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The Best Bodyweight Exercises for Biceps

These 8 moves prove that you don't need a ton of heavy weights to get muscular arms.
The Best Bodyweight Exercises for Biceps

Let's be real for a second: Every guy wants good biceps. They're one of the most notorious "mirror muscles" that pretty much everyone loves to sculpt—and show off. Your biceps are actually composed of two muscle groups: The brachii and the brachialis. The former is what connects your shoulder to your forearm, helping you do things like bend your elbow and twist your arm. The latter is more of an assistant, helping the brachii to do its job. Long story short, you need to attack both groups to get those guns you want to show off at the beach all summer. 

Luckily, you don't need a ton of equipment or heavy weights to do just that. There are lots of great bodyweight moves that will sculpt sick biceps without requiring you to pump any iron whatsoever. The following eight moves, chosen by Equinox Tier 3 trainer Rachel Mariotti, are the best of the best bodyweight moves for your biceps. Some require no equipment at all but for others you'll need a pullup bar, resistance band, or TRX. Some target the biceps as the primary muscle but others call other muscle groups in on the action, but will still hone your biceps as well.

Sprinkle them into your regular routine for a few weeks and see results in no time. 

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"This is a great move as the suspension engages your core," says Mariotti.

How To: Hold TRX handles and suspend your body at a 45 degree angle, straighten arms with palms facing the ceiling and arms at a 90 degree angle to the body, bend the elbows and bicep curl your body up to nearly a standing position.

If you're not quite ready to do a pullup, this is an "excellent regression to the pull-up, working lats, shoulders, and biceps," says Mariotti.

"This is a great exercise for shoulder and scapula stability, working lats, lower traps, triceps and, of course, biceps," says Mariotti. This move actually enages your biceps more so than the pullup. (More on that on the next slide.)

By switching your grip to an overhand grip, you instantly make the chin up harder by turning it into a pullup. Though you don't use your biceps quite as much in this version, they still get in on the action, assisting your lats and core. 

"This move is great for building grip strength—and it engages the biceps and scaps more than regular chin-up," says Mariotti.

How To: Hang a towel around the narrow grip chinup bars, wrap each side into your hands and do as many chinups as you can.

Pushups are great for working your chest, shoulders, and core simultaneously; incline push-ups are a great progression, distributing more weight to the front of the body, including the biceps. 

"Isometrics are great as your body starts to recruit more muscles, and for this particular exercise that includes your lats, shoulders, triceps, and biceps," says Mariotti. 

How to: Hold the "up" position of the chinup.

"This move is great for isolating biceps and, for eccentric curls, lengthening and strengthening the bicep," says Mariotti.

How To: Grab a low to medium level resistance band with a handle on each end.  Grab handles and step both  feet on the center of the band, shoulder width apart, with arms completely straight and palms facing forward, curl the band up and release for three seconds.


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