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The Bigger Biceps Workout

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Shannon Clark

Looking to increase your biceps size? Want arms that you’re proud to flex and show off? Or perhaps you just want to fill out your t-shirt sleeves better.

Whatever the case, if you want to add measurable size to your biceps, you need to understand the best moves for the job. Simply hitting the gym and sticking to standard dumbbell curls week after week isn’t going to get you the results you’re looking for. 

Always remember, if you want to evoke significant change to any part of your body, you need to continually change your training. If you keep doing the same thing repeatedly, you’re likely going to plateau with your progress. 

KAGED MUSCLE is here to show you the best bicep building moves to add to your workout routine. Some of these are exercises you may already be doing, but with some small changes, you can hit the biceps in new ways.

Barbell Curls 

To build maximum mass on your biceps, barbell curls should always be part of your plan. This move is great since it allows you to lift a heavier load, which is a necessity for strength and size gains. 

Barbell curls should be the foundation of any bicep building program, so make sure you don’t overlook them. While dumbbell curls can be a great move to swap in from time to time, if strength and size are your primary goals, the barbell takes the cake. 

How to Perform

Starting Position:

Begin by standing in an upright position holding a weighted barbell in front of your thighs, elbows extended, and hands placed slightly wider than shoulder width apart with palms facing up. 

Execution:

  1. Take a deep breath in and then on the exhale, squeeze the biceps and bring the hands up towards the shoulders, keeping the elbows locked by your sides at all times.
  2. Curl the weight up until it’s as high as it can go, pause, and then slowly lower again while inhaling.
  3. Repeat until all reps are completed.
  4. Remember to keep the core tight during this exercise to avoid using momentum to carry you through the lift.

Reverse-Grip Bent-Over Row

You may recognize the row as a back exercise, and it is. But, by altering your grip pattern, you can use it to target the biceps. While you’ll still definitely work your back with this movement, you can be assured that your biceps will be squeezing hard with each rep that you perform.

You can choose to do this either before or after your barbell curls, depending on your preference for your workout routine. This is also an exercise that you can add to back day if you train back and biceps in separate sessions.

If you split up your back and bicep workouts throughout the week, remember to have at least one day between them since the biceps are recruited on most back-focused exercises. The rest time will allow the muscle to recover before it’s taxed again.

How to Perform

Starting Position:

Stand in front of a barbell placed about a foot away from you. Bend over and grasp the barbell with hands about shoulder width apart, using a reverse grip (palms facing down). Keep your back flat while slightly bending the knees. You should feel stable in this position.

Execution: 

  1. Squeezing the back and biceps, bring the weight up off the ground towards the upper chest (*not the waist like a traditional back-focused row)
  2. Think of pulling the elbows to the ceiling to help isolate the back muscles in the process.
  3. Squeeze the back at the top of the lift, pause, and then slowly lower the bar back down until it’s almost touching the ground.
  4. Continue until all reps are completed. 

At this point in the workout, your biceps may be slightly fatigued. Grab some In-Kaged and finish strong!

Chin-Up

Chin ups are the next exercise you’ll want to add to your bicep arsenal. Again, pull-ups are recognized as a classic back exercise, and they definitely are. However, by reversing your grip and doing a chin-up rather than a pull-up, you’ll recruit the biceps.

If you want to really challenge your biceps, you can place your hands closer together on the bar. This will apply even more stress to the biceps.

When doing chin-ups for bicep growth, really focus on squeezing those biceps to help lift yourself up through the movement. Having that mind-muscle connection to focus on this is imperative. 

How to Perform

Starting Position:  

Grab ahold of a stable bar above your head with the palms facing inward. Hands should be slightly closer than shoulder-width.

Execution:  

  1. Lift your feet off the ground.
  2. Squeezing the back and biceps, slowly pull the body upwards until your chin is in line with, or above, the bar.
  3. Pause at the top of the exercise.
  4. Lower the body down in a slow and controlled manner.
  5. Continue until all reps are completed.

Preacher Curl

Finally, the last of the great bicep builders to add to your protocol is preacher curls. This exercise is fantastic for isolating the biceps and gets a really solid pump in the muscles. 

Try adding these at the end of the workout to finish the biceps off. Because your arms are placed on the pads, you won’t be able to use momentum and cheat your reps.

Instead, you get great bicep muscle recruitment and activation. Over time, you’ll notice an improvement in the overall bicep peak you’re able to forge.

When doing preacher curls, focus on moving slowly through the range of motion. Don’t rush this exercise! By taking your time, you’ll gain better mind-muscle connection and ensure that every muscle fiber in the bicep is fully recruited to maximum capacity. 

How to Perform

Starting Position:

Place the arms over a preacher bench holding an E-Z bar with both hands, elbows bent holding the weight close to the face, palms facing up.

Execution:  

  1. Once comfortable, slowly lower the bar until elbows are extended using a slow and controlled movement pattern.
  2. Pause at the bottom of the exercise with the arms extended and then curl back to the top again.
  3. Continue until all reps are completed.

There you have four bicep-building exercises to consider adding to your workout routine. Try and hit your biceps at least twice per week to see maximum results in both strength as well as size development. Focus on progressively overloading the muscle either with additional weight or increased reps, and it won’t be long before you’re making the progress you desire. 

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Below is a bicep-building routine to help get you started. 

BICEPS ATTACK WORKOUT

Exercise
Sets
Reps
Reverse-Grip Bent-Over Row
4 6-8
Barbell Curl    
4 6,6,10,10
Chin Up  
3 15
Preacher Curl
4 15-20

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