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5 Unique Biceps Exercises to Use for Mass and Strength

These variations can be incredibly useful for busting through plateaus and stagnant training.

There are a ton of different biceps exercises to build bigger arms, however, are they all equal?

Well, yes and no. Every bicep exercise will be slightly different based on where an individual’s current training levels are. In order to grow any area on the body, then there needs to be some form of progressive overload. For the biceps specifically, there are multiple ways you can progressively overload them for growth. You can alter intensity, frequency, total volume, range of motion, and so much more. 

If you feel that your bicep training has gone stale, then it might be time to change up a few of your exercise choices. In the video and article below, we highlight five bicep exercises that you may not already enlist in your program. Some of these you may already know, but if some are brand new to your knowledge, try them out and see how your body responds. 

5 Unique Bicep Exercises 

1. Spider Curls

Why: Spider curls are great because they require the bicep to work against gravity from a disadvantageous position. This helps isolate the bicep entirely and can really help you focus on mind-muscle connection and hypertrophy.

How-To

  1. Set up an incline bench and lay on it with the chest being supported and the head extending off. 
  2. Scale the height of the bench based on where your arms, the dumbbells or barbells should be just out of arm’s reach. 
  3. Grip the implement and proceed to curl with a supinated hand position. 
  4. Focus on lifting with only the bicep, and avoid swinging. 
Spider Curls
Spider Curls

2. Curl 21s

Why: Because pain is inevitable. Barbell and dumbbell 21s are an amazing option for accumulating more volume for your bicep training.

How-To:

  1. Grab a barbell or dumbbells and perform 7-half reps from the bottom to 90 degrees.
  2. Perform 7-half reps from the midway mark of the curl to the top.
  3. Finish with 7-full standard reps.

3. Zottman Curls

Why: Zottman curls are an awesome exercise to focus on the biceps and forearms all in one shot. Additionally, the supination and pronation of the hands at the top and bottom of this curl help train forearm rotation, which can be very useful for athletes like hockey players and lacrosse players. 

Zottman Curls
Zottman Curls

How-To

  1. Grab dumbbells and supinate the hands (palms facing up), then curl as normal.
  2. Once you reach the top, pronate the hands (turn the palms down).
  3. Slowly lower the weights to the bottom, then supinate the hands again.

4. Incline Bench Dumbbell Curls

Why: The incline bench dumbbell curl is a great variation to sprinkle in when you really want to increase the overall range of motion and stretch on the biceps. 

How-To

  1. Set your bench height to a level that’s in between what you use for a seated overhead press and incline bench press.
  2. Supinate the hands and curl the dumbbells as normal.
  3. Try to keep the arms at a relatively perpendicular position with the ground to achieve a strong stretch.

5. Arnold Curls 

Why: The Arnold Curls, when used effectively, can be a great way to isolate and overload the biceps. The positioning of the Arnold Curl allows lifters to get a slight swing to overload the bicep, but in a controlled fashion. 

How-To

  1. Setup an incline bench to a height that’s in between what’s used for seated overhead presses and incline bench presses.
  2. Lean forward and set similar to how you would set performing a dumbbell row.
  3. Set the back, lay the forearm across the bench, and stagger the feet (place the curling arm’s foot back further). 
  4. Leave the opposing arm hanging perpendicular with the floor, then curl as normal.
Arnold Curls
Arnold Curls

Wrapping Up

The biceps are a muscle group that should be treated like every other on the body. They need to be progressively overloaded to grow and their training overload can come from a variety of modalities. If you feel that your bicep training is stagnant, then try out some of these variations and let us know in the comments below if you like them! 

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