Biceps workout: the best exercises
Want to build your biceps? Follow the guide with the advice of a sports coach!
Want to give your biceps some volume and exercise the muscles in the arms that extend from the shoulders to the elbows? Follow the guide, with the help of our reference trainer, Alison Davril, we give you some tips and exercises for building muscle, with or without equipment, indoors or at home!
What is the biceps muscle?
Undoubtedly, Popeye, who is unbeatable, has and always will have the biggest biceps the world has ever known. Yes, but in addition to overindulging in spinach, how did he manage to develop so many muscles in the arms, which go from the shoulder to the elbow?
Muscles that, by the way, are useful to us on a daily basis: the biceps brachii allows us to move our arm from the shoulder to the elbow, thereby carrying more or less heavy loads, to eat (for example) and to do all kinds of movements and sports.
The biceps consist of two parts: the long biceps and the short biceps. This is the area that bodybuilding enthusiasts generally strive to develop, and this regular work can make it toned (very) well rounded! But, before reaching the entry point in bodybuilding competitions, a few simple exercises, which should be performed at home or in a weightlifting room, can allow you to pull these muscles in your arms, sculpt your body to your liking and gain it. Ringtone, ring.
What exercises to start building biceps?
If you are fairly new to the subject and have never bothered to do your arms, it is best to start very gently, to avoid severe pain and aches after the first session. We assure you, you don't necessarily need particularly sophisticated weighing machines to start sculpting "beautiful" arms (and there, it's a matter of aesthetic subjectivity and each one).
The best exercises to start building biceps can be done using fairly low weight dumbbells, elastics, with little resistance or simply by playing with your body weight. You can do these exercises at home, but be careful, and be sure to warm up beforehand so as not to make your muscles work cold.
In general, the biceps are worked according to one main movement: resistance of the forearm against the weight, stimulating the muscles of your back arm. To change exercises and circuits, this weight can be your own weight (push-up, traction), dumbbells or loads of different sizes (pulley, elastic, machines and devices in the gym ...). To develop the biceps, the ideal option is to bring weights, which will allow you to work more efficiently. At home, if you do not have dumbbells, you can perform the exercises using water bottles of different sizes.
Biceps exercises with dumbbells
Exercise 1 - curl
The first exercise with dumbbells suggested by our trainer, the classic one: take dumbbells (one or two kilograms of weight to start will do), arms along the body. By bending your elbows, palms toward the ceiling, raise your hands to the level of your shoulders. For sets of 10 or 20 reps, you can perform this exercise with both arms at the same time, or alternate between the right and left sides.
Exercise 2 - Hammer knot
The advantage of this exercise is that it can be rejected: in the same position, you will put your palms inward. "You hold the dumbbells like hammers," Alison says. "We will come and do the same movement, bringing the hands toward the shoulders. The advantage of doing this exercise with two variables is that we will strengthen the biceps as a whole, by working on two distinct areas."
Strengthen your arms with rubber bands
Exercise 3 - braid with an elastic band
Another supplement that can become an important ally in the course of bodybuilding sessions: flex . “To train the biceps, I often recommend an exercise that requires a large rubber band,” the athletic trainer points out. "We come to pass it from under the feet, to create resistance, holding it in each hand. The palms of the hands towards the ceiling, we will bend our elbows in front of us, up. It is the same
movement a little as with dumbbells. The advantage of flexibility is that you can create more or less resistance. By tightening it more, it will become The exercise is more difficult. If you want to go ahead with the effort and get more biceps, you can also work with dumbbells." Bam,
Allison specifies that the same movement, performed at a different intensity, won't have the same effects on your biscuit: "Exerting with less load but repeating it more often will strengthen the muscles. Using more weight used in a movement that is repeated fewer times will bulk up the muscles, Hence the benefit of varying the loads and the number of repetitions for each series. You have to work at different intensities, even in the same movement. This will make it possible to work globally and improve training sessions.”
Exercise 4 - Pull-ups
To strengthen their biceps and make the effort a part of their daily lives, some have chosen to install a pull-up bar at home, generally placed in the doorway (be careful to install it too high, mornings are hard sometimes). This tool allows you to use your own body weight to develop biceps, thanks to which pull-ups are achieved. "To work your biceps well, you have to stick your toes facing you," Alison explains. "The idea is to lift your body weight. It works both the biceps and some of the back muscles."
However, it is not an easy exercise, especially in the beginning. So, here's a little help to get you started a little easier: "We can come in and tie an elastic band around the crossbar and pass it under our feet or our knees, so that it helps support our weight," says Allison. "It makes it a little easier to start this exercise and avoid frustration because you can't do it. You shouldn't hide it, pulling is hard. But, with flexibility in reinforcement, it will gradually be easier and the exercises will be part of the progression." The advantage of this pull-up bar: put one or two sets on your daily program,
Your biceps workout in the gym
If you want to complete your work or benefit from the advice of athletic trainers, you can go to the weight room where the use of specific machines is recommended according to your needs and desires.
Exercise 5 - Pulling with the help of a machine
To work with your own body weight, a bit on the same pull-up bar system at home, you can use an assisted pull-up machine. “The advantage of this machine is that, via a load distribution system, it allows a little bit of weight to be subtracted from the body in the course of pull-ups,” says Allison. "The pull-ups start with a little less weight than your body, thanks to the additional loads in the back. As you go forward, you remove the loads, in order to 'inflate' your body weight. So we go a little bit further and increase the weight to pull at our level."
Work the biceps with the barbell
Exercise 6 - Barbell curls
In the gym, one of the most effective exercises for building biceps is to raise a more or less loaded bar depending on your level. Standing with your arms slightly bent, hold the bar at thigh height with your fingers up. The bar should be raised at shoulder height by bending the elbows. "I think we can start with 2.5kg on each side," says our athletic trainer. “And the weight will increase as you go. The taller reps with lighter weights will strengthen the shorter muscles with the heavier loads, and therefore the more efforts, the biceps will increase.” You can thus change the number of movements for each series and the weights on the bar: this will allow you to work in a full way.
To avoid injury, surround yourself with a qualified trainer, especially if you are using machines for the first time and in the same way, make sure you always have a straight back and contracted abs. “In these exercises, we will avoid placing the arms in excessive extension to avoid injuries and loss of control when carrying heavy loads. Muscles should be bent, not tension in joints.
Best biceps exercises with a pulley
Exercise 7 - Turning the Pulley
In the weighing room, you'll also find several machines that work with a pulley and weights. “There is a device that first consists of a low pulley,” the athletic trainer points out. “We hold the pulley handle down with both hands, at pelvic level, fingers out, and we will pull the tape or cable toward the shoulder by bending the elbows. This machine that puts the forearms in resistance makes it possible to work on both sides at the same time, with more or less loads.” These movements are generally called "curl".
Among the advantages of working on these machines are cables: they are devices that allow directed work in the literal sense: thanks to the cables, weights and loads remain in good alignment, movements are cleaner and work is improved, even for beginners . You will tire less and the effects of weight training will appear more quickly.”
The Best Bicep Building Workout (According to Our Trainer)
Exercise 8 - curling the pulley
The last exercise in this (long) series, Alison's favorite and according to her, is the best for strengthening her biceps: the one that consists in pulling loads from each side. “In the gym you will find a machine with two pulleys, on which you position yourself with both arms in a horizontal position, on each side of the body. By bending your elbows, palms up, you pull the handles by raising
the hands towards the shoulders ... We straighten arms to resume the initial position etc. It is a really very effective and very challenging exercise for regular practitioners.” Attention, again, always keep your arms slightly bent, to avoid overextending your elbows and the inconvenience that comes with it. And indoors, in general, take advantage of a coach for help and advice.
Like we told you earlier, biceps work revolves around a major movement, which is to put your forearms into the resistance. However, using different tools and machines, at home or in a weightlifting room, you can combine several exercises that call on different areas of the biceps. And you avoid the somewhat unpleasant side!
Do not forget that the exercise, including strength training, should begin with a good warm-up. Working and prodding a brutally cold muscle can have rather painful consequences. Feel free to seek help and advice from professionals and above all, enjoy your practice. It is he who will allow you to clench your teeth in moments of effort. Which will allow you to think about your biscuits after a few weeks of work!