For guys biceps are a true ‘showcase’ muscle. Nobody wants weak looking biceps. Everyone wants a pair of big, well-rounded melons that stretch the shirtsleeves and catch attention. So how do you get them? First you need to make sure that you are doing the best bicep exercise each time you train arms.
Now, unlike other body parts, the best bicep exercise is definitely going to be well-debated. The primary reason is that the biceps are more basic two-headed muscle with a hinge joint acting as the primary method for contracting it. That means there are only a handful of exercises you really need to consider to get the maximum fiber recruitment to create growth.
But…which one of that handful is the best? Let’s look at them and compare the finer points in regards to bulging biceps building.
The Top 5 Biceps Exercises
- Barbell Biceps Curl – This is certainly a staple exercise. Maximum weight to attack the biceps is the primary point of this lift. When combined with strict form you get a pretty full range of motion as well. However there is the danger of using momentum to carry part of the load diminishing effectiveness.
- Incline Dumbbell Curl – Certainly underused, this exercise prevents momentum and helps work the muscle in a stretch position from the start. The weight used will be less but that is made up for with constant tension.
- Cable Curls – While a cable provide constant tension, the weight pulling from the middle of the bar often creates a balance problem which means your stabilization muscles come more into play. This is certainly a bonus. Plus you can vary grips and handles for a diverse group of options.
- Spider Preacher Curls – This is an old school favorite where you use the back of a preacher bench for a vertical base to allow zero cheating on the movement and an incredible amount of tension on the muscle along with a great stretch.
- Concentration Curls – This is known as a finish move that all the greats like to use. This exercise can really help with working the peak of the muscle and help shape the head when you twist the wrist (supination) during the movement.
So, looking at those five great exercises, which is the best bicep exercise? I think the true answer, if you could only do one exercise for the rest of your life, would be a hybrid mix.
In a perfect world you would take a preacher bench next to a low cable and attach a single handle. Then you would work one arm at a time doing Cable Spider Curls. But, to make the exercise more complete you would alternate each repetition doing the first one straight (palm facing up) and the next rotating the wrist from palm out to palm up. That way you work the length and the roundness of the muscle along with the peak all under constant tension.
So there you have it; the best bicep exercise would be single-arm Cable Spider Curls using an alternating rep scheme to maximize work on both heads of the muscle. If you have never thought to try this exercise give it a shot in your next workout. You simply can’t cheat while doing it and it will pump those biceps up beyond belief.