Big biceps are one of the most desirable traits for many bodybuilders. Develop your biceps well and they’ll bulge in your clothes, they’ll look like mountains when you tense them, and they’ll give you loads of power when you’re performing a range of movements such as chin ups or curls.
At the same time though, biceps aren’t particularly fun to train. Bicep curls are slow and tiring and most of the other bicep exercises out there are simply variations on this same theme.
Here then we will look at three of the very best bicep exercises that offer something a little bit different from the norm, while at the same time being guaranteed to help you build huge, bulky muscles.
Incline Dumbbell Curls
These may still be curls, but these are biceps curls that are significantly different enough to provide you with a unique type of challenge. Here you will lean back on an incline bench (or anything else you can lean back on) and then pick up your biceps from the floor either side of you. Now you’re going to curl the dumbbells as you would normally before returning them so that your arms are completely straight again after you finish each repetition.
This way you are not only in a much more comfortable position (who doesn’t love sitting down while they perform curls?), but you’re also going to be isolating your biceps (in a more convenient manner than using a preacher curl) and you’re going to be using them in a full 180 degrees of movement. Perform with a slow cadence for the maximum effect.
21s are really three exercises all in one and utilise something called ‘partial reps’. Partial reps are repetitions you perform for the biceps that force you to train through only a portion of your range of motion. With 21s then, you perform 7 repetitions from the bottom to the halfway point, then 7 repetitions from the halfway point to the top, and then 7 repetitions all the way through the movement.
Not only is this a large number of repetitions – which is great for increasing time under tension – but it also forces you to control your movements more and ensures you target each section of the biceps properly. That and it makes a fun change from regular curls.
If like me you hate the traditional bicep curl and find it’s awkward, tiring and painful for your wrists and hands, then drag curls might just be the solution you’re looking for.
With a conventional bicep curl your upper arms stay pretty much still and you pivot completely at the elbow. With the drag curl however you are going to be pulling your elbows backwards at the same time as curling the weight up. If you were to use a barbell this would have the effect of dragging that bar up your body – hence the name.
What this results in is a much more comfortable movement that places less pressure on your wrists, but also one that trains a greater range of movement and is one of the best movements for training the upper head of your biceps. It’s a wonder it’s not known by more people!