By using the PureGym site, you agree with our use of cookies. Find out more.

Skip to main content

8 bicep exercises to try in the gym


Bulk up your biceps.

The biceps are one of the smaller muscles in the body, but the most loved.

If you’re striving for signature peaks, try these exercises to bulk up your biceps.  


Bicep 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. 

Why we like the bicep curl: It’s simple, effective, and almost anyone can do it. 

Watch this video on how to do a bicep curl.


Hammer curl

The hammer curl targets the brachialis muscle, which is on the outside of your upper arms next to the biceps. If you want bigger upper arms, you’ll want to target your brachialis muscles. 

Try the hammer curl, which is similar to a bicep curl, but you hold the dumbbells with your palms facing each other throughout the movement.


Seated dumbbell curls

Seated dumbbell curls help you to isolate your biceps. Using a chair will 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. 


Straight bar cable curls

Straight bar cable curls are a good alternative if you don’t like free weights. 

The constant resistance on both the upward curl and the return motion will help to isolate your biceps.

Cable machines offer fluid and natural movements that let you work through the full range of motion.


Preacher curl

Preacher curls are a great way to improve your form since you can’t swing your arms as much as you do with a standing or seated bicep curl.

Preacher curls force you into negative movement. A negative movement is where a muscle is being lowered or lengthened. These movements are vital for muscle growth and improved strength. 

See our post for more fitness terms explained.


Cross body dumbbell curl

The cross body hammer (dumbbell) curl specifically builds your forearms by targeting the muscles between your tricep and bicep. 

Cross body dumbbell curls are not normal bicep curls. The angle of the lift, curl, and the direction of your palms are different. 

It’s a good idea to master bicep curls before trying this exercise.


All blog posts