Michael is an online fitness writer who's an expert in strength training exercises.
The biceps are the muscles between your shoulder and your elbow on the front of your arm. Pulling works the biceps. You can pull something towards yourself or pull your body towards something. If you work the muscles hard and then give them time to recover, the muscles will gradually adapt by becoming bigger and stronger.
People often do dumbbell or barbell curls to workout their biceps. If you have enough weight and don't get too bored, it is a good exercise for building large hard biceps. Just make sure you work at increasing your strength and endurance. If you want some variety or don't have the weights consider trying some other bicep exercises. Strength training is better for increasing the size of your muscles than endurance training. If you can do more than 12 reps, then consider increasing the resistance.
The movements should be slow and steady. Try not to sway or use momentum. Since the objective is to become stronger, make sure you continue to increase the intensity of the workout. Change the number of reps, the resistance or number of sets.
Bicep Curls Without Dumbbells or Barbells
Curls should be part of your biceps workout. So if you don't own weights that are heavy enough, you should make your own. Weight is weight. Just find something heavy to curl. A heavy log would work. Another option is to fill up a backpack or a duffle bag. It is not difficult to fill a backpack or duffle bag so it weighs 30 pounds. To make it easier on your hands and to make it less awkward, you can use a towel.
While using a duffle bag, I noticed it was hitting my elbow and hurting my hand. So I put a towel through the straps and held on to the towel. It made it less awkward. I could curl it without hitting my elbow, and it was easier on my hands.
You can pull your body up into the air for exercise. Pull-ups and chin-ups can provide you with a good bicep workout but they also work your shoulders, back, abs, chest and triceps. They don't focus on your biceps. If you don't have a suitable bar to grab onto you can use a tree branch. A branch can work just as well as a bar. Even if you don't pull yourself up all the way you still work your biceps.
Pull-ups use an overhand grip. Palms facing away. Chin-ups use an underhand grip. Palms are facing you. Chin-ups work your biceps much more than pull-ups. Hands should be shoulder-width apart. A wide grip will not work your biceps enough.
If you are going to do one you might as well do both. Just focus more on the chin-ups. You can increase the weight by wearing a heavy backpack if you feel your body weight is not enough. When adding extra weight only add a little more at a time so you don't hurt yourself. Another way to increase the weight is to use one hand. The problem with switching to one hand is that is a very big change. It is better to increase the weight gradually.
Climbing can also provide you with a good workout because you are pulling yourself up. If you have a safe place to climb consider adding it to your bicep workout routine. Pull yourself up with your hands instead of pushing with your feet. Climbing a rope is difficult but it is a great way to build large biceps.
Upside down or reverse push-ups are done on your back and you pull instead of push. It can also be called an horizontal chin up. Since you are pulling it works your biceps. The problem with this exercise is that you need a bar to grab onto and you don't lift very much of your body weight. It is an option but I would not use it in my exercise routine. Pull-ups and chin-ups are much better exercises.
Lying lat pulls are basically horizontal pull-ups on the floor. Put a towel down on a smooth floor and lay on it. Do the exercise by pulling yourself forward and then push yourself back. The pulling works your biceps, and the pushing works your triceps. It looks silly, but it can be almost as hard as pulling yourself up. Try it yourself. It is actually a good exercise.
If you can't do chin-ups, I recommend you include the lying lat pulls in your workout. You can make the lat pulls easier by lifting your feet. To make them more difficult you can add more.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.