Many people spend countless hours at the gym working on their arms. The arms, shoulders, and chest are the “glamor muscles”, the ones that make you look good in a tight T-shirt, tank top, or sports bra. To look fit, it’s always best to have big arms. Sadly, the arm muscles–and the biceps especially–are some of the hardest to enlarge. It’s going to take a lot of work to build big biceps, but the tips below can help you out:
Do Incline Curls
You may do all the barbell curls, preacher curls, and hammer curls in the world, but that’s still not hitting your entire biceps muscle effectively. Remember that there are two heads (ends) to the biceps. If your elbows are IN FRONT of your body during the curl, you work the top head (connected near your shoulder). To work the bottom head (connected near your elbow), you need to do incline curls. It will help to swell the size of your arms visibly, giving you those big biceps you want!
Cheat, But Only a Little
When you are doing curls and all biceps-related exercises, be ready to cheat a little bit. Instead of maintaining strict form on all reps and sets, give yourself a little swing when you are lifting heavy weights–particularly on the last few reps. While most people consider this cheating, what it does is activate the deltoid muscles as well as the biceps. Use your hips to thrust forward and lift the weights, never the lower back. That little “cheat” can go a long way toward helping you to build bigger muscles!
Try the Reverse
If you spend all of your time doing regular curls, you’ll neglect a very important muscle: the brachialis. The brachialis is BENEATH the biceps brachii muscle, and it’s often ignored during your workouts. But if you want to build big biceps, you need to pay some attention to the brachalis. The more you work it, the larger it will grow and the more it will push the biceps muscle outward–making them look bigger. The best way to work the brachialis: reverse curls. Do at least a few sets every time you work your arms, and you’ll start seeing biceps growth in no time!
When you do curls, pull-ups, and Cable Pull-downs, do you extend your arms fully between each repetition? Many people stop their arms from extending completely because it makes the exercise harder, as the biceps have to engage in order to pull. But if you want to build big biceps, it’s time to extend your arms all the way. When doing pull-ups, let your body hang for a second between each repetition. When doing curls, make sure that you can feel your arms fully extended before lifting the weight. When doing Cable Pull-downs, extend your arms completely between each rep. It will ensure that you do the workout properly and pay extra attention to your biceps!
Try Isometric Tension
Instead of spending all of your time pumping iron, some isometric (static) exercises may be the key to building bigger biceps. The reason gymnasts have such sculpted arms is due to the amount of time they spend supporting their body weight using nothing more than arm strength. Instead of doing a bunch of pull-ups, do a single pull-up until your arms are at a 90-degree angle to your elbows and then HOLD. Hang there for 5 seconds, then lower. Repeat this a few times, and you’ll see those biceps growing in no time.