Biceps Exercises Ranked (BEST TO WORST!)

img

By ATHLEAN-X

SAFE & EFFECTIVE TRAINING THAT YIELDS UNDENIABLE RESULTS

Biceps Exercises Ranked (BEST TO WORST!)

About This Class

There are so many biceps exercises, but which ones should you be focusing your efforts on if you want to build bigger biceps? In this video, I’m going to give you the most popular bicep exercises ranked from worst to best and help you to determine which ones you should be doing and which you can probably do without.

With that said, we have to lay out the criteria for the biceps exercise selection, which you will find laid out in the video.

Now, let’s break down the ranking categories and see where each bicep exercise sits on the list.

WORST

1. Concentration Curls

2. Reverse Curls

3. Biceps Pushup

The concentration curl kicks off this list in the worst category. Why? Well, the concentration curl is non-athletic version of the curl where you are completely seated and off your feet.

The reverse curl is a great curling movement, but not a great biceps exercise. It comes down to the simple anatomy and bio-mechanics; the reverse curl does not target the biceps, but instead the brachioradialis.

The biceps pushup will always remain at the bottom of the list for me for one simple reason… it doesn’t hit your biceps. At all. You’re better off skipping this one entirely if you want bigger arms.

BETTER

4. Inverted Chin Curls

5. Zottman Curls

6. Preacher Curls

7. Cable Curls

Inverted chin curls are a solid bodyweight option to train your biceps, but can be hard to overload. This can be an issue because the movement will become too easy unless you can start adding weight via a weighted vest.

Zottman curls allow for the biceps to achieve their main function of elbow flexion, but the limiter of this exercise is the lack of eccentric overload on the biceps with eccentric portion being the strongest function of the biceps. By pronating the hands, the eccentric focus goes to the brachioradialis instead.

Preacher curls often give a false sense of security because you are bracing your elbows against the pad, giving the impression that you can handle more weight. Unfortunately, this line of thinking is risky.

Cable curls are great for achieving a good contraction on the biceps at the top of the movement. Unfortunately, at the bottom of the movement, you lose tension on the biceps due to the line force being in direct line with the muscles.

BETTER STILL

8. Spider Curls

9. Drag Curls

10. Cable Flex Curls / Lip Buster Curls

11. Waiter Curls

Spider curls are awesome for developing mind-muscle-connection with the biceps in their peak contracted state. Not only that, but there is a freedom of movement that you don’t find in some other bicep exercises.

Drag curls are the first option on this list to target the long head of the biceps. This is done by getting the elbows back behind the body, which allows for more stretch on the long head of the biceps.

Cable flex curls (also known as the lip buster curl), using a higher anchor point elaborates on the cable curl by getting the shoulder into flexion, an important secondary component of biceps function.

The waiter curl is an awesome option for getting peak contraction of the biceps that is achievable by keeping the wrists back into extension based on the way you have to hold to dumbbell throughout the exercise.

ALMOST BEST

12. Incline DB Curls

13. Chinups

14. Barbell Curls

The incline db curl is an exercise that I consider to be the best for getting the biceps into that all-important stretch position that is not possible with other biceps exercises outside of the drag curl.

Chinups are probably the best bang for your buck bodyweight bicep builders. Another great benefit is the ease of accessibility since it’s just a reliance on a simple pullup bar.

The barbell curl is a versatile biceps movement in that you can load this exercise well, progressively overload it, and perform it strict or in cheat fashion. Both options, strict or cheat, have different benefits but will get you big biceps.

BEST

15. Alternating Standing DB Curls

The alternating standing db curl is ranked number one on this list due to its effectiveness and versatility. You can offset the dumbbell to achieve maximum load under supination, add external rotation to benefit the shoulders at the same time, and even adding bands to accommodate overlapping strength curves.

Meet Your Teacher

ATHLEAN-X

SAFE & EFFECTIVE TRAINING THAT YIELDS UNDENIABLE RESULTS

img

THE ATHLEAN-X CREATOR JEFF CAVALIERE

Jeff Cavaliere MSPT, CSCS served as both the Head Physical Therapist and Assistant Strength Coach for the New York Mets during the National League East Championship 2006, 2007 and 2008 seasons and coached some of the game’s most accomplished players including future hall of fame pitchers Tom Glavine and Pedro Martinez, and perennial all-stars Carlos Delgado, Carlos Beltran, David Wright, Jose Reyes, and Billy Wagner to name just a few. He is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist by the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA).

TRAINING AND EDUCATION

Jeff received his Masters Degree in Physical Therapy and Bachelor of Science in Physioneurobiology / Premedicine from the University of Connecticut in Storrs, CT (one of the top 5 universities in the country in physical therapy and sports medicine). Off the field, Cavaliere is a much sought after author and lecturer, speaking on the topics of baseball injury prevention and sport specific conditioning and has appeared numerous times in print media writing (including many of the top Fitness Magazines) on the topics of sports training, injury rehabilitation and prevention. Consistent with his desire to leave no stone unturned in the pursuit of creating the “complete and functional athlete”, Cavaliere also possesses an extensive knowledge of nutrition that he has simplified for the masses and both practices and preaches with outstanding results.

PUTTING THE SCIENCE BACK IN STRENGTH

In the weight room Jeff is known for his unique and cutting edge approaches to functional strength and conditioning and has been called the actual “brains behind the brawn” for putting real muscle science back into training. Cavaliere’s physical therapy background is his greatest asset and what separates him from most all other trainers, as it provides him with the ability to apply his knowledge of bio mechanics, muscle anatomy and function in order to create some of the most effective (and often never before seen) exercise combos and programs around…while prioritizing safety and injury prevention always. His creativity and credentials are second to none in the game. When the goal is reaching peak performance and maximizing all that the body has to offer, Jeff is at the very top of the game.

OUTSIDE THE WEIGHT ROOM WALLS

Outside the gym, Cavaliere is an accomplished author having penned both the Major League Insider Training Manual (a strength and conditioning must for all professional baseball players and aspiring pros alike) and the Teen Sports Nutrition Blueprint (an insightful look at the worrying state of youth nutrition and childhood obesity…and more importantly…solutions to change this!)

Amongst his peers, Jeff is recognized as a respected authority who never lets ego stand in the way of education and continued learning which helps him to stay on the cutting edge of his field of expertise.

ATHLEAN IN EVERYONE

Cavaliere realizes that not everyone that steps into a gym has athletic aspirations, but finds that there isn’t a guy around that wouldn’t want to have a ripped, athletic body. Taking the exact methods and techniques used to forge some of the greatest, most explosive and strongest physiques in pro sports and now applying it to you…Jeff has now made it possible for everyone to look like athletes with his complete ATHLEAN-X Training System. If you want to unleash your inner athlete, build sculpted muscle head to toe, and finally get that shredded core…then it’s time to join the rest of TEAM ATHLEAN and get started today.

See full profile

Chloe Ting 6.4M Views
HIIT All Levels
Yoga With Adriene 48.3M Views
Workout Beginner
Yoga With Adriene 2.3M Views
Vinyasa All Levels
Psyche Truth 4.6M Views
Workout Beginner
Psyche Truth 91.5K Views
Workout Beginner
Psyche Truth 129.9K Views
Restorative All Levels
Kino MacGregor 37.2K Views
Yin All Levels
Kino MacGregor 111K Views
Ashtanga Advanced
Kino MacGregor 42.5K Views
Power Intermediate
Fitness Blender 3.4M Views
Pilates All Levels
ADVERTISEMENT