The 3 Best Biceps Exercises for Muscle Growth

Best Biceps Exercises for Muscle Growth

Summer is here, which means it’s time for board shorts, bikinis and tank tops, so it’s no surprise that in addition to a nice set of abs, the coveted biceps really bring home the idea of a summer physique. If you’re interested in showing off toned arms this summer, here are the top three biceps exercises for muscle growth.

The Chin-up

Although commonly viewed as a back exercise, the supinated hand position and adducted position of the humerus combined with the sheer load of one’s body weight, directly recruits and activates the biceps. The compound nature of the exercise allows for higher load volumes to be directed to the biceps while also stimulating a greater hormonal response then an isolated curl movement.

Cable Bar Bicep Curl

The cable curl is unique in that it allows for an evenly applied resistance throughout a full range of motion unlike a traditional barbell or dumbbell curl in which gravity changes the load based upon the location of the lever arm in relationship to space. This means that the top and bottom range of a traditional free weight bicep curl will not have the same recruitment and activation capabilities on the bicep as will the cable bicep curl, which makes this exercise superior.

Concentration Curl

The concentration curl is arguably the most effective exercise for training and activating the biceps. The concentration curl may have been around since the days of Arnold, but the classic bodybuilders of our time may had been onto something. A study by the American Council on Exercise indicated that of eight popular biceps exercises, the concentration curl elicited the highest activation of the biceps brachii over all other exercises. This result is partially due to the activation of synergist muscles during most bicep curl exercises. The anterior deltoid and brachioradialis are highly involved in most arm flexion exercises, but when the arm is positioned up against the leg which isolates and stabilizes it so that the anterior deltoid does not become activated-the end result being a greater effective load placed directly onto the bicep brachii.

It is important to note that although exercise selection plays a role in a muscle hypertrophy program, there are more important factors related to muscle growth and training adaptations such as program adherence, periodization, volume, frequency and intensity. For a training program to be optimal and successful, these factors should be evaluated and programmed prior to selecting which exercises to perform.


About the Author

, Celebrity Personal Trainer and Fitness & Nutrition Expert headquartered in Scottsdale, AZ. He specializes in helping men and women achieve weight loss, muscle building, toning and other customized fitness & nutrition programs to create a Healthy Lifestyle. James offers private luxury personal training, 12-week custom workout plans, and personalized nutrition meal plans. Follow on Google+.

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