Bicep Exercises

I’m a big fan of bicep exercises.

Personally, I like the look of strong arms! Some women don’t, and that’s completely fine too. But personally, I’m a fan.

Below are some of the basic workouts I do when I work biceps.

Like I mention in my Getting Started with Fitness page, I recommend finding a weight that allows you to do 3 sets of 6-10 reps. Just find what you’re comfortable with so that you do not feel like you’re injuring yourself, and also something that challenges you.

Remember: to build “toned” arms, you must challenge your muscles so they can grow!

bicep-muscle
Bicep Muscles

(image source: bodybuilding.com)

All underlined exercises hyperlink to the exercise as it appears in the bodybuilding.com Exercise Database

Dumbbell Bicep Curls

  1. Stand up straight with a dumbbell in each hand at arm’s length. Keep your elbows close to your torso and rotate the palms of your hands until they are facing forward. This will be your starting position.
  2. Now, keeping the upper arms stationary, exhale and curl the weights while contracting your biceps. Continue to raise the weights until your biceps are fully contracted and the dumbbells are at shoulder level. Hold the contracted position for a brief pause as you squeeze your biceps.
  3. Then, inhale and slowly begin to lower the dumbbells back to the starting position.
  4. Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions. (1)

Dumbbell Alternate Bicep Curl

  1. Stand (torso upright) with a dumbbell in each hand held at arm’s length. The elbows should be close to the torso and the palms of your hand should be facing your thighs.
  2. While holding the upper arm stationary, curl the right weight as you rotate the palm of the hands until they are facing forward. At this point continue contracting the biceps as you breathe out until your biceps is fully contracted and the dumbbells are at shoulder level. Hold the contracted position for a second as you squeeze the biceps. Tip: Only the forearms should move.
  3. Slowly begin to bring the dumbbell back to the starting position as you breathe in. Tip: Remember to twist the palms back to the starting position (facing your thighs) as you come down.
  4. Repeat the movement with the left hand. This equals one repetition. (2)

Dumbbell Hammer Curls

  1. Stand up with your torso upright and a dumbbell on each hand being held at arm’s length. The elbows should be close to the torso.
  2. The palms of the hands should be facing your torso. This will be your starting position.
  3. Now, while holding your upper arm stationary, exhale and curl the weight forward while contracting the biceps. Continue to raise the weight until the biceps are fully contracted and the dumbbell is at shoulder level. Hold the contracted position for a moment as you squeeze the biceps. Tip: Focus on keeping the elbow stationary and only moving your forearm.
  4. After the brief pause, inhale and slowly begin the lower the dumbbells back down to the starting position.
  5. Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions. (3)

Barbell Curl

  1. Stand up with your torso upright while holding a straight barbell at a shoulder-width grip. The palm of your hands should be facing forward and the elbows should be close to the torso. This will be your starting position.
  2. While holding the upper arms stationary, curl the weights forward while contracting the biceps as you breathe out. Tip: Only the forearms should move.
  3. Continue the movement until your biceps are fully contracted and the bar is at shoulder level. Hold the contracted position for a second and squeeze the biceps hard.
  4. Slowly begin to bring the bar back to starting position as you breathe in.

Variations:

  • You can also perform this movement using a straight bar attachment hooked to a low pulley. This variation seems to really provide a good contraction at the top of the movement.
  • You may also use the closer grip for variety purposes. (4)

Incline Inner Bicep Curl

  1. Hold a dumbbell in each hand and lie back on an incline bench.
  2. The dumbbells should be at arm’s length hanging at your sides and your palms should be facing out. This will be your starting position.
  3. Now as you exhale curl the weight outward and up while keeping your forearms in line with your side deltoids. Continue the curl until the dumbbells are at shoulder height and to the sides of your deltoids.
  4. After a second contraction at the top of the movement, start to inhale and slowly lower the weights back to the starting position using the same path used to bring them up. (5)

 

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