To develop an impressive set of biceps, you need to target the muscles from every angle. That’s right, we said muscles. All the muscles that make up what most guys consider their biceps—the biceps brachii (long and short heads), as well as the medial head and brachioradialis (foreaerm)—must all receive some tough and exhausting love to achieve attention-grabbing guns. How do you do that? With proper exercise selection and rotation, and consistently altering things like rep speed, weights used, and sets completed.
“Generally, six to eight reps is for strength, and 10 to 12 reps is suggested for muscle maintenance to keep the tendons strong and healthy,” says Franklin Antoian, ACE Certified Personal Trainer and founder of iBodyFit.com. “With tempos, executing reps faster can allow you to get your workout done quicker while elevating your heart rate and burning more calories. Using slower tempos allows you to use more of the muscle [fibers] and rely less on momentum.”
We asked Antoian to walk us through the benefits of a handful of curls that you may or may not currently use in your repertoire. We also requested that he skip longwinded execution explanations since, in general, curls are performed the same way: Keep your arms at your sides, elbows close to the body, and bend your arm from the elbow as you bring the weight to your shoulder.
Scroll through the gallery for seven curling exercises you should incorporate into your biceps workout.