For some, bicep size is an important part of looking and feeling fit. There are lots of things you can do to make your biceps bigger, but the most important factor is exercising with the right workouts, intensity and frequency. To achieve optimal results, it is also important to eat right and stretch the muscle to achieve full range of motion during exercise. If your goal is to build lean muscle mass in your arms, there are simple steps you can follow to get bigger, muscular biceps.
Exercises for Bigger Biceps
Sit on a preacher-curl bench and place the backs of your arms on the padded, declined surface. Extend your arms until your elbows are slightly bent. Grasp an EZ-bar with and underhand grip at shoulder width. Perform preacher curls by lifting the bar until the forearms are vertical, pausing, and then returning slowly to the starting position. Repeat for three sets of six to 12 repetitions each.
Stand with a dumbbell in each hand with elbows slightly bent. Hold the dumbbells parallel to each other, and with palms facing inward. Perform hammer curls by lifting the dumbbells until they almost touch the shoulders, pause and return slowly to the starting position. Make sure the elbows do not change position during the movement. Repeat for three sets of six to 12 repetitions each.
Grasp an EZ-bar with a narrow grip and hold at hip-level with elbows slightly bent. Perform close-grip EZ-bar curls by lifting the bar until the forearms are vertical, pausing and returning slowly to the starting position. Make sure the elbows remain in one place during the movement. Repeat for three sets of six to 12 repetitions each.
Frequency, Stretching and Diet
Train your biceps twice per week to achieve optimal results in strength and size. Training less often than this will not allow you to achieve quick results. Training more often than two times per week will not give your biceps enough recovery time to build, and will likely cause overuse injuries, which will slow your progress. Vary your bicep exercises to achieve the best results.
Perform a doorway bicep stretch to increase the muscle’s flexibility, which is necessary to complete a full range of motion during exercise and work the entire muscle evenly. Stand beside the edge of a wall or in a doorway and place your forearm and palm against the wall. Hold your arm straight and parallel to the floor, then slowly turn your torso to face away from the arm. Hold for up to 20 seconds, then repeat with the opposite arm. Do this stretch after every bicep training session.
Eat low-fat, protein-rich foods like turkey, chicken, fish and lean beef before and after training sessions to help your body recover from the workout and give it the fuel to build muscle size. You may also supplement your protein intake with a smoothie enriched with protein powders, avocado or Greek-style yogurt immediately following a vigorous workout. (Reference 1)
- NSCA’s Essentials of Personal Training, Second Edition; Jared W. Coburn and Moh H. Malek
- Strength Training Anatomy, Third Edition; Frederic Delavier
- ExRx.net: Upper Arm
- MuscleandStrength.com: Close Grip EZ Bar Curl Video Guide