Today we're going to continue the "Forced Growth" series and focus on increasing the size of your biceps with three very specific exercises.
Keep in mind that nothing compares to BASIC exercises such as the Dumbbell Curl or the Barbell Curl but once your body adapts to those movement patterns, it can be very beneficial to attack your biceps from a different angle to spark new growth.
So, if your workout has recently become a bit stale, or maybe if you’ve hit a plateau, give these 3 exercises a try!
Exercise #1 – Spider Curl
You may have seen this exercise before but maybe you skipped it because you couldn’t lift as heavy compared to the traditional Barbell Curl.
Remember guys, weight is not the only important factor whenit comes to building muscle. The added benefit of the Spider Curl is that it forces you to hold your arms in front of your torso as you curl the weight which creates a much harder contraction in your biceps at the top of the movement.
This leads to two very specific benefits:
Benefit #1 – Greater Mind-Muscle Connection: This leads to more bloodflow into the muscle, thus stretching and expanding the fascia and forcing more growth.
Benefit #2 – Targeting The Biceps More Directly: More specifically, you’ll be able to engage the short head of the biceps much better compared to a standing or seated bicep curl.
Exercise #2 – Dumbbell Waiter Curl
Remember how the Spider Curl engages more of the short head of the biceps? Well, now the Waiter Curl will place more emphasis on the long head or the outside of the biceps.
All you need to do is hold a single dumbbell with your hands open and together (palms facing up).
It’s actually very important that you keep your palms facing up throughout the entire range of motion, and if done correctly, you should feel the peak of your biceps contract very hard at the top of the movement.
Also, make sure your elbows are always in front of your hips and perhaps pause for a brief second at the bottom of the curl to ensure you are getting the full stretch on the biceps.
Exercise #3 – Biceps-Focused Chin-Up
For this exercise, we are going to alter the form of the traditional Chin-Up to better focus on the biceps, rather than the lats.
Normally, when you perform a Chin-Up, you would keep the same vertical movement pattern that you would have during a Pull-Up. So, to make this exercise more BICEPS-focused, I want you to lean back and try to pull your chest to the bar by using your biceps as much as possible.
At first, it might feel weird but try to pull the bar to your chest, as opposed to the other way around. Trust me, it’s going to feel right!
PRO TIP: You could also use a resistance band to help you get the hang of the exercise better and to “lessen” your bodyweight, helping you do more reps.
Bonus Exercise – Standing Double Biceps Curl
Start by bringing the pulleys a bit higher than your head and once your grab the handles, step back a bit so that your arms can fully extend.
From here, focus on keeping your elbows UP while curling the handles as close to your head as possible. If done correctly, you should feel the entire biceps engage and contract, with a bit more emphasis on the short head.
Also, it might be smart to train one arm at a time to better focus and isolate each side individually!