When you see the phrase “best bicep exercises” you probably picture different variations of concentrated bicep curls. Although I believe that isolating the biceps is crucial when building larger arms, compound exercises that target other muscle groups are definitely the way to go.
At this point you are probably asking yourself “why would I target a different body part for bigger biceps?”
The answer to your question is actually quite simple. The key to building more muscle is to break down more muscle. In order to break down more muscle fibers, you must recruit more during your workout. You see, biceps are a fairly small muscle group and when isolating them you are recruiting very minimal muscle fibers. This is why I believe that the best bicep exercises are those heavy compound workouts that require your body to recruit more muscle fibers when performing them.
Here is a very basic explanation as to how these compound workouts become the best bicep exercises.
You perform your heavy compound lift that will activate the biceps and recruit a large amount of muscle fibers as well. When activating your biceps with a compound exercise, focus on going heavy (5-10 reps, 4-5 sets). Once your biceps are activated and the muscle fibers are recruited, you can then move onto more isolated workouts like bicep curls because once the fibers are activated they stay active. In a sense, this will allow you to lift lighter while practically tricking your body into thinking that it is actually lifting heavier.
Best Bicep Exercises – I’m not Buying It!
As odd as this approach might sound, it is actually quite common amongst weight lifters. In fact, this may be an approach that you are already taking without realizing it. See, a lot of you may perform split routines where you start off with your back workout and then follow it up with bicep exercises. This is the same approach; you are targeting a larger muscle group that uses the secondary muscle group (biceps) and then you are following it up with more isolated workouts.
What are the best bicep exercises?
The best bicep exercises are those compound lifts that target more than one muscle group, one of which is the biceps.
1. Pull Ups
2. Chin Ups
3. Bent Over Rows
If you are NOT targeting your back before your bicep workout and are simply interested in walking in the gym and working arms, I recommend starting off with one of the workouts listed above. These compound lifts will recruit a large amount of muscle fibers as well as activate the biceps in order for you to get a more effective workout.