Weight Loss Made Practical » Exercise

10 Bicep Exercises With Resistance Bands

Resistance band workouts can offer you impressive benefits but what are some bicep exercises you can do with resistance bands?

Resistance bands are an inexpensive type of fitness equipment that are basically elastic cords. You can use this piece of exercise equipment to modify regular exercises or to do specific resistance band exercises.

Most people think about dumbbells and barbells when talking about bicep exercises. While these other pieces of equipment can be helpful, you can also work out your biceps at home or in the gym with the help of resistance bands.

For most of these exercises, you can just anchor resistance bands under your feet. For some, you may want to consider investing in specific resistance band anchors for comfort and safety reasons.

Biceps are a popular muscle group because they have a big impact on how your arms look. By doing curls with small variations you can change what part of the bicep muscles you focus on.

Keep in mind that even though there are many benefits, your injury risk is generally also higher when you do exercises with more weight/resistance.

1. Resistance band standing bicep curls

Standing bicep curls are likely the first exercise that comes to mind if you think about exercises to train your biceps. To do a standing bicep curl take the following steps:

  1. Stand up straight with your arms hanging beside you. Each hand holds a resistance band with a supinated grip which means with your hand palms facing forward in starting position. You can anchor the resistance band(s) below your feet or somewhere else low.
  2. Slowly fold your arms at the elbows as far as you can. Keep your upper arms in the same position throughout the exercise.
  3. Lower your hands back into starting position in a controlled motion.

2. Resistance band hammer curls

To do a hammer curl take the following steps:

  1. Stand up straight with your arms hanging beside you. Each hand holds a resistance band with a neutral grip which means with your hand palms facing each other in starting position. You can anchor the resistance band(s) below your feet or somewhere else low.
  2. Slowly fold your arms at the elbows as far as you can. Keep your upper arms in the same position throughout the exercise.
  3. Lower your hands back into starting position in a controlled motion.

By changing your grip compared to the regular curl you target your brachialis muscle more. This muscle helps your arms achieve more power and look bigger.

3. Resistance band reverse curls

To do a reverse curl take the following steps:

  1. Stand up straight with your arms hanging beside you. Each hand holds a resistance band with a pronated grip which means with your hand palms facing backward in starting position. You can anchor the resistance band(s) below your feet or somewhere else low.
  2. Slowly fold your arms at the elbows as far as you can. Keep your upper arms in the same position throughout the exercise.
  3. Lower your hands back into starting position in a controlled motion.

By changing your grip even more compared to the hammer curl you target your brachialis muscle even more.

4. Resistance band preacher bicep curls

In the gym, you would use a specific bench for preacher bicep curls but your own lower legs can work as well. For comfort, you want to be able to anchor your resistance bands somewhere low. To do a preacher bicep curl take the following steps:

  1. Anchor your resistance bands somewhere low. Go back a short distance and sit down facing the anchor. Each of your hands holds a resistance band with your hand palms facing upward in starting position. Your upper arms start resting on your lower legs. Your arms start stretched.
  2. Slowly fold your arms at the elbows as far as you can. Keep your upper arms in the same position throughout the exercise.
  3. Lower your hands back into starting position in a controlled motion.

If you have nowhere to anchor the resistance band you can use your knees while sitting down too. This is however a lot less comfortable.

By doing preacher bicep curls you avoid using the rest of your body and momentum for the motion. This makes your bicep muscles work harder which in turn can lead to more and faster muscle gain.

5. Resistance band outward bicep curls

To do a standing outward bicep curl take the following steps:

  1. Stand up straight with your arms hanging beside you. Each hand holds a resistance band with a supinated grip which means with your hand palms facing forward in starting position. You can anchor the resistance band(s) below your feet or somewhere else low.
  2. Slowly fold your arms at the elbows as far as you can. Move your hands outward instead of straight up. Keep your upper arms in the same position throughout the exercise.
  3. Lower your hands back into starting position in a controlled motion.

The different upward angle changes what muscles get engaged more. Outward bicep curls are more focused on the short head of the brachii bicep muscle, the inner of the two brachii muscle heads, compared to regular bicep curls.

6. Resistance band crossbody curls

To do a crossbody curl take the following steps:

  1. Stand up straight with your arms hanging beside you. Each hand holds a resistance band with your hand palms forward in starting position. You can anchor the resistance band(s) below your feet or somewhere else low.
  2. Slowly bring the hand of one side to the shoulder of the opposite side as far as possible by folding your arms at the elbow. Keep your upper arm as much in the same position as possible but it will inevitably have to move to be able to do the movement.
  3. Lower your hand back into starting position in a controlled motion.
  4. Repeat with the hand on the other side.

Crossbody curls change the upward angle compared to regular bicep curls. This leads to more focus on the long head of the brachii bicep muscle, the outer of the two brachii muscle heads.

7. Resistance band chin-ups

While you may know that chin-ups can help you grow your bicep muscles you may wonder what resistance bands have to do with this exercise.

You can anchor resistance bands on the pull-up bar and place them under your feet or legs to make regular chin-ups easier. This can be helpful if regular chin-ups are not yet within your capabilities.

On the other hand, you can also use resistance bands to make chin-ups harder for your biceps if needed. You can do this by anchoring them low to the ground and somewhere along your body.

No matter what of the two options you choose, to do a chin-up take the following steps:

  1. Hang from a pull-up bar with your hands at about shoulder-width with your hand palms facing backward.
  2. Pull your body up slowly until your shoulders are the height of the bar.
  3. Lower your body again into starting position in a controlled motion.

For chin-ups you will also need a pull-up bar. Most people think this type of fitness equipment requires a large investment and a separate home gym. However, there are relatively inexpensive doorway pull-up bars that are sufficient for exercises like chin-ups.

A pull-up bar also allows you to do exercises for other muscles like your abdominal and back muscles.

8. Resistance band drag curls

To do a drag curl take the following steps:

  1. Stand up straight with your arms hanging beside you. Each hand holds a resistance band with your hand palms facing forward in starting position. You can anchor the resistance band(s) below your feet or somewhere else low.
  2. Slowly fold your arms at the elbows as far as you can. Throughout the movement, you move your elbows back. Your hands basically follow the same line as your body.
  3. Lower your hands back into starting position in a controlled motion.

By moving your elbows back this exercise focuses more on the biceps brachii which are the muscles most people think of when hearing the word bicep.

9. Resistance band seated curls

For the next exercise, you will need something to sit on where your arms can move freely. Something like a chair with no armrests can work. Once you have that, to do a seated bicep curl take the following steps:

  1. Sit down on the chair so that you can let your arms hang beside you. Each hand holds a resistance band with your hand palms facing forward in starting position. You can anchor the resistance band(s) below your feet if you fold your legs so that your feet are under the chair.
  2. Slowly fold your arms at the elbows as far as you can. Keep your upper arms in the same position throughout the exercise.
  3. Lower your hands back into starting position in a controlled motion.

By doing a regular bicep curl sitting down you avoid using your legs to move the weights. This leads to more focus on your bicep muscles.

10. Resistance band concentration curls

For concentration curls, you again need something to sit on at about knee height. Something as simple as a chair works. Once you have that, to do a concentration curl take the following steps:

  1. Sit on your chair or another sitting object with your upper legs making about a 90-degree angle. Hold a resistance band in one hand, slightly tilt your upper body forward while keeping a good posture, and place the lower back of your upper arm on the inside of your leg on the same side. You can anchor the resistance band(s) below your feet or somewhere else low.
  2. Slowly fold your arms at the elbows as far as you can. Keep your upper arm in the same position throughout the exercise.
  3. Lower your hand back into starting position in a controlled motion.

Concentration curls allow you to avoid momentum and using the rest of your body to move the weight. This leads to your biceps working hard and hopefully in turn more and faster muscle gain.