Fill your muscle-building arsenal with these bi’s and tri’s exercises and workouts
Tired of your T-shirt sleeves blowing in the wind? Well, clicking on this article is your first rep towards building bigger biceps, triceps and forearms. Each of these arm exercises hits maximum muscle fibres to spark the growth you’re after and proves any piece of kit – in the right hands and in the right arm workout – has gun-toting potential to build bigger, thicker arms.
We all want bigger biceps. Well, most of us do. They look great in a fitted white t-shirt, look even better out of them, and help compliment a well-defined torso. Yes, some people will say exercising your biceps in isolation is stupid. We understand, but some days we just long for the pump. And you know what? There’s no shame in that.
So rather than beat around the bush, let’s get straight to it. If you want to build bigger biceps, these 15 exercises will help get you there. Perform them properly, and it won’t just be your biceps that start to bulge, your overall health will see an improvement, too.
A recent UCLA study found that male heart patients with the most arm and leg muscle and the least belly fat were 68 per cent less likely to die of cardiovascular disease over seven years than thin guys with smaller arms and less muscle. Published in the American Journal of Cardiology, the researchers concluded that muscles promote better insulin function, which might play a role in slowing the development of heart trouble.
So there you have it: bulging biceps can actually improve your health. So tell that to the next person who smirks at you when they see you on your third set of curls.
Below you’ll find the 15 best exercises to build bigger biceps. But before we get onto that, it’s a good idea to understand just what the biceps are and the muscles that make up that part of the arm. After all, knowledge is power.
So, here are 15 effective arm workouts that are sure to bulk up those guns!
1. Pull Ups
One of the simplest forms of exercise you can do is one of the most effective to make sure you develop strong, and well-defined arms. Developing the ability to pull up your own body weight will make you stronger, so if you want to become mighty as well as muscular, then pull-ups are perfect for you.
2. Push Ups
Push ups, similar to pull ups, train your arms to balance your whole body mass, and as we previously saw, that’s one of the best ways to bulk up muscle and make them strong as steel. Push ups are also great because they are less likely to cause injury, especially if you are just a beginner.
3. Standing Dumbbell Curls
This one is also pretty simple to do, and it will give your forearms and biceps great size and definition. All you need is a pair of dumbbells that are around 25 pounds each. You can lift them both at the same time or alternate between the two with repetitions of 10 curls on one arm at a time, 3 rounds each.
4. One-Arm Standing Dumbbell Curl
Once you’ve built some strength up from regular dumbbell curls, it’s time to move on to single-arm ones. This time, you’ll be using a dumbbell that weighs a bit more, which will force your triceps to work harder and make them stronger. But be careful, this move requires careful and slow progression.
5. One-Arm Dumbbell Rows
This exercise focuses on building up strength in your back, forearms, biceps, and triceps; and it will definitely make you feel the burn! To do this, you’ll need a flat bench that can support your weight. You need to place you left hand and knee on the bench, with your right foot on the floor. Then you need to curl the dumbbell upwards above your torso using your right hand, and then slowly extend it downwards; repeat.
6. Lying Triceps Extensions
This exercise is ideal to tone and strengthen your triceps and forearms. Here, you need to lie on your back on a flat bench and hold a barbell straight above your chest. Without shifting the position of your forearms, you then slowly lower the weight towards your head and stop when it is above your forehead. The main thing to remember while doing this exercise is to make sure that you have a strong and steady grip and that you focus on what you’re doing.
7. Alternating Incline Curls
Lie down on a bench that is set to a 60% incline. Hold the dumbbells with a neutral, steady grip with your palms facing in, and slowly contract your right bicep until it reaches chest level. Then slowly raise the weights, keeping your upper arm tight to your body and gradually rotating your palms externally so that it ends up facing the ceiling. This move is great for building up biceps.
8. Standing Shoulder Press
With this exercise, your forearms, biceps, shoulders, chest, and muscles are getting an all-in-one workout! You need to use two dumbbells, which you will curve upwards to chest level. Then you need to rotate your wrists externally and push upward in a single, fluid motion.
9. Overhead Triceps Press
This triceps exercise requires for you to be sitting down. You’ll hold a single dumbbell with both palms, gripping it near the top disc. Starting from chest level, lift it above your head; then bring it back down behind it, all the while keeping your upper arm still and elbows tucked in as it comes down.
10. Lying Dumbbell Triceps Extension
Lying on a bench, you’ll hold two dumbbells straight above your chest with inward-facing palms. Without changing the position of your upper arms, slowly bring the dumbbells down towards the side of your head with the help of your elbows. Pause when your forearms are below parallel, contract your triceps, and bring the weights back up to the starting position.
11. Bent Over Barbell Rows
Hold your barbell in front of your body, gripping it with a width that is slightly wider than your shoulders. Tighten your body’s core, keep your back straight, and drop your torso down to a 60 degree angel. Next you will contract your back and biceps, pulling the barbell upwards into the top of your core. Hold you position for a second before returning to full extension. This exercise works on those biceps and your back.
12. Underhand Seated Row
How to: Bend your knees and hold the bar with an underhand grip, shoulder-width apart. Lean back slightly, keeping your back straight, then use your back muscle to drive the bar towards your belly button. Return the bar to starting position and repeat.
Why: Go one better than bodyweight moves in your quest for bigger biceps — this doesn’t take up a squat rack, either.
13. Reverse Curl Straight Bar
How to: Stand and grip a bar
bell at shoulder width with an overhand grip. Flex the elbows and rotate the barbell upwards, only using your forearms, until your palms face out and the barbell is in line with your shoulders. Return it back down slowly and repeat.
14. Incline Bicep Curl
How to: Sit on an incline bench and hold a dumbbell in each hand at arm’s length. Use your biceps to curl the dumbbell until it reaches your shoulder, then lower them back down to your side and repeat.
Why: Beware: this position isolates and prevents other muscles from sharing the load. You can work the entire muscle by turning your wrists out slightly and keeping your elbows pointed towards the floor throughout the rep, a range of motion not available in other arm exercises.
How to: Sit down on the bench and rest your right arm against your right leg, letting the weight hang down. Curl the weight up, pause, then lower. Repeat with the other arm.
Why: This isolates the arm flexors and hits the lateral head of the biceps for peak performance (and appearance).
Starting position: Stand with your arms at your sides. Bend your elbows so that the palms of your hands are close to your chest. Drop your shoulders. Steps :
- Imagine that two heavy objects are next to each other directly in front of you, at your stomach. Try to separate them sideways so that they move away from each other.
- Imagine that these two objects keep returning to their initial position, and push them sideways.
Duration: Repeat this movement for 30 seconds.