The BEST Dumbbell Exercises – BICEPS EDITION!



what's up guys jeff cavaliere athleanx.com today i'm going to show you the best exercises for your biceps and as we've been doing in this entire series I'm going to restrict my selections of these exercises to the use of just dumbbells now that doesn't mean that I have to sacrifice anything as a matter of fact is you're gonna see here in this video guys I'm going to show you some superior selections provided I get the opportunity to provide context to my selections as we've been doing again all along here we've been taking exercises that fit different purposes and categories and we do the same thing here as well I'm going to show you the best options if you're training for power for strength for hypertrophy with sort of an eccentric overload as your focus or your method or a metabolic stress as your method of hypertrophy we're gonna cover them both I'm gonna show you a corrective exercise that you can do I'm even going to show you a total body exercise and yes they actually do exist when it comes to biceps and then finally that sort of miscellaneous category we're gonna cover an exercise that hits not just the biceps but more importantly the muscle underneath the biceps the brachialis which is going to help to give you more width on your upper arm but the fact that these guys the selections are based on science and the selections are based around that context and most of all you're going to be armed with the best exercise selection is no matter what purpose or goal you have in your training so let's get started alright guys so we kick it all off here with strength and if you haven't already done so you're definitely gonna want to watch the chest addition in this series because the selection process of how we got to the strength exercises was very similar and it's based on the lack of stability when we move from a fixed hand position on a barbell to separate hands controlling dumbbells now how does that really play into this well guys again if I had options here for a barbell I'd go right to the barbell curls you see me doing here whether I'm using a straight bar or an EZ bar I love this variation of a curl I think it allows us to add the most weight to the bar to get the most strength benefits but I've also covered in great depth many times in this channel how much I like the weighted chin up you can see me doing those here I know that I can overload the biceps once again here because I had not only the additional weight around my waist but I've got the weight of my own body I'm using to overload those biceps but that's not the name of the game right because we're using just dumbbells here so I have to make my selection but what I do here is I use that same criteria as I did with the benchpress moving to the dumbbell bench press we know that 300-pound bench pressors don't automatically become 150 pound dumbbell bench pressures and that is because the stability required at the shoulder becomes compromised and winds up undercutting your strength performance on the exercise so the dumbbell variation is not always the best choice and very similarly here in the case of the dumbbell curl when I go to move that weight up I have to be able to counteract that weight coming up I have to be able to stabilize that with my core because of the posterior driven force of the dumbbells coming up and back require my core to be engaged to do that so what happens is if you are a hundred and thirty pound barbell curler you may not be a sixty five-pound dumbbell curler for that very same reason but you can do something different you can lift just one dumbbell at a time because what we've done is we've just have the requirements of our core for having to stabilize that much weight coming up in backwards only 65 pounds at a time you'll notice that you can maximize your strength using the dumbbell one at a time now again if I have my overall choice from athleticism trying to integrate as many areas as possible I would go with the double handed version of this the simultaneous curl but we're looking for just strength here guys and that is what leads me in the direction of the unilateral curl but I'm not going to abandon the way to chin up I don't have to I have two winners here guys and the beauty about this exercise is I don't have to sacrifice the weight that I use instead of using place as my form of resistance all I have to do is take in this case like I do here wrap a dog leash around a single dumbbell and then wrap it around my waist jump up on that bar and I'm good to go and I haven't had to sacrifice the load that I've been using if I've been using placing in its place the fact is guys when we're looking for strength overload is the key and these two exercises give you the best opportunity to do just that all right next up guys we move on to power and what that should automatically trigger in your head by now is that if you want to develop power you not only want to be able to move some weight but you want to be able to move that weight rather quickly you want to have a speed component or a velocity component to the weight that you're lifting and when it comes to developing your biceps there's one exercise that I still choose and it's going to look very similar to when we just covered and that is the weighted plyometrics chin now again we don't have to weight it as heavy as before because we know that velocity is still key we need to be able to explode through the concentric portion of the rep and not only that as I cover it in our chest addition as well you want to be able to find an exercise that ultimately does not restrict you in terms of your ability to explode through that concentric you don't want to be slowing down dumbbells in the case of a dumbbell bench press in order to come back down to the bottom and repeat the rep you're actually decelerating at the moment you want to accelerate here if you can get your body moving through the bar on a way to chin you're doing exactly what you need to do again you don't have to use that much weight here as a matter of fact guys might find this so challenging that they use no weight at all but guess what the dumbbell still comes in handy because all you got to do turn it on and and use it as a stepping stool to get up to the bar and do these four bodyweight only the fact is guys the plyo chin up is one of the most explosive and best ways to train for power when you're trying to focus on your biceps alright moving on now to hypertrophy we know that there's actually more than one way to skin a cat here right progressive overload is an option but we also understand if we have any training experience that we ultimately wind up drying up in that row right because we know that we can't continually add weight to the exercises even the great ones that we selected before the fact is we need some more options and that comes in the form of the eccentric overload eccentric muscle damage it's a great stimulator for protein synthesis but what we do is we have to select the right exercise and here dumbbells come in perfectly handy we do the dumbbell incline curl but we're not just doing a dumbbell incline curl cuz you've probably done a lot of them in your lifetime the fact days were really trying to accentuate this stretch on the biceps the east centric overload of the biceps to achieve what it is we're trying to achieve here and we can do that at a better way by actively contracting the muscle on the opposite side of the elbow and the biceps and that is the triceps you can see me doing that in the bottom of every rep it accentuates the strength of contraction that I'm going to get from the biceps to rebound from that bottom valve position and that's great but we also know something else here when I reach concentric failure I'm not done because we know that our muscles are set up in such a way that each centrically we are stronger than we are concentric lee so even when we reach concentric failure we've got some more to go and if you trying to really build muscle if you're trying to create hypertrophy one of the best ways to do that is not just to take your exercises to failure but through failure and I could do that with this drop set I sit up mechanically changing the position of my body to an upright position I curl it to cheat it up it's gonna be easier from this position and then what I do is I just sink my body back to the bench slowly lower my elbows back down again to accentuate that stretch once again that eccentric contraction of the biceps this is a great combination guys it just employs a couple additional techniques to the exercise you've probably already done that will amplify the results you see from this dramatically now let's continue that theme we just built on here because we're now focused on a metabolic stress right reveling in the burn is what I say when we get to the burn that's when the exercise starts we can do that here we can utilize something called the mechanical drop set to keep that burn going long after we thought we'd have to quit and we've probably seen this before guys as it appeared in our soaring six bicep workout it is so damn effective you will not perform this and not burn like hell by the time you're done I promise you that so what we do is we start in the incline position here all right we do our curls to failure and then what we do is we just sit up we don't have to drop the weight or change the weight we simply sit up by changing our position of the dumbbells relative to gravity we've actually changed the strength curve a bit now we actually could complete a few more repetitions and what we do is we take it to failure once again your five says trust me we'll be burning like hell at this point but again this is where you test yourself how far can I go with the burn now I could actually lean forward and perform a drag curl the the moment arm of the dumbbells is no longer so long away from my shoulder now I can get my elbows way back and keep those dumbbells in close which is going to make the exercise easier now it's not going to be easy because it's third in line here and that burden has already been set in a long time ago but it's still gonna allow you to crank out a few more reps and with the goal being to get every single rep you can with that burn firmly in place this is such a great option for doing that all right so now it gets a little bit fun here because we're actually now gonna cover a total body option for your biceps yeah we're gonna use dumbbells and I promise you it's going to be more than just a single joint focused bicep exercises that you're probably used to and that is we do here a dumbbell underhand dead row the exercise starts from the floor it's ground-based it's covering multiple joints it's demanding a synchronization of those joints from the ankles to the knees to the hips right even to the elbows and the shoulders you can see as we wrap around here it's obviously working the back as we go into the road portion of it and as we come back around there's no doubt the biceps are doing a heavy workload here especially because of the supinated grip you guys sometimes you're short on time sometimes you're just doing a pull workout sometimes you're looking for one of those big bang for your buck exercises this is the one you want to select and I promise you your biceps are not going to sacrifice here they're still going to benefit because this is a great exercise selection moving on now guys we go to one of my favourite areas of these videos and that is the corrective exercise selection because you can't ignore the correctives just because they seem to be the more rehab based exercises it doesn't make them less important as a pre habilitative exercise selection they're gonna be super beneficial for you but the fact is when it comes to the elbow and the biceps what are you really trying to focus on and while we have the option to again target the shoulder because of its attachment up here what I find more beneficial to those that are training their biceps is to target the strength of the forearms and the proper integration of the muscles in the forearms when you're doing your gripping and your bicep exercises why is that I've covered in great detail before how the medial elbow starts to take the huge brunt of the load when you improperly load or grab a dumbbell or barbell in your hand because you grab it too far down and what winds up happening is and puts a whole hell of a lot of stress on the medial elbow and it makes it almost impossible for you to do bicep exercises you might not even be able to do any pulling exercises at all and that can't be so what we do here is I actually have two choices if you can't handle a heavy load then what I would have you do is this wrist curl variation this is the medial elbow wrist curl right because that's what we're trying to focus on and all you have to do is do a normal forearm wrist curl but you have to grab the dumbbell deep in your hand not distally in your fingers because the main root of that problem that's causing all this overload here at the medial elbow is this overload of these distal finger tendons when the dumbbell is held too far out in the fingers it creates a whole hell of a lot of stress on a tendon that's way too weak to handle that so you want to do is slide that dumbbell back into the palm of your hand grip there and then perform thereat repetitions but then we can do something even better we can actually take the load and make it substantially heavier which is going to have a probably better carryover especially as you go back to your stretch exercises and that is to do this variation of a carry and again what you're trying to do is not just walk around the gym where there's heavy dumbbells as you possibly can hold until they drop out of your hands instead you want to grip that dumbbell deep in your hand you want to work on that forearm strength in the proper position without letting it start to fall and as you'll see here guys when I get around the gym if I'm fatiguing and I have to let put the dumbbells down so be it remember this is a corrective exercise what I don't want to happen is this I don't want to be walking and have the dumbbell start drifting down into those distal fingers because that's what's gonna create that stress and load on the inner elbow that you're not gonna like but either one of these things guys depending upon which one you can load heavier are going to be great options and things you want to definitely integrate and not overlook because overall they're gonna help you with the longevity of your bicep training all right and then finally guys we save this miscellaneous category to address an exercise that doesn't necessarily fit into any of the others in this case we're actually gonna target a different muscle but it's no less important and that is the brachialis because of it being situated underneath the bicep and contributing not only to the overall upper arm size but more importantly the width of the arm we know there's something we can do and especially with dumbbells to target this area better and that is the cross body hammer curl done with a pronated forearm why because we know one of the functions of the bicep is to supinate the forearm well we know that we can take some of that away by pronating the forearm if we pronate the forearm and let it ride up our body we're gonna get more of the activation of the brachialis or the brachioradialis that runs down here in the forearm but if we want to shift it a little bit higher into that brachialis a research has shown that there's a rate dependency on how fast you move through the concentric portion of the live when you go slower the brachialis has more activation it's more likely to contribute to the concentric portion of that live of course you still want to load this as heavy as you can to try to get more of that size of development but don't allow the load to start allowing you to swing the weight up because you're going to defeat the purpose of what we're trying to do here so there you have it guys my best exercise selections for your biceps regardless of whatever goal it is that you're training for the fact is you don't have to make sacrifices in the results that you want to see from your training just because you might have to make some sacrifices and the equipment that you have at your disposal guys I will take you step-by-step through any workout and help you get the most out of it putting the science back in strength I do that in all my programs they're all available for you over at athleanx.com the meantime if you like this video leave your comments and thumbs up below let me know what else what I'm gonna cover I'll do my best to do that for you if you haven't already done so guys make sure you click Subscribe and turn your notifications so you never miss any of the videos we put out not only in this series but all the videos we put up on this channel for you guys again I say it all the time I make these videos for you and I really appreciate you guys watching alright guys coming back here again soon just a couple days you

49 Comments

  1. NOTIFICATION SQUAD GIVEAWAY – Alright guys, I’m giving away a complete 30 Day Workout program to 100 lucky clickers within the first hour this video is published! Remember, this is NOT THE FIRST 100, but those randomly selected WITHIN the first hour the video is published. So don't b*tch if you're not one of them 🙂 Just try next time. Click the link to see if you’ve won. Good luck! 
    https://giveaway.athleanx.com/ytg/biceps-dumbbell-exercises

    If you don’t win, no worries. Just be sure you have your notifications turned on so you can get to my next video quickly and try again. Good luck and thanks for being a loyal subscriber…

  2. Man, all this weighted pullup and chin up stuff .. I am still at weight assisted versions of these … ONE day … ONE day, I will get there too !

  3. 08:31 total body workout 💪🏻

  4. This is what you're doing wrong

  5. Did Bicep Curls and One arm is bigger than the other I nearly couldn’t straighten my arm but now it’s better should I stop working out on the arm and start doing the other or just take a break for a few until it goes down

  6. Honestly don't think you have ever loss in a case of arm wrestling

  7. thank you Jeff great video best dumbbell exercises.

  8. Dude tbh that arm at 0:12 looked like someone Photoshop it

  9. What if I don’t have that chair thing

  10. like @MarioDario said, make a video about how to breath during workout

  11. Thanks, Jeff! I've learned so much from your vids. You're a gentleman and a scholar

  12. Absolutely extraordinary, the knowledge and thought put into getting the most from full failure workout. I might consider buying one of his courses sometime, when I'm not strapped for cash…

  13. You look like one of the actors in it 2

  14. When i go to the gym i do full body. I do it for 2 and a half hours for 5 times a week. I go to the pool after it and i see results really fast

  15. Any chance for a series like this but using only a bar/plates? I'm foregoing the gym for a few months at least and this will be about all I have at home to use. Would like to do more than press/deadlift/squat, especially corrective exercises.

  16. Your forearms are the size of my legs

  17. Any perfect dumbbell exercises for the back?

  18. Jeff,
    I have a strenuous job that requires me to be constantly moving, lifting and pulling heavy objects.
    I have had on and off Costochondritis for the past few years. I was wondering if you have a way to still be able to bench press while having pain from this condition.

    Thanks!

  19. Ohh bro don't notes on YouTube plz shout vedio on bicep I know u aur builder

  20. Can I make a teen workout video

  21. I've recently started going to the gym after almost 20 years of not going. This has been extremely helpful. Thank you

  22. Mr Jeff, again I say, you da man!!

  23. Note to self. 5:20 – 8:28

  24. lot of dumb exerciser

  25. Ok Thanks

  26. Thanks Jeff I'm already seeing some results from you workouts and tips. I actually started measuring my biceps to ensure it's not my imagination !!

  27. honestly do you take some steroids?

  28. GOD bless you Jim

  29. 3:37
    Pause the video first and then click here! His legs want to show em off… XD

  30. Jeff's videos have been a big help, thank you boss.

  31. Thanks so much I've tried for years to build muscle and got no gains at all but after a few months of watching this guys videos and acatully trying out his tips I've gone from being skinny to actaully being a pretty decent size.

  32. cant wait for the legs and abs edition

  33. Knock knock

    Who’s there?

    What’s up guys it’s Jeff Cavalier from ATHLEAN-X.com

  34. Thanks Jeff. I'm in my mid-fifties and elbows are started to be a problem, I think you nailed it on the head

  35. Been liftingnsince early nineties , late thirties inflammation on shoulders sometimes any supplement recommendations?

  36. Video could have been 5 min

  37. How many sets to get big biceps

  38. Thanks Jeff for the information. Great edition.

  39. So was ‘Peter North’ just a stage name?

  40. 5:20 he really does not like cats

  41. is the burn a build up of lactate in the muscles or the introduction of iron molecules and could you explain why and how the burn happens. is it true that bi carbonate can reduce and delay the burn

  42. The comments on this video are amazing😂

  43. I really love this "The Best" series!!!!

  44. Jeff has the most gloriously beautiful arms I have seen. This isn’t a joke btw, I’m being 100% serious.

  45. My biceps are a lot taller and everyone at my school finds it weird and say they should be longer across the top of my arm anyone know how or what can help that

  46. Ive been working on my biceps consistently over the lasts 2 weeks and ive seen no increase in size at all.. is this normal?( my arms are kinda skinny) any tips?

  47. Just curious to hear peoples opinions, im 14 and can bicep curl 45. Is this good for my age or…

  48. Best dumbell back exercisers?

  49. Don't do plyometric chin-ups with a doorway chin-up bar. Just fell on my back as the bar fell off the doorway 😛

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