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8 Bicep Exercises To Try In The Gym


The biceps are one of the smaller muscles in the body, but they're used in almost every movement that involves your arms and hands. They're also one of the most visible muscles, and are a key area for gym goers who want to look muscular. 

Training your biceps can help to reduce the risk of injury, increase your pulling strength, and create toned, defined arms. 

There are several ways to train your biceps. These muscles naturally get worked in many pulling exercises like lat pulldowns, but if you're serious about growing your biceps, isolation exercises will help to level up your training. 

We're shared our favourite bicep exercises below so you can shake things up next time you're in the gym. 

  1. Barbell Curls

    The bicep curl is essential to any bicep workout.

    Bicep curls improve grip strength, and you’ll need your grip strength for pull-ups and other pull exercises. 

    While dumbbells are a great option for bicep curls, the barbell curl makes it easier to progressively load the weight. 

    Remember to focus on squeezing the biceps as you curl than just focusing on moving the weight.

  2. Hammer Curls

    The hammer curl is similar to a bicep curl, but your palms face together throughout the movement.

    This helps to target the brachialis muscle, which sits on the outside of your upper arm next to the bicep. If your goal is bigger, stronger arms, this is definitely an exercise to try. 

  3. Seated Dumbbell Curls

    Seated dumbbell curls help you to isolate your biceps as you can't rely on momentum from the body to drive the movement. it also helps to stabilise your body so you can concentrate on your reps.

    Seated curls also let you work your arms if you have a leg problem or injury that prevents you from standing. 

  4. EZ-Bar Curls

    EZ-Bar curls, which has an undulating handle, is a good alternative if you feel strain on your wrists performing curls with a straight bar.

    According to a study in the Journal of Life And Environmental Sciences, it can stimulate greater muscle activation in your biceps than a barbell or dumbbells so if you want grow your biceps, this exercise is worth giving a go.

  5. Isometric Hold Alternating Curls

    Adding an isometric hold adds an extra layer to your bicep curl and causes the muscle to fatigue quicker, which is key to hypetrophy. 

    It also builds isometric strength, which can be useful in everyday life. 

  6. Prone Curls

    Prone curls target the short head of the biceps brachii muscle. Similar to the seated bicep curl, this exercise isolates the biceps by increasing stability and removing sway.

  7. Zottman Curls

    Named after a strongman, the Zottman curl can allow you to load more weight than you would for a regular reverse curl. 

    With the slow eccentric phase in this exercise, it's a great one to consider including in your routine if you want to build your biceps and forearms at the same time.

  8. Cable Bicep Curl

    Using a cable machine for this exercise changes the centre of gravity and creates constant tension on the muscle, which means the biceps work harder and fatigue quicker. It's a great variation for both strength and hypetrophy.

For more bicep exercises, including detailed how to's, check out our bicep exercise guides here

Find your nearest PureGym here and get access to the best kit for all your gym goals. 

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