Top 5 Bicep Workouts for Strong Muscles

Saravanan "Sharu" Hariram

July 25, 2020

Are you as focused on your appearance as you are at building strength and mass? The best place to kill these two birds with one stone is to work on your biceps. The bicep is made of a long as well as a short head. These two heads work together to tackle movements such as curling and flexing, which results in your arms popping. 
Your biceps use a lot of space at the front of your arm. In fact, they’re the easiest part of your body to show off. Let’s take a look at these 5 bicep workouts that you can conveniently do at home as well as your workout place! 

Table of contents

Bicep workouts for men and women

All of the following exercises can be taken advantage of by both men and women to see maximum gains. You can incorporate all of the following workouts into your gym session. It’s a myth that men and women need to perform different workouts for bicep gains. All of the exercises below can be performed by both men and women for huge gains.

Bicep Workouts at the gym

Bicep workout at gym

The following workouts can be added to your workouts to take your biceps to the next level. You can incorporate them to your bicep workout at the gym regardless of if you’re a man or a woman. 
All of these exercises are bicep workouts with dumbbells. Let’s take a look at them.

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1. Hammer curl 

Bicep hammer curl

The hammer curl is a very efficient exercise to tone the brachialis, brachioradialis, and biceps muscles which results in a complete upper arm workout.

  • Start by standing straight and holding a dumbbell in each hand. Make sure your palms face your body. In addition to this, your arms should be extended and parallel to your torso while you’re standing.
  • Keep your upper arm stationary and then move the dumbbell upwards by contracting the biceps and bending the elbows. Move until the head of the dumbbell is in line with your shoulder. 
  • For maximum gains, hold this contraction for a moment and then return to the starting position in a smooth motion.
  •  You can do 2-3 sets of 8-12 reps. 

2. Concentration curl

Concentration bicep curl

The concentration curl is a fantastic exercise to add to your workout session. This exercise is an isolation movement that works the bicep muscle completely.

  • Begin this exercise by sitting on a bench while positioning your legs in a wide stance. Place the elbow inside of your thighs, and pick up a dumbbell with underhand grip.
  • Curl the dumbbell by contracting your biceps until they’re in level with your shoulder. Remember to only move your forearm and not the upper arm.
  • Hold for a moment and then return to your starting position. Remember to not allow momentum to control the weight while you’re lowering it. Lower the weight in a controlled motion.
  • You can do 2-3 sets of 8-12 reps. Remember to follow the same rules to train your other arm. For maximum gains, make sure to keep the elbows tucked in against your thighs  during the entire movement.

3. Zottman Curl

Bicep Zottman curls

The zottman curl is a fantastic exercise which targets your forearms as well as your biceps. 

  • Begin by standing straight. Next, take a dumbbell in each hand and hold them so that your palms face away from your body. Your elbows must be close to your body for the entirety of this exercise.
  • Lift the weights while keeping your upper arms in place until the dumbbells reach the line of your shoulders. Make sure your palms face upwards at the end of this movement.
  • Hold the contraction and rotate your wrists so that your palms face downwards.
  • Pause for a moment and then return to your starting position.
  • It’s important that you follow this exercise with the correct form and perform it in a smooth motion as you can seriously injure yourself if you perform this exercise incorrectly. You can do 2-3 sets of 8-12 reps. 

How much should you lift?

The weight you should lift depends on how many repetitions you can make with the weight you’re using. You want to do just enough reps to not risk injury. You also want to make sure that the amount of repetitions you do doesn’t make the exercise a test of endurance. This is why a repetition range of 8 to 12 repetitions is excellent. In order to find out the weight of the object that you should use, do a single set of 12 repetitions.

  • Is the weight too light? This means that you won’t get much benefits from using the weight.
  • Is the weight too heavy? If you’re struggling to make even 6-8 repetitions, the weight is too heavy. You should switch to a lighter weight.
  • If the first 6-8 repetitions aren’t too challenging but you find subsequent repetitions getting harder, you’ve found the perfect weight.

Bicep workouts at home

bicep workout at home

If you don’t have a fancy gym membership, don’t worry. You can get a killer bicep workout at home with similar results than if you had gone to the gym. If you don’t have the money to buy dumbbells, you can make your own. You can use makeshift weights such as canned goods from your pantry, heavy books, plastic water bottles, bags of rice or socks filled with pea gravel. The best part about these weights is that you can modify them to increase the weight as and when you need to. The following exercises can be performed by both men and women. 

1. Bicep curls with your legs

All that this exercise needs, is a chair. 

  • Sit down and use your right hand to reach under your left thigh. Hold the leg under the knee joint with your palm facing up.
  • Pull the leg up as much as you can. You can make this exercise very effective by ignoring  the leg muscles. Do not let your leg muscles help you with the lift.
  • This exercise will become easier with time. You can maintain resistance by forcing your leg muscles to push against the hand while trying to lift your leg up. 
  • Do 2- 3 sets of 8 to 12 repetitions on each side.

This exercise is simple and effective. The best part about it is that it can be done everywhere. If you lead a busy life and find yourself travelling a lot, this exercise is perfect for you

2. Towel Bicep Curls

  • Take a towel and slip it through the top of a backpack. Grip the towel with each arm and slowly curl your backpack up. 
  • Curl your arms as you move up through the movement.
  • Rotate your arms so that your arms are facing your shoulders at the top position.
  • You can stuff your bag with things to increase resistance as this exercise becomes easier for you.


In order to achieve muscle growth, you’ll need to go to failure. You want to tell your muscles that they need to be stronger the next time you do this exercise so that they grow. If your biceps can handle any exercise you throw at them, they won’t feel the need to grow. Real growth happens when your biceps feel like the weights are heavy. 
In addition to the above, you need to make sure that you’re keeping track of how heavy your weights are. If you’re lifting your weights for more than 12 repetitions, it’s time to increase the weight of your weights. 
No matter what anyone tells you, it is possible to get big biceps without an expensive gym membership. If you’re a teenager who doesn’t have nearly enough money for a gym membership or an adult without much disposable income, don’t worry. You can do it.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

Q. Should bicep workout be done with heavy or light-weights?

A. You must always choose a weight that is challenging enough and allows you to do minimum 8 reps, but not more than 12 reps at a time. As the strength increases you can progress with increased weights.

Q. Do push-ups help in building biceps?

A. Though push ups is a very good upper body exercise, it will not help in building your biceps.

Q. How often should we work on our biceps?

A. Biceps workout can be done at least 2 days a week with a minimum of 48-72 hours rest in between.

Q. Is it normal for my arms to pain after the workout?

A. It’s not normal to have pain in your arms after a workout. What you should be feeling is a mild soreness and not pain.

About the Author

Saravanan “Sharu” Hariram is an ACE Certified Personal Trainer with a passion for bodybuilding. Combining his love for fitness with his career, Sharu did his certification in Sports Nutrition, and Rehabilitation and Healing Nutrition. Currently a Master Trainer with HealthifyMe, he specializes in Weight Management, Marathon Training, and Physical Rehabilitation. In his 20+ years of experience, Sharu has always maintained that one’s mind must have control over their body in order to lead a healthy life. At HealthifyMe, he continues to follow his passion while helping those around him realise their fitness goals.

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2 responses to “Top 5 Bicep Workouts for Strong Muscles”

  1. nice content Saravanan!!, it helped me totally, loved it. It will be more beneficial if you add some more workouts to it. Thank you so much…

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