Strength coach and Athlean-X founder Jeff Cavaliere C.S.C.S. has shared plenty of advice about how to build bigger, stronger biceps on his YouTube channel, including ranking what he deems to be the absolute best and total worst exercises for this muscle group. In a new video, he shares just two moves which he advises including in your arm day rotation.
The first exercise is the strict curl. While holding the barbell in a neutral or supinated grip, position yourself flat against a wall so that your butt, upper back, and head are all touching the surface. Then curl the weight up and down in a slow and controlled manner—you’ll notice immediately that it’s impossible to use momentum in this strict variation.
“This is really overloading the biceps, because I don’t have the opportunity to get that swing that I would if I was stepping away from the wall,” explains Cavaliere.
Once you start to approach failure performing these strict curls, Cavaliere recommends stepping out and away from the wall and drop-setting the move into a cheat curl, which introduces some momentum to half of the repetition: swing the bar upwards, and then focus on a slow, controlled downward motion—this will increase the time your biceps spend under tension, ensuring a higher quality of eccentric contraction.
The second exercise is one that Cavaliere has been doing since he was a kid. Stand under the bar, gripping it in an underhanded position, then lean forward so your head is between your elbows. Flex your arms, lock your legs and core, and then fight your body’s descent as best you can.
“I can sit here in one prolonged isometric into one failing negative on the way down, which I can do at the end of my bicep workout or after my set of curls,” he says.
Philip Ellis is a freelance writer and journalist from the United Kingdom covering pop culture, relationships and LGBTQ+ issues. His work has appeared in GQ, Teen Vogue, Man Repeller and MTV.
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