The biceps are a primary muscle of the upper arm that flexes the shoulder and elbow. It consists of two muscles, the biceps brachii, and the biceps brachialis. The biceps act to flex the arm both above and below a straightened elbow. A compound exercise is an exercise that involves more than one joint, such as the shoulder and elbow or shoulder, elbow, and wrist. Compound exercises are better for building muscle mass and burning fat. In addition, compound exercises induce higher levels of growth hormone and testosterone release than isolation exercises.
Here are 5 compound exercises for biceps you should add to your routine:
1. Chin Ups
Chin ups are one of the best upper body exercises you can do to help tone your back and arms. While they are an excellent strengthening exercise, they are great for cardio as well. This exercise can be quite difficult at first. The strong muscles on the back of your upper arms will ache, and you’re bound to encounter some resistance in doing the exercise properly. However, with practice, chin ups will become easier to do and more of a challenge as you get stronger.
Here is how you do proper chin ups:
- Grasp the bar with your palms facing you and your hands shoulder-width apart.
- Hang from the bar with your arms and legs fully extended.
- Bend your knees and cross your ankles behind you.
- Pull yourself up until your chin is over the bar.
- Lower yourself back to the starting position.
The chin up is one of the best upper body exercises you can do for building strength. The benefits are twofold. You increase your bicep’s ability to flex and strengthen, but you strengthen the back of your arms and shoulder muscles as well. It may be difficult at first, but if you stick with it, it will take your strength and endurance to new heights. And once you begin doing them regularly, you’ll begin noticing more muscle definition in your back and arms!
2. Underhand Grip Barbell Row
The underhand grip barbell row is a compound exercise that primarily targets the biceps, although the muscles of your upper back also come into play. The exercise involves pulling a weight towards you while keeping your palms facing inwards. They work the brachialis and brachioradialis both at the same time while also increasing muscular endurance.
Here is how you do this exercise:
- Start by holding a barbell in your hands with your palms facing inwards.
- Bend your knees and hips so that your torso is at about a 45-degree angle to the ground.
- From this position, begin rowing the weight up towards your chest, keeping your elbows close to your body.
- Once the weight reaches your chest, pause for a moment and then lower it back to the starting position.
The underhand grip row requires you to use more muscles during its performance. The biceps and forearms are worked the most because they are bearing the weight of the barbell. Because of this, there is less risk of injury occurring when using an underhand grip on this exercise in comparison to the overhanded grip.
3. Underhand Grip Seated Cable Row
The underhand grip seated cable row is a compound exercise for the biceps. The biceps is a muscle in your upper arm that attaches to your elbow. Being a compound muscle exercise, it will also involve muscles in your back (latissimus dorsi muscle) and shoulder (deltoids).
To do underhand grip seated cable row:
- Sit on a bench with your feet flat on the floor and your knees bent to 90 degrees.
- Lean forward slightly and grip the cable with your palms facing up (underhand grip).
- Keeping your back straight, pull the cable towards your body, leading with your elbows.
- Squeeze your shoulder blades together and pause for a moment at the top of the movement.
- Slowly return to the starting position.
The underhand grip seated cable row is a compound exercise that works the biceps, latissimus dorsi, and deltoids. This exercise can be performed in a gym with a machine called a cable row machine. An underhand grip refers to where your palms face the bar during movements. If you are looking for an alternative way to work out your biceps muscle to that of traditional barbells, then this is an excellent option for you.
4. Underhand Grip Lat Pulldown
The underhand grip lat pulldown is an incredible compound exercise for working the biceps muscles. It works well because it allows the biceps to apply force through a large range of motion so it can best target the long head of the biceps muscle. It can serve as a good exercise for beginners or advanced athletes who want to work their triceps muscles and make their exercises simpler.
Here is how you do this exercise:
- Sit down on a lat pulldown machine with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor.
- Grasp the lat pulldown bar with an underhand grip that is shoulder-width apart.
- Keep your back straight and then pull the bar down to your chest.
- Pause for a moment and then slowly return the bar to the starting position.
The Underhand Grip Lat Pulldown can be a great exercise when done correctly. Just make sure to keep the back straight and do not lean forward. The purpose of this movement is to target the long head of the biceps, so you should aim to feel it in your arms at the very end of each rep. Keep good form with this movement, and you will be doing it right.
5. Underhand Grip Inverted Row
The underhand grip inverted row is an excellent compound exercise option for targeting both the biceps as well as the upper back musculature. The grip creates a stronger bicep activation, while also placing a greater emphasis on the upper back muscles. If your goal is to build bigger biceps and stronger forearms, you’re likely going to want to include the underhand grip inverted row as a part of your routine.
Here is how you do this exercise:
- Set up a bar at about waist height.
- Grab the bar with an underhand grip, and position yourself underneath it.
- Hang from the bar, and then pull yourself up until your chin is over the bar.
- Lower yourself back down to the starting position.
- Repeat for reps.
The underhand grip inverted row is a strong compound exercise option targeting both the biceps as well as the upper back muscles. This is a challenging exercise to perform, and care should be taken with this movement to avoid shoulder impingement. Proper technique will help you target your muscles without putting unwanted stress on other body parts such as the elbows or shoulders.
Compound exercises work muscles through the entire range of motion and are beneficial to overall health and fitness. The biceps are an important muscle group in the upper arm, as they help to maintain elbow strength and stability.
To get the biggest and best biceps, then you need to put compound exercises at the heart of your routine. The biceps function in a number of different ways that require exercises from many different angles. A full workout for the biceps will therefore hit them from every angle possible, which is the only way to go when you’re trying to increase the size.