The idea of having big and bulging biceps fantasizes almost every gym-goer out there. They all wish to know about the best bicep exercises to build muscle. Have you ever looked in the mirror and wondered if you could ever get the big guns? If yes, you have landed at the right place.This detailed guide explains all you need to know about working out the bicep and getting a body you could flaunt. Many of us start lifting heavy barbells abruptly, working out continuously, thinking we may get the biceps of our dreams. Eventually, our muscles tire, and we lose the motivation to keep going. Why? Because most of us are not following a proper bicep workout plan and aren’t aware of the steps to warm up. If you have faced a similar dilemma, it’s time to revamp your workout routine. Dive into this article and discover how to work out the biceps correctly.
How To Workout Lower Biceps?
Lower biceps are the most underrated muscle groups in biceps workouts. Most of us tend to focus on building the upper muscle. As a result, our arms appear bulky on the front but lanky from behind.
Focusing on the lower bicep workout is important to avoid making our arms look funny. It tends to tone our arms and make them appear sculpted. Before hitting the gym, it is crucial to consider the following tips to build your lower biceps properly.
- Do the right exercises: While we all start our arm workout with the standard dumbbell curls, knowing that they focus on overall arm muscles is vital. Using them for building lower biceps will not generate any results.
It would help if you did specific exercises like preacher curls that place more tension on your lower biceps as the lower muscles work harder to lift the weight.
- Supinate your wrists: Supinating your wrists is a simple activity, yet it works wonders in building your biceps. At the end of each curl, slightly turn your wrists outwards to exert more pressure on your biceps.
Implementing these strategic tips will help you to get amazing results within weeks. Here is an example of an exercise that will help to strengthen the lower biceps:
Cable Concentration Curls
Another great exercise for lower muscles is the cable concentration curls. It resembles preacher curls but is tough as the cable constantly engages your biceps. Also, your lower biceps keep working when your elbows are locked out under a constant stretch by the cable.
Follow the steps below to perform cable concentration curls properly.
- Attach a single-grip handle to a low pulley cable machine.
- Stand facing the machine with your feet shoulder-width apart and knees slightly bent.
- Hold the handle with an underhand grip (palms facing up) and step forward with one foot, keeping the other behind you for balance.
- Rest your non-working arm on your thigh or the cable machine to stabilize your body.
- Extend your working arm and lean forward slightly, keeping your elbow against your thigh.
- Slowly curl the weight towards your shoulder, bending your elbow and contracting your biceps.
- When your forearm touches your biceps, hold the position for a moment and squeeze your biceps.
- Slowly lower the weight to the starting position, fully extending your arm.
- Repeat the action and perform five sets of 10 reps each.
Read More: The Best Push Day Workout Routine For Toned Arms
How To Workout The Upper Bicep?
Now that you have learned about the most effective exercises for lower muscles explore the most favored bicep workout routine for building upper biceps. Here are some of the best upper biceps exercises to help you get started.
Biceps Curls are one of the most common workout routines for building your upper arm (1). When people search for how to work out their biceps online, they often come across biceps curls. We all usually start our arm workouts with the standard bicep curls.
To make them more effective, you must follow the steps below.
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold a dumbbell in each hand, with your palms facing forward.
- Fully extend your arms down by your sides.
- Keeping your upper arms still, bend your elbows and lift the dumbbells towards your shoulders.
- Contract your biceps as you lift the weights.
- Pause momentarily at the top of the movement with the dumbbells near your shoulders.
- Slowly lower the weights to the starting position, fully extending your arms.
- Repeat the motions and perform three sets of 10 reps each.
Single Arm Row is an ideal back and bicep workout routine if you want to engage your back muscles too. This workout engages the larger back muscles along with your biceps.
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your knees slightly bent.
- Hold a dumbbell in one hand and hinge forward from the hips, keeping your back straight and your core engaged. Your free hand can rest on your thigh for support.
- Let the weight hang straight down with your arm fully extended towards the floor.
- Pull the weight up towards your ribcage, keeping your elbow close to your body and squeezing your shoulder blades together.
- Pause momentarily at the top of the movement, with the weight near your torso.
- Slowly lower the weight to the starting position, fully extending your arm.
- Repeat the exercise and do three sets of 8 reps each.
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How To Stretch Arms After Bicep Workout?
Stretching arms after a strenuous biceps workout is an important activity that people often ignore. As a result, they suffer from DOMS and reduced mobility. Many people believe stretching to be a pre-workout routine. But in reality, stretching after your workout relieves muscle tightness, ultimately preventing muscle injury (2).
The following are some of the stretches you must do to relax your biceps.
Standing Biceps Stretch
Standing Biceps Stretch may help you to relax your biceps, chest, and shoulders.
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Extend one arm before you with your palm facing up.
- Use your other hand to gently pull your fingers back towards your wrist, stretching your bicep.
- Hold the stretch for 10-15 seconds, feeling mild tension in your bicep.
- Release the stretch and repeat with your other arm.
- Repeat the stretch 1 to 3 times.
Cross-Body Shoulder Stretch
Another easy yet effective stretch is the Cross-Body Shoulder Stretch for stretching your arms and shoulders.
- Stand or sit comfortably. Grab your right arm above your elbow with your hand, and pull it towards your chest until you feel a tiny stretch in your shoulder.
- Hold the position momentarily and repeat with the other arm.
How To Warm Up For Bicep Workout?
Warm-ups are the most important part of any workout routine. Warming your muscles before a hard workout prevents the onset of DOMS. Warm-ups help raise the body temperature slowly, improve blood circulation, and increase mobility (3).
Before starting a biceps workout, here are some of the stretches you must do:
- Start the warm-up by standing at least a foot away from the wall with your back towards the wall.
- Tilt forward and extend your arms to place them against the wall.
- Get into the squat position and ensure your arms are still stretched.
- Remain in this position for a while and then get back up.
- Repeat the warm-up a few times.
Bicep Stretch With Towel
- Stand comfortably with your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Hold both ends of the towel behind your back below the base of your spine.
- Pull the towel upwards until you feel a stretch in your biceps.
- Repeat the gestures a few times.
Read More: Farmers Carry Workout: Benefits, Muscles Worked & More
How To Workout Different Parts Of Biceps?
Understanding the biceps’ anatomy is essential to making them grow bigger. Many people fail to do enough research before starting their biceps workout and target only one part of the muscle. Before learning how to work out the bicep, it is crucial to learn about biceps anatomy (4).
Simply put, the biceps muscle comprises two parts: the long and short heads. Both parts are located on the front of the forearm bone, the humerus.
Apart from these, there is Brachialis, an upper-arm muscle lying beneath the biceps responsible for flexing the elbow joint. Exercising Brachialis increases the overall size of your arm. Then, there is Brachioradialis, the largest muscle in the forearm responsible for flexing the elbow.
Now that you know about biceps anatomy, learning to exercise all these muscles is important to get better results. Below are some bicep workouts for mass exercises targeting a particular muscle group in the biceps:
- Workout routines involving arms in front of the body, such as Preacher curls and lying table concentrations curls. These target the short head of the biceps.
- Workout routines involving arms in the back of the body, such as dumbbell curls. These target the long head of the biceps.
- Workout routines like Hammer curls involve hands comfortably held at the sides. They target the Brachialis and hands above the body, such as reverse grip curls for the Brachioradialis.
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The Bottom Line
Getting bigger and stronger biceps requires concentration, perseverance, and following the right workout routines. By learning more about how to work out the bicep and targeting each muscle in your biceps, you can easily sculpt your biceps and give them a refined look.
This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
- Best Exercises for Arms (2021, webmed.com)
- 6 Bicep Stretches to Add to Your Workout (2019, healthline.com)
- Benefits of Warm-Up Exercises (2021, webmed.com)
- Anatomy, Shoulder and Upper Limb, Biceps Muscle (2022, ncbi.gov)