In order to get bigger, fuller and more defined arms, it is vital that some direct exercises and some compound exercises are combined. This is the only sure way of gaining bigger biceps. Furthermore, you shouldn’t concentrate on the arms too much. You don’t need to have a biceps-only days since there are so many exercises that work the biceps along with working other body parts. Here are the best biceps exercises.
1. Standing Barbell Curls
Some people don’t realize this but the standing curl is one of the few compound biceps exercises. This is truer when you are lifting a serious weight on the bar. This sort of curling uses all the muscles of the arms, forearms and the triceps along with engaging the biceps beautifully. You can get started on the standard 45 pound barbell. Ideally, your hands should be positioned firmly with your palms facing upwards. The arms don’t need to be beyond the shoulder width and you should allow your arms to hand besides you. The bar should be placed in front of the hips. When starting to lift the bar, tuck-in your elbows and try never to move them during the exercise. When curling the bar, the target should be to curl the bar up to your chin. The bar shouldn’t be bouncing off your hips and neither should it be slamming against your chest. To add variations, you can use wide grip and medium grip barbell curls.
2. Hammer Curls
The Hammer Curl is a traditional and respected biceps exercise that can help you develop your forearms and bi’s tremendously. This is better done if you are seated on a firm bench, just on the edge, i.e. seated with minimal back support. Your two dumbbells should be hanging from each hand, to the side, with your arms straight and the palms facing inwards, i.e. towards your thighs. The vertical section of the dumbbell should be held parallel to the floor and when you start to raise the dumbbell, the movement should resemble hammering a nail with a hammer. The idea should be to raise the dumbbell high with minimally moving the elbows. The flat end of the dumbbell should ideally come very close to touching your shoulder.
3. Dumbbell Curls (with Alternative Rotations)
This is one of the simplest, most commonly seen biceps exercises that can be seen in nearly every gym across the world. However, not many people realize that they are often not using the right way of curling. Firstly, instead of curling simultaneously, alternative curling is much more effective. This helps you focus on each arm individually. You need to grab a pair of dumbbells, where you feel that doing ten or so reps would be a challenge. Hold the dumbbells at your sides, grasping them firmly. Let your arms hang. The weights should be facing your body. Keep the elbows tucked when you are about to start curling. You need to start curling with the dumbbells in the hammer-shaped stance. Now, as you are about to complete the hammer curl, start to rotate it, i.e. as you are nearing the end of the movement, your palms should start coming upwards and start turning towards your head. This is how the curl is done and it helps to work the entire arm. Ensure that you don’t sway much as you need to generate the power from your arms and not your back or hips.
4. Supinated Bent-Over-Rows
This is one of the most serious biceps gainers that is practiced and recommended heavily by powerlifters and gym-worshipping guys. This is mainly because the supinated rows allow you to lift beyond what you can achieve doing simple or hammer dumbbell curls. The movement of straight bar rows in the supinated position might seem to be working the back muscles and largely that is the case but it also work heavily on your arms, particularly the biceps. You need to get started by grabbing a loaded bar using a supinated grip, i.e. where your palms are facing up and your hands are spread shoulder-width wide. You need to bend you upper body, parallel to the floor when holding the bar with your elbows slightly tucked in. The row is actually quite simple. You merely need to let the bar hang and then bring it back to your abdomen. You can allow the bar to touch your abs on the way up.
5. Close-gripped Chin-ups
Putting on more mass on the biceps is one of the commonest gym goals and for making it come true, there is nothing better than doing insanely high number of chin ups, a couple of times a week—the close grip version. The reason to use a close grip is very simple. By keeping your hands closer than usual, you are engaging more focus on the biceps for lifting the bodyweight. This means that you are combining a compound exercise along with a bicep curling movement! Close-grip chin-ups are the building blocks of many bicep-heavy bodybuilders. You need to locate a straight bar that can be comfortably reached from a standing position. The grip should be underhand or supinated grip, i.e. your palms should be facing your body. Keeping your hands about 6-inches apart is recommended. You can induce more variations by doing weighted chin-ups where some weight is tied to your feet. You can also place a dumbbell between the ankles or tie a weighted belt to your legs. The weighted belt should have a loop on one end where you can engage the hook of a chain or add some weight. You should aim to chin-up over the bar since this is the conventional way of completing a chin-up rep.