In your split routine and training regimen, you often pair your bicep workout with a back workout or in a separate arm workout with your triceps.
A good bicep work out targets both heads of the biceps brachii. Each free workout plan below effectively targets each area of your biceps.
While there is biceps involvement in many pulling exercises, to really target the biceps for mass and definition you must rely on isolation, or single joint, exercises.
As a result, you will notice the free workout plans below center around variations of the biceps curl.
Finally, when designing a good bicep workout, you should choose at least 1 mass building movement and one shaping movement.
Generally speaking, any biceps curl in your bicep workout involves the movement of only the elbow joint. Specifically speaking, biceps curls involve the flexion of the elbow joint, bringing the forearm upward toward the bicep.
The primary muscles involved in the standing barbell curl is the biceps brachii. However, the bicep muscle receives support form the brachialis and the brachioradialis.
To perform the barbell curl exercise in your bicep workout, stand with your feet shoulder width apart and your knees slightly bent (this is sometimes referred to as the athletic position).
Grab the barbell using an underhanded grip (palms facing away from you). For beginners, your hands should also be approximately shoulder width. This is the neutral position.
However, as your bicep workout becomes more advanced, you can widen and narrow your grip to target different areas of the bicep muscle.
By widening your grip, you target the inner portion of the bicep. To target the outer portion of you bicep, simply use a narrower grip. You can make the substitution from the neutral grip to a wide or narrow grip in any free workout plan below where you see the exercise Barbell Curl.
Now, from the athletic position and the bar hanging in front of you, lift the bar in a semi-circular motion toward your chest until your forearms touch your upper arms (biceps).
As you lift the bar, focus on keeping your upper body and upper arms as still as possible and your elbows tucked in close to your sides throughout the movement. The only joint involved in moving the weight should be your elbow.
At the top of the movement, squeeze your biceps hard, and slowly lower the weight along the same path that you lifted it.
Free Workout Plan Substitutions: Dumbbell Bicep Curl, Standing EZ Bar Curl, Preacher Curl
As with the barbell curl above, the primary mover involved in the preacher curl is the biceps brachii. However, the bicep muscle receives support form the brachialis and the brachioradialis.
Note: To perform this exercise, you must have a preacher bench and an EZ bar. You can find this bench and bar in most commercial gyms.
Place the back of your arms against the incline portion of the preacher pad. Grab the EZ bar with an underhand (palms facing up). Your hands should be approximately shoulder width apart.
You elbows should be just below the end of the pad throughout the exercise.
Lift the weight in a semicircular motion until your forearms touch your upper arms.
For a more intense workout, squeeze your biceps brachii hard at the top of the movement before slowly lowering the weight to the starting position.
Free Workout Plan Substitutions: Standing Bicep Curl, Standing EZ Bar Curl, Scott Curl
Again, begin in the athletic position. Hold your dumbbells at your sides, with your palms facing in (toward your hips).
Slowly curl the dumbbells upward simultaneously in a semi-circular motion toward your chest until your forearms touch your upper arms. You should twist your wrists so that they face you with your thumbs pointing out as you complete the lift. This is called supinating the wrist.
By supinating the wrist, you are able to get a better contraction of the bicep muscle at the top of the lift.
Squeeze the muscle hard at the top for a more intense bicep workout, and slowly lower the weight along the same path that you lifted it.
As with the barbell press described above, your elbows should remain tight and your upper body should be still. Do not swing the weight to complete the lift!
Perform the seated dumbbell curl in the same manner as the standing dumbbell curl. Simply sit on a flat bench with the weight hanging by your sides, and perform the exercise as prescribed above.
The seated dumbbell curl prevents you from using your body weight to assist you in the lift since you are no longer able to use your hips to start the lift.
Feel free to substitute this move in any free workout plan below where you see the exercise Standing Dumbbell Curl.
Note: If you prefer, you can alternate the left and right arms as you lift
This is a variation on the standing/seated dumbbell described above, and allows you to fully stretch the biceps for a full range of motion.
Use a bench with an incline between 30 and 45 degrees. Place your feet firmly on the floor and head, shoulders and hips pressed against the bench.
Hold the dumbbells at your sides with your palms facing in toward you. Curl the weights (either simultaneously or one at a time) in a semi-circular motion toward your shoulder until your forearm touches your bicep.
As with the seated/standing dumbbell curl, you should supinate your wrist as you lift the weight, and squeeze your bicep hard at the top of the lift to intensify your bicep workout.
Slowly lower the weight to the start position along the same path as you lifted it.
Free Workout Plan Substitutions: Barbell Curl, Standing/Seated Dumbbell Curl, Incline Dumbbell Curl
The hammer curl is a variation of the dumbbell curl that targets the brachioradialis. The brachioradialis is located near your elbow on the thumb side of you forearm. Additionally, brachialis is emphasized because of the neutral grip, as opposed to emphasizing the biceps with a supinated grip.
To perform the hammer curl, hold the dumbbell at arms length by your sides with a neutral (palms facing your sides) grip.
In a semicircular motion, raise the dumbbells toward you shoulder until your forearm contacts your bicep muscle, keeping your grip neutral throughout the lift.
At the top of the lift, squeeze the muscle tight of a count before lowering the weight to the starting position in a controlled manner.
This free workout plan is an intermediate routine. It a mass building workout designed to build your bicep muscle mass fast. The exercises hits all parts of the bicep for maximum gains.
Long Head Bicep Routine #1 (Advanced)
This free workout plan targets a particular portion of the bicep muscle and is, therefore, an advanced bicep workout. It focuses on the long head (outer portion) of the biceps brachii during the bicep workout.
Short Head Bicep Routine #1 (Advanced)
This free workout plan targets a particular portion of the bicep muscle and is, therefore, an advanced bicep workout. It focuses on the short head (inner portion) of the biceps brachii during the bicep workout.
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