These Exercises Will Help You Build Bodaciously Big Biceps

Credit: South_agency - Getty Images
From men's health
For big arms, you need big biceps. There's no way around it. You have to grow these guns to achieve this goal.
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To get your biceps where you want them, you need to attack the muscles with a specific focus. Sure, the biceps helps with many movements, like pulling, that center other muscle groups, but you'll get the most miles of isolation exercises that bring all of your efforts into one spot.
Photo credit: Men's Health
Your biceps is made up of two parts (think of your common prefixes - "bi" means "two"), a long head and a short head. But that's not all you need to train. You should also aim to hit the brachialis that lies under the biceps and helps lift the muscles along with your forearms that you hit when you grip the weights.
Check out this video which shows some detailed breakdowns of our top biceps exercises. All of these movements use dumbbells, which are the best tools for training the muscles that kettlebells do not provide because of the increased range of motion and control compared to long, solid weights like barbells and the weight distribution on either side of the handle.
For further training, there are 22 great moves here that also target your biceps.
The exercises for building the big biceps
Bicep curls
3 sets of 10 to 12 repetitions
"If you want big biceps, the key is still that old-school bicep curl," says Ebenezer Samuel, C.S.C.S.
Squeeze your shoulder blades, glutes, and abs. Don't flicker out of your chest and hold onto everything. Keep your upper arm as close to the floor as possible. Lock in your lats as you pull up. Try not to include your shoulder and think of your arm as a lever. Also, do not rock your hips back and forth. Get on your knees to change. As you roll up, pinch your biceps together and quickly rotate the dumbbells toward the sky so they are parallel to the floor. The more rotation, the more torque and pressure you put on your biceps, resulting in more growth. With control, lower yourself down and find that parallel position with your dumbbells down. (Take your bicep curl to the next level with this MVP Level Up video.)
Spider curls
3 sets of 10 to 12 repetitions
Spider curls are great because they minimize the momentum.
Take your weight bench and set it up at a 45-degree angle. Your legs should be wide and your toes should be on the floor. Your chest should be high on the bench, almost off the bench. Squeeze your glutes together and make sure you have tension in your back when your shoulder blades are compressed. Rotate your pinky finger up as you roll it up. At the beginning of each repetition, squeeze your biceps together with a little forward rotation.
Hammer curls
3 sets of 15 to 20 repetitions
The hammer lock is one of the best ways to train your brachialis, the muscle that sits between your biceps and triceps. This way you can push your biceps up and give them a nice 3D look.
For him, just try to move around the elbow. Lock up the rest of your body. Start with your feet and keep them shoulder-width apart. Bend your knees and squeeze your glutes. Do not rock on your hips. Tighten your abs to avoid impulses. Focus on keeping your upper arms perpendicular to the floor. Squeeze your biceps and brachialis while lowering your back with control. Get on your knees to change.
Concentration attracts
3 sets of 8 to 12 repetitions
Curls for concentration hit the peak of your biceps.
Don't dig your elbow into your thigh. Instead, drop your upper arm and remember to clamp your triceps against your thigh, keeping the upper arm perpendicular to the floor the entire time. Pull the core and shoulder blades tight to minimize swing. Make a fist with the other hand as you curl up in control and focus on working your biceps. Squeeze your biceps on top of the curl.
Dumbbell preacher curl
3 sets of 8 to 12 repetitions
The dumbbell preacher curl changes the angle that meets your biceps.
To do this, anchor your armpit in the bench. Squat with your legs low, contracting your glutes and core to keep yourself from rocking as you curl. Squeeze your shoulder blades together to protect your shoulder position. Keep your wrist in a nice neutral position. Keep your forearm away from the bench during the repetition. When you roll up, stop before your arm is perpendicular to the floor so that you are working on your biceps the entire time. Stop at the top of the curl for 1 second before slowly lowering.
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