Make the most of your arm day workout with these seven strength-building bicep exercises. You can do this biceps workout at home or in the gym, just as long as you have a set of dumbbells. These exercises target the biceps, but your shoulders, forearms, triceps and pectorals can also benefit.
If it becomes difficult to maintain proper form during this biceps workout, choose a lighter weight or modify your movements.
THE BICEPS WORKOUT
For this dumbbell bicep workout, you’ll do 12 reps for each exercise. Once you’ve completed all of the exercises, that counts as one cycle. Continue until you’ve finished three cycles.
These biceps exercises require a weight bench or chair, an exercise mat and dumbbells. For a beginner, Pro Tips suggests 5- or 8-pound dumbbells. For an intermediate lifter, try 10- or 12-pound dumbbells.
1. BICEP CURLS
This bicep exercise is usually what first comes to mind when people think of a curl. To do a dumbbell bicep curl:
- Stand tall with your feet about shoulder-width apart and knees slightly bent.
- Hold a dumbbell in each hand with an underhand grip.
- Start with your arms fully extended by your sides. Keeping your elbows in line with your torso, curl the weights up to your shoulders.
- Squeeze your biceps at the top of the curl. Using a controlled motion, straighten your arms back to a fully extended position.
2. HAMMER CURLS
Lift – and lay down – the hammer with this bicep exercise. To start the dumbbell hammer curl:
- Hold the weights down by your sides, with your palms facing inward and thumbs facing up.
- Start with your elbows pulled into your sides and curl the weights up to your shoulders.
- Finish the movement by extending your arms down slowly and with control.
3. REVERSE CURLS
Turn your curl around with this exercise. For the reverse curl you will:
- Hold the weights at your sides with an overhand grip and palms facing down.
- Keep your elbows pulled into your sides and curl the weights up to your shoulders.
- Slowly lower your arms back down with your palms facing downward.
4. ZOTTMAN CURLS
The Zottman curl is named for late 19th century weightlifter George Zottman. To do this bicep exercise:
- Start with your arms extended down with an underhand grip.
- Curl your arms up the same way as the bicep curl.
- Once the dumbbells reach shoulder level, rotate your hands so you have an overhand grip with palms facing down.
- Slowly lower your arms in a controlled motion similar to the reverse curl.
- Once your arms are fully extended back down, return your hands to an underhand grip.
5. W CURLS
The W Curl is rightly named because of the shape your arms make when doing this bicep exercise. To start the W Curl:
- Extend your arms down to your sides with an underhand grip.
- Your palms will face outward with the back of your hands against your sides.
- Bring your arms up at a 45-degree angle. Once your arms make a W shape, slowly lower them back down to the starting point.
6. CROSSBODY CURLS
This bicep exercise will have you alternating arms. Make sure to do equal reps for both sides. To start:
- Have both arms extended down at your sides, holding the weights with an overhand grip.
- Curl the thumb-side of one hand to the opposite shoulder.
- The weight will go across your body and then you’ll slowly return the weight back down.
- Repeat this motion with your other arm.
7. ISOLATED SINGLE-ARM CURLS
This biceps workout finishes with isolated single-arm curls. For this exercise:
- Start with your arms extended out, making a T-shape with your body.
- Hold the weights with an underhand grip and your palms facing up.
- Curl one arm up to about a 90-degree angle.
- Return the arm back down, parallel with the ground.
- Keep your opposite arm extended throughout the curls. Once you’ve completed your reps, repeat the steps with your other arm.
Remember to choose a lighter weight if you have trouble maintaining proper form during this bicep workout routine. Looking to get the most out of your arm workouts at home or in the gym? Target the other muscles in your arms with this Pro Tips triceps workout.