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Biceps exercises: This is how you get big biceps too

Are you looking for ways to train and grow your biceps? Want to know how to get that coveted "pump" in your arms? Or are you just interested in the anatomy and function of the bicep muscle? In this blog we take a closer look at everything you need to know about training the biceps, including the anatomy of the muscle and different exercises you can do to make your biceps stronger and bigger. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced fitness enthusiast, this blog will help you learn more about the biceps and how to optimally train this muscle.



What is biceps

The bicep muscle is one of the most well-known muscles in the human body. It is a two-headed muscle located in the front of the upper arm and is responsible for bending the elbow and rotating the forearm. In this blog we take a closer look at the anatomy of the bicep muscle and discuss the different parts of this muscle.

The bicep muscle consists of two parts, the long head and the short head. The long head is the longer of the two and runs from the top of the shoulder blade to the radius (radius bone) in the forearm. The short head extends from the front of the scapula to the radius. The bicep muscle is connected to the forearm by the bicep tendon.

The bicep muscle is innervated by the musculocutaneous nerve. This nerve sends signals to the muscle to move and contract. The blood supply to the bicep muscle comes from the brachial artery.

The function of the bicep muscle is to bend the elbow and rotate the forearm. When bending the elbow, the long head of the bicep muscle is most active. When turning the forearm, the short head is most active.

The bicep muscle is an important muscle for performing daily activities and sports. It is important to train and strengthen this muscle to prevent injury and improve performance.

bicep parts explanation of apexnutrition

Why should you train the bicep?

Firstly, training the biceps is important for a balanced development of your upper body. Strong biceps contribute to better posture and a more confident appearance. In addition, a well-trained biceps ensures better functionality of the elbow and forearm. This can prevent injuries and ensure that you can perform daily activities such as lifting shopping bags or lifting your children without any problems.

In addition, training the biceps can also contribute to improving your sports performance. For example, if you do weightlifting or powerlifting, strong biceps are essential for lifting heavy weights. But a good biceps strength can also come in handy in sports such as climbing, swimming and tennis.

Like triceps, biceps are an important part of our arms. But like triceps, most gym workouts have only a limited effect on the size and strength of our biceps. If you're looking for more specific results, there are specific exercises you can do to train and increase your biceps.

In this blog we will therefore focus on the best exercises for bigger and stronger biceps. Whether you're new to strength training or already have some experience, these exercises are for anyone who's serious about increasing the size and strength of their biceps. So, let's get started


Volume vs Power

It is striking that many avid bodybuilders still do not know exactly how to adjust their training to achieve maximum results in terms of muscle size and muscle strength. For beginners, this is understandable, because most of them simply go to the gym to get bigger and stronger. Often, they achieve these goals without too much effort early in their bodybuilding journey. But advanced bodybuilders know that there comes a point where progress in size and strength levels off and you feel like you're stuck. At that point, it's important to review your workout routine and specialize in specific workouts that challenge you even more.

There are of course exercises that promote muscle size and strength at the same time, but nothing is as effective as targeted training. If you want bigger muscles, focus on that and only then improve your strength.

While the equipment and exercises for both types of workouts are largely the same, it's the training volume, intensity, and rest periods that make the biggest difference. For muscle size or hypertrophy training you need to increase the training volume, with a lower intensity and shorter rest periods than for strength training. To build muscle strength, on the other hand, the training volume must be reduced, but with a higher intensity (more weight) and longer rest periods.

If it's still not entirely clear, training volume simply means the number of sets or reps you do during a workout. Exercise intensity refers to the amount of weight you lift and rest periods are the breaks between sets to allow your body to recover from the physical stress of training. By understanding how these factors influence each other, you can create a training plan that focuses on your specific goals and gives you the best results.


measuring bicep man apexnutrition

Best exercises for big biceps

Below you will find a list of the best scientifically proven exercises for training the biceps. Performing these exercises with proper technique and intensity can help increase bicep muscle size and strength

  1. Barbell curl

The barbell curl is considered one of the best bicep exercises because of the scientific principles of mechanical tension and progressive overload.

Mechanical tension refers to the tension placed on the muscle fibers during an exercise. The barbell curl effectively stretches and activates the bicep, creating mechanical tension on the muscle fibers. This helps stimulate muscle growth and strength gains.

Progressive overload means that the load on the muscles gradually increases to stimulate adaptation and growth. With the barbell curl, you can easily increase the resistance simply by adding more weight to the bar, constantly challenging the muscles to adapt.

In addition, the barbell curl is a compound exercise, meaning multiple muscles are involved in the movement. In addition to the biceps, the forearms, shoulders, and even the core muscles also work to execute and stabilize the movement. This makes it an efficient exercise for building strength and muscle mass in multiple muscle groups at once.


Here's a step-by-step description of how to do the exercise correctly:

  1. Grab a barbell with a shoulder-width grip and keep your elbows close to your body.

  2. Stand up straight with your feet shoulder-width apart and your knees slightly bent.

  3. Keep your wrists straight and your forearms close to your body as you lift the barbell.

  4. Slowly bring the bar up to your shoulders as you exhale, keeping your elbows close to your body.

  5. Hold the position for a second and squeeze your biceps before slowly returning the bar to the starting position as you inhale.

  6. Repeat the movement for the desired number of repetitions.

It is important to perform the exercise in a controlled manner and with a controlled movement. Try not to swing or lift the bar too quickly, as this can compromise the effectiveness of the exercise and lead to injury. Plus, using weights that are too heavy can result in you not performing the movement correctly, so start with a weight you're comfortable with and build up slowly.

barbell curl apexnutrition

Concentration curl

The concentration curl is an isolation exercise for the biceps where you train one arm at a time. This exercise is performed by sitting on a bench with the legs spread, placing a weight plate between the legs and placing the elbow of the arm to be trained on the inner thigh.

Placing the arm this way puts the focus on the biceps and makes it harder to cheat. In addition, the fact that you perform the exercise one arm at a time ensures a higher degree of contraction and tension building in the biceps.

The concentration curl is a versatile exercise because you can adjust the angle and position of the arm to target different areas of the biceps. In addition, it is a safe exercise because the movement can be controlled and there are no heavy weights involved, which reduces the risk of injury.


Below you will find a step-by-step plan for the concentration curl exercise:

  1. Sit on a flat bench with your feet firmly on the floor and grab a dumbbell in your right hand.

  2. Place your elbow on the inside of your right thigh and lean forward slightly.

  3. Fully extend your arm and let the dumbbell hang down.

  4. Keeping your upper arm still, curl the dumbbell toward your shoulder by squeezing your bicep. Exhale as you do this.

  5. Hold the curl position and squeeze your bicep as hard as you can.

  6. Slowly lower the dumbbell back to the starting position as you inhale.

  7. Repeat the movement for the desired number of reps, then switch arms.

concentration curl big biceps apexnutrition

Incline dumbbell curl

The incline dumbbell curl is an effective exercise for training the biceps because it ensures maximum contraction of the muscle fibers. The incline position of the bench moves the arms back, increasing the stretch on the biceps at the start of the exercise. During the concentric phase of the movement, when the dumbbells are lifted, the tension on the biceps is increased, ensuring maximum muscle contraction and effective muscle growth.

Research has also shown that the incline dumbbell curl is one of the most effective exercises for activating the long head of the biceps, which accounts for most of the muscle mass in the biceps. By activating the long head, the incline dumbbell curl can help build mass and develop strong, well-shaped biceps.


Below you will find a step-by-step explanation for performing the incline dumbbell curl:

  1. Start by setting a bench at about a 45-degree angle and lie on it with your back against the backrest and your feet placed firmly on the floor.

  2. Grab a dumbbell in each hand and let them hang at your sides, palms facing out.

  3. Slowly raise the dumbbells toward your shoulders, keeping your elbows firmly against your sides and your upper arms in place.

  4. Keep your wrists stable and curl your hands toward your shoulders as you raise the dumbbells.

  5. Hold the tension on the biceps as the dumbbells reach the top position, then lower the dumbbells back to the starting position in a controlled manner.

Remember: Keep in mind that the weight should not be too heavy to avoid injury and maintain good shape.

image woman bicep incline curl apexnutrition

Hammer curl

The hammer curl is a popular exercise for training the biceps. This exercise aims to strengthen the brachialis muscle, which is located between the biceps and triceps. The brachialis is an important muscle responsible for filling the space between the biceps and triceps and allows for a more complete development of the upper arms.

In addition, the hammer curl can help improve grip strength and prevent injuries in the wrists and elbows. Holding the dumbbells in a neutral position reduces stress on the wrists and makes it possible to perform the exercise more safely.


Below you will find a step-by-step plan for performing the hammer curl exercise:

  1. Stand up straight with a dumbbell in each hand and let your arms hang at your sides with your palms facing each other. Your feet should be shoulder-width apart and your knees slightly bent.

  2. Keeping your elbows close to your body, slowly curl the dumbbells up toward your shoulders by contracting your biceps. Make sure you don't move your elbows out during the exercise.

  3. Squeeze your biceps together at the top of the movement and hold the tension for a few seconds.

  4. Slowly lower the dumbbells back to the starting position while continuing to contract your biceps.

  5. Repeat the movement for the desired number of repetitions.

Note: It is important to perform the exercise in a controlled and slow manner to avoid injury and train the muscles effectively. Also, keep your back straight and your core muscles engaged to support your posture throughout the exercise.

hammer curl guy apexnutrition

preacher curl

The preacher curl is an effective exercise for the biceps because it focuses on the long head of the biceps. In this exercise, the upper arm rests on a preacher curl bench, increasing tension on the biceps and isolating the movement. This means there is less chance of cheating or involving other muscles. In addition, the movement ensures a full contraction of the biceps and stimulates the muscle fibers in the muscles, which leads to more muscle growth.


Here's a step-by-step guide to performing the preacher curl:

  1. Start by setting the preacher curl device to the correct height. Sit on the chair with your chest against the pad and your arms on the cushion.

  2. Place your hands on the bar about shoulder-width apart and keep your elbows close to your body.

  3. Keep your back straight and make sure your shoulders don't rise during the exercise.

  4. Inhale and start lifting the bar up by tensing your biceps. Make sure your elbows stay in place and don't move.

  5. Hold the top of the movement briefly to increase tension on your biceps.

  6. Exhale and lower the bar in a controlled manner to the starting position.

  7. Repeat this movement for the desired number of repetitions.

Drawn picture of a man performing a preacher curl exercise - apexnutrition

Extra exercise (2 persons): 

This exercise is known as the "Apex Partner barbell curl". It is an effective way to train your biceps while also working on cooperation and timing with your training partner. Below is a description of the exercise:

  1. Start by lifting a dumbbell and deciding which of you grabs a wide or wider grip first and which one narrow. Make sure you both have a good grip on the barbell.

  2. The first person starts by doing one repetition while the other rests.

  3. When the first person has completed the repetition, he/she passes the barbell to the other person, who then does two repetitions.

  4. The first person gets the dumbbell back and does three reps, then passes the dumbbell back to the other person who does four reps.

  5. This pattern continues until the first person has done 10 reps and the other person has done 9 reps. From there, you begin a countdown by decreasing one repetition each time.

  6. As you count down, switch grip positions. For example, if the first person starts with a wide grip, he/she switches grips with the other person.

  7. Make sure you don't interrupt each other while passing the barbell. When one person holds the dumbbell, the other person should rest and prepare for his/her set.

  8. After you complete one set, you've already done enough. This way you can quickly do 60 reps in a short time. If you think you can handle another set, good luck!

    Schedule and Ebook for bigger biceps

    Below you will find an example of a bicep schedule of all the above exercises for one day:

    1. Barbell curls: 3 sets x 8-10 reps
    2. Incline dumbbell curls: 3 sets x 10-12 reps
    3. Preacher curls: 3 sets x 10-12 reps
    4. Hammer curls: 3 sets x 10-12 reps
    5. Concentration curls: 3 sets x 10-12 reps

    If you're curious about even more bicep exercises, our E-book definitely something for you! In our ebook you will find an extensive collection of different bicep exercises that you can add to your training schedule. These exercises are based on scientific research and are widely used by professional bodybuilders and fitness athletes.

    Supplements for boosting big biceps

    shilajit en turkesterone are two natural supplements that can help increase biceps. Shilajit is a resinous substance that comes from mountains and is rich in minerals and fulvic acid. It can help increase testosterone levels and improve muscle strength. Turkesterone is a plant-based steroid that comes from the Ajuga Turkestanica plant. It can help stimulate protein synthesis in the muscles and promote muscle growth.

     More biceps tips and exercises? Watch this video: