The Best Exercise to Develop a Bicep Peak

Close-up of a young man touching a woman's bicep
Bicep (Image: Medioimages/Photodisc/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Building big, defined biceps is extremely important if you wish to compete in bodybuilding or just want to look better on the beach. While the shape of your biceps is governed by genetics to a certain extent, you can build a bigger peak with the right exercises. There is no one-size-fits-all best biceps peak exercise, but for many people, preacher curls can be an extremely effective peak developer. Consult a fitness professional before doing any new exercises.

Preacher Curls

Set a preacher bench so that your armpits can rest snugly over the top of the pad. Start the movement with your triceps in full contact with the bench, your arms hanging straight, and a barbell in your hands. Curl the bar up by forcefully contracting your biceps muscles, until your hands are level with your shoulders, while maintaining arm contact with the pad. Pause for a second, then lower the bar slowly to full elbow extension. Charles Poliquin, owner of the Poliquin Performance Center, advises keeping your wrists cocked back at all times when doing biceps movements, because this takes stress away from your forearms and places it onto your biceps.

Anatomy

The reason preacher curls work so well to develop your biceps peak is because they hit the long head of your biceps. According to Tim Henriques, director of the National Personal Training Institute of Virginia, the long head is on the outside of your arm and sits underneath the bulk of your biceps muscle. Making it bigger pushes your biceps up, giving you a well-defined peak.

Variations

There are many variations of the preacher curl that you can do to keep your training fresh. You can use dumbbells, barbells, hammer bars or EZ bars, or try using a cable machine. Set your bench up in front of a cable station, then use either V-shaped, straight, cambered or rope handles. Poliquin recommends changing your exercises every six workouts, so that you don't adapt to them. This means that you should do one preacher curl variation for six workouts, then move on to another for the next six.

Programming

To bring up your biceps peak, train your biceps twice per week, and start each session with preacher curls. In the first session of the week, do five sets of five reps, and in the second, do three sets of 10. Aim to add a small amount of weight, or increase the number of reps you do in every workout. Follow this up with other biceps peak exercises, like incline dumbbell curls and straight bar curls.

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