Today I’ll be sharing 5 of the best bicep exercises that you need to add to your arm routine now! These exercises will train your outer/ long head, inner/short head and brachialis of the biceps as well. If you’re looking for bigger biceps FAST…you’re in the right place!
Exercise #1: Spider Curls (Short/Inner Head)
To begin our list, we’re going to start with some Spider Curls. This is a fantastic exercise to allow you to hit that short head of the biceps.
Notice our position here where our arms are in front of the torso. This is what helps us to isolate that short head of the biceps. It’s essential to focus on keeping your upper arm completely stationary. You want your elbow pointed straight down to the ground, and you want to lock that in. As you come up with each repetition, you want to think about your biceps’ shortening.
Doing so allows you to develop your muscle connection and makes each repetition that much more effective.
You squeeze your bicep as you come up, and you make sure you add a 1-second isolation hold at the top where you flex your bicep as hard as possible. Take 1-2 seconds to bring down your arm.
Things to avoid would include using the momentum for quick repetitions, which leaves many gains on the table.
Additionally, as opposed to keeping the upper arm locked and that elbow pointing straight down to the ground, keep your upper arms locked and avoid bringing them close to the sides of your torso. Doing this will take some load off the short head and hamper isolation.
Mistake to avoid – Not keeping your upper arms locked or otherwise bringing them close to your torso.
I like to perform 3-4 sets of 10-12 repetitions for this exercise, emphasizing quality over quantity.
Exercise #2: 1-1/2 Curls (Intensity Increaser!)
Next, we have the 1-1/2 Bicep Curl Repetitions. This is a great way to add more intensity to the exercise. While performing a supine grip with your palms facing upwards, you bring your dumbbells up towards the armpit for a full repetition. After you come to the top, you go down to about the halfway position. You go up again and bring your arms completely down this time.
See how that halfway position looks below.
This allows us to keep an incredible amount of tension on the biceps and demand more out of them than the traditional, full repetition. As always, it’s essential to try and keep your form as well as possible. Keep your posture steady and avoid those swinging motions. Keep the upper arm and the torso stationary. Squeeze and flex the biceps.
Exercise #3: 5 Sec. Negative Chin-Ups (Intense)
Next, we’ve got a cool variation that is extremely brutal on the biceps – negative chin-ups. If you have the strength to perform the full repetition as such, then definitely do so. What we’re going to focus on is coming down for 4-5 seconds on the negative.
This will help us get all those micro-muscle tears that will stimulate muscular growth on the body when you’re resting and recovering.
Now, if you don’t have the strength to do a lot of repetitions, then you can use another variation of the exercise.
You can use a bench or a small box to help you stand up to the top position, and from there, come down and focus strictly on the negative portion of this exercise. This is an excellent variation for those of you who are heavier and/or have weaker biceps. You won’t need as many repetitions as this exercise is so challenging.
I’m recommending 3 sets of 6-8 repetitions while aiming 4-5 seconds on the negative.
See the alternative variation in action below.
Exercise #4: Seated Incline Curls (Outer Head)
For Exercise #4, we have a classic to help us hit that outer head of the biceps. For this exercise, we’ve now positioned ourselves so that the arms are now behind the torso. This contrasts with how the spider curls effectively hit the biceps’ short head because the arms are in front of the torso.
This new position will help us get that stretch for the biceps’ long head as that muscle runs through your shoulder joint.
What you want to do is to again focus on keeping that upper-arm locked in, with your elbows pointed as straight down as you possibly can. Make sure to get a full stretch of the biceps as you come down. Focus on bringing those dumbbells up towards the armpits while making sure you flex and contract as you go.
Mistake to avoid: Incorporating your anterior deltoid and moving your upper-arm in unison with the dumbbells.
You’ll see here the upper-arm becoming parallel with your torso with every repetition. You’d be removing the full benefit of stretching the biceps by keeping your upper arms stationary.
Exercise #5: 21’s (Intensity Increaser!)
No BarbarianBody biceps exercise list would be complete without one of my favorite biceps exercises: The 21’s. To begin the set, you’ll start with 7 repetitions for 1/2 of a bicep curl’s bottom range of motion. Directly after, you’re going to transition into getting 7 repetitions of the top half of the motion range. After you complete that second portion, it’s now time to complete the exercise with 7 repetitions with a full range of motion.
You may notice at this point that you’re biceps are toast. So you may find it difficult to get the full repetitions. Attempt to perform these last set of repetitions with as best a form as you possibly can while continuing to squeeze and contract those biceps.
Those are my Top 5 biceps exercises for size. If you enjoyed this article, follow, like, and subscribe to our YouTube channel, and I’ll see you in next week’s article.