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Brian Thompson on December 22nd, 2008

3128850800 b83e67788c An Effective Bodyweight Exercise for Huge Biceps

I am a huge fan of bodyweight exercises.  I feel these are the only form of exercise you will need for gaining strength and size.  I would like to discuss what I feel is one of the best exercise for building huge .  The exercise I have chosen is the .  This may surprise some, but let me explain.

I used to be a huge fan of with dumbbells, preacher curls and so on.  However, I started to notice a few people at the gym begin to experience problems with their elbows.  A close friend of mine needs surgery on his elbow.  He has been avoiding it by using anti-inflammatory drugs and getting cortisone shots.  He was a firm believer in preacher curls and it was one of his favorite exercises.  Now he can no longer perform this exercise without pain and discomfort.  I also feel that concentration exercises such as do not effectively build any real-world strength.  Close grip chin-ups on the other hand will build real-world strength as well as size.

So what makes close grip chin-ups the most effective?

Reason #1

One reason is because is because close grip chin is a closed-chain .  This means that you are moving your body through space, rather than just moving weight relative to your body.  These types of exercises have proven to elicit the absolute highest growth and strength responses of all exercises.  Your body simply has a greater response to these types of movements versus concentrated exercises.

Reason #2

The tension is also constant on your bicep throughout the full range of motion.  With this exercise there is never a point at which you relax the bicep as there is always constant tension on the muscle.  With a weight based curl movement you start to feel your muscle relax near the top of the curl movement.  With the close grip chin-up your bicep is constantly working in every position- top, middle and bottom of the movement.  This provides a greater breakdown in the muscle fiber and promotes a greater growth response.  It also eliminates the possibility of injury.

Now what I suggest is that you take this advice and run with it.  Drop the weights, hit the pull-up bar and you will never look back.  If you get strong enough and need more weight buy a weighted vest and continue to do the same movements.  This will increase the difficulty and build massive biceps that will make the girls drool.  They say in the gym “curls are for the girls”.  I say close grip chin-ups “separate the men from the boys”.

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7 Responses to “An Effective Bodyweight Exercise for Huge Biceps”

  1. I like your emphasize on natural body exercises. Any suggestions for how to go about getting the pullups in if I don’t belong to a gymn and am living in below zero temperatures lately?

  2. I personally built my own pull-up bar in the basement of my home. I have used it in the past few days as it has been 4 degrees here and with wind chill factor has been even colder. So I can understand what you are going through. At the following link you will find several ideas for building your own pull-up/chin-up stations. I personal went with the Ceiling Joist Mtd. Chinning Bar because I have a basement. You may not have this option so I wanted to provide you with several good options. This site is an older site but has very good ideas on for home built equipment. That is the way I like to do things. I have also built my own dip bars.

    Here is the link.


  3. I’ve had my best results with body weight workouts. Power 90X incorporates a lot of these exercises. I’ve had people flat out tell me they can’t afford to get fit and never believe me when I say “you don’t need money or equipment to get fit.” We’re brainwashed as a society that fitness equals a gym membership or expensive equipment.

    Great site.

  4. When doing Chin-Ups(Palms facing me). Should my thumbs be over or under the bar?


  5. In my opinion do what is most comfortable for you. However you naturally grab the bar and do the pull-ups. Don’t think so much just do and it will come naturally.

  6. The under grip chin up focuses more on the biceps but I have found the over-grip more effective as it also addresses the laterals. For the abdominals the body can be rolled keeping the arms straight and the bar is touched with the toes, the legs are folded at the knees. A few sets of some repetitions should be good.

  7. I think the excercise mentioned by ravi is very good and have encorporated it into my workout, I also think the reverse press up is very good for buildind bicep muscle and endurance as a body weight excercise, do you have any other tips on bodyweight bicep excercises that don’t envole a bar? Nathan hodgson,kingston upon hull, england.

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