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You’ve been searching for an arm workout consisting of exercises that will finally allow you to build strong biceps at home, haven’t you?
Then, you’ll be ecstatic to find out that you don’t need all that iron in the gym to make your arms look and feel impressive.
So, if for some reason you don’t want to hit the weight room, don’t blame yourself, and rest assured, there’s a strong alternative.
After all, many causes could make you train your biceps at home instead of the gym:
Whatever your reasoning may be, at the end of this article you’ll know exactly how to crush a biceps workout at home and keep evolving this part of your upper arms, whether you choose to use:
However, your first step is to learn the basics of your biceps muscle, but if you’re already familiar with them, you can skip and go straight to building your at-home biceps workout by following our simple instructions.
Alternatively, in case you’re in a rush and need to train right now, scroll to the end of the article and check out a CPT-approved biceps workout plan you can follow at home.
Mind and muscle connection is very important, especially when training such an isolated muscle like the biceps. Therefore, let’s learn in a flash about the structure of the muscle we’re looking to develop.
Scientifically, the main mission of the biceps is to help you:
In addition to grasping a sense of how your biceps works, you need to know that training alone won’t do wonders.
You can't see results if you don't take into account all the necessary factors to develop your muscle mass. Here, I'm talking about nutrition, rest, and a complete workout routine.
- Tim Dobrota - CPT and awarded bodybuilder
The truth is that dieting can be hard and expensive, but you can skip a lot of the hassle by consuming cheap high-calorie foods during your daily meals.
This kind of eatables can be life-changing, especially if you’re a hard-gainer who struggles to devour enough calories for building muscle mass.
However, if you want to lose weight besides building muscle, use our list of 95 low-calorie foods to get easy meal-prep ideas.
The bottom line is that no biceps exercises will bring gains without proper nutrition, whether you train at home or the gym.
To create your own at-home biceps workout, you need to choose from the 19 bodyweight and weighted exercises listed in this article.
When doing so, make sure that you:
If you’re not in the mood to create a biceps workout that you can do at home, then scroll down to our CPT-approved workout plan (it’s free).
However, you’ll still need to come back to this article to check the instructions for each of the biceps exercises in the at-home workout plan.
Reps: plan out how many repetitions you’ll do of each exercise you include in your workout, considering your main biceps objective.
Sets: stick to 3 sets of each drill.
Now, as you progress with your biceps training, you will feel the need to increase the difficulty of the exercises. But how can you do that if you’re not surrounded by gym equipment?
Simple. Use homemade weights, dumbbells, kettlebells, or adjust your body position to level up at each of the upcoming 19 biceps exercises.
There’s no single answer here, but just don’t follow Captain America’s example and say "I can do this all day". Your biceps won’t grow bigger if you go overboard with your training. And let’s not forget that this approach will make you prone to injury.
The frequency of your biceps training days depends on:
But if you want some guidelines, there is a general rule of thumb that says that training your biceps 2-3 times a week is enough to determine them to grow.
In the case you experience DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness), then consider taking a break or going lighter when performing your chosen biceps exercises.
Sure, 3 times a week is a doable task, but if you’re that kind of a person who struggles to follow a workout schedule and tends to lose motivation quickly, then learning how to set and accomplish smart fitness goals is imperative.
Training isn’t supposed to be easy peasy, even if we’re talking about exercises that target a relatively small muscle like the biceps. Also, the fact that you’re working out at home, where you’ve got all sorts of distractions around, isn’t helping either.
So, if you find yourself unable to get your butt off the couch, check out the 3 simple methods you can use to get back to training instantly.
Note: we split the biceps exercises you can use for building your at-home workout in:
Even if you can build your biceps at home using a workout consisting only of bodyweight exercises, there are plenty of super-efficient moves that require weights.
But don’t worry, you have much wiggle room here. You can go to the fitness store and buy some dumbbells and kettlebells, or you can simply DIY these weights.
Examples of homemade weights that you can use:
The standing curl is one of the most effective exercises that you can include in your at-home biceps workout. It isolates the muscle perfectly, thus making you get closer to that bulging aesthetic you’re after.
Progressing at this move will make your arms grow bigger, more powerful, and your grip strength will benefit as well, as the standing biceps curl also trains your forearms.
Target muscles: biceps (main), brachialis, and forearm.
All you need to pull off this move is some sort of a pole (it can be a broomstick) and some DIY weights. To make these, you can:
To make sure the weights don’t fall off the stick, use some rope to strengthen their position on the bar, or tie a piece of cloth on both ends of the bar. (e.g., a pair of socks).
You can do this exercise with two different grips: underhand (as the fit gal in the last video) or overhand.
The difference is that the overhand grip will involve more of your brachialis and forearm muscles (brachioradialis) while the other one puts more focus on the biceps brachii.
Breathing technique: exhale when you curl up and inhale when you let the bar down.
The same instructions go for the reverse grip barbell biceps curl (overhand).
Start with a weight you can control and then progress by adding a greater load to your backpack, or multiply the number and the heft of the jugs.
What the heck, you can even combine these types of weights: a backpack in the middle of the broomstick and jugs toward the ends of it.
If you’ve been struggling to grow your biceps, the concentration curls are very likely to be the solution for you. In this exercise, your biceps brachii are almost the sole muscles that are put to work. Concentration, got it?
Target muscles: biceps (main) and forearm.
Even though Scott above is doing concentration curls with a dumbbell you can do this exercise with other equipment like:
When doing concentration curls, it’s very important to know how to place your whole arm in the correct position, so follow the instructions strictly. Also, please note that you’ll be working one arm at a time.
Breathing technique: inhale on your way down and exhale when you curl up.
Pro tip: be sure to start the concentration curls with light weights.
If you’re using a DIY weight like a jug or a bottle, then you can add pea gravel or sand in them to make the exercise heavier.
If you opted for a dumbbell or a kettlebell, your only solution is to buy heavier ones, or more plates if you happen to own an adjustable dumbbell.
This “at-home” alternative of the preacher curl is one of the few exercises on our list that forces you to really put your biceps to work on the negative (eccentric) side. Thus, this move is kind of a must-have in your workout routine.
Target muscles: brachialis (main), biceps brachii, and forearm.
If you prefer DIY weights instead of dumbbells and kettlebells, then you can use:
After setting up the chair, the solid piece of wood, and you placed the cushions below your knees and on the seat (as pictured in the video above), you can start doing the curls.
Breathing technique: inhale when you go down and exhale when curling up.
To progress with this exercise, attach more plates to your dumbbell, buy a heavier kettlebell, or add a higher load to your homemade weight.
We use the biceps every day in our lives to pick up things, from the usual grocery bag to more heavy stuff like a piece of furniture, so we want it to be in the best possible shape.
Luckily, the biceps curl hits both heads of the muscle, so your overall arm strength will go up in no time.
Target muscles: biceps brachii (main), brachialis, and forearm.
If you don’t want to invest in dumbbells or kettlebells, you can very well use some milk jugs or handled water bottles for your home biceps workout, just like Midas in the video above.
Another great option is to use a backpack or even a shopping bag.
Biceps curls can be done alternatively (one hand at a time), or with both hands curling simultaneously (dual-arm biceps curls). I recommend the latter choice because it won’t let you involve the chest in the exercise.
Breathing technique: breathe in while you lower the weight and let the air out while curling up.
The bicep curls with static hold (tension curls) help you build more strength and resistance into your biceps by forcing you to keep one of the weights in isometry.
Follow the instructions provided at the normal biceps curls, but keep one of your arms at 90 degrees, as shown in the video above.
If you’re using milk jugs or water bottles, you can add sand or pea gravel, or you could simply buy larger containers.
If you invested in a dumbbell or kettlebell, then you’d want to buy heavier versions or, in the case of an adjustable dumbbell, more plates.
As we learned in the first part of this article, the biceps has two heads and it’s important to target both of them with your arm workout.
Target muscles: biceps brachii (focus on the inner head) and forearm.
I know the guy in the demonstrating video uses dumbbells, but that doesn’t stop you to use a milk jug or a water gallon instead.
Among all the biceps exercises that you can do at home covered in this article, this is one of the few that focus on the short head of your biceps. That’s why this drill is called inner biceps curl.
Breathing technique: exhale when curling up and inhale when going back to the starting position.
It’s the same as with the normal biceps curls, so you know the drill: heavier milk jugs, bottles, sand, pea gravel, etc. Or, if you’re using dumbbells or kettlebells, buy heftier ones.
Hammer curls are called like this because of the grip you hold the weights with (just like you would hold a hammer).
However, this different grip will help you hit some parts of the biceps better than any other curl.
Target muscles: biceps brachii (focus on the long head), brachialis, and forearm (brachioradialis).
It’s the same as with the last couple of curls, but remember to hold everything (your milk jug, water bottle, or kettlebell) with the hammer grip.
Alternatively, you can use a backpack, just like Nick does in the video below.
As is the case with the normal dumbbell curls, you can do hammer curls one arm at a time or with both hands. The choice is yours, but my recommendation stands for the dual-arm choice.
Breathing technique: inhale on the way down and exhale when curling the weights up.
Invest in some heavier dumbbells or kettlebells, or add some extra load to your DIY weights.
This cross-body exercise is an effective variation of the normal hammer curl and one that will definitely improve the thickness of your arms.
Target muscles: biceps brachii (more focus on the long head), brachialis, and forearm (brachioradialis).
Even though Jessica above is using dumbbells, you can very well do the curls with some water bottles, a pair of milk jugs, or using two backpacks.
Think about this exercise as the “brother” of the usual hammer curl. It’s done with the same grip, but the weight is curled in a different direction.
Breathing technique: exhale while lifting the weights up and inhale while letting them down.
To make the exercise more difficult, add sand to the used jugs, or invest in a heavier pair of dumbbells or kettlebells.
You may be wondering why would you curl on your knees? Well, it works your abs too. They have to keep you in balance since you have weight only in one of your arms.
Target muscles: biceps and obliques.
I’m not going to enter more details here because you already learned the proper form for the biceps curl. Kneel and follow those instructions, but make sure you don’t forget to train both of your arms.
The Zottman curl is arguably the most effective biceps curl you can do. It hits every part of this muscle.
Target muscles: biceps brachii, brachialis, and forearm (brachioradialis).
If you don’t want to invest in a set of dumbbells or kettlebells, you can use milk jugs or water gallons, or anything with a handle. But first, make sure these have a big enough handle that lets you turn the wrist at the top of the movement.
Think of the Zottman curl as a combination of the biceps curl and the reverse-grip one. Normal on the way up, reversed on the way down.
Breathing technique: inhale during the reverse grip portion of the exercise and exhale when curling up.
This exercise is very efficient even when you’re using lighter weights, so be mindful when you decide it’s time to level up.
You can buy heavier weights or simply add more load to your DIY weights (e.g., bigger water jugs, sand-filled jugs).
The W-biceps curl is a combination of normal curls and inner curls, so, like the Zottman, it’s a very efficient move for growing bulging arms.
Target muscles: biceps brachii (both heads), brachialis, forearm.
You’ve already learned how to make DIY dumbbells, but with this one, you need to be careful. You can’t use two very large jugs of water and do the first part of the “W” because they will crash into one another.
Thus, try using smaller jugs, backpacks, or even shopping bags.
I recommend you to stick to smaller containers for this exercise if you’re going to use homemade weights.
It’s an alternation between a narrowed biceps curl and an inner biceps curl, already explained at point 5 of our list. Follow the instructions from those exercises and you’ll rock these W-curls.
Similar to the Zottman curl, you want to start light with the W-curls because they will put almost all the parts of your biceps under pressure.
However, when things start to get easy, add more improvised weight like some sand or pea gravel.
The truth is that not everybody feels comfortable investing in a pair of dumbbells, kettlebells, or has the time to DIY their own weights.
If you’re one of them, don’t worry, you can build your biceps at home without equipment (no weights) by following a workout made only of bodyweight exercises. You can throw some resistance bands in the game as well.
This is what happens when you use your legs instead of a pair of dumbbells.
Target muscles: biceps brachii (main), brachialis, forearm (brachioradialis).
Think of your legs like a set of dumbbells that you can adjust to involve higher resistance against the biceps.
Breathing technique: inhale on your way down, exhale while curling up.
To make this move more difficult, you can push your leg towards the floor while curling it. Thus, you’ll be able to give your biceps a harder time to lift and lower the leg.
You plus doorway equals bulging biceps. However, ensure that you are doing this exercise using a sturdy room entrance.
Target muscles: biceps brachii, brachialis, forearm (brachioradialis).
This is one of the easiest biceps exercises on this list because we all have doorways at home, don’t we? However, it’s important that you don’t involve your back muscles during the doorway biceps curls. Let only your arms do the work.
Breathing technique: inhale when you extend your arm and exhale when you bring yourself to the doorway.
Make this move harder by gripping the doorway lower. Alternatively, you can simply equip yourself with a backpack.
This exercise is the biceps-targeting version of the usual push-up and you can rest assured that it will help you grow and define your arms.
Target muscles: biceps and triceps.
If the exercise feels too hard for you, you can start with your knees on the floor, otherwise follow the instructions below.
Breathing technique: breathe in as you lower yourself and exhale as you push away from the floor.
To increase the difficulty of the biceps push-up, place your hands closer to your pelvis. This may make your wrists hurt a little bit if you haven’t warmed them up properly beforehand.
To avoid this, follow Jean Claude Van Damme’s warm-up routine for an injury-free workout before starting your at-home biceps exercises.
Even though there’s no weight involved, the isometric resistance produced by the tensioned towel is enough to put some strain on your biceps and stimulate it to grow bigger.
Target muscles: biceps brachii (main), brachialis, and forearm.
This exercise is done as the broomstick (barbell) biceps curl, the only difference being that you need to keep the towel tensioned at all times (pull the towel to the sides).
If you’re looking for a variation, sit down and wrap the towel around the zone where your calf meets your hamstring. Grab the ends of it and curl your biceps by lifting the weight of your leg.
Alternatively, you can do this exercise with a reverse grip (overhand). The same instructions from above apply.
If you want to increase the difficulty of this biceps curl, you can soak the towel in water before doing it. Alternatively, you can invest in some resistance bands.
It’s incredible what you can do with one towel, isn’t it?
Target muscles: biceps (focus on the long head), brachialis, and forearm (brachioradialis).
As its name suggests, the towel hammer curl is done with the same grip that we do dumbbell hammer curls with, a neutral one.
Breathing technique: inhale while letting the leg down and exhale while you’re curling up.
You can make the towel hammer curl harder by applying more pressure with your leg on the towel. Or, buy some resistance bands, and upgrade to the next move on our list.
Resistance bands are one of the most versatile fitness exercises you can use during your at-home workout and also one of the most efficient, so doing hammer curls with a band will bring enormous benefits to your overall biceps strength.
Target muscles: biceps (focus on the long head), brachialis, and forearm (brachioradialis).
These hammer curls are very similar to the towel ones, but instead, you use resistance bands. Just step on the band, making sure the ends are equal in length, and do the hammer curls following the instructions we have previously stated in this article.
It’s that simple.
All the exercises requiring resistance bands, including the biceps hammer curls, can be made harder by investing in bands of higher resistance levels.
I bet you use this move, or some variation of it, to warm up your shoulder joints, but did you know you can utilize it to firm your biceps?
Target muscles: triceps, back, biceps, and shoulders.
Arm rotations are one of the easiest exercises you can do to train your biceps. But if you need some instructions, here they come:
Breathing technique: breath deeply.
If you’re a beginner, you want to start doing small circles and build your way up to larger ones.
If the bigger ones become facile as well, then you can invest in a resistance band. Put it under your feet as you’ve already learned and grab the ends. Then do the circles.
The inverted row is a compound exercise (it works out multiple muscle groups), but, guess what, this kind of exercise is what’s going to make your biceps grow faster.
Target muscles: back muscles, biceps, triceps, and forearm muscles.
There are a few ways you can pull off inverted rows from your very own home.
Breathing technique: exhale while pulling, inhale while going down.
If you’re using the bedsheet, then you can lower the gripping point (e.g., hip height) and see how it goes. It should be harder this way.
Chin-ups are yet another compound movement that will hit your biceps like nothing else. However, it’s hard to find a way to do them at home without a pull-up bar.
But don’t worry, Daniel below will show you how to install a bar that needs no screwing or drilling in the walls. And it’s safe too.
Target muscles: biceps brachii, brachialis, forearms, shoulders, and lats (latissimus dorsi).
As I said above, doing chin-ups at home is hard without a pull-up bar. So, invest in a rod, like the one in the video above, or if you’re a handyman, grab a bar and install it between two walls.
Then, follow the instructions for a proper chin-up form below.
Pro tip: make sure you keep a strong grip on the bar.
Breathing technique: exhale as you pull yourself up, and inhale as you let yourself down.
You can add some weight between your feet or put a backpack on. This way, you’ll pull a higher load.
If you’re a beginner or you don’t feel like building your own workout with the exercises in this article, don’t be troubled. We partnered up with Certified Personal Trainer Tim Dobrota, an awarded bodybuilder who helped us put together a truly effective biceps workout you can do at home.
To summarize, if you’re looking to grow your arms at home, the 19 biceps exercises in this article are all you need to build an effective workout that will finally enable you to achieve that juicy biceps look.
How is the biceps training unfolding at your home? Keep us updated with your progress in the comments section below.
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Tim Dobrota is a certified personal trainer, fitness instructor, and nutrition technician, working with clients for over 12 years. He has guided over 1000 people to change their lifestyles through proper fitness and nutrition.