The biceps brachii and the brachialis are the two main muscles responsible for bending the elbow. When these muscles are strong, they allow you to easily pick up, pull and carry objects. They even help you lift up your own body weight, as in the case of performing chin-ups. Repeat this circuit two to three times to fully challenge the biceps.
- Squat rack or Smith machine
Incline Bar Chin-up
With a narrow-width underhand grip (i.e., palms facing toward you), hold onto either a barbell placed in a low position in a squat rack or on a bar locked in place in a Smith machine and position the body at a 45-degree angle from the ground. Keeping the feet planted on the floor, perform biceps-focused chin-ups by pulling the chest up to meet the bar.
Holding a barbell in the hands with the palms facing forward, stand tall with the feet underneath the hips, knees slightly bent and the abs engaged. Curl the bar up toward the shoulders, keeping the elbows close to the sides of the ribcage.
Alternating Standing Hammer Curl With Supination
Holding a dumbbell in each hand with the palms facing the sides of the hips, stand tall with the feet underneath the hips, knees slightly bent and the abs engaged. Curl one dumbbell at a time up toward the shoulder, allowing the palm to rotate to face the front of the shoulder; keep the elbows close to the sides of the ribcage.
Assume a plank position on the hands and toes (or hands and knees, if needed). Place each hand on top of a dumbbell in this plank position. While keeping the abdominals engaged and the spine and neck in alignment, perform an alternating hammer curl with the arms. Keep the elbows directly underneath the shoulders, even when curling. Work on keeping the hips fairly still and avoid rocking them side-to-side.
Holding a dumbbell in each hand with the palms facing the front of the hips, stand tall with the feet hip-width apart, knees slightly bent and the abs engaged. Without moving the upper arms, bend the elbows and curl the dumbbells as close to the shoulders as possible. Emphasize the eccentric portion of the action by slowly lowering down the weights.
Sabrena Merrill Contributor
Sabrena Merrill, MS, holds 20 years of experience in the health and fitness industry, where she has successfully developed continuing education and educational videos, and served as a speaker at fitness conferences nationwide. She is a Level 1 CrossFit Trainer and a long-time ACE Certified Professional. Sabrena holds a master's degree in physical education from University of Kansas.