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Biceps Brachii Exercises

author image Laura Niedziocha
Laura Niedziocha began her writing career in 2007. She has contributed material to the Stoneking Physical Therapy and Wellness Center in Lambertville, N.J., and her work has appeared in various online publications. Niedziocha graduated from Temple University with a Bachelor of Science in exercise science. She also has her Associate of Arts in communications from the Community College of Philadelphia.
Biceps Brachii Exercises
A man in a tank top does curls in a gym as he looks at himself in the mirror.. Photo Credit: Wavebreakmedia/iStock/Getty Images

Picture someone showing off their muscles, envisioning the person revealing popping biceps muscles. The muscles termed short head and long head make up the biceps brachii. The biceps rest on the upper arm, starting their connection to the body on the scapula and running downward and inserting into the forearm, more specifically, the radius bone. You can do certain exercises to train your biceps muscles.

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Barbell Curls

Barbell biceps curls are an effective exercise to do to build up your biceps. Start with a barbell in both hands, holding it with a supine grip, palms facing out. Keep your feet shoulder-width apart and your knees soft. Slowly curl the barbell up toward your shoulders, hold it there for one second and then slowly bring it back down to the starting position.

Hammer Curls

Hammer curls are a variation of the traditional bicep curl. This exercise is done with a set of dumbbells rather than a barbell. Take a dumbbell in each hand, and standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and knees soft, keep your arms down at your sides and palms facing your sides. Slowly curl the weights up to your shoulders, keeping your palms facing one another, hold for one second and then lower them back down.

Incline Dumbbell Curls

The incline dumbbell curl is a regular dumbbell curl, only you are now sitting back on an incline. This allows your arm to hang, which stretches out your bicep, making it work harder. To begin the exercise, sit on an incline bench with your feet flat on the floor. Allow each arm to hang by your side and, one at a time, curl the dumbbell up.

Cable Curls

Having access to a cable machines allows you to target your biceps muscles without the use of free weights. Stand in front of the machine, set your desired weight and take a handle or the bar in each hand. Using the same arm motion as a barbell curl, pull the bar from your thighs toward your shoulders, and then slowly return it to the starting position.


The reps and sets you use for these exercises depends on your goals. If you are trying to hypertrophy your biceps muscles, work toward a higher weight with lower repetitions. If you are trying to get toned muscles, work with a lighter weight and higher sets and reps -- for example, one to three sets of 10 to 15 repetitions.

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