The Pumping Station Weight Lifting Exercise Guides

Bicep Exercises

 


Alternate Hammer Curl

Exercise Data
Main Muscle Worked: Biceps
Other Muscles Worked: Forearms
Equipment: Dumbbell
Mechanics Type: Isolation

Tips: Same at the Hammer Curl but you alternate arms. Do one arm, then do the other, then back to the other arm again.

 


Alternate Incline Dumbbell Curl

Exercise Data
Main Muscle Worked: Biceps
Other Muscles Worked: None
Equipment: Dumbbell
Mechanics Type: Isolation

Tips: Just like the Incline Dumbbell Curl but you only do one arm at a time. Do one arm, then the other. Each set of two raises counts as one rep.

 


Barbell Curl

Exercise Data
Main Muscle Worked: Biceps
Other Muscles Worked: None
Equipment: Barbell
Mechanics Type: Isolation

Tips: Possibly the best biceps exercise! With your hands shoulder-width apart, grip a barbell with an underhand grip. Stand straight up with your shoulders squared and with your feet shoulder-width apart. Let the bar hang down at arm's length in front of you, with your arms, shoulders and hands in a straight line. WITHOUT leaning back or swinging the weight, curl the bar up toward your chest in an arc. Keep your elbows in the same place and close to your sides. Bring the weight up as high as you can and squeeze the biceps at the top. Lower the weight slowly, resisting all the way down until your arms are nearly straight.

 


Barbell Curls Lying Against An Incline

Exercise Data
Main Muscle Worked: Biceps
Other Muscles Worked: None
Equipment: Barbell
Mechanics Type: Isolation

Tips: This exercise is essentially the same movement as a preacher curl, where arms are exercised in front of the body. But the main difference here is that your body is supported; the use of momentum or "cheating" is minimized. This exercise will really shock the long head of the bicep, as well the brachialis. You'll notice it allows for a very complete, full range of motion compared to other curl movements as well. To do this exercise, lie against an incline bench, with your arms hanging down in a horizontal line. Hold onto a barbell, and without moving your arms out of this horizontal plane, curl the weight up as high as you can. Like preacher curls, the bottom of the movement is where most force is placed upon the muscle, so don't skimp on going down all the way if you want the maximum benefit.

 


Cable Hammer Curls - Rope Attachment

Exercise Data
Main Muscle Worked: Biceps
Other Muscles Worked: None
Equipment: Cable
Mechanics Type: Isolation

Tips: Attach a rope attachment to a low pulley. Stand face forwards and about 12 inches away from the machine. Grasp the rope with a palms-in grip and stand straight up. Put your elbows at your side and KEEP them there during the entire movement. Your elbows should not move. Pull your arms up until your biceps touch your forearms, keeping your palms in a facing in position. Slowly return to the starting position and repeat.

 


Cable Preacher Curl

Exercise Data
Main Muscle Worked: Biceps
Other Muscles Worked: Forearms
Equipment: Cable
Mechanics Type: Isolation

Tips: This is just like the normal preacher curl, which is done with a barbell. Place a preacher bench about 2 feet in front of a pulley machine. Attach a straight bar to the low pulley. Sit at the preacher bench with your elbow and upper arms firmly on the bench pad. Do not let your elbows or upper arms move! Pull the weight up towards your shoulders and squeeze at the top. Do not rock your body... go slowly. Lower the weight to the starting position and start.

 


Chin-Up

Exercise Data
Main Muscle Worked: Biceps
Other Muscles Worked: Forearms,Lats
Equipment: BodyOnly
Mechanics Type: Compound

Tips: Hold the chin-up bar with a reverse grip (palms facing you) with your hands about 6 to 8 inches apart. Pull yourself up and try to touch either your chin or upper chest to the bar. Return slowly to the starting position. Do NOT swing back and forth! Using this grip works more of your biceps than your back or lats.

 


Close-Grip EZ Bar Curl

Exercise Data
Main Muscle Worked: Biceps
Other Muscles Worked: Forearms
Equipment: Barbell
Mechanics Type: Isolation

Tips: This is like the normal EZ Bar Bicep Curl, but with a closer grip which works the outer part of the biceps more. Grab a cambered EZ Curl bar and hold it on the innermost ridges. Your two hands together should be in the shape of a big V. While standing, hold the bar at arm's length in front of you. Curl the bar up while keeping your elbows in the same place. Do not swing! Contract your biceps as far as you can go, then slowly return to the starting position.

 


Close-Grip Standing Barbell Curl

Exercise Data
Main Muscle Worked: Biceps
Other Muscles Worked: None
Equipment: Barbell
Mechanics Type: Isolation

Tips: Works more of the outer biceps. Hold barbell with both hands, palms up and about 12 inches apart. Stand straight up with your head up and feet about shoulder width. Curl bar up in a semicircular motion until forearms touch your biceps. Keep your upper arms and elbow close your sides and do NOT move them during the entire lift. Do NOT swing or use momentum to lift the weight. Can also be done with a medium or wide grip.

 


Concentration Curls

Exercise Data
Main Muscle Worked: Biceps
Other Muscles Worked: None
Equipment: Dumbbell
Mechanics Type: Isolation

Tips: Sit on the end of a flat bench. Spread your legs apart into a V and lean forward slightly. Grasp the dumbbell in one hand with your palm facing upward. Rest your elbow on the inside of your thigh and let the dumbbell hang. Rest your other hand on the top of your other thigh for support. Slowly curl the weight up while keeping the torso, upper arm and elbow still. As you lift, twist your wrist so that your little finger turns towards your body. Squeeze the muscle at the top and then slowly lower the weight.

 


Cross Body Hammer Curl

Exercise Data
Main Muscle Worked: Biceps
Other Muscles Worked: Forearms
Equipment: Dumbbell
Mechanics Type: Isolation

Tips: Grab a dumbbell in each hand and put your hands down at your side with your palms facing in. Keep your palms facing in and without twisting your arm, curl the dumbbell up towards your opposite shoulder. Touch the top of the dumbbell to your shoulder and then slowly lower the dumbbell along the same path. Repeat for the opposite arm.

 


Drag Curl

Exercise Data
Main Muscle Worked: Biceps
Other Muscles Worked: Forearms
Equipment: Barbell
Mechanics Type: Isolation

Tips: The late Vince Gironda, the ?Iron Guru.? used to force everyone at his old gym in Studio City to try these if larger biceps were a stated goal. To perform drag curls, keep the elbows in back of you rather than pinned at your side. Using an overhand grip, curl the bar up and at the same time keep it in contact with your torso. In effect, you are dragging it up. Be sure not to let the elbows or shoulders rise up or this can turn into a half-ass upright row real fast. You won't need much weight to make your brachialis burn and ache like there are lumps of liquid fire buried within your outer biceps.

 


Dumbbell Alternate Bicep Curl

Exercise Data
Main Muscle Worked: Biceps
Other Muscles Worked: None
Equipment: Dumbbell
Mechanics Type: Isolation

Tips: Just like the Dumbbell Bicep Curl except you alternate each hand, curling one dumbbell at a time.

 


Dumbbell Bicep Curl

Exercise Data
Main Muscle Worked: Biceps
Other Muscles Worked: None
Equipment: Dumbbell
Mechanics Type: Isolation

Tips: Stand straight up, with your head up and your legs straight. Start with the dumbbells at arm's length with your palms facing in. Curl dumbbells up at the same time, twising your wrists on the way up. Your palms should be facing up when you are at the end of the movement. Do NOT swing and do NOT move your elbows. They should stay in the same place during the whole movement. Keep your arms close to your side. This one is easy to cheat on... so don't do it! You can also do this with a barbell, or by alternating one hand at a time.

 


EZ-Bar Curl

Exercise Data
Main Muscle Worked: Biceps
Other Muscles Worked: Forearms
Equipment: Barbell
Mechanics Type: Isolation

Tips: Just like a normal barbell curl, but with an EZ Curl bar. Position your hands so they are on the curve that causes your palms to face inwards.

 


Flexor Incline Dumbbell Curls

Exercise Data
Main Muscle Worked: Biceps
Other Muscles Worked: None
Equipment: Dumbbell
Mechanics Type: Isolation

Tips: These are designed to keep the stress completely on the bicep. Hold the dumbbell towards the side farther from you so that you have more weight on the side closest to you. (This can be done for a good effect on all bicep dumbbell exercises). Now do a normal incline dumbbell curl, but keep your wrists as far back as possible so as to neutralize any stress that is placed on them. This is extremely effective at isolating the biceps

 


Hammer Curls

Exercise Data
Main Muscle Worked: Biceps
Other Muscles Worked: Forearms
Equipment: Dumbbell
Mechanics Type: Isolation

Tips: With a dumbbell in each hand, stand with your arms hanging at your sides, palms facing each other. Keep your elbows locked into your sides. Your upper body and elbows should remain in the same place during the whole lift. Keeping your palms facing each other, curl the weight in your right hand up in a semi-circle toward your right shoulder. Squeeze the biceps hard at the top of the lift and then slowly lower. Do not turn your wrists during this lift! You can also do one arm at a time and/or alternate.

 


High Cable Curls

Exercise Data
Main Muscle Worked: Biceps
Other Muscles Worked: Triceps
Equipment: Cable
Mechanics Type: Compound

Tips: It's great to be able to hit the muscle from more than one angle using different positions; this encourages quick shock growth from the muscle. In this exercise, lie on a bench under one of the cables and set it on the highest. Now hold the cable and curl your hand. This also can be done with both grips.

 


Incline Dumbbell Curl

Exercise Data
Main Muscle Worked: Biceps
Other Muscles Worked: None
Equipment: Dumbbell
Mechanics Type: Isolation

Tips: Sit on an incline bench and hold a dumbbell in each hand. Keep your shoulders square and your chest up. Press your upper back and shoulders against the bench. Let your arms hang downward with your palms facing each other. Slowly curl the weight in your right hand out and up to shoulder level, while turning your wrist so that your thumb is on the outside. Squeeze your bicep at the top and then slowly lower the weight back down. You can also do this standing or by doing one arm at a time.

 


Incline Inner Biceps Curl

Exercise Data
Main Muscle Worked: Biceps
Other Muscles Worked: None
Equipment: Dumbbell
Mechanics Type: Isolation

Tips: Lie back on an incline bench and hold dumbells at arm's length, palms in. Curl dumbbells up and out, keeping forearms in line with your outer deltoids. Lower dumbbells using the same path. You can also do this standing or seated.

 


Lying Cable Curl

Exercise Data
Main Muscle Worked: Biceps
Other Muscles Worked: Forearms
Equipment: Cable
Mechanics Type: Isolation

Tips: Grab a short cable bar that is attached to the low pulley with both hands, using an underhand grip. Lie flat on your back in front of the weight stack with your feet flat against the frame of the pulley machine. Your legs should be straight. Rest the bar on your thighs and slightly bend your arms. Without moving your elbows, curl the bar up slowly toward your chest. Squeeze the biceps for a second and then slowly return to the starting position. Don't bend your knees or lift your head off of the ground!

 


Lying Close-Grip Bar Curl On High Pulley

Exercise Data
Main Muscle Worked: Biceps
Other Muscles Worked: None
Equipment: Cable
Mechanics Type: Isolation

Tips: Place a flat bench in front of a high pulley or lat pulldown machine. Hold bar with both hands, palms down, about 8 inches apart. Lie on your back with your head over the end of the bench. Extend arms straight about your shoulders. Curl bar down in a semicircular motion until it touches chin. Keep upper arms vertical at all times. Return to starting position using the same path. You can also curl down to above your head, rather than to your chin.

 


Lying High Bench Barbell Curl

Exercise Data
Main Muscle Worked: Biceps
Other Muscles Worked: None
Equipment: Barbell
Mechanics Type: Isolation

Tips: The model above is doing this on a regular bench. To get a full range of motion, do it on a high bench if possible. Lie face forward on a tall flat bench. Have upper body down to upper pectorals over end of bench. Hold barbell with both hands, palms up, and about 12 inches apart. Curl bar up in a semicircular motion until forearms touch your biceps. Keep upper arms vertical to the floor. Return to starting position using the same path. Can also be done with a straight barbell.

 


Lying Supine Dumbbell Curl

Exercise Data
Main Muscle Worked: Biceps
Other Muscles Worked: None
Equipment: Dumbbell
Mechanics Type: Isolation

Tips: Lie on a flat bench and start with the dumbbells as far down towards the floor as you can go. You may be flexible enough to go further down than the model above. Start with your palms facing in, then curl the dumbbells up, twisting your palms as they come up so your little finger is towards your body. Go down SLOWLY.

 


Machine Preacher Curls

Exercise Data
Main Muscle Worked: Biceps
Other Muscles Worked: None
Equipment: Machine
Mechanics Type: Isolation

Tips: Just like normal Preacher Curls but on a machine. Follow the exact directions that are on the machine that you choose.

 


One Arm Dumbbell Preacher Curl

Exercise Data
Main Muscle Worked: Biceps
Other Muscles Worked: None
Equipment: Dumbbell
Mechanics Type: Isolation

Tips: Using a preacher bench, hold one dumbbell in your right arm with your palm up. Support your arm and elbow against the pad and do not move them during the lift. Curl dumbbell up until the forearm touches the bicep. Lower to starting position using the same path. Finish set and switch arms. Can also be done with 2-arms or a regular barbell.

 


Overhead Cable Curl

Exercise Data
Main Muscle Worked: Biceps
Other Muscles Worked: None
Equipment: Cable
Mechanics Type: Isolation

Tips: Attach the stirrup attachment to two overhead cable pulleys. Stand between them and grasp the handles with an underhand grip. Hold your arms straight out to your sides so your body is forming a "T" and put your hands at about the same height as your head. With your elbows staying in the same place, curl your hands toward your shoulders. Your elbows should not go up or down, and they should not go forward! Squeeze for a moment and return to the starting position.

 


Preacher Curl

Exercise Data
Main Muscle Worked: Biceps
Other Muscles Worked: None
Equipment: Barbell
Mechanics Type: Isolation

Tips: Using a preacher curl bench and an EZ curl bar, make sure the seat is adjusted to the right height. When you sit, the seat should not be so low that the shoulders are elevated nor so high that you're hunched over the pad. Grasp the bar using a shoulder width grip. Curl the bar upward in an arc. As you begin, be careful not to swing or rock to get it moving. The goal is to make the exercise hard on the biceps. Curl the bar towards your chin, but keep in mind that the resistance is greater at the beginning of the rep. Go down SLOWLY and work the muscle on the way down as well. Can also be done with two dumbbells or one arm at a time.

 


Preacher Hammer Dumbbell Curl

Exercise Data
Main Muscle Worked: Biceps
Other Muscles Worked: None
Equipment: Dumbbell
Mechanics Type: Isolation

Tips: Position yourself on a preacher bench. Hold two dumbbells in your hands with your palms facing each other. Make sure your elbows and upper arms stay on the bench at all times! Lower the dumbbells to the bottom position where your arms are straight. Curl up while keeping your palms facing in. Go up as far as you can or until your forearms touch your biceps. Return slowly to the starting position, repeat. You can also do this with one arm at a time or alternating.

 


Reverse Plate Curls

Exercise Data
Main Muscle Worked: Biceps
Other Muscles Worked: Forearms
Equipment: Other
Mechanics Type: Isolation

Tips: Grasp a weight plate with a reverse grip. Your hands should be in an 11:00 o'clock and a 1:00 o'clock position on the plate. Curl the weight up and slowly return. This exercise works on grip strength as well as the biceps and forearms!

 


Seated Close-Grip Concentration Barbell Curl

Exercise Data
Main Muscle Worked: Biceps
Other Muscles Worked: None
Equipment: Barbell
Mechanics Type: Isolation

Tips: Place barbell on the floor near the end of a bench. Sit at the end of the bench with your feet about 24 inches apart. Bend forward at the waist, hold bar with both hands, palms up, about 6 inches apart. Rest elbows on your inner thighs about 4 inches up from your knees. Curl bar up in a semicircular motion until your forearms touch your biceps. Go down using the same path. Do not move your torso or upper arms during the lift!

 


Seated Dumbbell Curl

Exercise Data
Main Muscle Worked: Biceps
Other Muscles Worked: None
Equipment: Dumbbell
Mechanics Type: Isolation

Tips: Sit at the end of a bench with your feet firmly on the floor. Keep your back straight and head up. Start with the dumbbells at arm's length and your palms facing in. Curl the weight up and twist your wrists once they pass your thighs. Squeeze your biceps at the top, then slowly lower the weight. Do not swing! Can also be done standing. The seated position helps prevent bad form.

 


Seated Dumbbell Inner-Bicep Curl

Exercise Data
Main Muscle Worked: Biceps
Other Muscles Worked: None
Equipment: Dumbbell
Mechanics Type: Isolation

Tips: Works the inner biceps. Sit at the end of a bench with your feet firmly on the floor. Start with the dumbbells at arm's length with your palms facing in. Curl dumbbells out and up, turning palms out as you lift, keeping your forearms in line with outer deltoids. Lower the dumbbells to starting position using same path. Can also be done standing.

 


Spider Curl

Exercise Data
Main Muscle Worked: Biceps
Other Muscles Worked: None
Equipment: Barbell
Mechanics Type: Isolation

Tips: Millions of trainers rep away on the sloped side of preacher benches all over the world, not knowing that a better exercise is just 180 degrees away. By turning the pad around and performing spider curls on the straight-edged side of the bench, you get almost twice the range of motion. Spider curls allow you to lower the bar all the way to the bottom of the movement, giving you a stretch that will equate to more productive reps. Seeing as just about everyone wants bigger biceps, spider curls deserve to bump preacher curls off the list of ?mandatory? arm exercises.

 


Standing Bicep Cable Curl

Exercise Data
Main Muscle Worked: Biceps
Other Muscles Worked: None
Equipment: Cable
Mechanics Type: Isolation

Tips: Stand facing the low pulley. Hold a short bar attached to the low cable with your palms up. Stand back from the pulley about 1 or 2 feet and extend your arms straight down. Curl bar up in a semicircular motion until your forearms touch your biceps. Keep your upper arms close to your sides and your elbows in the SAME place. Slowly return to the starting position.

 


Standing Inner-Biceps Curl

Exercise Data
Main Muscle Worked: Biceps
Other Muscles Worked: None
Equipment: Dumbbell
Mechanics Type: Isolation

Tips: Stand straight up and keep your feet at shoulder width. With two dumbbells, start with your arms straight down at your sides with your palms facing in. Curl dumbbells up and out, rotating your wrists to a palms up position. Your forearms should stay in line with your outer delts. Lower dumbbells slowly using the same path.

 


Standing One-Arm Cable Curl

Exercise Data
Main Muscle Worked: Biceps
Other Muscles Worked: None
Equipment: Cable
Mechanics Type: Isolation

Tips: Hold the right stirrup handle that is attached to a low pulley with your right hand. Stand far enough from the machine so the weight is supported with your arm at the side. Curl the handle up, turning your palm up when it clears your thigh. Curl until your biceps touch your forearms. Keep your upper arm close to your side at all times. Slowly return to the starting position, turning your palm inwards when nearing your thigh. Repeat with your right arm.

 


Standing One-Arm Dumbbell Curl Over Incline Bench

Exercise Data
Main Muscle Worked: Biceps
Other Muscles Worked: None
Equipment: Dumbbell
Mechanics Type: Isolation

Tips: Good if you don't have a preacher curl bench! Stand behind an incline bench. Hold dumbbell in one hand, palm up with your upper arm and elbow on the bench. Curl dumbbell up using a semicircular motion until your forearm touches your bicep. Return to the starting position using the same path. Keep your elbow on the bench at all times! Next, do your other arm.

 


Two Arm Dumbbell Preacher Curl

Exercise Data
Main Muscle Worked: Biceps
Other Muscles Worked: None
Equipment: Dumbbell
Mechanics Type: Isolation

Tips: Sit a preacher bench with two dumbbells. Rest your arms and elbow on the slanted pad. Curl dumbbells up in a semicircular motion until forearms touch the biceps. Return to starting position using same path. Keep your elbows on the pad at all times! Can also be done with a barbell, EZ-Curl bar or with one arm at a time.

 


Wide Grip Standing Barbell Curl

Exercise Data
Main Muscle Worked: Biceps
Other Muscles Worked: None
Equipment: Barbell
Mechanics Type: Isolation

Tips: Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and your back straight and head up. Grab a barbell and grip it as wide as you can comfortably go. Curl bar up in a semicircular motion until forearms touch your biceps. Keep your upper arms and elbows at your sides and do not move them during the entire lift. Do NOT swing! Can also be done with close or medium grip.

 


Zottman Curl

Exercise Data
Main Muscle Worked: Biceps
Other Muscles Worked: Forearms
Equipment: Dumbbell
Mechanics Type: Isolation

Tips: Hold two dumbbells at arm's length and stand straight up. Turn your palms up and curl both dumbbells up toward your shoulder. Keep your upper arms against your side at all times! When you reach the top, rotate your wrists so that your palm faces almost straight down. Your thumb will be a little higher than your pinky. Go back to the starting position and repeat. You can also do these one arm at a time alternately or over a preacher bench.

 


Zottman Preacher Curl

Exercise Data
Main Muscle Worked: Biceps
Other Muscles Worked: Forearms
Equipment: Dumbbell
Mechanics Type: Isolation

Tips: Hold one dumbbell and position your upper arm on a preacher bench. Turn your palm up and curl the dumbbell up toward your shoulder. Keep your upper arm flat against the bench at all time! When you reach the top, rotate your wrist so that your palm faces almost straight down. Your thumb will be a little higher than your pinky. Go back to the starting position and repeat. You can also do these standing up.

 


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