Min menu


Hot Articles

Big upper biceps are nice and all, but to be perfectly honest, they're nothing without a nice set of lower biceps to accompany them. Regardless of how high your biceps peaks might be, if your bicep bulk does not swell all the way down to your elbow, you'll appear to have only half an upper arm.

To avoid this funny-looking result, we've provided a three-step exercise to fully work your bis all the way around, down to your elbows.

 1-barbell curl

The venerable barbell curl isn’t going anywhere. Keeping your elbows pinned to your sides allows you to utilize the whole of your biceps complex, meaning you can generally move more weight. But again, elbow positioning is key. When you go too heavy, you have to force the elbows forward of the body, which takes the emphasis off the biceps momentarily and places more stress on the anterior deltoids. Take the ego out of the equation and you put yourself in better position for high-quality reps throughout each set.

2-Tate press

Lie on a bench and hold two dumbbells directly above your shoulders. Slowly bend your elbows to bring the dumbbells to your chest, so your palms face outwards and the dumbbells point towards the ceiling. Raise the dumbbells back to starting position and repeat.

Working at this angle places more emphasis on the long head of the triceps for more visible muscle separation at the back of your arms. Wearing a vest to show them off at the office is against the rule, sadly.

3-Scott curl

The preacher and Scott curl—the latter of which uses the flat side of the preacher pad—lock the elbows in front of the body. Curling from this angle shifts the muscular emphasis to the meaty inner head of the biceps, the one most visible when you flex in the mirror. These benches limit the amount of cheating you can do and that’s a good thing if you’re looking to hit that inner head harder.

4-Incline bicep curl

Sit on an incline bench and hold a dumbbell in each hand at arms length. Use your biceps to curl the dumbbell until it reaches your shoulder, then lower them back down to your side and repeat.

Beware: this position isolates the biceps and prevents other muscles from sharing the load. You can work the entire muscle by turning your wrists out slightly and keeping your elbows pointed towards the floor throughout the rep.

Again, use the same over-the-top body position, with your upper arm plastered against the vertical side of the preacher bench to maintain the range of motion.

In contrast to seated alternate dumbbell curls, do not supinate these. If you let the dumbbell twist on the way down, it places an uncomfortable torque stress on your brachialis and elbow tendons. Keep it perfectly level throughout.


The range of motion, however, is the same as for any dumbbell curl. Start each rep by letting your arm hang straight down at full extension. This targets the lower biceps. (Stop short of full extension and you miss the lower biceps altogether.) Then curl as high as your elbow will allow, which in this case is approximately horizontal, again maintaining continuous tension.

6-Overhead Cable Curls

This unique exercise is my personal favorite for a targeted assault on the brachialis. Place a flat bench in front of a weight stack on one side of a cable crossover machine. Make sure that the bench is at least a foot or so away from the stack. Attach a short straight bar to the upper pulley, lie down, and plant your feet firmly on the floor. Have someone hand you the bar.