Correct biceps training: what exercises work

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

Anatomy of the biceps

The biceps or biceps muscle of the shoulder is anatomically located on the radius and is clearly visible under the skin. The main purpose is to bend the arm at the shoulder joint. Antagonist – triceps.

Structure and function

Based on the name (bi is two), consists of two heads:

  • A long head with a long tendon and a short muscle on the inside of the arm.
  • Short: with a long muscle, but a short tendon, which is located on the outer part of the arm.

Both heads are connected in the same tendon, but due to the fact that this tendon is located closer to the side, the biceps can not only bend and flex the arm but also expand (supine) your palm.

Is it possible to pump biceps at home?

I will answer shortly – it is possible but difficult. If you want to significantly increase the volume of your biceps, then you should at least: proportionally increase the volume of other muscle groups and purchase the minimum inventory (at least dumbbells).

If we are talking about not just strengthening the muscle, but pumping it in, then practicing at home without inventory is a waste of time. Maybe the result will be, and I am sure that you can find examples. However, they could be achieved much faster in the gym.

Technique and types of exercises for pumping biceps

Personally, I prefer to work with a free weight without simulators. I will highlight the most effective types of exercises:

  1. Lifting barbell for biceps. Starting position – legs shoulder-width apart, knees bent. We equip the barbell, palms are directed outwards. While inhaling, we raise the barbell, making sure that the shoulders do not move. Exercise is insulating and works perfectly biceps.
  2. Lifting the barbell biceps reverse grip. The main difference from the previous version is that the palms are turned in the opposite direction. The meaning of the exercise is an additional study of the shoulder muscles.
  3. Hammer bend. Or a hammer. We take dumbbells in our hands and perform flexion with palms parallel to each other (as if we were beating with a hammer). My favorite exercise.
  4. Lifting dumbbells with supination. The same lifting of dumbbells, only with the turn of the hand in the process of flexion and extension. Due to the greater stretching allows you to work the better muscle.
  5. Lifting dumbbells on the bench. We have a hand on the bench, the back is straight. Sit comfortably. On the exhale we make a lift. Do not tear off the inside of the arm from the bench.

There are still many different variations of exercises, such as lifting dumbbells sitting or lying, working on the Scott bench, and others. However, those that I have identified can be considered almost basic for biceps.

Training example

Before you go to the immediate analysis of training and exercise, I want to note one thing. You should not swing only one biceps in isolation from other groups. Firstly, this is stupid, and secondly, it will not grow. Correctly integrate biceps exercises into a general workout and evenly distribute the load. From my own experience I want to say that the following bundles work great:

  • Biceps and triceps.
  • Chest and biceps.
  • Back and biceps.

In order to effectively increase the volume of biceps, you should create a muscular springboard with basic multi-joint exercises (pull-ups, bench press, deadlift, etc.). Only in this case, a good progression is possible. If you come to the gym to shake only the biceps and abs, better not come. Biceps is small muscle that does not like long and heavy loads. Constantly “bombing biceps” you just destroy it.

At home

At home, everything goes into battle. In the courtyard of the horizontal bar – do pull-ups on the horizontal bar reverse grip. In the presence of dumbbells – a hammer and concentrated lifts lying down or sitting waiting for you. There are loops with straps – go to the rubber barriers.

An example of a biceps and triceps workout at home, for those who want big hands:

  1. Warm-up for 3-5 minutes. As a warm-up, you can use jogging (including on-site), work on a stationary bike at an average pace. I personally prefer the good old rope. We pay special attention to the joints and muscles, warm up properly.
  2. Pull up alternately, normal and reverse grip. 3 sets of 6-12 reps.
  3. Push-ups from the floor narrow and wide grip. 3 sets of 15-20 reps.
  4. Push-ups on the bars, which everyone has in the yard. 10-15 repetitions, 3 sets.
  5. Hammer with dumbbells (or something heavy), 3 sets, 8-10 reps.
  6. Concentrated dumbbell lifts. We sit down on a bench (sofa), rest the elbow on the knee, and raise the dumbbell. 8-12 repetitions of 3 sets.
  7. Hitch. Stretch well and go to the shower.

Remember: work on the mass, then pay attention to all muscle groups.

In the gym

Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko from Pexels

In the presence of simulators and sports equipment, things are much better. Here is an example of a working bundle of exercises on the biceps:

  1. Lifting the bar standing.

2. Lifting the rod reverse grip.

3. Hammer with dumbbells.

I give an example of training on pulling muscle groups (back + biceps):

  1. Warm-up Rope, running, working with a bag for boxing fans. High-quality stretching. Choose what you want, the main thing is that before you start you are hot.
  2. Thrust rod in the slope on the back. If an experienced athlete, do a deadlift. 3 to 6-12.
  3. Dumbbell in the slope, 3 to 8-12.
  4. Pull-ups on the horizontal bar with direct and reverse grip alternately, 3 sets of 10-12 times.
  5. Lifting the bar standing, 3 to 8-12.
  6. Hammer. 3 to 8-14 for each hand. You can work to failure. This is called pumping.
  7. Hitch, you’re handsome. Take a shower.

Perform more than 3 exercises on one group, especially on such small as the biceps are not worth it.

Training Tips


Warm-up well, give it at least 5 minutes. Stretch well and disperse the blood.

Approaches and repetitions

The number of approaches is from 2-3 for each exercise. The number of repetitions from 6-12. Focus on your own feelings and choose the weight so that you can finish the approach in 1-2 repetitions to failure.

How often to pump biceps

Two-three times a week. No more and no less. Strongly biceps do not load, otherwise goodbye progress and hello injuries.

Why biceps hurts after training

Muscle ache after exercise is normal. The growth process starts after the muscle is damaged during the work. Through growth, the body compensates for these gaps and adds a little higher on the next time to better cope with the load. The pain usually goes away after a few weeks, and the fact of discomfort means that the muscles adapt to the loads.

What to do if I can not straighten my arms after training the biceps

If your hands are not unbending, the reasons may be as follows: you have rested too long and your muscles have lost the habit, or you have gone over the exertion. Nothing wrong with that, beginners often feel like after the first workouts. After a couple of weeks, the discomfort most often disappears.

Nutrition and sports supplements

You want a big biceps – eat a lot of protein and carbohydrates. And drink a lot of water. From sports nutrition – amino acids, protein, creatine to help you. All this will help build quality muscle mass.

Tips and common mistakes

  1. Put the technique. Do not be afraid to ask for advice or help from a coach. Watch yourself in the mirror. If you train at home – watch the video training.
  2. When lifting barbells or dumbbells do not help yourself with other muscles.

Shoulders should be immobile. Cheating is possible only at extreme repetitions.

    3. Right breathe, exhale on the effort.

    4. Do not chase the scales, do not traumatize yourself beyond measure. Learn to do the exercise correctly before you increase your weight.

    5. The main thing for biceps training is the ability to feel and properly reduce it.

    6. Learn to do it, and you can work it out better.

    7. Sign up already in the hall or buy a barbell. Take care of yourself. Houses 40 cm biceps you will not do.

    8. Work with free weights prefer to work on machines.

    9. Have a good rest after training, sleep for 9-10 hours. While you sleep – the mass grows.

What results to hope for?

Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko from Pexels

Before starting the complex, be sure to measure your biceps separately for each arm. In a month, there will certainly be an increase, a normal growth rate of about 0.5 cm \ month.




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