The best bicep exercises to build stronger and bigger biceps! Five of the best bicep exercises with dumbbells, including standing dumbbell curls, hammer curls and eccentric curls. This workout is a complete bicep burnout to build strong, defined biceps and upper arms.
Want to build more defined biceps at home?
The key to building bicep muscles is lifting heavy weights, and performing reps close to failure.
The drop set format found in today’s workout is particularly helpful if your goal is muscular hypertrophy, or muscle growth.
Repeatedly challenging the same muscle causes the muscle to adapt by growing in strength and size.
Progressive overload is the key to building muscle. Progressive overload is when you gradually increase the: weight (lift heavier), frequency (days per week) or number of repetitions performed. These changes in your strength training routine challenge your muscles in different ways to build strength.
The best bicep exercises hit both heads of the bicep from all angles. The most effective biceps exercises are curl variations, such as a concentration curl, hammer curl, barbell curl, preacher curl or cable curl.
Hammer curls work more arm muscles than standard bicep curls. Thus, hammer curls have been known to build bicep muscles faster. That said, there are several bicep curl variations: hammer curl, reverse curl, Zottman curls. Each variation requires a slight grip change to work a slightly different head of the bicep muscle. The best way to train biceps is to include a variety of these curl variations into your overall training routine.
Muscle fibers need 48 hours to recover after resistance training to prevent overtraining and injury. Alternate bicep workouts with other upper body workouts, such as this tricep workout or back workout. Follow a well-rounded workout routine for the best results.
The five best bicep exercises to build muscle at home. This isolation-style biceps routine requires just a set of dumbbells.
Add upper body workouts like this one to your home training program 1-2 times a week to build muscle mass and increase endurance.
Medium set of dumbbells. I suggest anywhere from 8-25 lbs. I used 15-20 lb dumbbells for this bicep workout.
Follow along with the guided Biceps Workout video on YouTube, led by certified personal trainer, Lindsey Bomgren.
Your Workout Looks Like This:
Note: we re-filmed this biceps workout to improve video and sound quality (and changed up some of the moves). You can find the original best bicep exercises workout video here if you’d like to compare them.
Targets: The biceps brachii (the front of your arms). This move hits both heads of the biceps muscle.
The standard bicep curl is a classic for a reason and can be performed with a variety of equipment. Whether you choose to add cable curls, barbell curls or dumbbell curls to your routine, this is a staple exercise for the front of the arms.
Targets: The long head of the bicep as well as the brachialis (another muscle in the upper arm located at the elbow joint) and the brachioradialis (a forearm muscles).
Targets: The muscles of the forearms, the biceps muscles and rotator cuff. This top half curl variation specifically focuses on the inner or short head of the biceps.
The external rotation through the shoulder joint also strengthens the rotator cuff muscles and increases shoulder stability.
Targets: The long (outer) head of the biceps, and the short (inner) head of the biceps.
Eccentric curls focus specifically on the “lowering” part of the curl motion – which is where the true muscle growth happens.
Targets: The long (or outer) head of the biceps.
Partial reps, like this bottom half curl, are effective at overloading the muscle by increasing time under tension, or the amount of time the muscle is loaded.
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I like this workout I would like it better if cross body curls were added
Hi Cindi! So happy to hear you loved this workout and thanks for the feedback! Keep coming back for more!
Finished it! And now husband will have to deal with the baby cause I can’t lift anything
Yeah Anya! Way to go — seriously arms are so dead after this one! Nice work! -Lindsey
AMAZING. Unbelievably compact workout. I was able to get in a very necessary sweat in such a short amount of time. Very simple moves but so effective.
Cynthia! So glad you liked this Bicep Workout! It’s quick and effective for sure. Nice work and I hope you come back for more challenging home workouts! -Lindsey
I loved this 20 min workout, as I have each of your workouts that I’ve done. Thank you!
Way to go Misi! I’m so glad you’re loving the workouts; keep up the great work and keep coming back for more! -Lindsey
Thank you so much for another fabulous session of blessed bananas! I can’t tell you how much I appreciate the workouts and schedules you post, it takes the indecisiveness out of the equation. Please keep up the awesome work!
Way to go Kate! So glad you liked this Bicep Workout! Yes, I’m a big fan of having a plan (helps take the guesswork and easy option to bypass a workout out of the equation)! Keep up the great work! -Lindsey