Like no other muscle is the biceps in fitness circles emblematic of strength and masculinity. Already since childhood the tightening of the upper arm is considered a metaphorical stake out of one's own territory towards potential competitors. Accordingly, it is not surprising that just the biceps in the field of power sports, despite its relatively low mass, occupies an exposed position. Any fitness athlete should understand that the excessive strain on the target muscle is not effective, but especially beginners like to overload the male show muscle with innumerable repetitions, which in the end will only do one thing - stagnation through overtraining. We'll show you which exercises to use to train your biceps most effectively without overstraining your muscles.

Dumbbell curls standing up

The undisputed classic among biceps exercises is curling with the dumbbell, and for good reason, because the large range of movement in particular causes optimal loading of the muscle by recruiting a large part of the muscle fibers. However, the fact that the Dumbbell Curls ranked first in the ranking of the most commonly performed exercises also implies that it is the most commonly misused exercise, which not only limits their effectiveness but also increases the risk of injury. As a result, care should be taken that the elbows are tight against the body, so that the movement comes from the elbow joint alone, without involving the shoulder. As part of the classic variant, you grasp the weight in the lower grip and move it slowly upwards, before slowly releasing it again from the apex, in order to load the muscle fibers, which primarily respond to eccentric training. However, to get the most out of your biceps, it's best to start the movement in the hilt (dumbbell parallel to the thigh) and continue to twist the weight to the apex to recruit the maximum number of muscle fibers and continue to contraction around the inner bicep head accelerate.

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SZ curls standing up

The so-called SZ curls are similar in design to the classic barbell curls, but differ significantly from the former by the grip angle. In contrast to barbell curls, which strain both the wrist and the wheel joint between the ulna and the spine, which allows for the rotation of the forearm, the SZ-grip allows a natural hand position. Furthermore, the curved handle of the SZ rod creates a significantly lower tension in the forearm, with the result that it fatigues much slower during the exercise execution. The biggest trump of this curl variant, however, is that both the inner and the outer Bizepskopf are evenly loaded, whereby the maximum effectiveness at relatively low training level can be guaranteed. However, the limiting factor here is the design, which should be executed in any case without momentum. Since this is often a problem, especially in the standing version, it is advisable to carry out the exercise first with your back leaning against a wall.

Hammer curls sitting

As the name of the exercise already suggests, the weight of the hammer curls is kept as the eponymous tool throughout the movement. In contrast to classical curls, which increasingly load the inner bicep head, the majority of the effort in this case is attributed to the long biceps head, which is responsible for the characteristic curvature of the biceps outwards. On top of that, the brachialis, which in turn is the strongest flexor muscle of the upper arm, is trained to a much greater degree than is the case with classical curls. In addition to the fact that the training focus can be placed on the long biceps head by performing hammer curls, the exercise by strengthening the brachialis implies the stabilization of the elbow joint and helps the bicep to develop optimal power. When working, make sure that the elbows are close to the body and that the shoulder is rotated slightly outwards, so that the weight can be passed slowly and in a pull on the thigh. Like all other exercises for the biceps, a repetition should take between 3 and 5 seconds and should be performed in such a controlled manner that the movement can be stopped at any time.

Concentration curls sitting down

Another classic of strength training, whose dissemination was not least Arnold Schwarzenegger, are the so-called concentration curls with the dumbbell, which are particularly suitable for completing biceps training. The exercise is performed while sitting, so that the biceps can be loaded as isolated as possible. In the classic twist on the concentration curls, you lean forward to stabilize your upper arm by putting it on the inner thigh and starting to lift the weight slowly. Since the focus of the exercise is on the muscle feeling, it is not important to move as high a weight as possible, but to feel the tension in the muscle and make it optimal, so that it is evenly loaded. It is also advisable to consciously contract the biceps at the apex of the movement. A modification of the basic form is the execution of the exercise with focus on the eccentric partial movement, in which you support the lifting of a relatively heavy weight by your free hand and this leaves the more controlled.

Twenty ones for strength endurance

The so-called Twenty Ones are primarily used to increase the strength endurance of the biceps and the brachialis, so as to be able to exploit the maximum performance of the targeted muscle parts in terms of hypertrophy training. The exercise that you should definitely do with the SZ dumbbell consists basically of three partial movements, each of which is completed seven times. At the beginning, you stabilize your elbows, as with all other biceps exercises, and lift the dumbbell seven times until your forearms are parallel to the ground, then release them again. After the last of the partial repeats, you start in the end position and move the weight seven more times - in this case, however, to the very top. This is followed by the execution of seven full reps, bringing you to a total of 21. Due to the focus on endurance, the Twenty Ones are particularly suitable for pumping out the biceps at the end of the workout.


Needless to say, you should not include all the above-mentioned exercises at once in your training, but only 2 out of 5, and exchange them as you wish, at intervals of a few weeks, to optimally burden your biceps. Consequently, the rule is less is more, since the male model muscle is already trained by the back training to a considerable extent and thus no sprawling biceps training is necessary to achieve adequate muscle growth.

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