The Most Effective Biceps Exercise (Not What you Think)

Add these tips into your training if you want to build bigger and stronger arms.

Add these tips into your training if you want to build bigger and stronger arms.

What are the Advantages of Strong Arms?

Having strong arms can provide several advantages, both in terms of physical abilities and everyday tasks. Here are some benefits of having strong arms:

Increased functional strength: Strong arms allow you to perform various physical tasks more easily. Whether it’s lifting heavy objects, carrying groceries, or moving furniture, having strong arms provides the necessary strength and stability.

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Improved athletic performance: In many sports and physical activities, arm strength plays a crucial role. Whether you’re playing basketball, tennis, rock climbing, swimming, or participating in martial arts, strong arms contribute to your overall performance and allow you to generate power, control movements, and handle equipment effectively.

Enhanced upper body strength: Strong arms are a reflection of strong upper body muscles, including the biceps, triceps, forearms, and shoulders. This strength translates into improved pushing, pulling, and lifting capabilities, benefiting activities like push-ups, pull-ups, bench presses, and overhead movements.

Reduced risk of injury: Having strong arms helps to stabilize and support the joints and muscles in your upper body, reducing the risk of injuries and strains. Strong arm muscles can protect your shoulders, elbows, and wrists during physical activities and provide better overall joint health.

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Increased muscle definition: Regular strength training exercises for the arms can lead to increased muscle mass and improved muscle definition. This can enhance your physical appearance and boost your self-confidence.

Functional independence: Strong arms contribute to your overall physical independence and ability to perform daily tasks. Whether it’s opening jars, carrying heavy bags, or performing household chores, strong arms make these tasks easier and less taxing on your body.

Metabolic benefits: Strength training exercises, including those targeting the arms, help increase muscle mass, which, in turn, boosts your metabolism. Strong muscles require more energy to maintain, leading to increased calorie burning even at rest. This can be beneficial for weight management and overall metabolic health.

It’s important to note that achieving strong arms requires a combination of regular strength training exercises, proper nutrition, and adequate rest and recovery. It’s recommended to consult with a fitness professional or personal trainer to develop a safe and effective exercise program that suits your goals and abilities.

Video – The Most Effective Biceps Exercise


  • 0:00 Intro
  • 1:22 Part I: Isometric Research
  • 2:01 Part II: Range of Motion Research
  • 4:39 Part III: Triceps Research
  • 8:27 Part IV: Incline vs Face Away Cable Curls

Why is Isometric Training Important in Weightlifting?

Isometric training, also known as static strength training, involves contracting your muscles without any visible movement at the joints. While weightlifting primarily focuses on dynamic movements, incorporating isometric training into your weightlifting routine can provide several important benefits:

Improved strength at specific joint angles: Isometric exercises target specific joint angles and help develop strength in those positions. This can be particularly useful in weightlifting, where certain lifts or positions require strength and stability at specific angles. Isometric training allows you to strengthen and stabilize those joint angles, improving your overall strength and performance in weightlifting movements.

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Enhanced muscle recruitment and activation: Isometric exercises engage a higher number of motor units in your muscles, leading to increased muscle recruitment and activation. This can help you develop greater overall muscle strength and power, which can translate to improved performance in dynamic weightlifting exercises.

Overcoming sticking points: Sticking points refer to the challenging points in a lift where you may struggle to move the weight through a specific range of motion. Isometric training can be used to specifically target and strengthen those sticking points, allowing you to overcome them more effectively. By improving your strength and stability at those sticking points, you can progress in your lifts and break through plateaus.

Injury prevention and joint stability: Isometric training helps strengthen the muscles, tendons, and ligaments around your joints, providing increased stability and reducing the risk of injuries. This is particularly important in weightlifting, where heavy loads and complex movements put stress on the joints. Strengthening the muscles around the joints through isometric training can help protect them from strains, sprains, and other injuries.

Mind-muscle connection and focus: Isometric exercises require conscious effort to maintain muscle contraction without movement. This promotes a strong mind-muscle connection, enhancing your ability to engage and activate specific muscle groups during weightlifting exercises. This increased focus and control can improve your technique and overall lifting performance.

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Time under tension: Isometric exercises often involve holding a contraction for a specific duration, which increases the time under tension for the targeted muscles. This prolonged contraction can lead to greater muscle fibre recruitment and metabolic stress, contributing to muscle growth and strength development.

It’s important to note that isometric training should be incorporated alongside other weightlifting exercises and techniques to ensure a well-rounded training program.

Consulting with a qualified strength and conditioning professional or coach can help you design a weightlifting routine that includes appropriate isometric training exercises to suit your goals and abilities.

Why is It Important to Use the Full Range of Motion for Training Biceps?

Using the full range of motion (ROM) during biceps training is essential for several reasons:

Muscle development: The biceps brachii is a two-headed muscle that crosses both the shoulder and elbow joints. It functions to flex the elbow and supinate the forearm. By utilizing the full ROM during biceps exercises, you engage the muscle fibres throughout their entire length, promoting balanced and proportional development.

Neglecting the full ROM may result in underdeveloped portions of the muscle.

Strength gains: Performing exercises with a complete ROM allows you to target and challenge the biceps through their entire contractile range. This maximizes the potential for strength gains as it requires the muscle to generate force across a wider range of motion. Training the biceps through a limited ROM may result in strength imbalances and reduced functional capacity.

Joint health and flexibility: Utilizing the full ROM in biceps exercises helps to promote joint health and flexibility. It encourages proper movement and lubrication of the elbow joint, maintaining its range of motion and reducing the risk of joint stiffness or dysfunction. Additionally, a full ROM can enhance flexibility in the surrounding muscles and tendons, contributing to overall joint health.

Injury prevention: Employing a full ROM in biceps training can help prevent injuries. A complete range of motion allows for balanced muscle development and proper movement mechanics, reducing the risk of muscle imbalances and compensatory movements that can lead to strains, tears, or overuse injuries.

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Functional carryover: Using the full ROM in biceps exercises mimics the movements required in many daily activities and sports. Whether you’re lifting objects, performing manual labor, or engaging in athletic endeavors, having a well-developed and functionally strong biceps muscle that is accustomed to a full ROM can enhance your performance and reduce the risk of injury.

It’s important to note that while using the full ROM is generally recommended, there may be specific circumstances or individuals with certain limitations where a modified ROM is appropriate. Consulting with a qualified fitness professional or physical therapist can help assess your specific needs and provide guidance on the optimal range of motion for your biceps training.

Why Must you Train the Triceps if you Want Bigger Looking Arms?

Training the triceps is crucial if you want to achieve bigger-looking arms for several reasons:

Muscle size and definition: The triceps brachii muscle, located on the back of the upper arm, is the largest muscle group in the arm. By neglecting the triceps, you miss out on the opportunity to develop significant muscle mass in this region. Training the triceps with targeted exercises helps increase muscle size, resulting in overall larger and more defined arms.

Arm aesthetics and proportions: The triceps contribute to the overall appearance and shape of the arm. Building well-developed triceps provides a balanced look to the upper arm, complementing the biceps muscle. Having proportionate arm muscles creates a more aesthetically pleasing appearance, making your arms look bigger and more muscular.

Arm strength and functional abilities: The triceps play a significant role in various pushing movements involving the arms. Strengthening the triceps improves your ability to perform exercises like push-ups, bench presses, overhead presses, and triceps-dominant movements. Increased triceps strength translates into improved performance in these exercises, allowing you to lift heavier weights and stimulate further muscle growth in the arms.

Overall arm stability and injury prevention: The triceps contribute to the stability of the elbow joint. Strengthening the triceps helps provide stability and support to the surrounding muscles, tendons, and ligaments. This reduces the risk of injuries and strains during activities that involve arm movements and heavy loads.

Metabolic benefits: Training larger muscle groups like the triceps can have a positive impact on your metabolism. Working the triceps stimulates muscle growth and increases muscle mass, which in turn increases your basal metabolic rate (BMR). A higher BMR means your body burns more calories at rest, potentially aiding in weight management and body composition goals.

To effectively train the triceps, incorporate exercises that specifically target this muscle group, such as triceps dips, close-grip bench presses, triceps pushdowns, and overhead triceps extensions. It’s important to combine triceps exercises with a well-rounded arm training program that includes biceps and other upper body exercises for balanced muscle development.

What are the Best Reps and Sets for Building Muscle?

The optimal number of reps and sets for building muscle can vary depending on several factors, including your training experience, goals, and individual response to different training stimuli. However, there are some general guidelines that can help you structure your workouts for muscle growth:

Repetitions (Reps): For muscle growth, a common range for reps is typically 8-12 repetitions per set. This range is often referred to as the hypertrophy range. It provides a balance between muscular tension and metabolic stress, stimulating muscle growth through a combination of mechanical stress and metabolic fatigue.

Sets: Performing multiple sets of an exercise is important to accumulate enough volume and stimulate muscle growth. The number of sets can vary, but a general recommendation is to perform 3-5 sets per exercise. This range allows for sufficient volume while managing fatigue and recovery.

Intensity: Intensity refers to the amount of weight or resistance used during an exercise. For muscle growth, it’s important to use a challenging weight that allows you to complete the desired number of reps with proper form while still inducing muscle fatigue. This usually corresponds to using weights that are around 65-85% of your one-repetition maximum (1RM).

Rest intervals: Rest intervals between sets are also important for muscle growth. Resting for approximately 1-2 minutes between sets allows for adequate recovery of the muscles while still maintaining a level of fatigue and metabolic stress.

Progressive overload: To continue building muscle over time, it’s essential to incorporate progressive overload into your training. This involves gradually increasing the weight, reps, or sets over time to continually challenge the muscles and stimulate adaptation. Progressive overload can be achieved by adding more weight, performing more reps with the same weight, or increasing the number of sets.

It’s worth noting that individual responses to training can vary, and what works for one person may not work the same way for another.

It’s important to listen to your body, track your progress, and adjust your training variables accordingly. Additionally, seeking guidance from a qualified fitness professional or personal trainer can help you design a customized program that suits your specific goals and needs.

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