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5 Best Bicep Exercises

13th Dec 19

Building bigger and stronger biceps is one of the most sought-after goals in weight training. They’re just one of those muscles that everyone wants. To get the size and strength you’re looking for, though, you need to give yourself a fighting chance. To do that, you need to find yourself the best bicep exercises out there…like these.

Since they’re such a common focal point for many gym-goers and home exercisers alike, how do you get that extra definition on them or lift that extra weight? Well, we have the answer.

Want to move fast? Jump to the right section below.

Incline Dumbbell Curl

woman in the gym doing Incline Dumbbell Curl on a weight bench

We have to start the list with one of the best bicep exercises ever imagined, and that’s the incline dumbbell curl. It’s just an absolute pillar of bicep exercise. As long as you have an incline bench and a good level of weight, you’re set. The incline only makes things better by making sure you use the long head of your bicep rather than the short head as usual. It’s a great way to catapult your arm size.

To perform this one, you need to be on an inclined weight bench and perform the classic dumbbell curl technique, keeping your arms as stable as possible and essentially keeping your elbows in one place so that they simply pivot rather than swing. That prevents momentum building and allows a much better muscle contraction and overloading the muscles in an intended way.

Hammer Curls

man doing Hammer Curls with dumbbells to build bicep muscle

Number 2 on the best bicep exercises list has to be the hammer curls. The variation they offer such a classic icon of weight training is just hard to forget about, and it can make a huge change to your workouts. They need dumbbells because of the grip, of course, but most good bicep exercises do in all fairness.

To do them correctly, you should probably already have most of the technique nailed. It follows the same guidelines as a standard bicep curl (but here’s more on that if you need it). The only real difference here is the neutral grip. That adds a whole new level of muscle activation and means that again you’re hitting both heads of the bicep with is something that’s really hard to do. Make the most of the change.

Concentration Curls

man in the gym doing Concentration Curls with dumbbells

As the name suggests, Concentration curls really are the king of isolating the biceps when it comes to any bicep exercises. There’s much less use of the rear deltoids than there is with other bicep exercises because of the stability and position being used. That’s what makes it so awesomely effective, but it does make it a huge challenge too.

The technique can be a little bit tricky to perfect for the concentration curl, but the mechanics across all of these exercises are pretty similar. Press your elbow and tricep against (but not resting on) your thigh. Then, perform a long, slow movement from relaxed to contraction and back again. Time under tension is vital!

Preacher Curls

man doing Preacher Curls with a barbell and weights

The preacher curl has to be in here too. It’s just phenomenal at what it does to your arms. It’s a lot like the concentration curl, but with a little less natural movement and a little easier overload. They’re really tough, but they work! All of this comes together, making it a useful tool in your bicep building arsenal.

The equipment really makes sure you have no support from anything you shouldn’t, and your biceps are hit hard. Make sure you don’t try and lean back at all and concentrate your fire as much as possible.

Chin Ups

woman doing chin ups to improve bicep strength

With the addition of a pull-up bar, it’s easy to get out of the habit that curls may put you in and give you a much more natural range of movement whilst still doing effective work on your biceps. They’re even better than bicep curls a lot of the time! (Here’s the article about it!)

This exercise doesn’t isolate the biceps like some others have managed to on this list, but it still gives them an incredible workload and allows for huge growth if done right. It still uses muscles in the back, but the biceps are by far the biggest contributor!

When it comes to chin-ups, the common issues are mostly based on completing a rep with good form, so be careful. A full repetition is focused on actually raising yourself until your chin is above the bar and relaxing until your arms are straight. Half reps will get you nowhere, so makes sure you focus on technique rather than how many you think you can do.

All of these awesome bicep exercises will put your arms through their paces, but they are all incredibly effective. Try them out and see which are the best suited for your workout, but don’t rule any of them out!


Before beginning any exercise or nutrition program, consult your physician, doctor or other professional. This is especially important for individuals over the age of 35 or persons with pre-existing health problems. assumes no responsibility for personal injury or property damage sustained using our advice.

If you experience dizziness, nausea, chest pain, or any other abnormal symptoms, stop the workout at once and consult a physician or doctor immediately.