When it comes to building biceps/Arms, I think it is fair to say that most of us don’t just want a well-developed biceps peak. But more importantly, we want biceps that are full and thick looking such that they not only look good from the side or flex but also the front view. If you are seeking to improve this then you are aiming to increase your arm width laterally.
If you want your arms to look bulky from the front view as well then you need to do some changes in the exercise you generally do for your arms and shoulders. Let us start with the analogy of arms to understand which muscles you need to work on.
Muscles On Which You Need To Work
Well, gymnastics will indeed play some role in this and some of you may be trying hard in the gym to get the desired results but still facing failures. There are a few key things that you need to work on to further increase the lateral width of the biceps. Before learning these things let us understand the muscles responsible for the thickness of the biceps.
The biceps as the name suggests is a two-headed muscle namely the long head and the short head. The short head is located more on the inside and the long head is located more on the outside. Thus for increasing the width of the biceps, you must emphasize the biceps head that is currently less developed on you.
The long head is responsible for the longitudinal thickness of arms, which is generally well developed in most of you. The other i.e., the short head contributes to the lateral width of the biceps and the one which we have to work on.
Before we dive into the workouts there is one more important muscle called the Brachialis that you must be prioritizing for increasing the lateral width of your biceps. This muscle is not only responsible for the mass of the outer arm but also pushes up the biceps causing the illusion of wider lateral biceps.
What Wrong are you Doing?
The body postures while doing any exercise matter a lot such that the pressure should come on the desired muscles of the body part. The same applies to the position of the arm while doing a bicep or any exercise. Due to lack of knowledge, most of the time people try to copy others by just putting extra weight which doesn’t help in the complete suitable growth of the arm. This extra weight distorts their body position, as a result, the muscles do not flex and the pressure in such conditions comes on the back which may hurt you.
What to Do to Increase Arm Size Laterally?
Let us take a look at some simple and basic workouts you must do to increase the lateral thickness of your biceps or arm.
1) Prioritizing the brachialis
Unlike biceps, the brachialis has only one purpose and that is to flex/broaden your arms. Therefore to target it one great exercise is Dumbbell Hammer Curls
A) Dumbbell Hammer Curl
– Stand up straight so that your stance should be straight and stable.
– Keep your legs slightly apart
– Slightly bend your knees.
Here’s a breakdown of how to do a hammer curl
– Grab the dumbbell from the middle in both the hand such that the thumb should be around the handles.
– Make sure your elbows and wrists are straight.
– Make sure that your elbows are slightly in front of your hips while performing this exercise.
– Now simply just raise the dumbbell just past 90 degrees and then bring the weights down.
– Try to keep the elbows in front of your hips all the time during the exercise.
– It is advisable to breathe out during the way up because that will escalate the force.
By slowing down the eccentric portion of the movement you will be actually able to decrease the involvement of the biceps and increase that of the brachialis.
B) Supination Curls
They are excellent overall biceps builders. You would begin with a normal bicep curl and end with a small twist as you raise the dumbbell.
– Stand holding a pair of dumbbells by your sides using a neutral grip(palms facing up).
– Pull your shoulders back.
Here’s a breakdown of how to do a Supinated curl
– Exhale as you slowly curl one dumbbell up toward your shoulder. As the dumbbell rises, you are supposed to twist the dumbbell away from your body as much as you can to nail the bicep’s peak.
– Once your elbow is fully flexed, allow your elbow to move forward a little, just until your arm is vertical.
– Hold for 2secs and squeeze your biceps.
– As you inhale you slowly reverse the movement at half the speed returning the dumbbell to the starting position.
C) Pull-Ups with Over Hand Narrow Grip
You can use a variation to help yourself building bigger arms and more specifically the brachialis. Instead of doing chin-ups that actually focus more on the biceps. You can turn yourself into a pull-up position with a narrow grip. The narrow grip pronates your arms mimicking almost the same action you have during hammer curls. This exercise proves to be a great way to overload your muscles.
2) Working on the short head
The other muscle you need to work on or emphasize is the short head. The following exercises will help you focus on the short head resulting in thick lateral arms.
A) Preacher curls
Preacher curls are amazing and quite competent for the short head of the biceps. They hold the body in an upright position locking your shoulder and thus you are not allowed to cheat while doing those.
-Sit on the Preacher bench with a dumbbell/EZ bar in your hand.
– Supernate your forearm(turn your palm upward), bend your elbow so that the dumbbell faces your shoulder, resting your upper arms flat on the bench.
Here’s a breakdown of how to do a Preacher curl
– Grab the E-Z bar in a supernatant position i.e., palms facing forward.
– With the upper arms and the chest positioned against the preacher bench pad hold the E-Z bar at shoulder length. Make sure there is enough space between your stomach and bench pad so that you can breathe easily.
– Setting the right seat height of the preacher bench is very important. Because any flaw in that will result in the leaning of the body backward that will bring tension on your back rather than on biceps.
– Guys, please don’t go too heavy. Use the weights that suit your body. Here quality is more crucial than quantity.
B) Wide Grip Barbell Curl
The Barbell Curl with a wide grip emphasizes the inner short head muscle of the biceps.
– keep your body straight upright holding a barbell using a shoulder-width supinated grip(palms facing upward).
– Your arms should be fully extended with the barbell resting against your thighs.
Here’s a breakdown of how to do a Barbell curl
– Stand in an upright position with your shoulder straight and knees slightly bent.
– Hold the barbell as wide as comfortable to you and with the palms facing up.
– As you exhale raise the barbell till the forearm touches your chest maintaining a stable position.
– After holding in this position for a few 2sec bring down slowly the barbell. Slowing the eccentric movement is advisable for better results.
The narrow grip barbell curls involve more long head muscle. Thus improving the longitudinal thickness of the biceps.
C) Incline Dumbbell Curls
– Keeping your body on a bench that is inclined at 45 to 60degree, hold a dumbbell in each hand.
– Allow the arms to have a dumbbell hanging straight down with your palms facing inward.
Here’s a breakdown of how to do an Incline Dumbbell Curls
– Keeping your arm fixed, exhale as you curl the right dumbbell upward towards the shoulder.
– Hold for 2secs and squeeze your bicep.
– Inhale as you reverse the motion and return the dumbbell to the starting position.
– Repeat the same with the right hand.
You can further concentrate on the weak points of your biceps. By adding exercises like cross hammer curl, standing bicep curls to your schedule will increase the width of your biceps. It is recommended to never skip Triceps Workout for building bigger arms.
Hopefully, after reading this article you have a better understanding of the biological make-up of the biceps and how to train to build bigger biceps.
Thus by including the above-given arm exercise in your routine or schedule. You will definitely get the desired results. I hope the article will be helpful from Healthamino. Please leave your valuable feedback and related queries in the comment section.