The biceps (or biceps brachii) are double-headed muscles under each shoulder, meaning they’re attached to the shoulder at two different points. The function of this part of the anatomy is to allow your arm and shoulder to move properly to perform actions such as lifting. As such, the biceps are in control of both joints. Each bicep has a short head and a long head attached to the shoulder, and they come together at the elbow.1 6
They are actually the most likely of all of the muscles in the body to have birth defects. Most biceps are double-headed, but there have been people with up to 7 heads under each shoulder.1 These types of anomalies pose very little issue for the person; they’re simply individual differences.
The biceps are a very popular muscle for working out, for one because they are so visible to others. Very well-developed bicep muscles have always been associated with physical power and virility. The strength of these muscles may also determine how successful an individual is at sports like tennis, baseball, rock climbing, or gymnastics.5
One of the most effective exercises for developing the biceps is curls with resistance. In 2012, engineers at Cornell University developed an electronic gadget whose purpose was to guide you through doing the perfect bicep curl. They called it the ‘haptic exercise coach.’ Researchers believed that it could have a ‘positive social impact’.2
Bicep Workout for Mass
So, you want to develop big biceps. What is the best way to go about that? One thing you don’t want to do is overload the barbell. The goal is to do 12-15 repetitions, not lift as much as you can one time. That type of heavy lifting depletes testosterone, which is the best muscle-building element.4
From the standpoint of nutrition, the answer is protein, protein, protein. In order to develop your bicep muscles, you have to consume 1.6-2.0 grams of protein per kilo of bodyweight every day. In addition, it’s crucial that your diet includes an adequate amount of all of the vitamins. You’ll want to make sure your body also has enough testosterone (something HexoFire Delta Prime can assist with). Building these muscles also requires that you consume complex carbohydrates.4
In the case of the biceps, you should not overdo working out. These are very small muscles that require time in between workouts. In addition, every time you work out your back and your chest these muscles get exercised. Try to limit your sessions to twice a week.1
Best Bicep Workout
The exercises below are the top suggested moves for effectively building up your bicep muscles. Working on your bicep muscles is basically doing variations of the curl, because that’s what works. These exercises will develop your strength and give your biceps definition.
• Side Curl
• Fat-Grip Hammer Curl
• High Cable Curl
• Behind-the-Back Cable Curl
• Band Curl
• Conventional Barbell Curl
• Dumbbell Hammer Curl
• Cheat Curl
Side Curl Bicep Workout
This exercise requires two bands. First secure the bands to a very stable object at the height of your shoulders, half an arm’s length apart. Now stand between the two bands and hold one in each hand. To get into the starting position, begin lifting up your arms out 90 degrees and extend your elbows. Keep pulling the bands until you get to your ears, and then hold the move for a couple of seconds.
Fat-Grip Hammer Curl
For this move you’ll require two dumbbells. You can wrap a towel or something similar around them both for comfort and to make the dumbbell bulkier. The position for this exercise is arms at your sides, palms facing up. Now curl your arms upwards to your ears.
High Cable Curl for Biceps
This exercise requires two cable cross-over pulley machines with D-handles. For the starting position, you need to set the height of both cables so your triceps line up parallel with the ground when your palms are facing each other. Now stand in between the cables, hold each handle with one hand, and stretch out your arms. To carry out the curl, pull both handles up to your ears and squeeze on your bicep.
Behind-the-Back Cable Curl
For this exercise you’ll need a D-handle, which you will attach to the low pully of a cable machine. Take the handle with your left hand and step away from the machine until you can feel the stress on the cable. Your arm should be slightly pulled behind your body, and your right leg should be in front. When you alternate sides, your left leg will be in front.
Take a band, and step on each side with one of your feet. Move your arms up into a curl. Do them as fast as you can, while keeping your elbows stable.
Conventional Barbell Curl for Biceps
Grab the barbell with both hands, palms upward, and keep them about an arm’s length apart, pull upwards into a curl the ends at your ears. You can vary this exercise by putting different weights on one or both sides.
Dumbbell Hammer Curl
Take a dumbbell in each of your hands. Stand up straight and place your feet half an arm’s length apart. Hold the dumbbells at your sides. Your arms should be hanging all the way down. That is how you begin. Now your elbows should flex as you pull the dumbbells up toward your shoulders. As you reach the shoulders, squeeze your biceps. Then put your arms back down into starting position.
With this exercise you do a regular dumbbell curl, with a twist. At the point about halfway when the weight feels the heaviest, use the power of your hips to complete the curl. Remember not to lean back while you’re lifting.
Bicep Workouts at Home
Some people want to develop their biceps, but they prefer to workout at home. Bicep workouts without weights can certainly help you to strengthen your biceps, and there are many such exercises like chair dips, inverted rows, and towel curls.
If you are trying to seriously develop very large biceps or are training for a sporting event, you have to use weights and other equipment. Joining a gym would be the easiest way to get access to it. If that’s not an option, you could purchase small and inexpensive equipment like dumbbells and resistance cables. These items are available in a wide range of prices, so you should be able to find one that suits your budget. If you tailor your workout towards the equipment that you have, you can do a good job of developing your biceps.
Tips for Bicep Workouts with Dumbbells & Weights
How do you really benefit from these bicep workouts? Here are some tips to make sure you get the most out of your workouts.
• If you’re a beginner, you can’t build your biceps by doing only curls. You also have to perform free weight exercises like deadlifts and squats.
• To build your muscles you need protein, so eat a lot!
• A minimum of half the calories you consume each day should be complex carbohydrates if you’re trying to build muscle.
• Eat a healthy diet, avoiding junk food and processed items.
• You may want to consider whey protein or creatine supplements.
• Stick to a regular exercise schedule, and only do this workout twice a week.
• While you’re trying to build muscle, you need to consume more calories than you would normally require.
• Increase the weights on the dumbbells over time to increase the strength of your biceps.
• Make sure you also exercise your other muscles, otherwise you’ll look out of proportion.
- 1Healthline’s Medical Network (April 2015). Biceps Brachii. Healthline. Retrieved online at View Reference
- 2Honderich, E. (April 2012). The Bicep: Fascinating Facts About Body Parts. Toronto Star. Retrieved at View Reference
- 3yons, M & Meess, G. (No date). Haptic Exercise Coach. Cornell University. Retrieved at View Reference
- 4Men’s Health (2016). 10 Quick Steps to Build Bigger Biceps. Men’s Health. UK. Retrieved online at View Reference
- 5Rifkin, Beth (No date). How to Get Defined Biceps. Livestrong.com. Retrieved at View Reference
- 6The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica (2019). Biceps Muscle. Encyclopaedia Britannica. Retrieved at View Reference