biceps is an upper arm muscle and represents 1/3 of the upper
arm muscle with the triceps 2/3. Known as the biceps brachii,
this muscle is considered as a small muscle. And doing 8-9 sets
of biceps exercises is enough to blast your biceps development
and get them really pumped. While there are several effective
exercises about how to get big biceps like barbell curls, concentration
curls, alternate dumbbell curls, incline dumbbell curls, preacher
curls, hammer curls, I find the chin ups as the best exercise
for biceps. Have you seen a gymnast before? If you did, have you
noticed the muscles in his arms? Gymnasts have big biceps and
just doing chin ups and pull ups after so many years can without
any doubt build impressive arms. All the curls mentioned earlier
require weights whereas with the chin ups, you only need your
own body weight. And best of all, the chin ups is a compound exercise,
meaning you will be working other muscle groups as well. The curls
are isolation exercises and target mostly the biceps but for sure,
they are powerful and effective exercises to develop the biceps
with chin ups is you don't need to go to a gym or buy bulky weights
at home to train your biceps. You can just train at the comfort
of your home and you just need a bar fixed on each side of a wall
for instance. The weights will be your own body weight. The chin
ups is performed this way. Grab the bar with your hands spaced
out about 8 inches with palms facing you. Hang your body from
the bar and raise your body up then lower it down.
Why I consider
the chin ups to be the best exercise for biceps as well is because
it allows a full range of motion as compared to curls. You need
to raise your entire body and weight with your arms up to the
bar and this isn't an easy exercise. You are raising your full
body weight up which would be mostly impossible to do with weights.
For example, say you weight 175 pounds, when you are doing chin
ups, you need to raise your full 175 pounds body weight with your
arms whereas if you were doing curls, you probably will lift only
50-75 pounds and not 175 pounds.
A major advantage
with chin ups is that it's an inexpensive way of training your
biceps. A chin up bar does not cost much as compared to an ongoing
gym membership and expensive weights. It's possible for you to
make the chin ups even more difficult by using a weight belt and
attaching a weight to it. When you progress with chin ups and
pay attention to nutrition, you will become heavier and your chin
ups will gradually become a bit more difficult.
biceps, chin ups work other muscles like the lats, the shoulders,
the forearms, the middle back so it's a great compound exercise.
So in just one exercise, you have already worked many other muscles
as well. This is why I believe compound exercises are the best
and if you want to get big, do compound exercises like bench press,
bent over rows,
dead lifts, lat pull down, cable seated rows, pull ups, chin ups,
push ups and dips. Chin ups will result in greater overall upper
body strength and will add extra inches and strength in your biceps
provided you perform the exercise well and with proper form. For
best results, you should try to lower your body slowly once you
reached the bar as in doing so will put more strain on your biceps.
This is called the negative. Also it's important to keep your
body straight and use only your arms to raise your body up because
sometimes people try to swing their bodies to pull them up. But
you can jump up on the bar if you are trying to squeeze some extra
repetitions, which will mean you are training to failure till
you can't perform a single repeat.
Chin ups are
not for everyone as they are extremely difficult for a beginner
and you won't see many people performing chin ups at the gym for
instance. Most will go for barbell curls. If you are just starting
out, you won't be able to do a single repeat most probably. You
might need some assistance like a person helping you raise your
body up. Start slowly and increase your sets gradually. For eg,
initially, try to do 1-2 sets of 1-3 repeats, get used to it and
with time and you will progress with more repeats and sets. It
takes time but with patience and determination, you can reach
a decent level. If you lack arm strength, it's a good idea to
do some barbell curls to get arm strength which will aid you in
your chin ups. When your level becomes intermediate or advanced,
you can go for up to 4-8 sets of 6-8 repeats. Rest for about 1
minute in between set. Or you can also do 3 sets and for each
set, you go to failure meaning till you can't perform any additional
repeats. Rest for about 3 minutes in between set.
biceps is a small muscle, you don't need to do endless sets and
repeats as overtraining will impede muscle growth. You can do
chin ups two times per week and train them to failure. Say on
Tuesday and on Friday. It's important to get adequate rest and
follow a proper diet for you to maximize your bicep gains from
your chin ups. If you perform your chin ups well with strict form,
eat properly and rest well and avoid overtraining, you can add
some extra size in your biceps in a few weeks. So good luck.
learn much more about building muscle without weights, I recommend
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Jean Lam is the webmaster of Body
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