What is the Best Exercise For Biceps? (FREE Ebook Included)

A Man Tensing His Biceps

I’m actually surprised it’s taken me this long to write an article entitled, “What is the Best Exercise For Biceps?

I mean, come on, I’m a guy, and therefore I should be obsessed with producing massive biceps, right?

Well, in truth, I hardly ever exercise my biceps.

Shock!

Horror!

I know, I know.

However, I am someone who typically performs hundreds of pull up/chin up variations on a weekly basis. So, my biceps are pretty well taken care of.

With that said, there are actually 3 bicep exercises (not just the one) that I generally turn to if I’m looking for some extra size or a peak.

These aren’t going to be the standard bicep exercises that you may be used to seeing.

I’m also going to provide you with a free ebook below, no need to sign up for anything, you can download it immediately – “The Best Arm Exercises You’ve Never Heard of”.

Plus, as I’m feeling in a generous mood, I’ll also include a bonus bicep workout for you.

Admittedly, this is isn’t a workout that I’ve done for a number of years now, but it was definitely a great bicep builder.

What is the Best Exercise for Biceps?

The “Conventional” Best Exercise For Biceps

A Man Performing The Barbell Bicep Curl - What is the Best Exercise for Biceps?

I would hazard a guess that most people would favour the barbell curl as the best exercise for biceps.

And, I don’t completely disagree with this.

The barbell curl allows you to go heavier than the vast majority of bicep exercises, and it’s a fantastic way to build strength.

I actually think that building strength for any muscle (or area of the body) is the cornerstone to great size and muscularity.

So, I’m definitely not saying that you shouldn’t be performing barbell curls, or any other “traditional” bicep exercise for that matter.

I’ve just found that personally the following 3 exercises have produced the greatest gains in bicep muscle size for me.

Plus, the first exercise that follows is not so different from the barbell curl, it simply uses different apparatus and technique.

What is the Best Exercise for Biceps? – Close-Grip Chin Ups

I did say I perform a lot of chin up variations.

And there are few exercises that are as good for stimulating the biceps as far as I’m concerned.

For close-grip chin ups I tend to avoid the standard pull up bars that you’ll find in the gym.

I like to use a completely straight bar.

My go-to apparatus in the gym environment is the Smith Machine.

With the close-grip chin up I have an underhand grip, so palms facing towards me.

My hands are typically no further than six inches apart and I really concentrate on having my elbows tucked in at my sides throughout the entire movement.

I also like to complete this exercise in ultra slow-motion.

This will involve approximately 5 seconds to complete the “up” phase.

I like to really squeeze my biceps at the top of movement and hold for a count of two.

I actually think that squeezing (or contracting) the muscle goes a long way to improving bicep size and definition (or any other muscle that you train for that matter).

I then slowly lower myself for a count of 5 once again.

Funnily enough, I usually have my eyes closed throughout the entire movement, don’t ask me why, but I find it helps with the mind-muscle connection.

I can tell you now, 3-4 sets of 10 reps with no more than 60 seconds rest between sets, and my biceps are on fire.

Additionally, I focus hard on not allowing my elbows to flare out to the side throughout the entire sequence.

Get BIG Biceps By Doing Chin Ups

Incline Dumbbell Bicep Curl

I absolutely love the incline dumbbell bicep curl and I have yet to find another bicep exercise that gives me such a burn.

This is a variation on the seated bicep curl, but I find that by setting the bench to an incline your arms move through a greater range of motion.

Plus, I feel that you’re working more against gravity to get the weight up.

Additionally, due to the greater range of motion at the bottom of the movement the bicep gets a real stretch, not something I’ve experienced with any other bicep exercise.

Once again I go at an extremely slow tempo and I also like to keep the weight light.

I’ve even done this with 10kg dumbbells before and felt far better bicep activation than performing 40kg barbell curls.

I find it’s important to keep my back tight against the bench throughout the entire movement, and I also include the back of the head in this as well.

There is a tendency for the head to come off the bench, as the exercise becomes harder towards the end of the set.

So, try to avoid doing this.

I like to perform 3 sets of 12-15 reps.

And trust me, be ready for one almighty bicep burn.

How To: Seated Incline Dumbbell Bicep Curl

Rope Cable Hammer Curls

Yet another fantastic bicep exercise that really produces that burn.

There’s also something that I love about any type of hammer variation exercise.

In fact, I perform far more hammer-grip chin ups than any other variation.

Plus, if I was sticking with “standard” bicep exercises (you know the ones that you’ll typically be introduced to on literally every other website) then I would always favour dumbbell hammer curls over anything else.

I honestly think that hammer curls build bigger biceps than standard curls.

They target the outer bicep and recruit the brachialis and brachioradialis muscles, which will lead to greater definition and grip strength.

You also happen to be working the forearm with hammer curls, which is achieved through using the brachioradialis muscle.

So, in effect, hammer curls provide far more overall “arm work” than many other bicep exercises.

With that said, there’s something simply amazing about the bicep definition I have had from using the cable machine, more specifically the rope attachment, and performing hammer curls this way.

Once again, my elbows are stuck tight to my sides, and I’ll go with a fairly slow tempo.

Now most people may look to perform rope hammer curls as a finisher with extremely high reps, thus really getting that “burn” once more.

However, I prefer to go a little heavier and aim for 6-8 slow reps.

I typically complete 3 sets in total.

Hunter Labrada – Rope Hammer Curls

How to Perform These Exercises

Okay, I’ve given you an insight into reps and sets for each exercise above, although I even have variations on this.

In fact, I’ll often take two of the bicep exercises and perform them in superset fashion.

And I have been known to perform all 3 exercises as a tri-set.

In terms of supersets, I prefer to perform the rope cable hammer curls no matter what, as the second exercise, along with one of the other two preceding it.

You’ll have to drop the weight somewhat here, and I even change the rep schemes.

The supersets can be performed as follows:

Superset One

  • Close-Grip Chin Up – 6 reps
  • No Rest
  • Rope Cable Hammer Curls – 12 reps
  • Rest 60 Seconds

Repeat for a total of 4 supersets completed.

Superset Two

  • Incline Dumbbell Bicep Curl – 10 reps
  • No Rest
  • Rope Cable Hammer Curls – 15 reps
  • Rest 60 Seconds

Repeat for a total of 4 supersets completed.

Tri-Set

When performing a tri-set, complete the exercises in the order that I have listed them above, and look to complete more reps with each subsequent exercise.

  • Close-Grip Chin Ups – 6 reps
  • Incline Dumbbell Bicep Curl – 10 reps
  • Rope Cable Hammer Curls – 12 reps

Complete 3 tri-sets in total.

FREE EBOOK

I’ve recently reviewed Time-Volume Training by Nick Nilsson.

Nick is someone who I have followed online with interest for a number of years.

Nick is known as “The Mad Scientist of Muscle”, and he certainly has some very unconventional ways of training.

However, he runs a couple of highly successful exercise and fitness websites, plus he has over 30 years experience of training.

So, he definitely knows a thing or two.

I was lucky enough to receive a sample gift of one of his great programs, “The Best Arm Exercises You’ve Never Heard of.”

The Best Arm Exercises You’ve Never Heard of

The sample takes 34 pages from the complete program and will introduce you to some fantastic arm exercises.

These include:

  • Nilsson Curls
  • Tricep Floor Rollbacks
  • Incline Barbell Curls
  • Barbell Leverage Curls
  • On-Barbell Tricep Extension/Presses
  • Incline Face-Away Pushdown and Presses
  • Shoulder Curls
  • Lateral Cable Cross-Over Extensions

It’s also interesting to note that Nick has included a mix of bicep and tricep exercises here.

And in reality, this is the best way to build HUGE arms.

I’m not entirely sure why, but many of us seem to concentrate solely on bicep exercises in an attempt to get bigger arms.

However, the triceps actually make up two-thirds of the upper arm, so it only makes sense that they get as much (if not more) training in our arm workouts.

Simply click on the image below and the Ebook will open in a new window.

You can then choose to download the ebook or simply save as a “favourite”.

As I promised, nothing to sign up for here, this is a completely FREE gift from me to you.

The Best Arm Exercises You've Never Heard of
Click on image for access to your FREE ebook

As I say, this is the first 34 pages of the actual guide, but you will be introduced to and guided through the 8 exercises I’ve mentioned above.

If you wish to gain access to the entire “The Best Arm Exercises You’ve Never Heard of” program, simply click one of the links inside the above guide.

The complete guide is available for just $5, but don’t worry, you still have access to the above 8 exercises for FREE.

Enjoy.

BONUS – Another Great Workout For Biceps

A Woman Performing EZ-Bar Bicep Curls

I’m not entirely sure where I first saw or heard about this workout, but it is without doubt one of the best overall workouts for biceps.

In fact, simply writing about it today has reminded me how great this workout is, and this has inspired me to start using it once more.

This involves using the EZ-bar and completing 3 exercises.

I always perform this as a tri-set.

  • Overhand-Grip EZ-Bar Curl – 10 reps
  • No Rest
  • Normal-Grip EZ-Bar Curl – 10 reps
  • No Rest
  • Close-Grip EZ-Bar Curl – 10 reps
  • Rest For 60 Seconds

Complete 3 tri-sets in total.

Once again, an absolutely awesome burn, plus a very short workout that will stimulate those biceps to GROW.

EZ-Bar Curl Variations For Big Biceps

Final Thoughts

So, there you have it, not just one, but a selection of some of the best exercises for biceps.

These may not be the “standard” exercises that most people turn to when looking to work their biceps, but as I’ve mentioned, these are the exercises that have worked for me.

I also think that you should definitely be working triceps just as much, if not more, when looking to add size and muscle to your arms.

In fact, you will generally find that your arms look fantastic with additional tricep work.

I hope you enjoy the free gift as well, and there’s certainly a few arm exercises in there that you’ve probably never heard of.

But, Nick is well-known for doing things a little different.

If you want to see what other awesome tips and techniques Nick has to offer then I suggest you check out my Time-Volume Training Review.

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6 thoughts on “What is the Best Exercise For Biceps? (FREE Ebook Included)”

  1. Hi Partha

    I am a bit obsessed with biceps excercises (and arm and shoulder exercises in general). I’m not after big biceps, but I think there are few things more attractive in a woman than toned arms (and it feels great).

    I’m not one for the gym, but there are lots of trees where I live where I could definitely try those pull-ups! Otherwise I use dumbbells.

    Will check that book out!

    Many thanks,

    Jean

    Reply
    • My apologies Jean,

      I automatically assume that biceps are a male-dominated wish, but you’re perfectly correct in what you say.

      I’m sure that the vast majority of women would love toned arms too.

      I love the fact that you’re going to give pull ups a go on nearby trees, definitely a person after my own heart.

      I typically walk every single day, and while I’m out in nature I’m not adverse to performing a few exercises with the help of whatever’s around me.

      As for the exercises I’ve mentioned here, without a bench or a cable machine it will obviously be difficult to perform a couple of them.

      However, I did mention that I absolutely love hammer curls (and any “hammer-based” exercise, and you can definitely perform those with dumbbells.

      I’m sure I don’t need to tell you that it’s equally important to concentrate on your triceps if you’re looking for toned arms.

      I would recommend a few supersets on dumbbell hammer curls/overhead dumbbell tricep extensions and standard dumbbell bicep curls/tricep kickbacks.

      You have to make the best of what you have available to you, and the above two supersets would make for a great arm workout.

      Thanks
      Partha

      Reply
  2. Hey Partha, as always, you’ve outdone yourself. Thanks for sharing this post. I’m much like you. I don’t exercise my biceps that much because I too feel they’ve been taken care of with chin-ups.

    I agree with you, chin-ups are one of the best exercises for getting bigger biceps. In fact, the entire ar muscle region gets nicely shaped and connected so it all looks natural.

    I like curls too, but I rarely do them. In my mind, I’m not a body-builder so I don’t like to focus on one group at the time. That’s why I enjoy bodyweight more.

    In any case, thanks for sharing both ways of exercising biceps. I’ll stick to chin-ups. And thanks for sharing the free book as well. Much appreciated.

    Reply
    • Hi Ivan,

      Always great to hear from you.

      Funnily enough, there’s nothing that annoys me more than seeing someone step into the gym and start performing bicep curls at the very beginning of their workout.

      This same person typically doesn’t look as though they work out at all, and the main reason for this is simply because they ignore the “bigger” muscle groups.

      I often get asked in the gym what exercises I do to have achieved my bicep definition, and I typically get some very hollow stares and looks of amazement when I say, “I don’t really train biceps”. LOL.

      Just going slightly off-subject, I very rarely perform the bench press either.

      In reality, I’m the most un-blokey guy in the gym, Hahaha, I don’t bench and I don’t do biceps, the Horror of it.

      But yes, much like you, I know with the number of pull up/chin up variations I do, I not only get some great lat development, but my biceps pretty much take care of themselves.

      Don’t get me, the reason I’ve included these exercises for biceps is because everyone once in a while I do feel like training them a little more than usual.

      So, this would generally be my go-to workout.

      And no problem with the free ebook as well.

      I’ve read it, used it, enjoyed it, and it’s only gathering dust on my hard drive, so I may as well share it with others.

      Partha

      Reply
  3. I’ve also been mainly focusing on pulling exercises, and my biceps have never been more shredded than they are now.

    I never focus on a particular biceps exercise, and I always try to do some compound movements like pullups, chin-ups, and even deadlifts.

    I know that many will wonder how a deadlift can affect my bicep’s growth, but trust me, it can.

    The muscle doesn’t go through its full range of motion, but the exercise unquestionably puts a considerable strain on the muscle because it’s usually done with heavyweights.

    Thanks for the book, by the way. I wanted to spice up my routine for quite a long time now, and you just made it easy for me.

    I’ll make sure to try the exercises out, and I’ll even text you to share my favorite one!

    Reply
    • Hi Gorjan,

      Funnily enough, I know that the deadlift has a fantastic knock-on effect on just about every muscle on the body.

      So, I can see that it may help to increase the size of the biceps.

      The deadlift is typically the heaviest exercise that you perform and you also happen to work some of the largest muscles in the body.

      So, this is the best way to build strength and size, irrespective on what particular body part you would like to focus on.

      I also love the fact that you’re focusing on your pulling exercises rather than specifically on biceps.

      Well done Gorjan, that’s brilliant.

      As I’ve mentioned, I rarely train biceps, but I’ve just included some of my favourite exercises whenever I do choose to train them.

      However, just as you know yourself, by focusing on the big “pull” movements, and a good focus on pull ups and chin ups, those biceps will automatically start growing.

      Thanks
      Partha

      Reply

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