With so many exercises out there to work the showiest part of the arm how can we possibly select just five? Simple, we are looking for the top bicep exercises. That means the most effective and useful, not simply the ones that people most commonly do.
Of course a little secret is that some people do not do the most effective exercises; which probably helps explain why not everyone has great biceps. But after reading this article you will have the tools of the trade and it will just be a matter of getting to the gym and putting the work in!
The Top 5 Bicep Blasters
For all of these bicep exercises good form is absolutely key. Yes, you can use slight cheating on some exercises after reaching regular failure, but doing ‘cheat curls’ for every rep will not build you a big set of guns.
- Incline Dumbbell Curls – This is a great biceps blaster because of the angle use. Set a bench at 45 degrees and then lean back with a moderate weight. Let your arms hang straight down. This really helps obtain a great stretch and makes sure you use little to no momentum. Start with your palms facing your body and rotate your thumbs out for a nice supination which helps with the shape of the biceps. If you alternate using one arm and then the other it will help with focus and concentration.
- Wide Grip Barbell Curls – Use an Olympic barbell and not the smaller racks they have available. You want the thicker bar to grab as well as a wider bar for more stabilization used. Place your hands one spot wider than shoulder-width then start curling with a controlled pace and no cheating.
- Dumbbell Hammer Curls – A lot of people forget to give the hammer curl much thought but it is critical because of how it involves the forearms and brachialis muscle which creates more biceps size. Start with a pair of dumbbells at your side with palms in. Bend at the elbow and curl the weight up as if you are trying to touch the dumbbells to your shoulders. The wrists do not rotate in this exercise. Then slowly lower.
- Close Grip Chin-Ups – This is a hybrid exercise. Yes, it does use your back muscles but primarily it is an arm blaster. As you are using a straight bar with a close grip and less of a ‘smooth arc’ compared to barbell curls this exercise is a hybrid between biceps and forearm work but still really blasts them both. Keep your hands 4 to 6 inches apart and pull until your chin is over the bar then hold for a second before slowly lowering. This is also a great exercise for the slow negative.
- Dumbbell Concentration Curls – This was a favorite finisher of Arnold and he had great biceps. Bend over at the waist with a light dumbbell. Place your elbow against the inside of your knee for support. Slowly curl the weight up while supinating the wrist. Squeeze the bicep hard at the top and then slowly lower.
Those are our Top 5 bicep exercises. An honorable mention goes to dumbbell preacher curls because Mr. Olympia Larry Scott swears by them and he has incredible biceps.