The biceps are an important muscle to look good and feel strong, but if you want to make your biceps wider, you have to build up your arm size around the bicep itself.
Luckily, there are many exercises that can help you do just that and gain overall arm strength and size by working out all of the muscles in your arms at once.
To make your biceps wider, you must focus on increasing the width of both your brachialis and brachioradialis muscles.
All things being equal, a thicker muscle will appear wider than a smaller one, so adding more mass to these two muscles alone can make your biceps look wider.
To do so, perform exercises that specifically target those two muscles: chin-ups and hammer curls are two great examples.
And make sure you don’t neglect other exercises—like shoulder presses—that work on broadening your upper arm in general.
Not only will they help increase your mass overall, but they’ll also make it easier for people looking at you from above to notice how much bigger (and thus how much wider) your arms have become.
What Are Biceps?
The biceps is one of two muscles of your arm.
They make up about one-third of your upper arm and help you bend your elbow.
The biceps consists of two heads, or muscle bellies—the long head and short head—joined by a thick tendon at your elbow.
Muscles aren’t just responsible for bending and straightening; they also pull bones toward each other.
When you use your biceps, they pull on bones in your forearm and hand, pulling them together as you flex your elbow.
When sitting in a chair, it’s what makes it possible for you to raise your arm over your head without getting up out of your seat.
How Many Muscles Are In The Upper Arm?
The upper arm consists of two muscles: triceps and biceps.
Triceps and biceps are both made up of multiple smaller muscles, but for our purposes, we’ll just focus on these two in particular.
The triceps brachii is a three-headed muscle that acts as your extender, which basically means it moves your forearm away from your body.
If you’ve ever seen someone do a pushup, you’ve seen a strong set of triceps in action; they’re responsible for extending or straightening out your elbow joint.
There’s also your biceps brachii, which is another three-headed muscle.
It serves as your flexor—the opposite of an extensor—and its main job is to bring your forearm toward your body.
The Benefits Of Bigger Biceps
Aside from the obvious benefit of having bigger biceps, there are some very real health benefits that come with adding size to your arms.
For example, larger biceps have been linked with greater levels of physical activity—meaning if you build your guns up, you’re more likely to engage in physical activities.
And according to an Oxford University study, larger biceps can help reduce low-back pain by giving people a better sense of upper body strength and balance.
If you want to make your biceps wider, here are five tips for doing so
1. Resistance Training
There is no better way to make your biceps wider than building muscle through resistance training.
Not only will resistance training increase muscle mass, but it will also increase how thick (or diameter) your muscles are.
As you get stronger, not only will your muscles become thicker but they will also become longer as well.
This combination of increased diameter and length makes for larger-looking muscles.
In order to make your biceps wider, incorporate exercises like chin-ups and bench presses into your routine.
These exercises work both the long head and short head of your bicep respectively.
Other great options include standing barbell curls, cable curls, concentration curls, and preacher curls.
2. Increasing Time Under Tension
Time under tension refers to how long each rep takes you to complete; generally speaking, a longer time under tension leads to more muscle growth.
One simple way to do this is by slowing down on each rep when lifting weights.
By taking two seconds to lift, hold for one second at the top, and three seconds to lower, you’ll be able to take advantage of slow-twitch muscle fibers which lead to more overall muscle growth.
You can make your biceps wider by focusing on these slow lifts.
Supersets are another great way to increase time under tension without increasing weight or repetitions.
A superset involves pairing two different exercises back-to-back without rest between them.
By pairing chest press with bent-over lateral raises, for example, you’ll be able to hit all three heads of your deltoids while working both chest and shoulders at once.
Use supersets to make your biceps wider by pairing two different arm exercises together.
4. Drop Sets
Drop sets are an excellent way to add intensity to any exercise.
The basic idea behind drop sets is that you perform several reps of an exercise using a certain amount of weight, then immediately decrease the weight and continue performing reps until failure.
Once you reach failure, drop even more weight and keep going until you’ve performed as many total reps as possible.
Using drop sets allows you to challenge yourself past failure—something that’s necessary for stimulating new muscle growth.
To make your biceps wider, try incorporating drop sets into any tricep extension exercise.
Rest-pause is similar to drop sets, except you use a slightly different technique.
With rest-pause, you use lighter weight and fewer reps for your first set.
After reaching failure, you rest for 20 to 30 seconds and then resume lifting again until you reach failure again.
Rest for 20 to 30 more seconds and repeat. Continue to cycle through your reps/rests until you’ve completed as many total reps as possible.
To make your biceps wider, try incorporating rest-pause into any shoulder exercise.
Related Post: How To Get Stronger Without Getting Bigger
Common Biceps Training Mistakes
Most people bicep curl; use machines; or otherwise make training their biceps an exercise in futility.
In order to make your biceps wider, you must do more than pump out a few sets of basic curls.
You’ll need more creative exercises, proper form, and—most importantly—intelligent programming.
To create maximum muscle hypertrophy in your biceps, follow these guidelines for smart training.
Biceps Exercises Alone Are Not Enough
In order to make your biceps wider, you’re going to have to add in some pulling exercises like rows, chin-ups, and deadlifts.
Pulling motions bring more width into your upper arms and are critical for achieving a more V-shaped upper body.
The major plus of adding these exercises is that they also build big, strong biceps and delts (especially those hard-to-target rear delts).
Not Focusing On Form
Although it’s important to push yourself, it’s not always a good idea to let go of proper form.
If you do, you risk injuring yourself and reducing your ability to make gains in size and strength.
In some cases, bad form can even lead to bad habits that make it hard for you to build muscle at all.
So don’t just focus on lifting heavier weights—make sure you focus on lifting them correctly as well.
That way, you can safely make your biceps wider without risking injury or losing out on gains down the road.
Not Using Eccentric Movements
You can make your biceps wider by using heavier weights, yes. But you can also make them wider by focusing on eccentric movements.
Negative reps, as they’re known, allow you to focus on lowering the weight and bringing it back up over and over again—which means more time under tension for your biceps at any given weight.
Negative reps will also increase muscle mass in your arms without adding too much fat.
To get started, choose a weight that’s between 80% and 90% of what you would normally use for an exercise like bicep curls.
Using a bench or seat, lower yourself down until your elbows are bent at about 90 degrees—your muscles should be completely engaged.
Then, slowly bring yourself back up. Repeat 10 times.
Don’t Forget Your Triceps
Without giving your triceps a workout, you’re really not giving your biceps a workout.
The triceps are an equal part of the arms development—not an afterthought—so make sure that they get their due.
In order to make your biceps wider, you have to take time away from isolating them and direct focus on strengthening and building up your tricep muscles.
To do so, try performing one or two sets of full-range-of-motion barbell push-ups or dips with your hands positioned slightly outside shoulder width in front of you before focusing on your bicep curl.
You might notice a difference right away.
Related Post: Top 4 Trx Triceps Exercises
Bext Exercises For Building Wider Biceps
Whether you’re a seasoned bodybuilder or just getting started, there are tons of workouts and techniques you can use to build muscle mass.
What’s best for building wider biceps? There are plenty of options, but these exercises are particularly effective.
1. Bent-over Row
Bentover rows are a great mass-building exercise, but they’re also an effective way to make your biceps wider.
The difference between a regular row and a bent-over row is that you angle your torso forward when doing bent-over rows, which changes their emphasis on the muscles used.
Bentover rows aren’t just for building bicep mass; they can also improve your overall strength by working out other major muscle groups like your back, shoulders, and hamstrings.
They can also help increase stability in those areas as well—you don’t want any weakness when it comes to pulling up a heavy weight.
One of the biggest benefits of bent-over rows is that they work every single part of your arm, including smaller muscles like forearms and even triceps.
You won’t be able to lift quite as much weight with bent-over rows compared to barbell or dumbbell curls, but your arms will get a better workout.
When done correctly, these are some of the best exercises for making your biceps wider and getting them closer together.
A common mistake people make when doing bent-over rows is not leaning forward enough.
Be sure to keep your body angled slightly toward the floor throughout each rep so that you hit all parts of your biceps.
Keep in mind that while bent-over rows target multiple muscle groups, they’re still focused on making your biceps wider, so adjust accordingly if necessary.
This means if you have long arms and small hands (or vice versa), you might need to perform different variations of bent-over rows than someone else who has shorter arms and larger hands.
Don’t hesitate to experiment until you find what works best for you! Finally, always make sure to squeeze at the top of each rep before lowering down again.
2. Chin Up
A chin-up is one of those easy things you can do at home because all you need is a chin-up bar. But are they effective?
Chin-ups are one of the best exercises for making your biceps wider because they target both heads of your bicep and force you to use your back muscles.
The two kinds of chin-ups that I’m referring to are pronated (overhand) and supinated (underhand).
In each case, hold on with an underhand grip or a neutral grip (thumbs facing up), and begin with your arms fully extended.
Slowly pull yourself up as far as possible, contracting your back muscles in order to lift yourself higher.
Exhale when going down and inhale when coming up.
3. Barbell Curl
There are many exercises that will help you make your biceps wider.
One of them is barbell curls, which target both your bicep muscles’ long and short heads. To perform them, grasp a barbell with an overhand grip.
Keeping elbows tucked close to your torso, flex at wrists, and curl the weight toward the shoulders until your forearms are vertical.
Pause briefly and slowly lower weights back down to start position. Repeat for desired reps.
When you can no longer complete full repetitions without letting your upper arms move forward (which compromises form), place dumbbells or a single plate on each side of the barbell; now those are your handles instead of a straight bar so continue curling as usual.
4. Reverse Barbell Curls
The barbell curl is one of those exercises that comes up in almost every arm-day workout plan.
If you’re trying to make your biceps wider, it’s a safe bet that you’ll see reverse barbell curls on your plan soon too.
The exercise hits both heads of your bicep hard and helps improve overall bicep size and shape.
While it may look like a classic mass builder, don’t let it fly under your radar—reverse curls can really help bring out detail in your arms if you include them in future workouts.
To do them: Stand holding a barbell with an overhand grip (thumbs facing forward) with both hands at shoulder height, arms extended by your sides so they’re parallel with each other.
Slowly bend your elbows until your forearms are perpendicular to the floor, then slowly extend back to starting position.
That’s one rep. Do 12–15 reps for three sets total per arm. This will make your biceps wider!
5. Preacher Curls
Preacher curls are a great way to build out your biceps.
To do preacher curls, grab a dumbbell in each hand, and then sit on an incline bench.
Rest your upper arms on top of your thighs with elbows slightly bent and palms facing down.
Start by bending your elbows, lowering both dumbbells until they’re near 90 degrees from your upper arm.
As you raise them back up, keep both elbows stationary against your legs, but rotate just at the shoulder joint until you finish with palms facing down again.
Perform 12-15 reps for three sets before moving on to other exercises that target biceps more directly like preacher curls or close grip hammer curls.
6. Narrow Grip Barbell Curls
A narrow grip activates your biceps more than a wide grip and allows you to fully contract at both ends of your range of motion.
By placing your hands under shoulder width, you reduce stress on your elbows and forearms while still focusing maximum attention on your biceps.
This makes it ideal for those with wrist issues or who are looking for an easy way to increase their volume without having to add extra sets or exercises.
Do 3-4 sets of 10-12 reps once or twice per week at a moderate weight (60%-70% of 1RM). You’ll make progress fast!
7. Concentration Curls
It’s no secret that bicep curls help you get those big, strong arms we all want.
So how do you make your biceps wider?
It’s simple: Do concentration curls.
For these, you’ll need a set of dumbbells, so grab two heavy ones and get started.
To do a concentration curl, sit on a bench or stand with your feet planted firmly on the floor and your knees bent slightly.
Pick up one dumbbell in your left hand and lean forward from your hips at about 15 degrees until it is almost touching your thigh.
With the elbow locked, raise the weight straight toward the shoulder using a controlled motion while exhaling; try not to swing the arm but keep the focus on having it move only at the elbow joint.
8. EZ Bar Drag Curls
One way you can make your biceps wider is by performing EZ bar drag curls.
This exercise hits all three heads of your bicep, making it great for getting more out of each rep and increasing muscle growth.
Start by grabbing an EZ bar with a shoulder-width, overhand grip and then lift it off of its resting place.
Lift it until your arms are fully extended but not locked; set it back down again.
Perform reps using an up-and-down motion that lasts one second, pauses for another second, and repeat until you hit failure.
Alternatively, you can do these as traditional curls with a dumbbell or barbell or superset them with other arm exercises like tricep extensions—it’s up to you!
Related Post: Lat Pulldowns Vs Pull-Ups
9. Incline Dumbbell Curls
One of my favorite ways to make your biceps wider is by performing incline dumbbell curls.
This type of curl will not only target your bicep muscle but also help improve shoulder and upper back strength.
Here’s how you do it: Select a pair of dumbbells that are light enough for you to perform 12-15 repetitions.
While sitting on an incline bench, hold your arms at 90 degrees with palms facing each other and begin curling.
After each repetition lowers down slowly for 2 seconds before rising again at a steady pace for another 2 seconds.
Try 10 sets total working up in weight as you go until failure. Make sure to squeeze at the top of every rep!
10. Hammer Curls
Curls may seem like a tricky exercise to perform, but they’re actually one of my favorite bicep exercises.
A lot of people shy away from hammer curls because they think they look dorky, but if you do them right, they can make your biceps wider.
And why do you want wider biceps?
Because wide arms are cool. That’s a fact!
Plus, bigger biceps means more muscle mass and that increases your strength in other areas too.
So how do you make your biceps wider with hammer curls?
Simply stand up and grab two dumbbells.
Hold them at arm’s length next to your sides.
Then curl both weights simultaneously toward your shoulders until your elbows are bent at 90 degrees.
Hold for a second or two at the top position before slowly returning to starting position.
Repeat for reps as many times as possible before resting and repeating again later on in your workout.
11. Cable Curls
Cable curls are a great addition to any bicep workout routine.
If you’re already doing some bicep workouts, it might be a good idea to substitute cable curls in place of at least one set of arm curls for every session.
The reason for adding them is simple:
Curls done with free weights can’t provide constant resistance like cables can.
By doing cable curls, you can have more control over your reps because you’ll be able to make small adjustments throughout that will ensure maximum stress on your muscles (the best way to build muscle).
When using dumbbells or barbells, they tend to go where gravity takes them.
With cables, you have more control over each rep.
And don’t worry about balancing; cables are designed to handle all types of weights.
You just need to learn how much weight you should use and then maintain that same level throughout your entire set.
During a typical cable curl, there should be no slack in the line at all times.
It should always feel tight and never loose enough so that if you let go, it would swing freely without hitting anything around it.
Remember, you want resistance during each and every rep so there should never be too much slack while performing these exercises.
Also, make sure not to cheat by swinging your body forward when curling so as not to get help from momentum—that’s not what we’re going for here!
Check out this simple arm workout you can do at home. All you need is a resistance band!
Final Mop Up
When it comes to adding size and strength to your biceps, there are many ways you can go about it.
For example, you could do high-rep isolation movements like preacher curls in order to increase muscle size.
On other days, switch things up by doing lower-rep compound movements like heavy barbell curls in order to increase strength and muscular endurance.
Or, if you’re looking for something a little more advanced, try these techniques that will help make your biceps wider.
Whatever your goal is—strength or size—your workouts will benefit from one thing: consistency!
Just don’t forget about proper nutrition too.
Getting enough protein will help build muscle tissue and give you energy throughout your workout, which helps prevent excessive fatigue or injury.
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