These bigger bicep exercises are easy but do take work. In order to build mass in your biceps, you must work the inner, outer and head of your biceps and these exercises will do just that.
The 5 Must-Do Bigger Bicep Exercises
Here are the 5 bigger bicep exercises, but it is not just doing these exercises that will give you bigger biceps. Specifically, how you do these exercises is what will develop massive biceps.
- Heavy Barbell Curls
- Machine Curls or Cheat Curls
- Preacher Curls
- Concentration Curls with a Dumbbell or Cable
- Incline Dumbbell Curls
Choosing Right Weight For These Bigger Bicep Exercises
In order to develop a large peak in your biceps, you must lift heavy weights. When lifting for mass you should be doing sets of 8-12 reps where the last rep is too near failure. Additionally, many people like to do three sets. Although this is not necessary if you lift your first set to failure.
What If You Choose A Weight That Is Too Light?
Occasionally, you may choose a weight that when you get to 8 reps you feel like you could do 10 more reps. In this case, slow your movement down to 5 seconds contraction and 5 seconds extension for the last 4 reps. After this, if you could still do more than you, then raise the weight and do another set of 8-12 reps. Remember to rest for 2-3 minutes.
What If You Choose A Weight That is Too Heavy?
Picking the right weight is very important. When you pick a weight that is too heavy you will be lifting for strength and not mass. Likewise, if you pick a weight that is too light you will be toning your arms and not building strength or mass. So if you pick a weight where you can’t get 8 reps, then choose a lower weight rest 2-3 minutes and do it again.
Bigger Bicep Exercises For Peak Mass
In order to have massive biceps, you need to work every part of your biceps. This includes your biceps Brachii Long Head and Short Head, your Coracobrachialis that runs under your Brachii, and you Brachialis. These exercises will focus on building mass in your Coracobrachialis and Brachii.
1. Heavy Barbell Curls
Barbell Curls are a must-do in any strength training and mass building program. Also, barbell curls are a great test of your biceps strength and a way to measure improvement at the gym. In fact, if you are performing the reps as described above and you are curling 100lbs for 10 reps one week and the next you are curling 110lbs for 10 reps your arms will have gotten bigger.
Cautions: You may want to wear a lifting built to prevent back injuries when doing barbell curls or cheat curls.
2. Machine Curls or Cheat Curls
Most gyms have a curl machine, but you may not especially if you are working out at home. Additionally, not all curl machines are built the same. The best machine curls will use a cable around a semicircle to pull the weight. Specifically, the set up allows for constant tension throughout the movement, which you can’t get from doing free weight curls. That is why doing machine curls on a good curl machine will work your bicep more than any other bicep exercise.
But What If You Don’t Have A Curl Machine, Then Do Cheat Curls
With most exercises, we don’t recommend cheating, so here is an exception. When you curl gravity is working only in the down direction and your arm is producing a rotational force as the weight swings. Because the force you create is not working directly in opposition to the weight throughout the entire movement, you are not working your muscles the same throughout the movement. Specifically, the movement is harder in the middle and easier at the top and bottom. Cheat curls are done by using a slightly heavier weight than you can do with good form and cheating your way through the difficult portion of the curl to better work your bicep during the other portions of the curl.
Cautions: Again you may want to wear a lifting built to prevent back injuries when doing cheat curls or barbell curls.
To cheat simple use your legs and back to through the weight past the difficult part of the lift. Remember the goal is to work the part of your bicep that is neglected during normal barbell curls.
Athlean-X On Cheat Curls
Bigger Bicep Exercises For Inner And Outer Mass
Building the inner and out part of your bicep is all about hand positions. Your easiest way to control these positions is to take other variables out of the game. That is why preacher curls are great for building both the inner and outer portions of your biceps.
3. Preacher Curls
The preacher curl machine places your arms at an angle, this makes it so the hardest part of the lift is the beginning. Specifically, near the first third of the lift, you are working directly against gravity trying to pull the weight up. For the second two-thirds of the lift the exercise gets easier and at the top, you are pulling the weight perpendicular to the opposition of gravity. With this in mind, you don’t need to lift the bar all the way to your chest when doing preacher curls. Unless you focus on squeezing your biceps at the top, your arms will likely relax and you won’t get as much benefit from the curl.
Building Your Outer And Inner Biceps
To develop your outer biceps simple use a narrow grip with the preacher curl. Remember to do the sets as prescribed before and to squeeze your biceps at the top. Similarly, to work your inner biceps simply use a wide grip with the preacher curl. Likewise, you can work your inner and outer biceps with barbell curls by changing the grip to wide or narrow respectively.
Building Mass With Full Contraction
So far with the exception of a good machine curl, you haven’t strained your biceps at there most contracted state. The preacher curl worked the bottom of the curl motion, and the barbell curl worked the middle. The concentration curl will target the top.
You may see people sitting on a bench with the back nearly verticle doing concentration curls. This is not how you should do concentration curls as part of a bicep mass building program. In order for you to work your biceps near the fully contracted state, you need to bring your body down leaning over your arm. If you are doing dumbbell concentration curls your chest should be at about a 45-degree angle. You do this so that the dumbbell is moving vertically at the end of the movement when you are pulling it towards your chest.
Similarly, when doing cable concentration curls, you want to position your body so that your chest is perpendicular to the cable pull point. You position your body this way so that the pulley force is working your bicep the most at the end of your bicep contraction.
Building Length And Thickness In Your Biceps
You may have found that with the above four exercises your biceps are shot. Here is one last exercise to really finish them off. This exercise will stretch your biceps back out and build thickness at the same time. The incline dumbbell curl removes cheating and isolates your biceps while stretching them out.
5. Incline Bicep Curls
The incline bicep curl uses dumbbells and they don’t inhibit your range of motion at the bottom like barbell curls. Additionally, sitting on an incline bench with your arms hanging allows your arms to stretch even more. To take this exercise to the next level perform incline bicep curls as 21s. If you are not familiar with 21s they were made famous by Arnold Schwarzenegger in The New Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding.
21s On With Incline Curls
To do 21s you split the curl up into two parts the lower half and the upper half. Then add the third portion and finish with the full range of motion. The first part of the exercise is the bottom half. Do seven half curls from your arm full extended until your forearm is parallel with the floor. Next, do seven curls from the top-down stopping with your forearm parallel with the floor. Then finish the exercise with seven curls using the full range of motion. This is a different rep and set style from straight 8-12 reps. You can still do three sets of 21s if your arms can handle it. Remember that overtraining will also slow your mass development.
Building Truly Massive Arms Beyond Bigger Bicep Exercises
You now have a great bicep workout that will develop mass. Remember to rotate the exercises, you don’t have to do all of the exercises every day you work your biceps. In fact, you will peak earlier if you don’t keep your muscles confused and do the same exercises daily. Additionally, to truly build massive arms you need to focus on your triceps as well. Check out These 5 Tricep Exercises To Build Massive Arms.