We all strive for that well developed, bulging bicep that will help us get noticed, give us confidence and set the stage for our overall physique. The bicep is one of the single most important muscles bodybuilders can develop yet can be one of the most difficult to properly develop because there are three major arm flexors (brachialis, lateral and medial biceps heads) to concentrate on.
The key to massive biceps or any muscle for that matter is developing an exercise plan. If you don’t already keep a log of your weight, reps and sets then start one. This will help you not only track your progress but it will also help you know what’s working and what isn’t. Additionally, it will help you to stay out of a rut by changing the types of exercises you are doing. This plan of attack will continue to shock and stimulate your muscles.
When it’s bicep day at the gym choose 2 of the 5 exercises below and complete 2-3 sets of 8-10 reps. Make sure to choose weight that is heavy enough that your last 1-2 reps in each set is to muscle failure. Also, make sure you maintain proper form throughout the exercise. This is critical to developing massive biceps.
Cable Curl With Rope Handle – This is a popular exercise for bodybuilders who want that perfect bicep development. It’s a slight variation of the dumbbell curl exercise. Not only will this exercise allow you to maintain constant tension, it will also work all three major arm flexors. Begin with a low cable pulley position with your hands at your thighs and your palms facing in. With arms fully extended, make sure your weights are just slightly lifted above the stack. This will ensure you maintain tension throughout the exercise. As you begin the exercise, slowly rotate your wrists so that your palms face your body making sure your elbows stay close to your side. Make sure your biceps are doing the work. There is a tendency to arch your back to help complete the rep.
EZ Bar Curl – Quite possibly the single most common and effective exercise that builds baseball sized biceps. This exercise will work all three major arm flexors with an emphasis on the medial head. With your grip about shoulder width apart and palm up rest the bar at thigh level keeping your back straight and rigid and your knees slightly bent. Slowly raise the weight to approximately the neck in a slow and controlled motion making sure your elbows stay close to your side as you complete each rep. After a momentary pause at the top, slowly lower the bar. Be sure your elbows are slightly bent at the bottom of the motion which will help keep tension on your biceps. Remember to keep your body upright and stationary. Do not allow it to assist your bicep workout.
Barbell Curl – One of the classic bodybuilding bicep exercises. This one will work all three major elbow flexors equally. Like the EZ bar curl, start with the bar resting on the thigh but with a slightly narrower shoulder width grip. Keep the body motionless and straight using just your arms to raise and lower the bar. Knees slightly bent, bring the bar up to neck height, pause and squeeze the biceps before slowly lowering the bar back down to just before arms are at full extension. If you do this exercise properly, I guarantee your biceps will burn. Remember, proper form is critical as is slowly raising and lowering the bar during your reps. If you can remember to squeeze the bicep at the top of each rep it will pay huge dividends.
Incline Hammer Curl – If you usually rotate your wrists as you curl the dumbbell, try keeping your palms facing in as you curl the weights. This will work the bicep in a slightly different manner. With an approximately 60 degree angle, sit at the incline bench with your palms facing in. Slowly raise the dumbbell almost to your shoulder and squeeze the bicep at the top of each rep. On the return motion, slowly lower the weights back down to your side with your arms at full extension. Remember to monitor your form. The tendency here is to through your shoulder into it in order to complete the rep.
Dumbbell Curl – Similar to the alternating dumbbell curl, when done correctly, this exercise can produce big results. However, as with all the bicep exercises be careful to maintain proper form throughout the rep. To best isolate the bicep, complete this exercise one arm at a time. Start by holding on to an incline bench or dumbbell rack with the opposite hand. With your arm at thigh high, slowly curl the weight up as far as possible while slightly rotating your wrist outward. Your wrist should be slightly rotated out at the top of your rep. By squeezing the bicep at the top of each rep. it will stress the medial head. The picture shown is an alternate way to do dumbbell curls.
If you rotate these 5 exercises into your workout routine you are almost guaranteed impressive bodybuilding caliper biceps.