Best Exercises For Building Bigger Biceps

  • By: Dave Moffat
  • Date: July 15, 2023
Best Exercises For Building Bigger Biceps

Bigger biceps are a goal for many fitness enthusiasts. Certain exercises can make a significant difference in their size and definition. Barbell curls target the biceps directly and allow for progressive overload.

Dumbbell curls engage each arm independently and variations like hammer curls maximize muscle activation. Chin-ups and pull-ups are also beneficial, engaging multiple muscle groups simultaneously.

Samuel was an aspiring bodybuilder who couldn’t build his biceps. He talked to a trainer who suggested eccentric training – focusing on the lowering phase of each repetition. Samuel tried it and it worked! His biceps began growing fast. Everyone’s journey is different, but don’t give up. Stay dedicated and you’ll get the biceps you desire.

Why building bigger biceps is important

Building bigger biceps isn’t just for looks. It can give you functional strength, too. With strong biceps, everyday chores like carrying grocery bags or children become simpler. Plus, it boosts your upper body strength and balance.

But, let’s not forget aesthetics. Having sculpted, toned biceps is a confidence booster. Clothes fit better, and it shows off your hard work.

It’s not just a modern-day luxury. Ancient athletes realized the importance of powerful arm muscles, too. They had an edge in competitions, and could lift heavy objects with ease. This shows how long biceps have been important.

Exercise 1: Barbell Curls

Barbell curls – a top exercise for bigger biceps – are a must-have in any arm workout. Here’s a guide for doing them right:

  1. Grip the bar: Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and hold the bar with an underhand grip. Place your palms forward, slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
  2. Position your body: Keep elbows close to sides and fully extend arms, letting the bar hang in front of you. This is your starting point.
  3. Curl the bar: Keep upper arms still, then exhale as you curl weight up by contracting biceps. Lift until it reaches shoulder level, squeezing biceps at the top.
  4. Lower the bar: Inhale as you slowly lower back to start position, controlling the descent.
  5. Repeat and vary sets: Do 3-4 sets of 8-12 reps, resting 60-90 secs between sets. To challenge yourself more, increase weight or try variations like preacher or incline curls.

For best results, engage core muscles for stability, avoid swinging and keep proper form to maximize muscle activation and avoid injury.

Barbell curls have been popular since day one – bodybuilders and fitness fanatics love them! They help target and shape bicep muscles, making them a key exercise for strength training. Whether you want bigger arms or overall functional strength, barbell curls can help you reach your goals quickly.

Exercise 2: Dumbbell Hammer Curls

Dumbbell Hammer Curls are a great way to build bigger biceps. Here’s a 6-step guide:

  1. Stand upright, holding a dumbbell in each hand with palms facing torso.
  2. Keep elbows close to body and exhale as you curl weights up to shoulders.
  3. Forearms move only; upper arms stay stationary.
  4. Lift until biceps are fully contracted and dumbbells are at shoulder level.
  5. Pause and squeeze biceps, then inhale as you lower weights back to start.
  6. Repeat for recommended repetitions.

To get the most from Dumbbell Hammer Curls:

  1. Control motion, isolating biceps without momentum.
  2. Increase resistance gradually by adding weight or heavier dumbbells.
  3. Perform multiple sets with proper rest intervals.
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By following these tips, you’ll get optimal results from your strength training!

Exercise 3: Preacher Curls

Preacher Curls are a great exercise to get bigger biceps. Here’s a 4-step guide to help you do it right and get the max results:

  1. Sit on a preacher bench with your upper arms against the padding and feet on the floor.
  2. Hold a dumbbell in each hand with an underhand grip, letting arms point downwards.
  3. Curl up the dumbbells to your shoulders and keep your upper arms and elbows still.
  4. Squeeze biceps at the top, then lower the dumbbells back.

For extra results, pause for a second at the top of each rep. Preacher Curls isolate the biceps by placing them in a stretched position at the bottom of the movement. This helps create peak muscle contraction and reduce cheating.

Larry Scott, a pro bodybuilder who won consecutive Mr. Olympia titles in ’65 and ’66, made Preacher Curls popular. He was famous for his arm development and credited Preacher Curls for his success.

Include Preacher Curls in your workout regimen to target your biceps and build stronger arm muscles.

Exercise 4: Chin-ups

Chin-ups are a great exercise to target and strengthen your biceps. It engages many muscles, like your biceps, back, and shoulders. This results in increased upper body strength. Here’s how to do them:

  1. Grab the pull-up bar with an underhand grip, slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
  2. Hang down with your arms fully extended.
  3. With your biceps, pull your body upward until your chin is above the bar.
  4. Slowly lower yourself back to the starting position, fully elongating your arms.
  5. Repeat for desired reps.

Chin-ups also help with grip strength and upper body endurance. To get the most out of them:

  1. Change your grip to target different bicep and back muscles.
  2. If you can’t do them unassisted, use resistance bands or an assisted chin-up machine.
  3. Do slow negatives to emphasize eccentric muscle contractions.

By following these tips, you can challenge your muscles and promote growth with chin-ups.

Exercise 5: Concentration Curls

Want bigger biceps? Try Concentration Curls! This focused exercise is perfect for building strength. Here’s a 3-step guide:

  1. Sit on a flat bench, feet firmly planted. Hold a dumbbell in one hand, palm up, and press your elbow against your thigh.
  2. Curl the weight towards your shoulder, keeping your upper arm still. Squeeze your bicep at the top, then lower to start.
  3. Repeat for desired reps, then switch arms.

Did you know that Concentration Curls isolate bicep muscles? Plus, they target the brachialis for well-rounded arm development.

Exercise 6: Cable Curls

Cable Curls are a great way to get bigger biceps! Here’s an easy guide:

  1. Connect a handle to the low pulley cable machine and adjust the weight to your capability.
  2. Stand facing the machine and hold the handle with an underhand grip, keeping your elbows close.
  3. Curl the handle towards your shoulders, flexing your biceps at the top. Then lower it slowly.

This exercise gives constant tension and helps build grip strength as you hold the handle. To get the best results, stay focused on form and use a weight that’s challenging yet doable.

Arnold Schwarzenegger and other fitness pros recommend Cable Curls for building bigger, stronger biceps!

Exercise 7: Hammer Strength Machine Curls

The exercise is broken down here:

Exercise 7: Hammer Strength Machine Curls
Primary Muscles TargetedBiceps Brachii
Secondary Muscles TargetedBrachialis, Brachioradialis
Equipment NeededHammer Strength Machine
Exercise TypeStrength Training
Repetitions8-12 per set
Sets3-4 sets
Rest Time Between Sets60-90 seconds

To do this exercise, sit on the Hammer Strength Machine. Grasp the handles with an underhand grip and extend your arms. Curl the handles upwards while contracting your bicep muscles. Then, lower the weight back. Repeat for desired reps.

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Progressive overload should be used to get better results. This means increasing the weight or resistance as your muscles adapt and get stronger.

Focus on proper form during each rep. Don’t use momentum or swing your body to lift the weight. This reduces the effectiveness and increases the risk of injury.

Varying your grip width can target different parts of your biceps. Experiment with wider or narrower grips to maximize muscle growth.

Tips for maximizing bicep growth

  1. Incorporate progressive overload into your bicep workouts for bigger, stronger arms.
  2. Focus on form and vary exercises to target different areas of your biceps.
  3. Include compound movements that involve multiple muscle groups in your workouts.
  4. Prioritize rest and recovery, as this is when your muscles grow and repair.
  5. Consume a balanced diet with adequate protein to support muscle growth.
  6. Listen to your body and adjust your routine accordingly to prevent injury and overtraining.
  7. Consider super sets as a way to add intensity to your bicep workouts.
  8. Activate your biceps by focusing on the mind-muscle connection during your exercises.
  9. Always prioritize safety and proper form to prevent injuries.
  10. With these tips, you can reach your fitness goals!


To build bigger biceps, you need a mix of compound and isolation moves. Compound exercises, like chin-ups and rows, target multiple muscles. Isolation exercises, like curls, focus only on the biceps. Change your routine and use heavier weights to get muscle growth.

Make sure you use the right form and technique. This helps you target the biceps and stops injuries. Train your biceps at least twice a week – give your muscles enough rest and recovery.

Progressive overload boosts muscle growth. Gradually increase the weight or resistance used during each workout. Push yourself to lift heavier and make your muscles stronger.

Diet matters too. Eat protein from lean meats, eggs, and plants. Get enough rest and recovery – this is when your muscles repair and grow.

A study in the Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research found that people who did both compound and isolation exercises for their biceps had more muscle growth than those who did one type of exercise. That shows how important it is to have a variety of movements in your routine.

To get big biceps, you need time and dedication. Have a well-rounded approach with proper form, progressive overload, and the right diet. Then you can develop amazing arm muscles.

Dave Moffat

Hi, I'm Dave Moffat the founder and Chief Editor of and certified International Personal Trainer and Certified Nutritionist. My passion has always been bodybuilding but with 15 years' experience in weight loss programs too, it's hard not to mention all that when you're working at your fitness level fullest (I hope). When Im not in the gym or spending time away from my family i often think about what advice would help others achieve theirs goals just like these inspired mine.