Most weightlifters want large, well-defined biceps, and there are several targeting exercises you can do to add an inch to your arm circumference. (The triceps also adds circumference to the arm. Tricep exercises should also be performed.) Diet and rest time play a role in muscle development, too, as does the type of workout you do. Use a combination of isolated and compound exercises to see the best results. Choose a weight that is heavy enough that you can do only 8 to 12 reps to failure. This helps to build size and strength. Work your biceps twice a week.
Among all weight equipment — free weights and otherwise — dumbbells are one of the most versatile. They can be used as single weights or as pairs. There are three types of dumbbells: fixed-weight, adjustable and “selectorized.” Any of these three types are suitable for use in biceps exercises. Adjustable and “selectorized” dumbbells take up less space in that you only need one set to cover a wide range of different weight amounts.
Traditional Dumbbell Curl
Grab a pair of dumbbells and stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Hold the dumbbells with your arms hanging down at your sides, palms facing up with an underhand grip. Exhale as you curl the weights up in front of you as high as possible, keeping your elbows glued to your sides. Squeeze your biceps at the top of the move, then inhale as you return to the starting position. Do three sets of 8 to 12 reps.
Incline Dumbbell Curl
Set up an incline bench to about 45 degrees. Hold a dumbbell in each hand held with your arms hanging toward the floor. Keep your elbows glued to your sides. Rotate your wrists so your palms are facing forward, then exhale as you curl up your right arm. At shoulder level, pause and contract your biceps. Slowly return your right arm to the starting position as you inhale. Do the same for the left arm for one repetition. Perform two sets of 8 to 12 reps per side.
Chin-ups are a great way to blast those biceps. Hang from a horizontal pull-up bar with your palms facing you. Use a narrow grip. Keep your back as straight as possible while you stick out your chest. Keep a small arch in your lower back. Exhale and use your arms to pull your body up until your forehead reaches the bar height. Pause for a second, then slowly return to the starting position as you inhale. Do one to two sets of 10 to 15 reps.
- "Strength Training Anatomy"; Frederic Delavier; 2006
- "Bodybuilding Anatomy"; Nick Evans; 2007
- American College of Sports Medicince Resources for the Personal Trainer, 2007
- Ebicep.com: How To Get Big Biceps