Although, biceps are not the biggest or the strongest muscle group on your body, but still the biceps is one of the key body parts that many of us want to place a large focus on. They are generally the highly noticed muscle group by others, so if you have well developed arms, guys and gals are going to admire you!

There are a large number of exercises to make your guns go ‘pop’. So, what are the top 10 biceps moves to include in biceps building program? We talked to the best trainers to pick the top ten, but we found that every one had his own list of 10 best exercises for biceps. So, we decided to combine both science and our experience to select some of the best moves to help you on your ultimate quest for bigger arms!

It is important to mention here that in reality the triceps muscle group embraces a very large section of the arm, so you must pay attention to your triceps work as well, which will then give you the perfect balance in your endeavor of building flexing muscular big arms.

Another important point to note is that though muscle activation matters for building up any muscle group, but it isn’t the only thing that matters. If not more, of equal importance is the amount of weight you can move! Remember building more size is a combination of a heavy surplus, enough volume, and plenty of calories. It’s a wise decision to go for exercises that allow you to lift the heaviest weight possible.

So, don’t just focus on EMG machine studies only because the veteran trainers claim that in spite of exercises like leg extensions, which have a higher EMG score for quads than squats and leg press, but in reality they do not give you better results when you do leg workouts. Every one knows that squats are the better move for the legs.

Exercises To Include In Your Biceps Program

Here is the list of our 10 best exercises that can help you build eye-popping biceps mass. This is not a definitive list; just take it as the start of the discussion, and then go start investigating for yourself!

1. Standing Barbell Curl: The shoulder-width curl recruits the short and long heads of the biceps equally. This allows you to overload the biceps with a heavy weight, and you don’t have to sit there endlessly working one arm at a time. If you’re going to do only one biceps exercise, make it this one.

Though, the gold-standard EMG study by Boeckh-Behrens from 2000, and a more recent ACE study from 2014, rank this exercise about halfway down their lists, we recommend it due to its potential for loading higher weight, and the ease with which you can adjust your grip width to vary the emphasis. While a wider grip focus more on the short head, a narrow grip hits the long head. However, a narrow grip lowers overall muscle activation by nearly 15 percent, so don’t use this grip exclusively.

How To Fit In Your Biceps Routine?

Do it first, toward the beginning of your biceps workout routine, so that you can really challenge your biceps with heavy weight. For a bit more of a strength stimulus, select just enough weight you can handle for about 6-8 reps.

Caution: It’s really easy to cheat on this movement. Keep it strict for the most part, especially when you’re going heavy.


(i) Many find EZ bar significantly more comfortable than a straight bar because it makes easy for your wrists. As it shifts a little bit of the load from the biceps brachii to your other elbow flexors, so some trainers claim that EZ bar curl is the best all-around biceps builder.

(ii) Don’t use momentum to perform more of the work than your muscles actually do. This is one of the most common mistakes, which people do while performing this exercise.

(iii) Avoid cheating reps by leaning back as you hoist the weight upwards.

(iv) Make sure to perform it in a slow and controlled manner so as to cut down the chances of doing it in wrong manner.

2. Incline Bench Dumbbell Curls: The second exercise to add to your biceps routine is incline dumbbell curls. This exercise is one of the best to help restrict that momentum issue from happening as we just discussed because it basically prevents movement of the back. The incline-bench curl elongates the biceps and enhances the stretch, forming an inefficient starting position for the muscle fibers, meaning a greater amount of effort would have to be applied to the weight to originate speed and muster good contraction. Also while doing this movement, you will feel maximum tension on the biceps and belly muscle; so don’t be taken aback if the load is slightly lower. As long as you’re pushing your muscles hard, using the lower load but maintaining proper form will get you good results.

How To Fit In Your Biceps Routine?

Do it after an exercise like standing curls, in which both biceps heads are engaged with heavy load. Due to the “overstretched” arm position at the bottom of the movement and its inefficiency, you won’t be able to pile up really the big weights, so it’s best to do it later in your training session. You can do 3 sets of 12-15 reps.

3. Standing Biceps Cable Curls: This exercise targets the deep-tissue muscle fibers because of the constant tension provided by the cable and use of all the stabilization muscles surrounding the biceps as you execute the exercise. The ACE study has rated it second and the Boeckh-Behrens as third. Although, the movement in this workout looks a lot same like the standing barbell as they’re both bilateral movements in which you take a shoulder-width, underhand grip on the bar, but what makes it different is that the angle of loading comes from down and forward, keeping your biceps muscles under constant tension through the full range of motion.

How To Fit In Your Biceps Routine?

As it’s so similar to the standing barbell curl, you can do either one of these two. If you’re doing it first in your biceps routine, go fairly heavy using a challenging weight doing 3-4 sets of 6-8 reps.

4. Dumbbell Curl: Although, it’s not much different from a barbell curl, but the real importance of this exercise is that you can do it in a number of different ways: standing or seated on a vertical or incline bench, with both hands simultaneously or alternating sides (bilateral or unilateral version), rotating wrists into a Zottman curl, or keeping them face up. In short, you have many options. If you like you can do both barbell curl and dumbbell curl. But as both are of similar movement, you can do either of these two.

How To Fit In Your Biceps Routine?

If you’re doing it after barbell curls, recruit your biceps muscle group differently by doing a wrist-rotation version or performing the negatives. Many experts claim that the negative portion during some curling movements can draw forth up to 40 percent more muscle activation. If you feel fatigued during your workout session, you can extend your session by switching from bilateral to unilateral moves.

5. Weighted Or Body Weight Chin-Up: This is a classic multi-joint workout. The chin-up receives high praise as both a bicep and back builder. One study found that chin-ups involve for greater biceps activity and longer range of motion than pull-ups. If you are able to do 15-20 bodyweight version, then we recommend using added weight into biceps-building 8-12 rep range. The ACE study ranks body-weight version at third number, so weighted version can give you even better results.

How To Fit In Your Biceps Routine?

Do it in somewhere in the middle of your biceps building regime. If you train back with biceps, this exercise makes a great way to work on the both body parts. If you don’t have a belt to add weight and you’re strong on this movement, consider pushing it later into your biceps workout, after fatigue has begun to set in.

6. Incline Hammer Curls: If you want to build monumental biceps, you should hit your biceps with progressive overload by increasing the weight, reps or time under tension for each set. We recommend working on the hammer curl on an incline bench because it eliminates the swing and jerks, which are more likely to be there when you perform a standing set of heavy hammer curls. We also recommend this because the incline bench position increases the stretch on the long head of the biceps and the neutral grip increases emphasis on the brachioradialis and brachialis.

How To Fit In Your Biceps Routine?

You can either do it with heavy load, 4 sets of 6-8 reps, in the middle of your biceps routine or toward the end 3-4 sets of 15-20 reps with normal load.

7. Zottman Curl: With Zottman Curl movements, you hit the primary movers for a standard biceps curl on the way up (the biceps and brachialis bears the load), and the main muscles (including the brachioradialis in your forearm) for the reverse curl on the negative (way down). Effectively combining the benefits of two exercises at once, meaning while building biceps it adds mass to your forearms. Plus, rotating your wrists at the top and bottom positions stimulates even more growth, taking this curl past the edge. Our recommendation is that you rotate the wristas you move upinstead of just doing it at the bottom before the rep starts. Some of your elbow flexors act as supinators as well, and rotating the wrist during the curl instead of at the bottom will load up that function.

How To Fit In Your Biceps Routine?

Zottman curls are most effective in certain set and rep ranges. Do them for 3-4 bilateral sets of 8-10 reps with heavy load or 3-4 sets of 20-25 sets with your normal load. Within your biceps workout regime, Zottmans give good results when done early on to bring blood flow to your arms and warm up your elbow flexors. Or alternatively, you can also do them as a high-rep finisher toward the end of your session so as to put finishing touch to the building up of massive biceps.

8. Reverse-Grip Barbell Row: Also known as Reverse-Grip Bent-Over Row, it’s another multi-joint movement in which you can use heavy load; and with the reverse grip, the biceps are heavily hit. It’s not really the kind of movement that you would like to do on a biceps-only day. But you can incorporate is as one that makes a good bridge between back and biceps. Depending on what muscle group you visualize of contracting as you bring the weights up to the body (the biceps or the back) that too will impact the nature of the muscle stimulus.

How To Fit In Your Biceps Routine?

Incorporate it in your back routine, or as a bridge exercise when working on back and biceps together. Go fairly heavy with 3 sets of 8-10 reps.

9. Preacher Curl: Your body tends to cheat during biceps curls. If you let your elbow to rise or dip during the curl movement, your shoulder and back muscles get involved to support lifting the weight—and take some of the burden off your biceps. By using a preacher bench, you can stabilize your elbow against it to ensure that your biceps do the work. You can use an incline bench, if a preacher bench is not available.

How To Fit In Your Biceps Routine?

As your arms are against a bench, it’s a very disciplined movement that doesn’t allow a lot of cheating – thus this movement is best done toward the latter half of your workout. You can fit it in your biceps routine as a longhead movement because theoretically this exercise emphasizes that head, although no study has verified this.

10. Concentration Curl: This is another unilateral exercise to blast your biceps into impressive growth. We recommend it’s sitting version because then momentum remains under control, and all the emphasis is focused right on the biceps muscle.

How To Fit In Your Biceps Routine?

Because of the restricted loading capability, we recommend that you do it toward the end of your biceps workout regime, when you’re already somewhat fatigued. Load a weight just heavy enough that you’re failing at 10-12 reps. The second logic is that as there will be no helper muscles involved while doing concentration curls (if done properly), so when you’re really looking to finish the biceps session this will be a good option to incorporate right at the end so as to exhaust your biceps completely.

You don’t have to include all of the above exercises on your biceps day, but do interchange them to keep the stimulus high while never allowing your muscles to get too adapted. This constant change in your biceps regime helps prevent a plateau and push your strength levels to new extremes, so always make sure that you are making use of a good variety.

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