Getting those rock-solid biceps requires using some serious training techniques. Having large arms doesn’t mean they’re well-developed arms. They are not impressive at all if they lack height and the sweep of triceps.
Cheating those heavy barbell curls will definitely build up the muscle mass but not the muscle shape. Why? It does not allow for a complete contraction and extension of your muscles. For a visible bicep shape, a complete range of motion is required for its development. If you are just curling with the barbell, it will only build up the muscle mass and not the shape.
Moreover, bros with a longer biceps will have more difficulty in developing the unique cleavage between the inner elbows and the biceps as compared to those with shorter bicep structure. The reason is it requires more practice static and a peak contraction movement. If you have long biceps, then you must limit the curling to high-tension work.
Now before I jump on to telling you about the exercises, let’s talk about triceps as well. Like biceps, triceps also require proper extension and contraction to develop the sweep. To develop triceps, the inner head of the muscles have to be exercised properly. Your triceps have three heads, the outer head (meatiest section), one in the back of the arm and the inner head on the front side. Just like biceps curls, triceps extensions are also important.
So, make the most out of each of these exercises for well-developed biceps and triceps.
1. Alternating Hammer Curl
It’s a pretty elementary exercise but let’s practice how to perform it. Stand up with a dumbbell of your desired weight in each hand. Make sure your elbows are close to the torso and the palms facing towards the torso.
Beginning with whichever arm you want, curl the weight up until the biceps are fully contracted and hold this position for a second or two. Now, gradually lower the dumbbell back to the starting point and repeat the same with your opposite arm. Perform at least three sets of 8 to 12 reps each.
2. Preacher Curl
A preacher bench is required for this exercise. Grab a bar or dumbbell of your desired weight. Make it a challenging one. If you’re using a bar, then grab it with a close grip.
Make sure that your chest is slightly pressed against the bench pad for support. Now gradually curl the bar till your biceps are fully contracted. Hold this position for a second and the lower it as your exhale. Perform two sets of 10-12 reps each.
3. Reverse Barbell Curl
You can wear the wrist wraps if you want. While standing, grip the barbell at shoulder width with your elbows close to your torso. The palms must be facing down.
Now curl the weight while you contract the biceps. Make sure that only your forearms should move. Continue until the biceps are fully contracted. Hold this position and finally lower the barbell to the starting position. Perform two sets of 12-15 reps each.
4. Top Pulley Cable Curl
Because of the cables, there will be constant tension on the biceps. Adjust the height of pulleys so that they are positioned slightly above your shoulders.
Now position yourself in the middle, grab each handle with the arms fully extended. Perform the movement as though you were doing a front double biceps pose. Then gradually lower the weight, extending the biceps and coming back to your starting position. Perform two sets of 16-20 reps.
5. Incline Overhead EZ Bar Extension
Lie on an incline bench with an angle between 45-75 degrees. Now bring the bar overhead with your arms completely extended and elbows in.
Lower the bar in a semicircular motion until the forearms and biceps touch each other. Return to the starting position and repeat the process. Perform three sets of 8 to 10 reps.
6. Overhead Cable Extension
Firstly, lower the pulley to your mid-lower back or lower and attach a rope. Grab it with both hands and extend the arms to bring the hands above the head. Make sure your palms are facing each other.
Now, lower the rope behind the head as much as you can. When you reach a point where you can no longer lower the rope, hold this position for a second and then bring it back to the starting point. Perform three sets of 10-12 reps each.
7. Flat Bench Tricep Extension
Pretty much similar to the incline EZ bar extension but on a flat bench.
Simply grab the bar of desired weight with a close grip and extend your arms until the bar is in line with your eyes. This will be the starting position. Now, lower the bar in a semicircular motion till the forearms and biceps touch. Perform two sets of 12-15 reps each.
8. Overhead Dumbbell Extension
Grab a dumbbell of your desired weight with both hands above your head. Hold the dumbbell in such a way that resistance rests on the palms of your hands with the thumbs around it. Keep your upper arms close to your head and elbows in.
Now gradually lower the dumbbell in a semicircular motion behind the head until the forearms and biceps touch. Breath in and bring it back to the starting/extended position. Perform two sets of 16-20 reps each.