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December 18, 2021

Awesome Bodyweight Bicep Exercises for Men & Women

Training your biceps can be extremely beneficial as they are active in almost every part of daily life; particularly in pulling-like movements. Plus, having big guns or toned arms has never been a drawback. In the following 5 minutes I’m going to quickly teach you how to train your biceps with only your bodyweight.

 

Bicep Anatomy and Function

 

The bicep is comprised of three parts namely the:

  • Brachialis,
  • Brachioradialis, and
  • Biceps brachii.

 

It’s highly unlikely your arms will be big and toned without you training all three of these; and plain old curls won’t do the trick. Collectively, these three function to create elbow flexion but is also responsible for some shoulder flexion.

 

Training all three parts of the bicep will be crucial for overall growth, and therefore various exercises and loading profiles can be utilized to create maximum tension.

 

Best Bodyweight Bicep Exercises – Home or Gym

 

The best exercises for mass are firstly going to be the supinated grip pullups (or chin ups). A great compound exercise, allowing a full stretch and shortening of the bicep. Not only will it train your biceps, but also your lats, and your middle back muscles as well. This will work all three parts of the bicep, however to hit the Brachialis using a neutral grip will be best.

 

For lean muscles we might want something a bit more concentrated like a TRX curl. This allows for full control and concentration on the biceps, targeting the Brachioradialis and Biceps Brachii specifically.

 

Home Workout for Beginners: Bodyweight Biceps

 

1.) Towel Curl

 

  • Sit on the edge of a chair with a twisted towel under one of your feet, your foot positioned in the middle of the towel.
  • Holding either ends of the towel in your hands and using your foot as resistance, bend your elbows to pull your hands towards your face.
  • Hold and contract for a good 3 seconds before lowering the towel again.

 

2.) Standing Leg Curl

 

  • While standing upright, bring the one leg forward and upwards, bending the leg at the knee at 90 degrees.
  • Twist the leg sideways, so to have the one leg cross over the other.
  • Lean down and grab the ankle of the bent leg, and curl the leg upwards. Resist the pull of the bicep as needed by the leg itself.

 

The Workout:

 

Towel Curl: 5 x 15 reps

Standing Leg Curl: 5 x 10 reps per leg

 

Home Workout for Intermediates: Bodyweight Biceps

 

1.) Inverted Curl

 

  • Place hands shoulder width (or maybe just past shoulder width) on pullup bar, wrapping hands fully around.
  • Place feet forward enough to maintain a hang under the bar with a straight body, arms lining up perpendicular to the chest.
  • Without body motion, bend the elbows to pull upper body towards the bar in a curl manner.
  • When chest reaches the bar, lower the body to starting position – this is one rep.

 

2.) Lying Towel Curl

 

  • Lie flat on the ground on your back, with the towel rolled up and positioned below both feet.
  • Grip the towel at either end, and curl up using both feet as resistance.
  • Curl until your hands reach your chest, squeeze for 3 seconds and return to the original position.

 

3.) Standing Leg Curl

 

  • See above for the test steps.

 

The Workout:

 

Inverted Curl: 4 x 10 Reps

Lying Towel Curl: 4 x 20 reps

Standing Leg Curl: 4 x 14 reps per leg

 

Gym Workout for Beginners: Bodyweight Biceps

 

1.) Supinated Grip Pullups

 

  • Place hands shoulder width (or maybe just past shoulder width) on pullup bar, wrapping hands fully around.
  • While maintaining a neutral body position and spine, hang freely and look forward.
  • Pull yourself up, without arching or swinging the body. Drive elbows down into your back, towards the base of your spine.
  • Once you reach the top, slowly lower yourself to the starting position and repeat.

 

2.) Bicep Stretch

 

  • While still hanging from the pullup bar in the supinated grip, hang completely free to maintain as much of a stretch in the biceps as possible.
  • This is to be done as soon as exercise one is finished.
  • Hold this position for as long as you can.

 

3.) Inverted Curl with TRX

 

  • Place hands shoulder width (or maybe just past shoulder width) on pullup bar, wrapping hands fully around.
  • Place feet forward enough to maintain a hang under the bar with a straight body, arms lining up perpendicular to the chest.
  • Without body motion, bend the elbows to pull upper body towards the bar in a curl manner.
  • When chest reaches the bar, lower the body to starting position – this is one rep.

 

The Workout:

 

1.) Supinated Grip Pullups 4 x 8 – 12

Superset with exercise 2

2.) Bicep Stretch 4 x as long as you can

3.) Inverted curl 4 x 12

 

Gym Workout for Intermediates: Bodyweight Biceps

 

1.) Supinated Grip Pullups

 

  • For steps see above

 

2.) Neutral Grip Pullups

 

  • Place hands on bars, palms facing one another, wrapping hands fully around.
  • While maintaining a neutral body position and spine, hang freely and look forward.
  • Pull yourself up, without arching or swinging the body. Drive elbows down into your back, towards the base of your spine.
  • Once you reach the top, slowly lower yourself to the starting position and repeat.

 

3.) Inverted Curl with TRX

 

  • Refer above for detailed steps

 

The Workout:

 

1.) Supinated Grip Pullups 4 x 8 – 12

2.) Neutral Grip Pullups 3 x 15

3.) Inverted curl 4 x 15

 

Should you be stretching your Biceps?

 

Stretching before training can be useful to prime the muscle for the training session to follow, allowing for blood flow to increase. Stretching after training can be beneficial for the recovery process.

 

Pre-Workout and Post-Workout Stretches:

 

1.) Wall Stretch

 

  • Place flat hand against the wall, with inner elbow facing forward.
  • Slowly move body forward to allow a gentle stretch in the bicep and chest.
  • Hold for 10 seconds, repeat on other arm as well.
  • Repeat 3 times per arm.

 

Conclusion

 

Training your biceps has plenty of benefits, and not just aesthetic. Having stronger biceps reduces the risk of injury, as well as helping you execute daily tasks. Training with your own bodyweight is not a limitation to get some yoked arms.

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Steve


Steve Theunissen is from New Zealand and is a qualified Personal Trainer and Nutritionist with over 30 years experience. Read more about Steve in the 'about us' page.

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