So you’re looking for bicep workouts to turn those noodles you call arms into huge, ripped arms? Or maybe you’ve hit a plateau and you’re looking for bicep workouts to take your progress to the next level… At any rate, you want to get swoll, and I can’t blame you. Fear not, if you’ve got the heart, we’ve got the knowledge to help transform you.
There’s really less mystery to effective bicep workouts than you may think. The key is perfecting your exercises and concentrating on isolation of the muscle. This means to jerky movements or swinging weights around. No one at the gym cares how much you can (or can’t) curl, so there’s no point in trying to show off. Proper form beats amount of weight everyday, all day.
Enough with the chit-chat, let’s get down to business. When it comes to bicep workouts I recommend 3 exercises, that’s it. I’m talking about standing barbell curls, hammer curls, and preacher curls – and most of you have probably heard of these if not incorporate them into your bicep workouts already. In case you’ve been living under a rock, here’s a brief description of each:
Standing Barbell Curls :
Exactly as it sounds. Stand with your feet a little wider that shoulder width while holding a barbell with an open-faced grip at thigh level. Tuck your elbows into your sides and slowly ‘curl’ the weight up stopping just before you hit your chest. Remember to keep your elbows pinned to your sides, there should be very little or no movement in your upper arms or shoulders, all the movement comes from pivoting your elbow.
Hammer Curls :
This one has a fancy name, but is pretty simple as well. Stand with your feet a little wider than shoulder width, grasping a dumbbell in each hand, with your arms at your side, palms facing in towards your legs. Tuck your elbows into your sides and slowly ‘curl’ one dumbbell at a time, stopping just before you hit your shoulder. Slowly lower the weight back to the starting position (this is where the ‘hammer’ name comes from) and repeat with the other arm.
Preacher Curls :
This exercise requires a preacher curl station, which are very common at gyms. It’s a sloped pad that you set your arms on to isolate your biceps (and prevent you from swinging your arms). There’s no cheating with exercise, so you’re really going to feel the pump in your biceps from this one. Motion is similar to the above exercises, except for Preacher curls you’re sitting down. Be extra careful not to over-extend when lowering the weight, as there is risk of blowing out your elbow joints if you drop the weight too quickly or over-extend.
A couple other key points are:
- Make sure you don’t over-train. Since your bicep is considered a secondary muscle, you’re working it out when training your primary muscles (in particular exercises that work your back). I recommend sticking with only one training day for biceps, which should give you plenty of recovery time and allow for great gains.
- Remember to stretch both before and after your bicep workouts to maintain flexibility and prevent injury. This is always important, no matter what type of exercises you’re doing.
- I can’t stress it enough – form, form, form. Without proper form, you’re only cheating yourself. Never swing, sway, or jerk weights. Slow, intentional movements are the way to go…