There are literally hundreds of bicep exercise variations that you could potentially throw into your arm day workout, or training program. But with so many different variations and options, which bicep exercises should you include in your training split to build more muscle mass? We’re going to give you the inside scoop into the best bicep exercises, according to clinical research, to stack on more gains.
Before we get into the best bicep exercises, it’s important to know what the specifics are of the bicep anatomy, to ensure you are targeting and activating the right areas for optimal gains.
The biceps brachii, or commonly referred to as the biceps have two heads and are located on the anterior (front) part of your upper arm between the elbow and the shoulder. Your biceps assist in elbow flexion (bending your arm at the elbow), supination (moving from palm down to palm up), and with shoulder flexion (raising your arm in front of you). As you can see the bicep is actually a small muscle compared to the other muscles of the arm, especially the triceps.
The brachialis is more distal to the bicep, (lies beneath) and assists in flexion of the elbow.
The 5 Best Bicep Exercises To Build More Mass
1. Dumbbell Preacher Curl
The dumbbell preacher curl can effectively isolate your biceps, inducing more stimulation directly to the muscle tissue, increasing muscle hypertrophy. More isolation, with better contraction, flexion, and full range of motion, will help produce bigger gains.
How To Do A Dumbbell Preacher Curl
- Grab a dumbbell and place your elbow flush on a preacher curl, or incline bench at 55 degrees.
- Slowly lower your arm, and contract your muscles, effectively isolating your bicep.
- Raise back up squeezing your bicep as you curl the dumbbell
2. Incline Bench Dumbbell Curl
The incline dumbbell curl can be a great addition to your arm day workout split. While performing an incline dumbbell curl, your arms tend to move behind your body, increasing the range of motion and creating a deeper stretch, which is why it's one of the best bicep exercises.
How To Do An Incline Dumbbell Curl
- Position the incline bench at 55-65 degrees.
- grab two dumbbells are let your arms hang at your sides, slightly behind your shoulder.
- Using a supinated grip, curl the dumbbells towards the shoulders.
- Once your biceps are contracted, lower the weights back down, and repeat.
3. EZ Bar Curl
The EZ Bar curl is one of the most tried and true bicep exercises to build bigger biceps. Electromyographic studies have shown that EZ bar curls generate more activity of the biceps brachii and brachioradialis while performing them when compared to other bicep movements such as the straight bar or barbell bicep curl[R].
How To Do An EZ Bar Curl
- Grab an EZ bar at a comfortable weight.
- Start with the EZ bar at your thighs, with your hands positioned on the knurled grip of the bar,
- Standing shoulder width apart, fully contract your arms all the way to your shoulders and curl the EZ bar, and lower down the bar slowly with control, keeping your elbows tucked at your sides.
4. Dumbbell W Elevator Curl
Unconventional but extremely effective, one of the best bicep exercises is the w or elevator curl. The w curl positions your elbows into your sides, and turns out your arms, to effectively target and isolate your biceps.
How To Do A "W" Curl
While seated on a bench, grab two dumbbells, and set your elbows into your sides, and turn your palms away from you.
Curl both dumbbells simultaneously, and slowly lower the weight back to starting position, and repeat for a set of 10-15 reps.
5. Twisting Dumbbell Curl
One of the best and most popular bicep exercises, is the twisting dumbbell curl. The twist activates your forearms, and the head of the bicep, for a more effective arm workout.
How To Do A Twisting Dumbbell Curl
- Grab two dumbbells at a comfortable weight.
- Positioned at your sides with your palms faced in, begin to curl one arm towards your shoulder
- Twist the dumbbell, so that your palms face your chest, as you contract your bicep.
- Once you get to the top of the curl, keep twisting slightly to isolate the bicep and contract your muscle for 1-2 seconds
- Release, lower the weight back to your side, and repeat.
Best Bicep Exercises: Takeaway
According to electromyographic studies these are some of the best bicep exercises, you should be including on your arm day training split, or in your functional training accessory programming to build bigger and stronger biceps. Of course, there are hundreds of different bicep exercise variations and exercises such as the concentration curl and cable curl which can also induce greater changes in strength and mass.
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