How to Build Bigger Biceps for Skinny Guys

If you want to know how to build bigger biceps then you are probably sick of the skinny arms you have at the moment and recognize that the biceps are a signature muscle in a persons body that is easily noticeable from all angles. It is a showy muscle that command attention from all onlookers who will not be able to help but be impressed.

Interestingly though the biceps are not the best muscle to train if you want to be strong though. While any muscle gain will make you stronger the biceps are not the key muscle for arm strength except in certain motions you do. The muscle in the arm that is more often used is the tricep which is on the opposite side of the arm to the bicep.

So if you want to build big biceps make sure you are doing it for the right reasons because being out of proportion does not make you look good and your biceps will not make you a strongman either unless you have a whole body of larger muscles.

That being said as long as it fits in with a good routine or perhaps you simply feel you have neglected this area there are many ways you can train your biceps to a larger size.

Click here for an extremely informative video on how to build bigger biceps.

How Your Biceps Work

The foundation of any training is an understanding of your objectives and how you can meet them. When focusing on training any body part you should know the role of those muscle and a little about how they work so that you can best apply the right methods to your workouts.

The bicep is a muscle that’s primary functions are to flex the elbow and to rotate the forearm. If you twist your wrist and forearm to face towards you and away from you then you will feel the bicep moving just as you do when you flex the elbow in the typical ‘flex your guns’ pose. It is also known as the two headed muscle because it is made up of two bundles of muscles that originate from two separate insertion points at the elbow.

What this means when building bigger biceps is that the different functions and different muscles in the bicep means different exercises in your workout can make an impact on how the muscle looks and grows. However everyone has a different body shape that no amount of exercise can change but even as a skinny guy or girl you can gain size and the shape will work itself out.

How to Train Your Biceps

Before we get into specifics on exercises you need to have a good understanding of the foundations of building muscles so that you do not needlessly endure grueling bicep exercises to achieve little to no results. Hardgainers and skinny guys with high metabolism especially need to be very aware of these foundations because doing them wrong can can greatly inhibit your muscle growth.

Firstly the point at which your muscles actually start to grow and become larger is when you REST not when you workout. The work you do on the gym floor is vital to increasing muscle mass when you rest but that is not when it actually happens. Too many skinny guys go into a flurry of bicep workouts every day only to end up sore and tired because they never gave their muscles a chance to rest and grow. You also need to have enough energy in your body to give the body the fuel to grow when you are at rest. If you are not eating a diet designed to put on muscle your good work will go to waste. Another basic bodybuilding tip is that when you workout you should not do it half arsed. Muscles only get bigger when they have been stressed from heavy, intense workouts that force it to repair and adapt to this new weight level.

More on Rest & Recovery …
More on Diet & Nutrition …
More on Workouts & Muscle Growth …

When it comes to actually exercising the biceps there are a few rules you should follow that can be applied to any exercise or workout session you do.

  • Do not over-train your biceps
  • Remember that some other exercises indirectly workout the bicep
  • Workout a range of different exercises and variations of those exercises to target the different parts of the bicep
  • Do not workout your bicep longer than you need. Spark muscle growth then move on to other muscles.
  • Always squeeze your bicep muscles when they are peaked during an exercise for 1 to 2 seconds for better results
  • Always use your full range of motion. Extend your arm out straight before your curl each time for better size and shape for your bicep. Only doing half a curl is a waste of your time.
  • Keep good form throughout each exercise. Do not jerk the weights on the way up and always lower them slowly, do not drop them. This prevents injury and works your muscles more.
  • As you continually workout make sure you keep the concept of progressive overload to make sure you are continually challenging the muscle to make it grow beyond its current state.

Best Bicep Exercises

Standing Bar Curls

 

Image from elitefitnesszone.com

The standing bar curl is probably the best all round bicep exercise. It works out the elbow flexing parts of the muscle from a straight arm to a full curl equally spreading the weight to each arm. Because this is a standing exercise it also relies on good weight lifting form which gives a workout to the rest of the body while you work your biceps.

Best practices for this exercise are:

  • Hold the bar with your grip at shoulder width.
  • Lock your elbow about an inch from your sides.
  • Have your arms straight and pointing at the floor to start
  • Lift the bar to your chest with a curling action from the elbows.
  • Keep proper posture by fixing your elbows where they are and do not bend your back.
  • Tighten all your muscles especially your core to aid you in this.
  • Squeeze biceps as the bar touches the chest.
  • Slowly lower weight back to original position.

One Armed Bicep Curls

 

Image from yoda.ee.columbia.edu

This is more of an isolation exercise and while i highly recommend more compound exercises this does allow you to work on parts of the bicep that may not get as good a workout than with other exercises. For building that extra bit of size this is a good one to do.

Best practices for this exercise are:

  • Using a dumbbell sit at a preacher bench with an underhand grip
  • Lock your elbow in place and extend your arm to its fullest reach
  • Slowly lift the dumbbell and curl it as far as you can towards your shoulder
  • Squeeze at the peak then slowly return to the starting position

Incline Bicep Curls

 

Image from strength-oldschool.com

This exercise is good for a number of reasons. It allows a full range of motion and an excellent stretch at the bottom of the exercise. It also focuses on the twisting of the forearms not just the elbow flexing which targets more of the bicep.

Best practices for this exercise are:

  • Lie down on an incline bench with a dumbbell in each hand
  • Lower your arms to your sides and let them fall down to point to the floor
  • Curl the dumbbells up towards your chest and shoulder
  • Make sure to turn your wrists as you do this
  • Slowly lower back to starting position

Hammer Curls

 

Image from stevenellis.com

Another good exercise that works more muscle areas in the bicep is the hammer curl. This exercise is also quite punishing on the forearms but for bicep exercises it really increases the size of the elbow flexor which can push the peak of your bicep up from a muscle underneath making your arms look more impressive. The added forearm muscle also gives a more muscular and proportional look.

Best practices for this exercise are:

  • Hold a dumbbell in each hand while standing
  • Pin your elbows at your sides
  • Hold the dumbbell with your palms facing each other
  • Curl the weights up but do not twist the wrists.
  • The grip of the dumbbell should go from horizontal at the start to vertical as you lift and past vertical if you can to bring your hands as close to your shoulder as you can.
  • Slowly lower the dumbbell back to its starting position

Variations

With some of these exercises you can change your grip and hand positions to activate different muscle fibers to produce the biggest size gains across the whole bicep. You can also work on some extra wrist turning portions so that you exercise more than just the main elbow flexing muscles as well. This should help you to know how to build bigger biceps faster!


Hi Guys, James McLain here,

jamesmclainThanks for reading my article, I hope you got something out of it. I usually recommend hardgainers check out the No-Nonsense Muscle Building Guide by Vince Delmonte but for those of you looking for more detail on just enhancing certain body parts that might be giving you real troubles there is another excellent resource that has been brought to my attention.

Jeff “The Muscle Nerd” Anderson is another big name in the muscle building industry through his online work. He has excellent guides such as Hardgainer Project X and Homemade Supplement Secrets and has recently added a new specialized guide that focuses exclusively on building mass in certain areas for those guys who have really stubborn muscles.

Muscle Specialization Secrets is Jeff’s explosive new package that contains extremely well researched methods into building mass in all the areas that we want to be bigger and impressive such as the arms, chest and more. This targeted strategy caught my attention as sometimes you can achieve gains in other areas but one part seems to have some genetic tendency to stay small. For me it is was my legs that for a long time lagged well behind the rest of my body no matter what i did.

If you want to know a bit more about Jeff check out this video he did about bicep training and you will see he knows his stuff.

3 Steps To Bigger Biceps ANYONE Can Follow!

By The “Muscle Nerd”, Jeff Anderson
Every red-blooded male on the face of the planet wants bigger biceps!
But very few ever see the kind of arm growth they’re truly capable of…
Because they don’t know the 3 SECRETS you’re about to discover!
After this Muscle Nerd Fitness Video, you’ll never be able to walk into another gym without shaking your head in disbelief!
Disbelief at how the other wannabe’s frustratingly train their arms with no progress…while YOURS just seem to GROW and GROW!
Get ready to take your arm training to the NEXT LEVEL!


I personally think Jeff has made a very useful guide here that goes well beyond this simple snippet.

Check out Muscle Specialization Secrets here

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6 thoughts on “How to Build Bigger Biceps for Skinny Guys”

  1. Another excellent exercise for biceps development is weighted chin ups, especially if you are following a push-pull-legs training program.

  2. @Anonymous
    Hey man,

    Training overload is not good either. You need to give your body time to rest so it can build bigger biceps or any muscles. You also gotta workout correctly and eat correctly too. More time spent is not always a good thing, effort compressed into smaller sessions with breaks between those sessions will prove better for you.

  3. hello friends,, i m 6 feet 65-67 kg and 23 year old,,, i look skinny and feel bad of that,, i had barbell and dumbles at home but dont have a proper knowledge of veg. diet and exersice for me… please suggest me something so that i can grow big and muscular.. thanks.

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