Big arms is usually on everyone’s list of goals when it comes to bodybuilding. Our arms are used for almost every upper body exercise! The chances are that you are already engaging your biceps and working the muscles with many other exercises. However if you are looking for deep shaped biceps it’s important to train the muscle independently with a variety of exercises targeting it from every angle.

It’s true big biceps are impressive. But what many people don’t realise when they are just starting out is that the tricep (the other side of the bicep) is actually a much larger muscle. It’s really important to make sure that you train the tricep just as hard as your biceps if you are looking for the big arm look so make sure you check out my top 5 tricep exercises.

1. Barbell curls

The barbell curl is the king of all bicep exercises. I recommend picking up an E-Z bar for performing these. It is the exact same exercise as when performed with a barbell but because of the curve in the bar it takes off all the strain from your wrists and is great for preventing injuries later down the line.

Home to perform

Stand up strong facing forward with your barbell held firmly at a wide grip (in line with your shoulders). Keep your arms stationary and curl the bar up and forward at a 90 degree angle. Breath out as the bar reaches shoulder level.

2. Dumbbell curls

Dumbbell curls are another brilliant exercise for building big biceps. These can be performed instead of the barbell curls if you only have dumbbells or you can combine the two for a great arm workout.

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Hold your dumbbells in each hand by your waist with the palms of your hands facing up. While keeping the upper arms and shoulders stationary, curl the weights all the way up and breath out as you feel your biceps contract at the top. Slowly lower the dumbbells back down to the starting position keeping the tension in your arms.

3. Hammer curls

Performed with dumbbells, hammer curls are an excellent way to target the biceps at another angle and they also hit the forearm muscles more than any of the other bicep exercises. Be sure to include these in your arm workout!

Home to perform

Stand up straight with each dumbbell by your side, palms facing into your torso. Now curl the dumbbell up and forward till your reach shoulder level keeping your hands gripped facing into yourself. Breath out as you feel your biceps contract at the top. This mimics the movement of hammering a nail.

4. Incline Dumbbell curls

This exercise is a great way to stretch the biceps and work on the peak. An essential exercise to add to your arsenal if you’re looking build that nice peak on your biceps. It’s also a great exercise to finish on because it gives the arms a nice stretch.

Home to perform

Set your bench at a nice incline and sit back with a dumbbell in each hand held down your sides. Slowly curl the weights up to your shoulders. Breath out as you feel your biceps contract. Then keeping at a slow pace bring them back down all the way getting a nice stretch at the bottom.

5. Close grip pull-ups or Chin-ups

Sounds and looks like a back exercise right? It’s true the chin up works your back but it’s also one of the best bicep builders. Look at the movment and think about it, we are lifting up our entire body using mostly our biceps. This is also a great way to build up strength to improve your pull-ups. You can perform regular pull ups using close grips or you can perform a chin-up which is just like a pull-up except your palms face your torso instead of the bar.

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Close grip pull-ups
Using the close grip handles on your pull up bar. Grip your hands with your palms facing into each other. Slowly pull yourself up leaning back slightly to put more emphasis on your biceps. Breath out as you reach the top and feel your biceps and back muscles contract.

If you don’t have close grip hands on your pull-up bar then you can perform chin ups. Grip the bar with your palms facing towards yourself and slowly pull yourself up. Breath out as you reach the top and feel the muscles contract.