms remaining in their neutral position, or facing the sides of the legs, throughout the entire curl. Sets: 4, Repetitions: 6-8

4. EZ Bar Reverse Curls: this exercise focuses on the brachialis as well as the pronator teres ( a muscle in the forearm), and curl is performed with forearms and palms in the down position. (Suggestion: use a fat-grip on EZ bar to facilitate grip strength as well). Sets: 3, Repetitions: 10-12

*Note: Alternate between a shoulder and/or tricep exercise of choice and each bicep exercise performed in the order they are arranged. Train the arms 2 times per week, or at least every 4 days.

Joe Dowell suggests, that if you are training your whole body, “you can integrate the Incline Dumbbell Curls and EZ Bar Reverse Curls on one day, and then substitute the Seated EZ Bare Cable Preacher Curls and Standing Dumbbell Hammer Curls on your next training day. Continue to flip-flop these pairings of your biceps training for the next 4-6 weeks.”

Summing It Up:

While large muscle gains can be made by isolating certain muscles like the biceps, professionals agree that whole body strength and conditioning should be the focus. Doing this can help weightlifters avoid that “Popeye” look where the upper body is a mass of super big, super ripped muscles, while the lower body is scrawny and underdeveloped by comparison, creating the appearance of “bird legs”. My female perspective, for what it’s worth, is that the biceps won’t look very impressive by themselves, if the rest of the body has been ignored.

Also noteworthy, remember that muscle is not solely built in the gym but is tied largely to diet, and most importantly, protein consumption, which is a necessary component in building muscle tissue. Caloric intake is also very important, as it takes 3,500 calories just to gain one pound of muscle.

Chromiak, Joseph, A., PhD, CSCS. ( March 7, 2006). Strength Training for Muscle Building. NSCA Hot Topic Series. Retrieved on November 22, 2011 from

Dowell, Joe. (September 14, 2011). Ask the $250/HR. Trainer: What’s the Best Workout for Bigger Biceps? Retrieved on November 22, 2011 from


"Any change requires an initial period of discomfort until the body adjusts to the new demand." - Author unknown

About Holly

"Any change requires an initial period of discomfort until the body adjusts to the new demand." - Author unknown

14 Responses to “The Best Bicep Exercises”

  1. Heya i am for the first time here. I came across this board and I ind It truly useful & it helped me out a
    lot. I hope to give something back and help others like you aided me.

    Also visit my web-site …tru raspberry ketone weight-loss supplements review

  2. Plastic surgery has become immensely popular in the last few years.

    Interestingly enough, pictures of her as a younger woman show that she’s adorable, and post surgery she is just beautiful.
    They also exhibit a willingness to answer questions and
    to make a patient feel safe and comfortable.

    My webpage … nose job la (Wilfred)

  3. Before apply the self tanner you need to make sure that you skin is completely dry.
    Apply a generous quantity of barrier cream on the underneath as well
    as the top of your fingernails and toenails before your spray tanning session to prevent them from getting discolored.
    Eye goggles, or special flexible eye stickers, should be
    worn to protect the eye area. Some of the
    spray tan procedures are not much as affected as the expectations are.
    This works by interacting with the dead
    surface cells found in the outermost layer of the skin; this then produces color change.
    There are several renowned cosmetic companies in the market,
    making new tanning products introductions each day. Prices also vary depending on whether a
    person books in advance or books multiple sessions. The high absorbent formula ensures that the lotion does not seem patchy or leave streaks of color.

    I was in the bathroom with one foot on the closed toilet lid slathering up
    a leg and watching in fascination as ominous clouds darkened the sky and a storm blew in. Cheeto tan is another commonly used phrase to describe the

    Feel free to surf to my blog :: best Self tanning

  4. Some people are obsessed with their hair and come in all paranoid when they
    start losing just a little. They appeal to a woman’s innate vanity, they do not warn of the
    unsafe facet outcomes that most f the medicine have. As you can see, there are many reasons why people lose hair.

    Take a look at my blog; hair care products comparable to wen

  5. Moving day can feel more like chaos than order, especially when there are half a dozen movers running around your home, packing up your belongings, and carrying out your furniture.
    Arrange for the disconnection of old utilities connection and get hold of new
    firm or organize for the transfer of old connection,
    if doable. Using a yacht delivery service is a simple decision for sea-crossings, but what about moving a
    motor yacht interstate from say Sydney to Brisbane or San Francisco to Los Angeles.

    Feel free to visit my website; moving services jacksonville florida

  6. And if this fashionable style comes at an affordable rate then that acts just
    like a cherry on the cake. Felt jockey caps accessorize the outfits
    as they do in the BCBGMAXAZRIA Fall 2013 collection debuted on February 7.
    Most bloggers write amazing stuff to start with, but then as their enthusiasm wanes the quality slides.

    Visit my page :: black bodycon dress outfit

  7. The basis for a diagnosis will start with a thorough examination by your veterinarian. To
    get hair loss reviews for both male as well as female hair loss treatments along with extensive advice ensure that
    you visit is a fellow sufferer of hair loss and highly recommends the revolutionary Hair –
    Max Laser Comb to stop thinning hair. Oils that are
    perfect for sealing are Olive oil, jojoba oil, safflower oil or castor oil.

    Feel free to visit my web page; laser for hair growth reviews

  8. The Maharashtra State Tax on Professions, Trades, Callings and
    Employments Act, 1975 mentions that:. Most of all, these business owners
    ensure that aside from core functions in their company,
    that the people and other downstream resources are given the right treatment all the time.
    Forums are a great place to market as in general
    they are based around a niche so all of the people will be interested in the
    same types of things.

    Feel free to surf to my blog post :: fort ft lauderdale CPA firms lauderdale fl

  9. Yes, fake tan can look really good when done properly but often by doing it our self’s and even sometimes professionally it can turn out
    bad and embarrassing. – Before you step out to go sunbathing, ascertain that your skin is clear from any ingredients of makeup creams and
    cologne liquids that would make your skin more disposed to sunburn. Cheaper versions are less likely to coat evenly or have colors that do not
    blend well with a variety of skin tones.

    Here is my site … spray tanning salons in florence sc

  10. companies, understanding its accounting laws is necessary.

    Accounting software will automate your transactions, which helps eliminate a chance for error caused due to manual
    data-entry mistakes. Many taxpayers choose to contact TAS
    because they are dealing with a tax debt.

    My page; adam financial advisor boca raton

  11. In most homes, a classily designed LCD TV has become an urgent part in every entertainment room.
    3rd party logistics providers specialize in many areas including:
    . You can easily find condos, so there is no need to stay in hotels and lose
    your luxury beach experience. You’re going to be able
    to take part in all of the conversations; just beware
    that your cooking abilities are going to be on show,
    though. It is important for the crew to be aware of the
    handling procedures when it comes to high tech gadgets and furniture.
    People are advised to invest time to shop around different hardware stores.

    Many of these companies offer on-site shredding services with the help of mobile California document shredding trucks.

    The Makita provide Jobsite Radios to take away dull mood in your work place that quickly
    turns it into something delightful by choosing a good background music that will
    suit you best. When you are looking for ways to cut
    costs, consider turning to Business Electricity
    Prices to get the best rates. They bring along with themselves quality containers, cartons or boxes of
    various sizes to pack each and every item safely.

    Also visit my site … best moving company boca raton

  12. When you are fly fishing, the quality and weight of the line (and rod) allows you to make accurate casts.
    It”s tough to keep things dry on a center console boat. Anyway, after all that the judge abruptly stated that he found me to be an expert in my field and asked both attorneys if they had any objections.

    my weblog: dock box what
    is a hasp lock

  13. So in this case, hair loss treatment for women might benefit them get over it, and it will likely to help their
    hair grow even more than before, and faster than using natural hair loss treatment as
    you all know. These shampoo ingredients strip my hair of its oils, which
    is overkill since my hair is already dry. Have Some Much more
    Derm – Organic Care For The Locks.

    My page – hair care products singapore


  1. Water is a must for survival. How much is enough? - May 6, 2012

    [...] I said that if you exercise the amount of water you need each day changes. So how much water should a person drink to replenish [...]