Outer bicep exercises are gradually becoming a trend these days. Many gym beginners of today are attracted to the amazing looks of yesteryears bodybuilders and how muscular they look. Their major attraction is their big arms. The part of the arm which they probably wished to have the most is called the bicep.
A bicep is a group of muscles that is made up of two heads. The two heads are the bicep long head and the bicep short head. The long head of the bicep is generally known as the outer bicep while the short head is known as the inner bicep.
The outer bicep attaches at the back of your shoulder blade to the outer bicep. Actually, the two bicep heads have their different function and are more active during specific exercises.
Outer bicep exercises result in this kind of appealing look that the upper arms have which works for both men and women. If you have sagging skin that is caused by weight loss or aging, outer bicep exercises can also tighten the flesh on the arm, making it look sexy and attractive.
Outer bicep exercises can also be referred to as peak exercises. If you understand the reason the outer biceps are referred to as bicep peaks, it will help you see biceps as being roughly hill-shaped.
The inner head of the biceps creates the bottom of the hill and controls how much wider it is, while the outer head creates the rounded shape at the top of the hill, just like you would refer to the peak of a mountain.
Most times, a lot of people tend to develop longer biceps, just like football shape, while others develop shorter biceps, just like mountain shape. All of the factors that cause these tendencies are mostly a matter left up to genetics.
If you are the type of bodybuilder that always notices that your inner bicep is growing at a quicker rate, but your arms don’t look noticeable when relaxed, then it is obvious that you have to focus more on building up your outer bicep.
Targeting the outer bicep isn’t overly complicated as other bodybuilding and weight loss workouts. All you need to know are few outer bicep exercises that will focus on building your outer bicep and help you achieve your desired goal.
Also, outer bicep exercises do not need you to do specialist exercises or advanced techniques for you to achieve your desired growth. Most of the workouts listed below also target the inner biceps muscles, but if you want to specifically target the inner biceps, I have an article on the best inner bicep exercises to look out for.
Therefore, for you to build your outer bicep, you have to follow the list of outer bicep exercises below. Most of the workouts listed below fall under bicep curl, but the kind of curls that target the outer bicep.
1. Hammer curls
The hammer curl is one of the outer bicep exercises with a simple variation of the outer biceps curl that helps to target additional muscles in the upper and lower arm.
Inward turning of your palms can always activate the forearm muscles. most people also believe that this exercise can also help to increase wrist stability and improve your grip strength.
The dumbbell hammer curl carried out with a neutral grip is a workout that actually aims at the brachioradialis muscle that is located on the outer bicep but runs directly below the bicep.
Most of the time, this exercise is performed with a dumbbell, but if a dumbbell is not available, you can also do it with cables or bands.
Before you add the hammer curl to your outer bicep exercises, you should have good experience lifting weights. If you are a beginner, it’s best you do the hammer curl exercise with very little weight so as to get comfortable with the movement. Follow this step-by-step procedure below.
- At first, you need to stand with your shoulders relaxed and arms at your sides.
- Then practice the right posture by placing your feet parallel with ankles and knees inlined under your hips. Your legs must be straight and flexible but not locked or stiff.
- Engage the abdominal muscles all through the workout to avoid the movement through the lower back as you lift up and lower down the dumbbell.
- Place one dumbbell in each of your hands and then rotate your hands in order to make your palms face your thighs. This will also make your thumbs face forward.
- Place your elbows in a permanent position, then flex (bend) at the elbow so that your lower arms will lift up toward your shoulders. You have to keep your shoulders relaxed as you do this. And also keep your grip firm and wrists aligned with your forearm.
- At the peak of this movement, your thumbs should be close to the shoulders, and your palms facing in toward the midline of your body.
- Bring down the weight to your starting position.
There are a few common mistakes that are often seen when performing the hammer curl, especially from beginners. Some beginners always use a swinging motion to carry the dumbbell or whatever their weight is during hammer curls.
Other common mistakes that people make while doing the harmer curl workout include; curling too fast, floating elbows.
2. Low cable curls
The cable curl outer bicep exercises are isolation exercises for the upper arm biceps muscle. This workout is a pulling action that can be done with a cable machine and is very nice for beginners, although professional lifters also do it often.
For the benefits part, the cable curl targets the biceps brachii muscle, this is the muscle that flexes the elbow. That is the reason the cable curl is performed when you curl the arm.
This exercise can also be used as part of an upper-body strengthening program as well as a muscle-building program, whichever way you want.
Before you start the cable curl workout, you have to adjust the cable machine at one end in order to make the cable to be connected to the bottom with the sliding adjustment.
The cable metal grip should stretch out so that you can grab it comfortably in your hands with arms outstretched and palms up. Based on your strength, choose a weight that can allow you to do 8 to 12 repetitions, then follow the steps below.
- First, you should stand ready with your feet firmly placed on the floor.
- Keep your head steady, your back straight, and then brace your abdominal muscles.
- Curl the weight of the cable upward to your chest area, and breath out.
- Then move only your forearms, rising up from the elbow.
- Hold at the top of the contraction for a second.
- Breath in and then allow the cable weight to return your arms to the lower resting position by unbending the arms at the elbow. Stop before the weights return to the load, keeping the cable under tension.
- Continuously do this exercise until you complete the chosen number of reps.
Please make sure your forearm is your only body part that should be moving during this exercise. If you found out that another part of your body is moving especially your waist, shoulders, or your back, then know that this is a sign that you are lifting too much weight or you are cheating by using momentum rather than steady contraction.
3. EZ bar curls
According to a study, the EZ-bar, which has a nice rising and falling form handle, is capable of improving greater muscle activation in your biceps than other related equipment such as a barbell or dumbbells.
EZ bar curl is one of the outer bicep exercises designed to target mainly bicep and tricep and it is mostly ignored by many. EZ bar curl is sometimes neglected simply because you need to drop the weight, and It can be hard on the ego to use a lower weight than you would for a standard curl.
However, the results of this EZ bar curl exercise are well worth it, if you perform the workout correctly. To do that, you have to follow the step by step procedures below
- With a shoulder-width supinated grip, stand holding an EZ-curl bar with your palms facing upward. Your elbows should be fully straightened, and the bar should relax against your thighs.
- Keep your upper arms firm by your sides, breathe out as you raise the EZ-curl bar up toward your shoulders area.
- At the peak of the movement, hold till the count of 2 and then squeeze your biceps.
- Breathe out as you lower the EZ-curl bar to the beginning position in a remoted manner.
- Repeat the movement.
For you to get the desired result, you have to keep your elbows by your sides, only your forearms should engage the movement. Also, do not sway your body or swing the EZ-curl bar, you must keep your body still.
4. Drag curls
A key aspect of fitness training is adaptation, which is why drag curl is one of our listed outer bicep exercises.
To effectively take advantage of the drags curls workout, it’s best to do them correctly. Actually, it’s definitely not a difficult movement by any means but some individuals, especially beginners don’t usually get it correct.
To benefit from the drag curls exercise, you have to follow these step by step procedures below:
- First, you have to stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your knees slightly bent
- Grab a barbell with a normal grip and begin with it in connection with your upper tights
- Place your shoulders, hips, and knees in alignment and your core strong
- Curl the bar up, while bringing your elbows slightly backward.
- place the bar in contact with your body all the time, in a dragging-like movement.
- In the same pattern, lower the bar while keeping it in contact with your body
- Repeat the movement
5. Seated incline dumbbell curls
The incline dumbbell is one of the basic outer bicep exercises you should learn and they target the large biceps brachii muscle.
When it comes to getting the greatest definition in your biceps, incline dumbbell curls are unarguably over traditional curls. Still, you should combine both movements into your everyday workout so that you gain a nice entire definition.
Because the name says seated incline dumbbell curls, so to do this exercise you have to make available two items: a set of dumbbells and a workout bench. Then follow the step-by-step procedure below.
- Sit against your bench, align your back by keeping it straight and your abdominal muscles tight. Then place your dumbbell by your sides, one on each hand side.
- When you are ready to start, lift each dumbbell by your side up with your palms up toward your shoulders. It’s very necessary to keep your upper arms tight in order to separate the biceps brachii muscle while moving your lower arms only.
- Lower the dumbbells slowly back down to your beginning position. Never release the Dumbbell too fast or you could injure your muscles.
- Repeat the movement.
Doing more incline dumbbell curls will help the possibility of you seeing great and noticeable definitions in your biceps.
6. Preacher curls
Preacher curl hits the biceps in a different way promises bigger biceps, but It’s not an excuse to replace the standard biceps curl with preacher curl in your training routine, rather preacher curl works alongside with standard biceps curl to provide variation to your curling routine.
Being one of the craziest outer bicep exercises, to do the preacher curl you must have a preacher bench, which results in most people heading to the gym. But for the rich folks, they have the bench at home.
- first, bring close your preacher bench and E-Z bar for this workout. carry the E-Z curl bar at the close grip (inner handle). Your palms must be facing forward, but because of the bar shape, your palms should be slightly tilted inwards.
- Place your chest and upper arms against the preacher bench pad as you carry the E-Z Curl Bar at your shoulder length.
- While breathing out, use your biceps to curl the weight up until your biceps are completely contracted and the bar is at your shoulder level. Squeeze your biceps harder and hold this posture for one second.
- while you inhaling, slowly lower the bar so that your upper arm is straightened and your biceps fully stretched.
- Repeat this movement.
7. Bayesian Curl
The bayesian curl is an altered version of the standing cable curl, the difference is that Bayesian curl places your body in a better position to target the outer bicep. It’s also one of the underarms exercises.
To better perform the bayesian curl you have to take a single-handed method and begin by backing away from the machine. Follow the step by step procedure below:
- Amend the pulley to the bottom position
- Grab the pulley handle
- Pull the weight until your forearm reaches your bicep with the upper arm not moving.
- Gently bring the forearm down to the beginning position(your arms must be straight without any bend in the elbow).
This is the major difference between a Bayesian curl and a cable curl where you face the machine. As the tension is behind you, it will make the Bayesian curl much more difficult and complex at the bottom of the movement and maximally engage the outer bicep.
8. Close Grip Barbell Curl
The close-grip barbell curl is a free-weight outer bicep exercise that primarily targets the biceps. One might think that doing the close-grip alongside the wide grip will produce a nice result, yes it can.
But before you combine both of the grips barbell workouts, you need to know this; A close grip barbell curl always targets the outer bicep whereas a wide grip always places more emphasis on the inner bicep.
With that being said, to properly perform close grip barbell curl, follow the instructions below:
- Grasp a barbell with the two of your hands. Your palms must be up and inches apart.
- Stand up and keep your head up and torso straight, your feet placed about shoulder-width apart, and your elbows held near your torso. This is the beginning position.
- Curl the bar upward in a movement shaped like a semicircle; your forearms must be touching your biceps. Breathe in as you do that, then contract your biceps for one second at the top.
- Breathe in as you move slowly back to your beginning position.
- Repeat the movement to your required number of reps.
9. Concentration curls
The outer bicep is favorably activated when your wrist is supinated. With that being said, the concentration curls are excellent outer bicep exercises because it starts in a supinated position and finishing in the same.
One fun thing to do is that you can’t cheat during the concentration curl if you want to, due to the positioning. Instead of standing straight with your elbows free, it is possible to bend at the torso and keep your arm at an angle of 90° to the ground.
Well, for better practice and follow the book, check out the step by step procedures below
- Sit on a chair or bench with your feet flat on the ground and your knees open wide
- Hold a dumbbell in one of your hands, preferably your right hand.
- Your right arm is supposed to be hanging straight down, and your right palm facing your left leg.
- Curl the dumbbell toward your shoulder area as your palm faces upward, your upper body should not move and your elbow should be against your knee.
- Pause and reverse the motion to return to the beginning position.
- Do your desired number of reps and then switch to the other arm.
- is best you perform the same number of reps with each of your arms.
10. Lying Cable Curls
Lying Cable Curls is another amazing outer bicep exercise. This great workout is performed either on a bench or the ground. You lie down on your back, with your feet facing against the low pulley of a cable station.
Lying down stops the likelihood of using momentum from the lower body to lift your weight. The cables also offer steady tension on the muscles while doing a lying cable curl.
To do the lying cable curl, you have to follow these procedures below
- Lie down and keep both of your feet against the low pulley of a cable station.
- Pick Up the bar with an underarm, shoulder-width grip.
- Curl the bar up to reach your chest area,
- keep your upper arms stable and your elbows tucked in.
- Return to your starting point.
- Repeat to your desired reps
Thank you for having time to read this article to the end. If you have any questions about outer bicep exercises, please drop them in the comment section. We are ready to reply to your comments as soon as possible.