The best biceps workouts do more than train your biceps. They attack your biceps, brachialis, and forearm muscles, and very often, they also leave you with a unique feeling in your arms known as "the pump." Your guns are flushed with nutrient-rich blood, basically, ready to grow from all the work you put in.
Oftentimes, it takes multiple sets and exercises to get this done. But this 24-rep dumbbell curl hellset from Men's Health fitness director Ebenezer Samuel, C.S.C.S., will crush the muscles you want in just eight minutes. "This is a great biceps workout when you're in a pinch for time," says Samuel, "because it's guaranteed to give you a pump, and it's going to challenge more than your biceps."
The key, says Samuel, is the way the reps progress. You'll start with a curl that reinforces tight technique, progress to a slightly easier biceps curl, then finish with a series of hammer curls that'll finish off your arms. "Each curl is a little bit easier," says Samuel, "making this a perfect dropset."
The best part: You don't need a ton of equipment for any of this. All you need is a set of dumbbells. Don't have one? Check out this pair from Bowflex.
- Stand holding a pair of dumbbells at your sides, core tight and glutes squeezed, shoulder blades tight.
- Do 8 parallel-pause dumbbells, curling the dumbbells up as high as you can before your elbows start shifting forward, then lowering with control. Lower until your forearms are parallel to the ground. Pause for 1 second here, making sure the dumbbell heads are fully parallel to the ground. Lower all the way back to your sides.
- Follow with 8 standard biceps curls, curling the dumbbells all the way and turning your palms towards your chest as you do.
- Finish those and immediately follow with 8 hammer curls, curling the dumbbells all the way up while keeping your palms facing each other. That's 1 set. Rest 1 minute, then repeat 3 times.
The move is versatile, says Samuel, and can be used in multiple ways. "It's designed to be a super-quick biceps burner when you're short on time," he says, "but there's more fun here, too. This can easily be a finisher on a more aggressive biceps workout. Or use it at the end of a back day to stimulate a little more biceps action."
Either way, your arms will wind be popping out of your shirt when you're done with this.
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