Top 5 Exercises to Build Bigger Biceps without Curls (Learn from the Gymnasts)

Train like an elite athlete.

These top 5 exercises to build bigger biceps without curls will help you get much stronger and forge more powerful arms.

This video from Gymnastics Method explains 5 effective exercises that you can add into your training program.

Top 5 Exercises to Build Bigger Biceps without Curls

When you look at a gymnastics routine, you won’t often see them bending their arms. They do most of their skills with straight arms.

In many different kinds of straight arm exercises, the biceps are placed under extreme loads, which helps them to adapt and grow.

This is often an underdeveloped aspect of training for many athletes. Isometric work is not often programmed in for the biceps. It will offer you effective new stimulus and help you grow and develop.

“Thanks to the anatomy of the biceps, in different kind of straight arm exercises, it gets extreme load, contracts isometrically and able to grow thanks to that load. And that’s a fact. Gymnasts are the living examples.”

“Yes, they also do pull-ups, rope climbing and other exercises that are also excellent to build big biceps. My point with the straight arm exercises, is that is something they do, it works, and if you haven’t tried it already, but you want to give an extra push for your gains, you must try it. This is a great stimulus, and you’ll be satisfied with the results.”

Top 5 Exercises to Build Bigger Biceps without Curls

Remember to warm up properly for all of these exercises.

1. Top 5 Exercises to Build Bigger Biceps without Curls – Iron Cross Pull-Down

In the Iron Cross, the biceps must handle a huge load of stress to support the body in a stable position. However, you don’t need to be able to do the full iron cross to get some of those gains.

For this version you will only need two resistance bands. Check out the video below for all the training tips.

Slightly protract your shoulders. Start with thinner bands and gradually progress to the thicker ones to build periodisation and intensity. You will also feel your chest working hard.  

2. Top 5 Exercises to Build Bigger Biceps without Curls – Front Raises and Hold

This can be done standing, on the floor in the hollow position, or simply lying on a bench or box.

Perform the hold next to your body for the best results.

You can also drop your arms lower for a bigger bicep stretch.

3. Top 5 Exercises to Build Bigger Biceps without Curls – RTO Support Hold

A simple hold on the rings will really hit your biceps, if, you turn the rings outwards.

There is another variation of this, where you perform the hold with an underhand grip on the bar.

Your biceps will be in front of your body and so will have to balance and support the body. This is great news for your strength and muscle gains.

Squeeze your core and lean slightly forwards. Lift your thighs off the bar.

Do 15 – 30 seconds hold.

4. Top 5 Exercises to Build Bigger Biceps without Curls – Planche Lean with Fingers Pointing toward Feet

This is a must do exercises. This variation offers great biceps contraction.

Pointing your fingers backwards will hit your biceps even harder. Make sure to squeeze your glutes, lock your elbows and lean forwards.

Recommended hold is 30 seconds.

5. Top 5 Exercises to Build Bigger Biceps without Curls – Back Lever

This is an intensive exercise that will work on your biceps by using straight arms. Your arms will be behind your body so your biceps will be stretched and contracted at the same time. This is why it’s a great exercise.

Start with the tuck progression. The goal is a 30 second hold.

Video – Top 5 Exercises to Build Bigger Biceps without Curls

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Muscles of the Arms

The muscles of the arms are the biceps brachii, triceps brachii and deltoids.

Biceps brachii

Your biceps brachii is located on the front of your upper arm.

It flexes the elbow joint, which is when you bend your arm at the elbow. When it works with other muscles to rotate your arm, it also works as an antagonist to oppose their movements. The biceps brachii consists of two heads: short head and long head.

The short head originates from inside part of your scapula (shoulder blade), while long head originates on outer side of humerus bone in front part of your shoulder blade and attaches to coracoid process behind tip of shoulder blade for stability purposes.

Triceps brachii

The triceps is a three-headed muscle of the upper arm that extends from the back of the humerus to the ulna. It makes up about 60% to 70% of your upper arms’ mass. There are two muscles in each arm, one on each side.


The deltoid muscles are composed of three sections—the anterior deltoid, medial deltoid, and posterior deltoid—which work together to help move the arm.

The anterior deltoids are located on the front of the shoulder and are responsible for lifting your arm up and out in front of you (as if pumping iron). The medial deltoids assist with raising your arms sideways away from your body, while the posterior deltoids raise them overhead.

The most important thing to remember about these muscles involves their location: they’re all found on either side of your collarbone.

Biceps, triceps and deltoids are the three muscles in the arm.

The arm is composed of the triceps and biceps in the upper arm, as well as the deltoids in the shoulder area.

In anatomy, a muscle is a tissue that contracts to produce movement or force. Muscles are either used for flexion (bending) or extension (straightening). Examples of flexors include your biceps and triceps, which bend at your elbow to move toward your body; these are also known as flexor muscles. The opposite action is extension—your deltoids straighten out when you lift weights over your head.

Conclusion – Top 5 Exercises to Build Bigger Biceps without Curls

Muscles in the arms are important for movement. They also help us do everyday tasks around the house and keep our bodies strong.

Add these gymnastic exercises into your training and enhance your arms.

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