Get Armed for Battle

The very best biceps exercises for towering peaks.

Chris Lund

BEST BICEPS FINISHING MOVE:

STANDING CABLE CURL DROPSET

KNEE-JERK REACTION

“Shouldn’t I do this with dumbbells instead?”

OUR EXPERTS’ TAKE

Yes, you could choose to “run the rack” and do a dumbbell curl dropset instead of this pick. But Carla Sanchez, former IFBB Pro League fitness pro and owner of Performance Ready Fitness Studio in Lone Tree, CO, prefers the cable version in a pinch. “It’s more convenient than trying to monopolize a dumbbell rack in a busy gym, it’s a little easier to switch weights from set to set because you’re just changing a pin, and it’s safer to perform a cable curl to absolute failure alone,” she explains.

HOW TO DO IT

  • Stand in front of a low-pulley cable with a short straight bar attached. Grasp the bar with both hands in a supinated (palms up) grip, elbows extended, standing upright and far enough back from the apparatus that the stack is slightly lifted, putting your muscles under direct tension to start.
  • Maintaining a tight core and keeping your elbows at your sides, flex your biceps to bend your elbows and curl the bar toward your upper chest.
  • Hold the contraction at the top for a hard one count, then slowly lower the bar along the same path.
  • Don’t allow the weight stack to touch down between reps.

KEY POINTERS

Two things will help you get the most out of this last-gasp, biceps-blasting finisher. “Make sure to start heavy enough—I recommend your 6RM weight on the first set, which means a resistance you can get about six reps with but no more,” Sanchez says. “Also watch your form closely, making sure you continue to rep with your biceps and not by arching your back to help drive the movement.”

INTENSIFY IT

Switch out the bar for a D-handle and do these dropsets one arm at a time.   

 “BEST” BICEPS WORKOUT 

This workout combines the experts’ picks into one killer training session. We recommend doing this workout on its own and not paired with another larger body part beforehand, so you’re fresh and at your strongest. Feel free to use one or two of the “Intensify It” techniques outlined in the article.

  • Close-Grip Chinup | SETS: 4 | REPS: 10 
  • Standing Barbell Curl | SETS: 4 | REPS: 10 10, 8, 6
    • or Barbell Curl 21s | SETS: 4 | REPS: 21 (7, 7, 7) 
  • EZ-Bar Preacher Curl | SETS: 4 | REPS: 10, 10, 8, 6 
  • Dumbbell Hammer Curl | SETS: 3 | REPS: 15, 12, 8 
  • Lying Cable Curl | SETS: 3 | REPS: 12, 12, 12 
  • Standing Cable Curl Dropset | SETS: 2 | REPS: To failure

 FLEX  
 

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