The 5 Best Biceps Building Exercises for Beginning Bodybuilders

By: Mark G. Winston

If you're serious about building big, muscular biceps, then this is the list for you! But before I give you my Top 5 list for biceps-building success, let me explain my exercise selection criteria.

First, the exercises on this list are simple and for beginners who need a solid foundation in biceps-building fundamentals in order to achieve long-term success from their workouts. While these exercises are simple, they're not easy. Their simplicity lies in the intuitive benefits that come from each biceps-building movement and the fact that you can do these exercises with a minimal time commitment. But getting the most from these exercises will still require careful attention to training technique and workout variety - the 2 keys to biceps-building success that are not always easy for beginning bodybuilders.

If you're wondering whether you're a beginning bodybuilder, here's my general rule. You're a beginner if you've been training your biceps once or twice per week for 6 months or less. You're also a beginner if you been trying to build your biceps for more than 6 months with exercises other than those provided on my list. Why? Because if you haven't mastered the biceps-building exercises listed in my Top 5, you're not ready for the intermediate or advanced workout methods that you'll eventually need to build truly Awesome Arms.

Second, to make my Top 5 list, the equipment needed for each biceps-building exercise must be universally available. That means that you can do all of these exercises with dumbbells, an EZ-curl bar and a basic workout bench which you can find in any gym or health club. You can also do these exercises at home with a very small investment in this equipment for your home gym. There's no need for fancy machines or trendy gimmicks here.

Finally, each of my Top 5 biceps-building exercises will help you to simultaneously build mass, shape and power in your biceps, triceps and forearms. These muscle areas are directly targeted during each exercise to maximize growth and efficiency from your workouts.

Now that I've told you how I created my list, here are the Top 5 exercises for building the big, muscular biceps that you desire! They're not listed in any particular order, so there's no reason to think that one particular exercise is better than another. You must decide what works best for you through experimentation with each exercise. But rest assured that any biceps-building program that includes all of these exercises will definitely add inches, symmetry and power to your GUNS.

1. EZ Bar Preacher Curls

The EZ bar preacher curl is one of my all time favorite biceps exercises. The preacher bench is a terrific training tool as it forces the biceps to work in relative isolation from the back and shoulders. Unlike standing barbell curls which usually involve biceps-cheating torso swing, preacher curls keep your arms at an angle that forces your biceps to provide the leverage needed to lift the weight. The EZ curl bar offers both narrow-grip and wide-grip hand positions. When you use the narrow grip, your hands are in a semi-neutral position and therefore increase involvement of the brachioradialis in the curling motion. If you have no experience with preacher curls, you should probably begin with the narrow-grip position.

As you become more experienced with this exercise you should move to the wider grip as it forces supination or a "palms up" positioning of your hands. Since the biceps function primarily as a hand-supinator, the more you supinate your hands the more resistance you will place on your biceps. If you've got the potential to build biceps peaks, EZ bar preacher curls will certainly tap that potential.

2. Standing EZ Bar Curls

As an alternative to the EZ bar preacher curl, standing EZ bar curls with back support are a great biceps builder. When performed while standing with your back leaning slightly against a wall, standing EZ bar curls force your biceps to lift the weight without the wasteful torso swing that will cheat your biceps of the benefits of this exercise. As mentioned previously, the EZ curl bar has narrow and wide hand-grip positions. If you have no experience with EZ bar curls, you should probably begin with the narrow-grip position. With increased experience in this exercise you should use the wide-grip position to supinate your hands and increase the workload on your biceps.

3. Dumbbell Preacher Curls

The dumbbell preacher curl is another one of my favorite biceps builders. This exercise really allows you to make the mind-body connection so essential to biceps-building success. While many competitive bodybuilders use this exercise exclusively as a "shaper" during pre-contest training, the dumbbell preacher curl also works as a tremendous mass builder when used in a pyramid cycle. In fact, this exercise is the best high intensity bodybuilding movement for simultaneously adding size and shape to your biceps.

4. Concentration Curls

As the name suggests, this exercise places concentrated resistance on the biceps when performed properly. Besides building your biceps, this exercise also stresses and develops the brachialis. The brachialis is a true forearm flexor. It originates on the lower anterior surface of the humerus, ends on the anterior surface of the coronoid process of the ulna (the large bone on the inside of the forearm) and is visible on the outside of the upper arm between the biceps and the lateral head of the triceps. Development of the brachialis and biceps gives the front of your upper arms that thick, dense look that says "mess with me at your own risk!!"

5. Seated Alternating Dumbbell Curls

This exercise is one of the best biceps builders ever as long as you sit on a bench that has a back rest to prevent torso movement. Too many people do this exercise either standing or sitting on a bench without back support. In order to make sure that your biceps get the most work from this movement you must stabilize your torso so as to prevent any jerking motion. Also, remember to supinate your hands throughout each repetition to stimulate maximum growth for your biceps.

So, there you have it - my Top 5 list of biceps-building exercises for beginning bodybuilders. Try them, have fun with them, and make sure that you use safe amounts of weight and proper training technique with every exercise.

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