After going through these exercises I’ll also give you guys some tips on how you can incorporate them into a workout or multiple workouts with exact amounts of sets, reps, and rest times.
#1. So let’s get started with by far the biggest bicep Mass Builder the barbell bicep curl.
If there’s one bicep exercise that you decide to master it should be this one. Since you get to use both arms with one bar you can go a lot heavier in this one than many of your other bicep exercises.
Start by loading up the bar then stand in front of it and grab it with both hands a little wider than hip-width apart. Keep your shoulders back and hold your chest High as you curl the barbell in towards your chest.
You want to make sure that you keep your elbows tight to your ribs and keep them fixed in one position to avoid incorporating the front of your shoulder and to keep all the load on your biceps.
Once you bring the bar all the way up you want to remember to lower it slowly because that’s when we’re actually breaking down the muscle the most.
Now, this is an exercise that you do want to go heavy with but your form is also very important. And this is the case with most bicep exercises.
Some cheating is okay towards the end of your set. If you use a little momentum during your last 2 or three reps to help you get the weight up
it’s completely different than rocking back and forth for every rep and turning this great bicep exercise into a lower back exercise.
#2. Let’s move on to the second exercise which is going to be the inclined alternating dumbbell curl.
Here you would set up a bench at a high incline right around 60 to 70 degrees from the floor. Grab two dumbbells and sit down in the seat making sure to lean all the way back.
A lot of people will set the bench up correctly but when performing the exercise they’ll sit up to make it easier which ruins the unique angle that this exercise provides.
When you sit back let your arms hang straight down and lock your elbows in that position. They’ll end up in a position slightly behind your hips. From here you’re going to curl one dumbbell up at a time and Alternate with each rep.
When compared to regular standing dumbbell curls, the incline curl is considered a great variation specifically to build up your bicep peak.
This is because your bicep has two “heads” or two parts to it the long head and the short head. The incline dumbbell curl helps you get a better stretch for the larger “long head” since your arms will be slightly behind your hips.
Another great exercise for nicer bicep peaks is the one arm high cable curl. Here you would set a cable up at a height slightly higher than your own shoulders. Face the cable sideways, grab it, and take a few steps away from the machine.
#3. Next, you’ll want to curl the cable inward towards your shoulder in a position that looks like you’re flexing your arm.
While doing this you want to try your best to keep the elbow locked in place, with your arm at about a 90-degree angle from your body,parallel to the floor. Try to only move your forearm without moving the rest of your body.
One general advantage that cables have for biceps is that they’ll keep a constant amount of tension on the muscle you’re targeting.
With dumbbells, you’ll pass between certain transition phases, where the changing angle that gravity is pulling on the dumbbells, will decrease the tension placed on your biceps.
This doesn’t mean that cables are better than dumbbells, but they do provide a slightly different type of stress that will also help provide a new challenge and stimulate growth.
#4. Next, we have preacher curls.
Preacher curls are by far one of my favorite exercises for building bigger biceps, and you can do them with an easy bar, a barbell, or with a dumbbell-like, I’m using.
You would either use a regular bench that’s set at an incline or a preacher curl bench to support your arm. Bring your chest tight against the pad, and hang your arm over it, so that your armpit is meeting the top of the bench.
Curl up the weight using your biceps up until you’re at the top position and then extend back down until your bicep is fully stretched.
Then repeat for reps. I love this exercise because it forces you to control your reps, even if you go heavy.
With most bicep exercises you can cheat and use your shoulders, and your back to help propel the weight up.
But with preacher curls as long as you keep your elbows and armpits against the pad, it’ll be very difficult to use anything but your biceps for this exercise.
#5.Next, we’re going back to the cable crossover machine for rope cable curls.
Here you’ll use the rope attachment that you see many people using for tricep extensions.Bring the cable down to the bottom of the machine before starting, and then grab both ends of the rope with both hands in a neutral position.
Take a step back and curl the rope up towards your shoulders in the same way that you would perform a hammer curl keeping your hand in that same neutral position.
But as you get closer to the top of the contraction rotate your hands outward so that your palms are facing your shoulders.
Then lower back down until your arms are fully extended and repeat for reps. This is a unique exercise because it is targeting the bicep in multiple planes of motion.
Something that I learned after tearing my bicep while boxing. Before getting the surgery I was told that
If I didn’t get it repaired I would only lose 10 percent of my flexion strength to curl my arm in, but I would lose 50 percent of my rotational strength needed turn my hand over.
This is because your bicep isn’t only responsible for flexion at the elbow joint and lifting up your forearm,
but it’s even more responsible for turning your hand over into a supinated position with the palms facing up.
You can even see this for yourself by bending your elbow and flexing your bicep with your hand in a neutral position.
Then turn your hand over while continuing to flex. You’ll notice that when you turn your hand over your bicep is highly involved in the mechanics that make this happen.
The bottom line is that by turning your hands over at the end of the rope cable curls you’ll place more stress on your biceps helping to stimulate growth.
#6. Next, we have regular easy bar curls.
The easy bar allows for a more comfortable hand position than barbell curls and allows you to take a couple of different grips.
Remember like I said your biceps have to different heads, and if you go with a close grip then you’re going to work more of your outer or long head.
On the other hand, if you go for a wide grip you’re going to work more of your inner or short head. You can apply this toward any bicep exercise,
but with the easy bar, there are grooves that are specifically made for you to grab a comfortable inner or outward grip.
Once you choose the grip that you want to go with you would perform the exercise in the same way that you would with a regular barbell.
Curl the weight up, while remembering to keep your elbows locked and stationary close to your body.
#7. Another great exercise for building up your bicep strength is the tricep bar curl.
Here you would use the tricep bar that you probably regularly see people using for skull crushers and behind the head tricep exercises.
If you don’t have a trip bar at your gym, don’t worry you can just use dumbbells instead for this exercise.
If you do have the tricep bar you would grab it at the close neutral grips in the center of the bar.
Hold your shoulder back and curl the weight up, while keeping your elbows in place. Then repeat for reps.
With dumbbells, you would simply curl up in a neutral grip for hammer curls. Most neutral position curling movements like this allow you to use more weight for the exercise because additional muscles that are responsible for elbow flexion get involved in the movement.
By lifting heavier weight for this exercise the strength gains can get transferred across to your other bicep exercises once again leading to more growth.
#8. Moving on we have concentration curls.
According to a study from the American Council on Exercise, after they compared 7 different bicep exercises including many of the ones we talked about today,
they found that concentration curls increased biceps activation the most. Here you would sit down on a bench with your legs wide, and you would pin the back of your arm against your inner thigh.
Then you would grab a dumbbell from the floor and curl it up to your shoulder. At the top, you should squeeze and some people will even turn their hand over,
and squeeze hard so that their pinky is up higher than their thumb. This is similar to the turning over a motion that I was talking about with the rope curls.
#9. Next, we have exercise number 9 which is a standing EZ bar cable curl.
But I want you to try to do this one a little differently than usual.
Usually, to perform this exercise you would set the cable at the bottom of the machine,stand up straight and curl the weight straight up.
But instead of doing that I want you to slightly bend forward and perform the exercise that way.
This will prevent you from being able to take a break at the top of the movement in between each of your reps.
And believe it or not this tiny difference will give you a huge pump, so definitely try it out.
#10. Finally, the last exercise I want to mention is, of course, alternating dumbbell bicep curls,
but I want you to do this exercise with a certain superset to make it more effective.
First, you would grab two heavy dumbbells and hold them at the sides of your hips in a neutral position.
Next, you would curl up and turn the dumbbell over as you come up so that your palms are facing you at the top of the curl.
Then repeat for reps alternating each side. As you’re done you’ll want to grab a pair of lighter dumbbells and perform a superset where you curl both dumbbells up at the same time while keeping your elbows tight to your body but your arms rotated out.
It’ll be like you’re taking an outer grip, but with dumbbells helping target that inner head.
Going with a heavyweight for alternating dumbbell curls and then immediately finishing off with a superset with lighter weights, will once again give you a great pump.
So those are all the exercises. If you want to combine them into a bicep workout, I don’t recommend that you do all of them in one training session.
Instead, select 3 to 4 of these exercises, use a heavyweight and work on progressively increasing that weight over the course of the 3 to 4 weeks.
Aim anywhere for 6 to 10 reps and 3 sets for each exercise with a 2 to 3-minute break in between sets.
You can hit your biceps twice a week with 3 or 4 different exercises on each of those days. After the 3 to 4 weeks switch the exercises to confuse your muscles and keep them guessing.
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