They are the glamour muscles of the human body. A full, peaked pair of biceps make your body pop, producing a wow factor to your physique. Ask someone to show you their muscles and they are hardly likely to flex a quadriceps – they are going to hit a bicep shot. If you want to impress, you gotta have the guns. So, let’s go get ‘em!
In this article, we present you with one of the best bicep workouts at home you will ever come across.
What are the best bicep exercises? The answer is really simple. In fact, this movement is the granddaddy of biceps exercises – the barbell curl. This straight up, straight down arm flexion movement will work both the long and short head of the bicep to build size, strength and peak. (1) Your arms are supinated throughout the exercise and will develop peak as long as you are using a straight bar. (2)
Supination simply involves lifting the palm up towards the shoulder by bending at the elbow joint. To benefit from supination for bicep peak, you need to squeeze the bicep tightly at the top of the movement. (3
How to Curl
The barbell curl is possibly the most abused exercise in history. The main problem seems to be the ego. Too many people try to max out on weight, sacrificing form by swinging, only doing a partial movement and using momentum to get the weight up. Apart from risking major injury, these people are doing nothing for their body. Let’s learn to do it right.
Grab a straight bar, holding it at shoulder width. This will ensure that your elbows are at your sides. This must be your focus throughout the movement – do not allow your elbows to wander out.
Now, simply curl your wrist toward your shoulder. You don’t have to touch the shoulder. You should, however, pause at the top of the movement and squeeze as tightly as possible. Make sure that you are going through a full range of movement, smoothly moving from your thighs to your shoulders on each repetition. Think stretch and squeeze on every rep.
Some people complain about wrist pain when doing the barbell curl. The reasons why this may occur are:
- You’ve got too much weight on the bar. Remember: you are not going to the gym to impress other people. And your goal is not to lift as much weight as possible. It will maximally stimulate the working muscle!
- Improper grip. Make sure that you have a deep grip on the bar. Don’t wrap your palm around the bar from the top of your hand – go nice and deep on the thick meaty part of the palm.
Common Bicep Curl Mistakes
- Swinging from the hips. This takes all of the tension off the biceps, nullifying the effect of the exercise. In order to keep your back upright, bend your knees just slightly, and focus on isolating the bicep as you smoothly lift the bar. To eliminate back swing, try doing your curls with your back against a wall to keep it super strict. You may have to lower the weight a little, but the bicep will feel it a whole lot more than if you are jerking and swinging with a heavy poundage.
- Limited range of motion. You see a lot of people only going through a three quarter motion with their curls. This will not provide full stimulation. You need to move each rep from the thigh to the shoulder.
- Getting too complicated. There has been more stuff written about bicep training than any other muscle. Because the biceps are the show muscle of the body, people tend to overcomplicate the training, doing way too much and ending up in an overtrained state. The reality is that the bicep is a small muscle group that gets a lot of stimulation from your other body part workouts.
All you need is 3 to 4 strict sets of barbell curls, followed by a couple sets of hammer curls and a pull up dead hang to provide the stimulus for maximum growth.
Hammer curls derive their name from the fact that your hands are in the same position as if you were hammering a nail. It is one of the best dumbbell bicep exercises that exists so far. The exercise is done standing with a pair of dumbbells on hand. It is a great workout for the long head of the biceps, as well as the forearms.
Stand with the dumbbells at your sides, facing your thighs. Keeping your elbows in at your sides, curl your right arm up until the weight is at shoulder level. Squeeze tightly and then lower under control.
Pull Up Dead Hang
The chin up is a very effective bodyweight biceps developer. It is a fantastic finishing exercise to complete your biceps workout. Here is how to do it:
Hang from a pull up bar with your palms toward you. Pull yourself up so that your elbows are bent at a 90 degree angle. Hold this position, squeezing your biceps as hard as you can. Start with the goal of holding for 45 seconds and work your way up to one minute.
The Best Bicep Workouts at Home
Note: Bicep workouts for men and bicep workouts for women should be the same. The anatomy of the muscles, after all, is the same.
Standing Barbell Curl – 4 x 15 / 12 / 10 / 8
Hammer Curl – 2 x 8-10
Pull Up Dead Hang – 45 seconds
How many days rest do you need between bicep workouts at home?
Only work your biceps ONCE per workout. This is not a large muscle group! It will be getting a lot of stimulation when you do your back training. Hitting it more than once a week will be overkill! So temper your enthusiasm and restrict your bicep workout routine to one session per week.
How many bicep exercises should I do in my bicep workout?
You should not do more than 10 sets in total for biceps. Divide this up between two or three exercises over the course of your bicep workout.
What is the best workout for biceps?
The best workout for biceps is the one that gives you the best stimulation in terms of pump and post workout soreness. We think the one we’ve provided in this article is a killer bicep workout – give it a try!
How do I prevent a biceps tear?
- Warm up thoroughly
- Don’t more weight than you can handle
- Don’t use sudden or jerky motions when curling
Can I build my biceps at home?
Yes, you can do effective bodyweight bicep exercises without weights at home. The best exercise to include in your biceps workout at home is the pull up. You can also do an effective bicep workout at home based around curls using your body and a door handle as well as a loaded backpack.
How to Build Biceps: Key Points
- Barbell curls are an effective mass builder and peak shaper
- Keep your form strict and don’t go too heavy
- Elbows at the side at all times
- Full range of movement with strong flexion at the top
- Don’t over complicate your bicep training
- Use Hammer curls for mid bicep mass
The key to effective bicep workouts at home is to keep it short and intense. Give the workout in this article a try for 6 weeks. At the end of that time, you should have packed on some decent size and gotten quite a lot stronger.