The Most Effective Bicep Exercise You Can Do!

Dear Davey,

I don’t have a lot of time to workout – but I do want bigger arms and biceps. What’s the most effective exercise I can do?


Congratulations on prioritizing exercise despite your busy schedule. Truth be told, none of us have time not to work out.

Having said that, building bigger arms need not take tons of time. In fact, biceps are one of the fastest muscles to grow; you should notice results fast.

If you only have time for one bicep exercise, I’d recommend doing a barbell curl. It’s generally considered the most effective bicep exercise you can do. Here’s how you do it:

    The most effective barbell exerciseyou can do - the Barbell Curl.

  1. Load a barbell with the appropriate amount of weight. You should target 6 – 8 repetitions of the exercise for maximum growth. If you can do 4 curls, it is too heavy. If you can do 12, it’s too light.
  2. Stand tall with an engaged core.
  3. Grab the barbell with both hands in an underhand grip (fingers toward you).
  4. Slowly contract your biceps to lift the barbell up to just under your chin.
  5. Pause.
  6. Slowly lower the barbell all the way back to your thighs.
  7. Repeat for 6 – 8 repetitions

Ensure that you are not swinging your body (i.e., cheating) to help lift the barbell when it gets heavier.

When I do sets of barbell curls, I go for 4. But if you’re strapped for time, cut it down to 2. Most of the results are gained by the first set. There is a law of diminishing returns on each additional set – and the gains on the 3rd and 4th set are relatively small.

For additional reading, check out these 7 tips for bigger biceps.

About Davey Wavey

Davey Wavey is a certified personal trainer and YouTube sensation with more than 250 million video views. For Davey's fitness tips and secrets, sign up for his free monthly newsletter - or download any of his affordable and effective workout programs.


  1. I’m going to be starting a new bicep/tricep/chest drop-set routine today…this movement was already in the list of items…glad to know it’s one of the best! ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. i’d add using an W-shaped ‘eze’ bar as absolute: its way more ergonomic- i damaged my wrist with a str8 barbell..

  3. a cool biceps curl variation…
    start at the bottom, arms fully extended… curl the bar up halfway, hold, and slowly lower the bar, immediately curl the bar all the way up, pause, lower the bar to halfway, hold again, curl up to the top, pause, and slowly lower the bar to the bottom starting position… 1 rep… see how many you can do, and then change your grip to over-hand a do it again….

    ~ cheers…

  4. I’m gonna sound stupid, but when you say set, what do you mean? I think I know but I wanna make sure I have it right.
    Davey, what about triceps. I’m more about more defined triceps.

  5. gorgeous pic

  6. Hey Davey Wavey,

    In the barbell curl instructions, it did not state whether or not we need to bend our knees. is bending knees necessary then?

  7. What if I used two separate dumbells but performed the same movement structure?

  8. I just like the valuable info you provide for your articles.

    I will bookmark your weblog and take a look at once more right here frequently.
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    right here! Best of luck for the next!

  9. Stand tall with an engaged core is the best one to do. Thanks for the nice share.


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