Introduction

To those readers who are old enough to do so, try and think back approximately 10-15 years and consider the availability of gyms and other health and fitness centres in your region. Now compare this figure to the availability of such facilities nowadays; if it’s anything like the area I reside in then the number has simply sky-rocketed.

Gyms and health & fitness centres are big business nowadays. More and more individuals than ever before are signing up for gym memberships in an attempt to enhance health and fitness levels and develop their physiques. In a world where many other industries are failing, the health and fitness market is simply booming.

With increments in the number of gyms and individuals attending them, the popularity of bodybuilding and weightlifting has also increased. Although this is not the primary aim of every individual, the majority of gyms nowadays are equipped and developed for the primary purpose of lifting weights.

Do you currently attend the gym to undertake some form of resistance training? Is this for aesthetic reasons or one of practicality? Regardless of your reasons behind weightlifting, the key aims often remain the same: to develop both strength and size.

Building Bigger Biceps

One of the most popular muscles than modern men train are the biceps, especially when choosing to undertake weightlifting purely for aesthetic reasons. This muscle group can be considered one of the so called ‘beach muscles’ and through the correct training principles can provide real size and definition to the front of your upper arm.

Despite being a relatively small muscle in comparison to other sections of your body, the biceps have attained unrivalled fame and familiarity. Think about it for a moment: when someone asks you to flex, which position would you opt for? Almost all of us would raise our arms and bend at the elbow, demonstrating a biceps contraction – it’s almost as if this muscle is a single port of call to demonstrate the superior strength and dominance of an individual:

Bicep Flex1, 2, 3 – FLEX! Is this the pose you would automatically strike?

All flexing aside, increasing the strength and size of your biceps through correct exercise can also enhance your ability to perform pulling actions, such as those performed during a back workout.

With all this in mind, we thought we’d consider three key exercises which target and work your biceps. For each exercise will be provided with a thorough explanation and demonstration video, allowing you to take these away with you today and instantly implement them into part of your larger workout regime.

The Anatomy Of The Biceps Brachii

Before moving on to contemplate these three selected exercises, let us firstly consider the biceps muscle itself and its purpose within the musculoskeletal system. The ‘Biceps Brachii’, or biceps as it is more commonly known, is situated on the front of the upper arm and consists of two heads – a long and short head – which work together to exert their effects primarily over the elbow region.

Proximally, the Biceps Brachii attaches at the scapula region of the shoulder joint. Distally, this muscle offers attachments just past the elbow joint on both the Radius and Ulna sections of the forearm. When this muscle contracts it brings about both elbow flexion and forearm supination, or outwards rotation of the forearm as it is more commonly known.

Biceps Anatomy

1. Standing Barbell Curl
Execution
  1. Select a barbell with suitable resistance to achieve your desired repetitions.
  2. Grasp the bar with an underhand grip and arms approximately shoulder width apart.
  3. Throughout the movement ensure your elbows remained fixed to your sides.
  4. Raise the bar by flexing at the elbow region until your forearms are vertical.
  5. Lock your core region throughout and do not allow your hips to swing forwards.
  6. At the top of your movement lower your arms slowly until they are fully extended.
  7. Repeat until the desired repetitions are achieved.
Exercise Demonstration Video

2. Incline Dumbell Curl
Execution
  1. Select dumbbells with suitable resistance to achieve your desired repetitions.
  2. Sit back onto a bench offering a 45-60 degree incline and grasp dumbbells.
  3. Allow both arms to hang straight down with your palms facing inwards.
  4. Throughout the movement ensure your elbows remained fixed to your sides.
  5. Raise one dumbbell by flexing at the elbow and simultaneously rotating the forearm.
  6. You should achieve a vertical forearm position with your palm facing your shoulder.
  7. Lower and reverse actions before completing the movement with your opposite arm.
Exercise Demonstration Video

3. Rope Cable Curl
Execution
  1. Select the rope attachment with the correct resistance and stand facing the cable.
  2. Grasp one end of the rope in each hand with both palms facing inwards.
  3. Position yourself close to the cable and allow your arms to fully extend.
  4. Throughout the movement ensure your elbows remained fixed to your sides.
  5. Raise the rope by flexing at the elbow and simultaneously rotating the forearm.
  6. You should achieve a vertical forearm position with palms facing your shoulders.
  7. Lower and reverse actions before repeating until the desired repetitions are achieved.
Exercise Demonstration Video

Final Word

So there you have our top three exercises to solely target the Biceps Brachii muscle. These exercises not only offer you the ability to add real strength and size to this particular muscle region, but also variation.

Although each exercise requires elbow flexion, there is variation throughout with different emphasis on forearm rotation and grip; achieved through the use of a barbell, dumbbells and a rope attachment respectively.

Before signing off it’s important to reiterate that although the exercises enlisted above are considered key, they are by no means a definitive list. There are numerous other isolation exercises which have the ability to bring about significant alterations to your biceps muscle as well as compound exercises such as narrow grip pull-ups and reverse grip rows, to name but a few.

So why not add these exercises to your training regime today and start to reap the benefits immediately.

Let us know your essential biceps exercises (and why) in the comments section below…