If you thought the “gun show” was just for the guys, think again! Curls can literally be for the girls, which means beautifully sculpted arms for you. And what’s great is that there are all kinds of exercises to better your biceps without the boredom of doing the same move over and over again. When you’re ready to shed the winter layers and sweater come spring, the work you do now with following exercises will help reveal wow-worthy arms then.
5 Best Moves for Your Biceps
Barbell Drag Curls: Instead of the traditional method of curling a barbell, try dragging the bar up your body. This motion targets not only the peak of your bicep but also your forearms. Start by holding a barbell in front of your body, just slightly wider than shoulder width. Your palms should face away from your body. Slowly curl up the weight but do so while keeping the barbell as close to your body as possible. Squeeze your biceps throughout the entire movement. Complete three rounds of 10 reps.
- Hammer Curls: Stand with a dumbbell in each hand at your sides, palms facing in. Engage your bicep muscle and lift the dumbbell without using momentum to swing the weights; your upper arms should stay relatively stationary. To keep tension on the muscle, stop the curl at about a 45-degree angle. Contract your bicep in this position before slowly lowering the weight back to the starting the position. You can choose to do alternating curls–switching back and forth between each arm–or up the intensity level and curl both arms simultaneously. Do three rounds of 12 curls on each arm.
Underhand Pulldowns: Using a pulldown machine or resistance bands secured overhead, hold the pulldown bar or band handles so that your palms face you. In a seated position with your back straight and your upper body stationary, pull down on the apparatus to activate your biceps before slowly releasing the weight to return to the starting position. Complete three rounds of 10 reps.
- Rope Pulls: Curls aren’t the only exercise to engage your biceps. If you have access to battle ropes, start pulling. Set up for the exercise by putting the rope in a pile and with one end pulled out for you to grab about four or five feet from the pile. Sitting on the floor with your feet flat and knees slightly bent, use a hand-over-hand motion to pull the length of the rope from the pile toward you. To keep the focus on your arms, keep your upper body stable. Complete three rounds of pulling for 30 seconds each. Rest one minute between each round.
TRX Curls: Using properly secured TRX straps, hold both handles with an underhand grips (palms facing up) at your chest so that the straps are extended. Walk your feet forward one or two steps forward to slightly angle your body. Extend your arms straight to lower your body back and down and then curl your arms to raise your body to the starting position. Do three rounds of 12 rows.
Standard bicep curls are still a great workout for your upper arms, but they’re not the only way to give great shape. Add in some variety to the bicep exercises you do, and come short-sleeve season, you’ll have arms everyone will admire.
What is your favorite upper body exercise? Share with us in the comments!