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Build Muscle With These Bicep Exercises

Aug 31, 2008
The most effective bicep exercises to build muscle

If you want to build muscle in your biceps, here are the best bicep exercises for building muscle.

Standing straight-bar curls

This is, without a doubt, the best overall bicep exercise you can do to build muscle.

It is the epitome of this muscle building program we are doing, which are low reps of heavy, intense, basic compound movements. Standing straight-bar curls allow you to directly hit the biceps with a great degree of overload.

Stand with your feet about shoulder width apart. Space your hands shoulder width and grip the bar with an underhand grip.

Begin with your arms straight, biceps fully extended, and your upper body leaning slightly forward. With an explosive motion, curl the weight towards you contracting the biceps.

During the curling motion, move your upper body back to an upright position. With control, lower the weight back to its original position getting a good stretch and lean slightly forward.

To make these the most effective at muscle building they can be, you need to lower the weight twice as slowly as you raise it.

Most of the muscle fiber stimulation actually occurs on the negative, or lowering, portion of the exercise.

So don't just let the weight drop. This will not allow you to build muscle in the biceps as well. Control it all the way down.

Also, make sure you lower the weight all the way down so that the bar is touching your legs.

Do not get into the habit of doing partial reps on curls. You need a full range of motion in order to work the bicep.

Remember, the lowering portion actually works the biceps more than the lifting, so why wouldn't you want to increase the range of motion and go all the way down with the bar?

If for whatever reason these straight-bar curls create a lot of stress to your wrists, try using the curved curl bar. The positioning of the wrists will reduce much of the tension.

Standing alternating dumbbell curls

These will also help you build muscle in the biceps.Hold the dumbbells at your side with your palms facing each other.

Curl one dumbbell at a time rotating your palm forward as you lift the weight.

After fully contracting the bicep, lower the dumbbell under control rotating your hand back to its original position.

Repeat the same steps with the opposite arm. Alternate back and forth until you have completed your reps.

Normally I am not an advocate for many 1-arm movements for muscle building, but this one is great for creating overload to the biceps.

These should be done standing, for several reasons. First, you should be able to lift more weight if you are standing versus seated. More weight means more overload.

Also, sitting down while performing these could add unnecessary stress to the lower back you do not need. These add a different twist than do straight-bar curls.

With dumbbells, you can twist your wrist at the top of the exercise, when you contract the bicep.

This twist of the wrist on the way up allows you to more fully contract the bicep, which will help you build muscle at the peak of the bicep.

Once again, it is very important that you lower the weight twice as slowly as you raise it. Also, allow one arm to be completely done its repetition before lifting the other arm.

I see many people start to raise and curl one arm before the other one is even done. It is all right to cheat a bit on your last, heavy set of these.

Try to get as many reps with good form as you can, but the last few you can cheat a bit by swinging the weight up a bit.

Do this only after fatigue has set in with proper form. These extra cheat reps cause additional overload to the biceps.

The combination of these two bicep exercises will allow you to gain strength and build muscle in your arms more so than any other bicep exercises.

They are both included in every single bicep muscle building workout that I do.

In fact, many bicep workouts I do only include these two exercises and yet they have allowed me to add inches to my arms in a short amount of time.
About the Author
Shawn LeBrun is a personal trainer, natural bodybuilder, and author of the top-selling muscle building program Simple Steps To Get Huge And Shredded.
For a step-by-step guide to build muscle, check out Simple Steps...http://www.shawnlebrunfitness.com
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