It is fair to assume that biceps are one of the most trained body parts in the gym. Men and women alike hit the weights to try to accomplish lean and muscular arms. The biceps do a lot for the body regarding fitness and bodybuilding. The biceps are used for pretty much all pulling motions done throughout a workout. Many people have the misconception that big biceps overall equal big arm. The bicep makes up only a little over 1/3 of the size of the arm above the elbow (triceps make up about 2/3). The draw and allure however are people like to see muscles work when being trained. Watching the muscle pump up and veins popping is addictive. The biceps are front and center when working out, if it be them being trained directly or indirectly.
Anatomically, the biceps are a two headed (short head and long head) muscle that lies in between the shoulder and elbow. Hitting these muscles effectively is not so much a challenge, but simply sticking to a precious few because there are so many movements to do for big biceps. Here is a list of some of the most effective “big bicep” exercises for you to try out:
- Straight Bar Curls
A movement that does not require a lot of weight to be effective. Since the hands/wrists never rotate, the biceps take the stress of the weight throughout the entire rep. This movement will help out with thickness of the long head muscle.
- Hammer Curls (seated or standing)
This movement allows you to load up a little more on the weight, but still focus on range of motion and a good rep range of 10-15 per set. By keeping the palms facing inward towards the body throughout the rep, the short head is hit more.
- Underhand Pull-Ups/Downs
Yes, this movement is usually attributed to the back and rear delts, which makes it all the more important and awesome. You are killing 3 muscles with one movement, but the biceps are the primary movers. This movement majestically focuses on both the long and short head muscles of the biceps. A great exercise!
- Seated Incline Dumbbell Bicep Curls
This movement is all bicep. Finding a bench and setting it on no less than a 45-degree angle, grab a pair of dumbbells that you can get out 12-15 reps with. The incline bench takes out any momentum and forces you to use only your biceps. They will grow in no time.
- Preacher Curls
Another “all bicep movement”. This movement has you putting a bench or seat behind the arms to prevent them from moving throughout the rep, forcing only the biceps to work. Be careful of the weight, because the elbows are engaged quite a bit more in this. Awesome movement that puts a lot of focus on the short head.