Build Bigger Biceps With These 3 Dumbbell Exercises

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Build Bigger Biceps With These 3 Dumbbell Exercises

Nothing gets your confidence up like looking down at your arms and seeing a pair of bulging biceps. At the same time, nothing can be harder, or more confusing than growing those bulging biceps. There are so many exercises to choose from, and they all seem to do pretty much the same thing, right?

You’ve got barbell curls, dumbbell curls, concentration curls, zottman curls, incline curls, supinated dumbbell curls, hammer curls, preacher curls, spider curls, and the list goes on and on…

But what are the best exercises to actually build bigger biceps? First, let’s get a quick anatomy lesson.

Biceps Anatomy 101


Pics Of Biceps Muscle With Name Muscle Pictures Ii | Chandler Physical Therapy – Anatomy Inner Body

The biceps originate in the shoulder and insert below the elbow. In the picture here, you can see that the long and short head of the biceps actually take different paths through the shoulder before they connect. The short head goes around the humerus (the big upper arm bone), while the long head goes over top of the humerus.

Why is this important?

Depending on the position of your humerus, the biceps will be stretched to varying degrees, which affects how your biceps behave during an exercise.

For instance, if your elbows are back behind your body, like in an incline curl, then the long head of your biceps will be stretched more than the short head. If your elbows are in front of your body, like in a spider curl, then both heads will be stretched less. We’ll talk more about why that matters in a bit.

Biceps Functions

The other important thing to know about your biceps is that they have two functions: flexion and supination.

Flexion is the act of bringing your hand towards your shoulder, and supination is the act of turning your hand from a palms down position, to a palms up position.

From the textbook to the Gym

Now that you understand about your biceps anatomy and functions, let’s dive into the workout.

Build Bigger Biceps With These 3 Dumbbell Exercises

This workout switches up the angle of your arms to vary the stretch in your biceps. Stretching your biceps more will help emphasize the long head, working your biceps peak, and stretching your biceps less will help you get a really strong contraction.

In addition to changing the angle, this workout incorporates both biceps functions, flexion and supination, for a full biceps workout.

Exercise #1: Dumbbell Spider Curls – 3 sets x 10, 8, 6 reps

With your elbows in front of you, like here in the spider curl, your biceps are stretched less. This allows you to get a really strong contraction. Make sure to squeeze your biceps as hard as you can at the top of this movement.

Exercise #2: Supinated Dumbbell Curls – 3 sets x 8 reps

Supinated dumbbell curls are one of the best biceps exercises because it incorporates both flexion and supination. Make sure to twist your wrists earlier in the movement, rather than later, and twist and squeeze as much as you can at the top.

Exercise #3: Incline Dumbbell Curls – 3 sets x 10-12 reps

Remember that if your elbows are behind your body, like here in the incline curl, then the long head is stretched more. Since the long head is stretched more, this will cause it to slightly work more.

Want to get a taller biceps peak? The peak is actually the long head, so doing incline curls can help.

Pro Tip: Flex your triceps at the bottom of the movement. This will ensure you get a full stretch for your biceps and don’t cheat.

For those looking to get a great pump with dumbbells, papababe Dumbbells are a solid option. If you’re interested in a great set of adjustable dumbbells, check out Bowflex SelectTech Dumbbells for ease and convenience!


This workout is one of the best biceps workouts because it works your biceps in the flexed position, in the stretched position, and hits both functions of your biceps.

Also, you only need a dumbbells, so it can be done at nearly any home or commercial gym.

Have a different combination of dumbbell biceps exercises you like? For more news and updates, follow Generation Iron on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

Jake is a former personal trainer & current fitness nerd. Check out more tips to get bigger arms on his site

*Header image courtesy of Envato Elements.