Bicep exercises are some of the most popular exercises done by people throughout the world.
Most experienced weight lifters will tell you that bicep exercises are not as important as people think.
Everyone wants great looking arms…
But most people don't do the right exercises.
And most don't understand that biceps are only half the equation for amazing arms. So many people forget about the triceps. The biceps don't even make up half of the mass of your upper arm.
The triceps make up approximately 2/3 of your upper arm musculature. So, don't forget about them.
If you only work your biceps, you are missing out on MOST of the muscle mass within your arms. Be sure to check out the best triceps exercises too.
Barbell Curls Are Not The Best Bicep Building Exercise
When I was around 12 or 13 years old, I thought the only exercise I ever needed to do was barbell curls. I didn't know any better and no one ever showed me anything else.
I didn't have the Internet back then either.
It was the early 90's for me, and I lived on a farm. The coaches I had for sports weren't into weight training for kids that young. All the coaches I ever had never introduced me to weight training the right way.
I had never seen any other exercises so I just did barbell curls all the time.
Many people think weight lifting is all about barbell curls. It's sad but it's true. I thought I was so strong doing that isolation exercise. Didn't even have a clue back then.
I really had no idea what weightlifting was all about.
I wish I would have had someone to show me the real weightlifting exercises. Compound exercises are the real muscle builders.
I may have even reached my dream of becoming a professional baseball player if someone had showed me the proper way to lift weights. I really think I would have. I was close and weight training would have put me over the top.
Build a Complete Body With Compound Weightlifting Exercises
Please don't ever be one of the people that use a power rack or squat rack in the gym to do bicep exercises.
I want you to learn about the best bicep building exercises here on this page. BUT, I also want you to learn about building a complete body.
I want you to focus on building muscle throughout your body. This is the key to building big biceps. Build muscle all over your entire body using the best compound exercises.
Learn everything you can here on this website. Learn how to build muscle and burn fat for the rest of your life. Get the body of your dreams by focusing on your entire body.
Alternate Dumbbell Curls
Alternate Dumbbell Curls are my favorite biceps exercise. Why is this?
Well, I've been able to lift pretty heavy dumbbell curls for high reps with this exercise, and I attribute the size of my biceps to this exercise.
I've built them from 13 inches or so all the way up to over 17 inches now — all naturally.
And along the way, the weight I lifted on this exercise increased by HUGE amounts. You've got to do the same if you want to build your biceps.
You will be able to lift so much weight because you can transfer your body weight from side to side as you lift which gives you an advantage over most of the other exercises.
You can then control the negative and get awesome muscle growth.
To get a little extra growth out of this exercise, you should grip the dumbbell on the outer right section of the dumbbell as far as possible. What this does is require your biceps to do a little more work at the top of each rep to get that full contraction.
Trust me, this will help you a lot if you have lagging biceps.
I really like Alternate Dumbbell Curls because you will get a good stretch on one arm while your other arm is performing its rep. The set lasts longer when doing alternate curls, but the extension is worth the extra stretch time on your biceps.
If I had only one biceps exercise to choose, I would have to choose this one.
Work on progression with this exercise and you will see your biceps grow. This is one of the best bicep exercises out there and you probably won't get many that will argue that point.
Some may argue that Close Grip Chin Ups are a better biceps exercise, and I just might agree with that one.
The guy in the video above is doing alternate dumbbell curls with very good form. Notice how he controls the weight on the negative.
Incline Bench Alternate Dumbbell Curls
These are very close to Alternate Dumbbell Curls and are another favorite biceps exercise of mine. The reason I like this exercise is because it gives you a much better stretch than other exercises.
You won't be able to lift as much weight, though, but you will be able to get close depending on the level of incline you use.
The lower the incline the better the stretch but less weight will be used.
I like to use a high incline so I can still lift a large amount of weight. Heavy weights do something special for building muscle so always shoot for exercises that use heavy weights.
You can use the grip method on this exercise too or any biceps exercise in which dumbbells are used. You need to have your feet on the floor with this exercise and give yourself a good base so you can use them to help you lift the weight.
Transfer your weight back and forth as you do your reps and make sure to focus on a controlled negative as this is very important. Make sure you get a peak contraction on each rep and explode on the positive as much as possible.
This is also one of the best bicep exercises and one of my favorites.
The woman in the video above is doing alternate incline dumbbell curls perfectly. Follow her lead and you will have perfect form also.
I like to do barbell curls with one foot in front of the other to take pressure off the lower back while performing this exercise.
I think barbell curls are a great biceps exercise, but I had to stop doing them because as the weights got really heavy my wrists would start to hurt.
Barbell curls always seemed to tweak my wrists and they just weren't worth it to me any more when I could lift more with alternate dumbell curls.
If you have no problem with them, then they are a great exercise to use and progress on. I just don't like them much myself. Everyone is different, though.
You can use different width on your grips for barbell curls. You can also use different bars for your curls.
If you want your wrists to feel a little more comfortable you can use an EZ Curl Bar where the bar is curved in at certain points to make the curls more comfortable to you.
All of these barbell curl variations will build great biceps so experiment and see what feels the best to you. Then stick with that for a few weight lifting cycles and you will see some good improvements.
Barbell curls are a tough exercise to continue progressing with. I always had trouble with them because of my wrists. Emulate the form in the video above as an example and never go too heavy on barbell curls.
Always ensure you have good form before increasing the weight.
I do really like Preacher Curls and have been able to do a good amount of weight with two handed dumbell preacher curls.
I like 1 armed dumbbell preacher curls, but it takes so much effort for 1 arm that I don't like to do them because the second part feels so difficult with the other arm.
I would rather do some of the other exercises just because I am able to do more weight with them. I do like the stretch that you get with preacher curls, though.
I would rather beginners start with alternate dumbbell curls and get really strong on those first before trying preacher curls. Or even one of the other bicep exercises above would be a better choice for beginners.
There won't be as much progression with preacher curls and you seem to hit a wall much quicker with preacher curls. Preacher curls only isolate the bicep more than other bicep exercises. This is why you won't be able to lift heavier weight.
You can use a barbell for this exercise, dumbbells, one arm at a time, ez curl bar, cables, and more. Use the video above to assess your form on preacher curls.
Choosing the Best Bicep Building Exercises
If you need any help choosing bicep exercises or other exercises for the rest of the major muscle groups, just let us know.
We do have step-by-step muscle building and fat burning programs available that tell you exactly what to do.
If you really want to build those biceps, you need to choose the best bicep building exercises as discussed on this page.
But you need to understand that a complete program that builds your entire body is THE only way to get even better arms. The WLC System gives you the complete muscle building and fat burning system you need.
One More Secret Weapon For Building The Biceps:
You need to choose a good weight lifting program that focuses on progression. That's the first step.
Progress on the amount of weight you lift with the bicep exercises above, eat a calorie surplus high in protein, and build big biceps. It really is that simple.
You need to realize that it will take time to get big biceps. Be consistent and always work on building strength in the muscle building rep ranges of approximately 5 to 12 reps.
You should also check out the weight lifting gloves that I use. They will help you to lift more weight and build more muscle. I use them every workout and can personally vouch for them.
I was able to overcome my strength limit on the bicep exercises above by using these gloves. I could never get past 50 pound dumbbells for alternate dumbbell curls.
After buying the gloves several years ago, I've went up to 75 pound dumbbells in each arm for reps. Get you a pair. You won't be disappointed. The link is below:
My New Grips have lasted me more than 5 years now — the same pair!!! No other glove on the market will last anywhere near that. Mine are still going strong too. I probably won't need another pair for several more years.
When your hands are comfortable, you can lift even heavier weight and last even longer on each set. These padded gloves/grips really do work. They are well worth the money.