Ask 1,000 random lifters in the event that they want extra muscular arms and only a few (sincere) souls will let you know “no.” The biceps are among the many most seen physique elements, and a formidable set of weapons will normally make heads spin.

But there are different advantages to biceps coaching past including slabs of meat beneath your sleeves — improved energy, shoulder stability, and joint well being. (1) Heck, you might even use it to shed some fats.

Credit: Ruslan Shugushev / Shutterstock

People normally envision biceps coaching both as an afterthought after coaching a bigger physique half like their again or verify, or they method it as a part of a pure arms-only gymnasium session consisting primarily of single-joint (isolation) workout routines.

But in the event you’re good and inventive, or in the event you’re in a scenario with subsequent to no gear, you’ll be able to bypass the weights and supply your physique with a refreshing and efficient exercise yielding a great deal of advantages. Whether you don’t go to a gymnasium, are touring overseas, or need to spice issues up, strive one among these weight-free exercises to get your biceps coaching to the subsequent stage.

Best Biceps Workouts

Best Bodyweight-Only Biceps Workout

Training with out weights is getting again to the roots of coaching — with the ability to grasp your individual physique. If you’re bored with lifting iron and need to get again in contact together with your primal self, do that routine. It can be a disgrace to scale back your self to completely single-joint (isolation) workout routines, as a result of the biceps are concerned in numerous actions aside from easy arm flexion.

A person doing a pull up.Credit: Blanscape / Shutterstock

This exercise makes use of a mix of multi-joint workout routines tweaked to focus extra on the biceps, in addition to isolation actions. This will cowl all of this muscle’s capabilities whereas offering one of the best stimulus for energy, muscle development, and fats loss to your physique. Indeed, multi-joint workout routines are usually higher for energy variations and energy spent, whereas single-joint work is nice to enhance the mind-muscle connection or to convey up a particular weak level.

The No-Weight Workout

Perform this exercise as soon as per week for optimum outcomes, after a warm-up. Since you’ll be able to’t enhance the load to progress, you’ll have to make use of different strategies. When you’ll be able to comfortably carry out the specified numbers of repetitions per set, enhance it to the higher bracket of the higher vary. For occasion, if an train requires 12 to fifteen reps, as soon as you are able to do all of your units of 12, attempt to bump them as much as 15. Then, you’ll be able to attempt to add one other set. Finally, you too can scale back relaxation intervals progressively.

Commando Chin-Up

Position your self beneath a pull-up bar and seize it together with your thumbs going through you and also you fingers touching one another. Hang lifeless from the bar and brace your core to stabilize your self. Pull your shoulder blades right down to provoke the motion and bend your elbows to raise your self in direction of the barbell, and goal your head towards the left aspect of the bar.

Aim to the touch the bar together with your proper shoulder. Lower your self down with management again to the beginning place and repeat, this time together with your head towards the proper aspect of the bar and aiming to the touch it together with your left shoulder. Repeat for the specified quantity of reps. The subsequent set, swap fingers in order that the one which was the closest to you on the pull-up bar is now the farthest.

  • Sets and Reps: 4 x 4-8
  • Rest time: Three minutes between units.

Headbanger Chin-Up

Position your self beneath a pull-up bar and seize it utilizing an almost shoulder-width supinated grip (palms going through in direction of you). Brace your core, pack your shoulder blades collectively and down, and pull your self up till your arms are roughly at a 90-degree angle.

Hold that place and begin shifting your physique in direction of and away from the bar by extending and flexing the arms. No different physique half ought to transfer and it ought to appear to be you had been making an attempt to headbutt the bar — don’t do it, although. Repeat this motion for the goal period of time. Because this generally is a difficult train, start with a shorter vary of movement (extending your arms solely partially) and regularly work towards full extension.

  • Sets and Reps: 3 x 30-60 seconds
  • Rest time: Two minutes between units.

Towel Curl

Grab a sturdy towel with each fingers and twist it till it varieties a noodle or spiral. Sit on a chair or a bench, together with your again flat and your chest excessive. Place the middle of the towel beneath one foot and maintain an finish in every hand.

Pin your elbows to your aspect and begin flexing your arms in direction of your face towards resistance utilized by your foot. When you’re on the high and your fingers are close to your shoulders, reverse the movement and slowly lengthen your arms, nonetheless offering rigidity by way of your foot.

  • Sets and Reps: 3 x 10-15
  • Rest time: 90 seconds between units.

Lateral Plank Walk

Get in a plank place with fingers on the ground, each arms prolonged, and your legs straight. Brace your core, pack your shoulders, and hold your physique in a straight line. Take one step to the aspect together with your proper arm and proper foot. Follow in the identical path together with your left hand and foot.

Repeat for just a few steps in the identical path, then reverse to the transfer in the wrong way. Continue for the specified length.

  • Sets and Reps: 3 x 60 seconds
  • Rest time: 60 seconds between units.

Inverted Row

Position your self beneath a doorway pull-up bar set low, a dip bar, beneath a desk, or a sturdy broom positioned between a pair of chairs. Grab the bar utilizing a shoulder-width, pronated grip (palms going through away from you). Brace your core and flex your legs so your physique varieties a straight line.

Bend your elbows and pull your chest in direction of the bar, aiming to the touch it the bar together with your chest. Lower your self with management till your arms are prolonged and repeat for as many reps as you’ll be able to. Try to beat your rating every session.

  • Sets and Reps: 2 x most reps till muscular failure.
  • Rest time: Two minutes.

Best Resistance Band Biceps Workout

Bands are a really fascinating lifting device as a result of they supply accommodating resistance — rigidity and pressure will increase because the band is stretched farther. This kind of resistance permits for a singular feeling and extra coaching prospects. It’s additionally an efficient strategy to complement body weight coaching as a result of bands permit for a wider train election and higher concentrate on some muscle groups. Band coaching can be invaluable for joint and tendon well being. (2)

With such a robust case in favor of resistance band coaching, it’s time to do that biceps exercise to achieve some energy, construct muscle, and assist to shed fats.

One-Band Biceps Workout

Perform this exercise as soon as per week for optimum outcomes, after a warm-up. To progress, you should use a heavier band, or a mix of a number of smaller bands to offer sufficient resistance. You also can play with quantity. For occasion, if an train requires 12 to fifteen reps, when you are able to do all of your units of 12, attempt to bump it as much as 15. Then, you’ll be able to attempt to add one other set. Finally, you too can scale back relaxation intervals every week.

Band-Assisted Chin-Up

Loop a band round a pull-up bar. Hang from the bar utilizing a supinated grip (palms going through you) together with your fingers near shoulder-width. Place your toes on the band, preserving your legs straight. Brace your core, puff your chest, pull your shoulder blades down, and pull your self in direction of the bar by bending your elbows till you contact the bar together with your chest.

Lower your self with management till your arms are straight. Repeat for the specified quantity of repetitions. The band will make the train simpler at first of the motion, permitting you to carry out extra repetitions and barely favor your arms within the motion.

  • Sets and Reps: 3 x 8-12
  • Rest time: Two minutes.

Single-Arm Band Hammer Curl

Stand tall and place one finish of the band beneath your foot. Grab the opposite finish together with your working hand. Keep your elbows at your sides. Bend your elbow and flex your arm towards your face. Only your forearm ought to transfer, not your shoulder.

Contract for a second on the high, then decrease with management to the beginning place. Perform all repetitions on one aspect earlier than switching fingers. To enhance the resistance, maintain each ends of the band in a single hand.

  • Sets and Reps: 3 x 12-15
  • Rest time: 60 seconds between units.

Band Concentration Curl

Attach a band to a sturdy object round ground-level. Sit on a chair close to the band and seize the band together with your closest arm, putting your elbow on the within of your thigh, simply above your knee. Widen your stance to make room to your arm. Bend your elbow and flex your arm towards your face, squeezing for a second on the high.

Slowly lengthen your arm afterwards till it’s straight once more. Repeat for the specified quantity of reps earlier than switching arms. Make certain that no physique half aside from your forearms are shifting throughout the train — don’t squeeze together with your knee to help your arm. To enhance the issue, sit farther from the band’s attachment.

  • Sets and Reps: 3 x 10-12
  • Rest time: 60 seconds between units.

Band Reverse Curl

Step within the middle of a band and seize the ends with each fingers utilizing a pronated (palms going through down), shoulder-width grip. Stand tall, brace your core, and pack your shoulder blades down. Bend your elbows by flexing your biceps to drag the band towards your face. Only transfer your forearms, don’t permit your elbows to maneuver ahead. Keep your palms going through down throughout the train.

Lower your fingers with management till your arms are straight, and repeat for the specified quantity of repetitions. For a extra intense train and a severe burn, you’ll be able to instantly add a number of partial vary repetitions, developing solely midway to totally end off your arms.

  • Sets and Reps: 3 x 15-20
  • Rest time: 90 seconds between units.

The Biceps Muscles

The biceps are in all probability essentially the most identified and most incessantly flexed muscle groups. Developed biceps are largely coveted for an aesthetic objective, however additionally they cowl an array of capabilities for well being and efficiency.

Biceps Brachii

The biceps brachii is the most important arm flexor, the ball of meat in your higher arm. Composed of two heads — therefore its prefix, “bi” — the biceps is connected from the ulna (forearm bone) to the scapula (shoulder blade) going by way of the shoulder complicated.

A person looking at their biceps brachii.Credit: Jasminko Ibrakovic / Shutterstock

It is generally referred to as an arm flexor and supinator (rotating the palm in direction of your face), but in addition contributes to elevating your arms and stabilizing your shoulder and humerus (higher arm bone). Having wholesome and robust biceps is a prerequisite for having upper-body energy and well being.

Brachialis

This muscle is part of the higher arm complicated, and is situated immediately beneath the biceps. It goes from the elbow to the higher humerus, and is just concerned in elbow flexion (bending the arm). It’s truly the strongest arm flexor, not the biceps.

A person looking at their biceps.Credit: ArtFamily / Shutterstock

Developing this muscle can even assist in the event you’re solely all in favour of appears. Making it larger can truly enhance the “peak” of your biceps, by pushing it increased. When you’re lean sufficient, you too can see it for a really spectacular set of weapons. To emphasize this muscle, assume a impartial (hammer) grip throughout curls.

Brachioradialis

The biceps’ different buddy, the brachioradialis, can be connected from the ulna to the humerus. It’s the most important and strongest forearm muscle. It works synergistically with the biceps and the brachialis, aiding in forearm flexion, supination, and pronation (rotating the palms away from you).

A person's a forearm.Credit: Ruslan Shugushev / Shutterstock

Having large and robust forearms is helpful for a lot of workout routines, however also can function a visible phantasm to compensate for shorter biceps by making them look larger. You emphasize this muscle with a pronated (palm down) grip.

Biceps Warm-up

Warming up earlier than a exercise can enhance your efficiency whereas minimizing connective tissue pressure and danger of accidents. (3) It’s very true earlier than doing biceps, because the elbow is a notoriously delicate joint, and a few biceps workout routines contain the shoulder complicated — essentially the most unstable joint in all the physique. 

A very good biceps warm-up ought to at the very least mobilize your biceps and triceps, but when the workout routines require different physique elements, ensure to incorporate them as effectively. Here’s a whole resistance band warm-up to prime your physique earlier than a biceps exercise.

Biceps Band Warm-up

  • Band Over-and-Back: Grab a band with each fingers, utilizing a really broad and pronated (palms down) grip. Stand tall, then hinge on the hips to barely bend ahead whereas preserving your again flat, and maintain this place. While preserving your arms straight, increase the band over your head, then again right down to your decrease again. Return to the beginning place by rotating your arms, nonetheless preserving them straight and beneath rigidity. Perform 15 reps earlier than shifting to the subsequent train.
  • Band Pull-Apart: Stand with a resistance band in your fingers, palm downs. Raise your arms to shoulder stage, in entrance of your chest. Pull the band together with your fingers, bringing them to your sides till it touches your chest. Keep your arms straight the entire time. Return to the beginning place. Perform 15 reps earlier than shifting to the subsequent train.
  • Band Row: Anchor the band to a sturdy merchandise, just below chest-height. Stand tall together with your chest excessive and seize it utilizing a impartial grip (palms going through one another). Pull together with your elbows and squeeze your again as onerous as you’ll be able to till your fingers are at your sides. Revert the movement with management. Perform 15 reps earlier than shifting to the subsequent train. 
  • Band Curl: Step into the band, maintain it together with your palms upwards, arms prolonged. While preserving your physique braced, curl the band towards your face and squeeze your biceps. Extend your arms with management and carry out 15 reps earlier than shifting to the subsequent train.
  • Band Pressdown: Attach the band excessive, at the very least to eye-level. Hold the ends with a pronated grip. Slightly bend ahead at your waist and glue your elbows to your ribs. Completely lengthen your arms down, solely shifting your forearms, and squeeze your triceps. Bring your fingers again to your chest for a complete of 15 repetitions, and carry out all the circuit yet one more time for an intensive warm-up.

Arm Yourself With Bigger Guns

No weights? No issues. You don’t want them to fill your sleeves. Performing these no-weight biceps exercises can enhance your arm dimension, in addition to your energy, and contribute to shedding some fats within the course of. This physique half may be eye-catching, however there’s extra to biceps coaching than meets the eyes.

References

  1. Rodosky MW, Harner CD, Fu FH. The position of the lengthy head of the biceps muscle and superior glenoid labrum in anterior stability of the shoulder. Am J Sports Med. 1994 Jan-Feb;22(1):121-30. doi: 10.1177/036354659402200119. PMID: 8129095.
  2. Kim GJ, Oh H, Lee S, Lee Ok, Kim Ok. Effects of resistance train utilizing the elastic band on the ache and performance of sufferers with degenerative knee arthritis. J Phys Ther Sci. 2020 Jan;32(1):52-54. doi: 10.1589/jpts.32.52. Epub 2020 Jan 22. PMID: 32082029; PMCID: PMC7008024.
  3. Fradkin AJ, Zazryn TR, Smoliga JM. Effects of warming-up on bodily efficiency: a scientific overview with meta-analysis. J Strength Cond Res. 2010 Jan;24(1):140-8. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e3181c643a0. PMID: 19996770.

Featured Image: YAKOBCHUK VIACHESLAV / Shutterstock