List of Biceps Exercises - Martial Arts Strength Training

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List of Biceps Exercises - Martial Arts Strength Training

This page provides details on a wide range of biceps exercises. Biceps are the muscles running down the front of the arm from the shoulder to the elbow. These muscles are used to help pull a hand & arm back. In contrast, the triceps muscles run down the back of the arm from the shoulder to the elbow. There are many exercises that focus on a combination of muscles that include the biceps. However, we have only listed below those strength training exercises that provide a heavy emphasis on the biceps muscles. Many of these biceps exercises can be done with dumbbells, barbells, kettlebells, cable machines, etc.

Martial artists work on their biceps strength in order to generate stronger punches (esp. biceps "influenced" punches like the hook punch & uppercut). The biceps are also used extensively in grappling techniques because they help to pull an opponent towards you (versus the triceps which helps to push an opponent away). Martial artists usually work on strength and endurance in order to throw multiple strikes versus focusing on only building a large biceps muscle. Therefore, they often do multiple repetitions with a medium weight versus only few reps with a maximum weight. Martial artists also focus on strengthening their triceps because it works synergistically with the biceps muscle.

Before any biceps exercise, martial artists should stretch their biceps. All stretches and exercises should be supervised by a trained instructor in order to prevent injuries and to ensure the proper technique is utilized. If you have had an injury or are in pain, please see a doctor before starting any stretching or exercise program. For additional stretches and exercises, please visit the main Strength Training section.

Strength & Conditioning Books

Biceps Exercises - Each exercise listed below has videos & instructions

  • Barbell Curls
  • Bicep Curls - This exercise works on your biceps. These biceps exercise generally uses a barbell or dumbbell.
  • Cable Curls
    • Overhead Cable Curls
    • Reverse Cable Curl
    • Standing Cable Curl
  • Concentration Curls - Concentration curls are very focused biceps exercises.
  • Hammer Curls - Hammer curls work on your biceps and forearms.
  • Preacher Curls - Preacher curls work on your biceps and forearms.
  • Reverse Curls - This exercise will increase the strength of your forearms and biceps. It works on different areas of the arm (esp. forearm) than traditional bicep curls.


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