A Calisthenics bicep workout is the perfect solution if you are looking for an effective way to build stronger and bigger biceps without hitting the gym. With calisthenics, you can easily do different bicep exercises at home – all you need is your body weight and minimal equipment.
Calisthenics is a big favorite here, with trainers at fitbodii. Here, we recommend 9 of the best calisthenics exercises for biceps muscle. A sample workout is provided. So if you’re ready to start building those boulder shoulders, read on and let’s get those guns pumping!
Can you build biceps with calisthenics?
First and foremost, let this question get out of our way by answering it right away. Calisthenics exercises can improve and build bicep strength, provided you do bicep compound exercises properly. The workout program should contain exercises to maximize the function of the biceps, flexing and supinating (turning). It would be best to deliberately do your movements (slow down the lifting phases) and increase the time under tension(TUT).
What are Bicep Calisthenics Workouts?
Bicep Calisthenics Workouts are exercises that use body weight as the resistance to build strength in the biceps. Calisthenic exercises are effective in increasing the size as well. The following exercises can be included in a calisthenic bicep workout routine:
- Horizontal Bodyweight Ring Curls
- Pelican Pushup
- Pull-up static holds
- Reverse Grip Pushups
- Inverted Row With Supinated Grip (AKA Bicep Rows)
- Korean Dips
- Korean Ring Dip (AKA The Bicep Dip)
- Regular Pushups
Equipment You Need To Build Bigger Arms
The following equipment is the minimum you would need to perform the above calisthenics bicep exercises at home. You would need a pull-up bar and a ring set (wooden or otherwise).
Pull Up Bar
There are plenty of pull bars available as well as recommended by many. The following is best for a versatile of workouts, including pull-ups. The flexibility of use for narrow, wide, and neutral grip positions makes these handles a good choice.
The best bodyweight bicep exercises
Bodyweight exercises are incredibly effective in building strength, improving flexibility, and toning your muscles without needing any special equipment. These exercises are convenient and can be done anywhere and anytime, making them an ideal choice for busy individuals who may not have time to go to the gym.
Commando pull-ups are one of the best bodyweight exercises for strengthening your biceps.
Step 1: To do a commando pull-up, start by standing sideways to the bar and grabbing it with one hand just in front of the other.
Step 2: Pull yourself towards the bar, keeping your elbows close to your body until your chin is above the bar. You have to pull up to the side of the bar so as not to hit the bar with your head.
Step 4: Pause, then slowly lower yourself down until your arms are straight. Repeat as many times as desired.
Commando pull-ups are a great exercise for targeting your biceps and building strength. As you pull your body towards the bar, your biceps are forced to work hard to complete the movement. This exercise also engages your back, shoulder and core muscles, making it an effective total-body exercise. Make sure you tighten your abs, so your body does not rotate during the movement.
Horizontal Bodyweight Ring Curls
Horizontal bodyweight ring curls are an excellent way to work your biceps without needing additional weight. This exercise is great for building strength and size in your biceps and improving grip strength.
Step 1: To perform horizontal bodyweight ring curls, set up a set of rings at chest height.
Step 2: Grasp the rings with a neutral grip and step back, so your arms are fully extended.
Step 3: Keeping your elbows tucked in, curl your arms towards your chest. Make sure to keep your palms facing up and your wrists straight.
Step 4: Slowly lower your arms back to the starting position.
The key to this exercise is to keep your form perfect. Keep your elbows tucked in throughout the entire movement, and focus on curling your arms up instead of just pulling your shoulders up. This will ensure you’re targeting your biceps and getting the most out of the exercise.
The pelican pushup is a great bodyweight exercise for strengthening the chest, shoulders, and triceps. This exercise is challenging but rewarding and can be modified for all fitness levels. Although this exercise does not target the biceps directly, it is a wonderful compound exercise to increase upper body strength.
The name ‘pelican’ comes from the shape of the shoulders and arms at the lowest position of this exercise. You would need gymnastic rings to do this exercise. Keep the rings about a foot above the floor, at enough height that you would have enough space to bring your chest down below the position of the rings.
Place some object that is as high as the rings. You could use a char or filled backpack to elevate your toes.
Step 1: Begin in a regular push-up position with your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart holding the rings and your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart on the object we discussed above.
Here, know your limit. If you are a beginner, it would be better to keep your toes on the ground (to reduce the weight on your arms). Similarly, you can reduce the difficulty of this exercise by increasing the height of the rings from the floor.
Step 2: Bend your elbows and slowly lower your chest toward the floor. And bring your chest below the rings.
Step 3: When your chest is close to the floor, press your palms into the rings and push your body back up to the starting position.
Step 4: Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.
When performing the pelican pushup, it’s important to keep your body straight and avoid sagging your hips. Also, keep your elbows close to your body throughout the entire movement. This will help ensure that you’re targeting your chest and triceps correctly.
Pull-up static holds
Pull-up static holds are a great way to improve your upper body strength and stability. They force you to recruit the right muscles and help build stability in your shoulders and upper back. This exercise is very effective because it employs time under tension. The hold time forces all the muscles to work harder and optimizes muscular strength and endurance.
Pull-up static holds pave the way to increase the number of pull-ups you can do over time.
Step 1: Hang from a pull-up bar with your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
Step 2: Engage your core and lift your chest towards the bar.
Step 3: Hold this position for as long as you can, making sure to keep your body in a straight line and your elbows tucked in close to your body.
Step 4: Slowly lower yourself to the starting position when you can no longer hold the position.
When performing static pull-up holds, avoid swinging your body, extending your arms and legs too far, or arching your back is important. All of these can place unnecessary strain on your shoulders and lower back.
Pull-up static holds are a great way to strengthen the lower traps, which are often neglected. The static hold requires you to engage and activate the lower traps to maintain the position. This helps build strength and stability, benefitting everyday activities and more advanced exercises.
Reverse Grip Pushups
Reverse grip pushups are a great exercise to add to your calisthenics bicep workout routine. They are a challenging variation of the classic pushup that works your biceps, triceps, and chest.
Step 1: Get into a plank position with your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
Step 2: Place your hands on the floor, your palms facing away from you, and your fingers pointed inwards.
Step 3: Engage your core and lower your body until your chest touches the floor.
Step 4: Push up and squeeze your biceps at the top.
Step 5: Lower your body back down and repeat.
When performing reverse grip pushups, keeping your elbows tucked in close to your body is important. Do not let your elbows flare out, as this can strain your shoulders unnecessarily. Also, keep your body in a straight line throughout the exercise.
Reverse grip pushups should be included in your calisthenics bicep workout routine as they provide a great way to strengthen and build your biceps. This exercise also works your chest, triceps, and core, making it a great full-body exercise.
Inverted Row With Supinated Grip (AKA Bicep Rows)
The inverted row with a supinated grip, also known as bicep rows, is an excellent exercise for building strength and size in your biceps. This exercise can be performed using a barbell, dumbbell, or resistance bands.
Step 1: Place a barbell, dumbbell, or resistance band on the ground.
Step 2: Lie on your back with your arms fully extended and your palms facing the ceiling.
Step 3: Grab the barbell, dumbbells, or resistance bands with a supinated (underhand) grip.
Step 4: Keeping your body in a straight line, pull your chest up towards the bar until your biceps are fully contracted.
Step 5: Lower your body back down to the starting position, but do not let your arms fully extended.
Step 6: Repeat for the desired number of reps.
When performing the inverted row with a supinated grip, keeping your body in a straight line and your elbows tucked in close to your body is important. Do not let your back round or your elbows flare out, as this can strain your lower back unnecessarily.
Bicep rows are a great exercise for strengthening and building your biceps. This exercise also works your back and core, making it a great full-body exercise.
Korean dips are a good choice to add to your calisthenic bicep workout routine. This exercise is a challenging variation of the classic dip that works your biceps, triceps, and chest. Go slow and learn the steps before going all in.
Step 1: Start sitting on the edge of a bench with your hands on either side of your hips.
Step 2: Lift your feet off the ground and lean forward so your body is at an angle.
Step 3: Slowly lower your body until your elbows are bent at 90 degrees.
Step 4: Push yourself back to the initial position, engaging your chest and biceps as you do.
Step 5: Repeat for the desired number of reps.
When performing Korean dips, keeping your elbows close to your body and your back straight is important. Do not let your elbows flare out, as this can strain your shoulders unnecessarily. It is also important to ensure that your body is at an angle throughout the exercise.
Korean dips are a great exercise for strengthening and building your biceps. This exercise also works your triceps and chest, making it a great full-body exercise.
Korean Ring Dip (AKA The Bicep Dip)
Step 1: Place two rings or handles on the ground.
Step 2: Stand between the rings or handles and place your hands on them.
Step 3: Push your palms into the rings or handles and lift your feet off the ground.
Step 4: Keeping your arms straight and your body at an angle, slowly lower your body until your elbows are bent at 90 degrees.
Step 5: Push yourself back up to the starting position, engaging your biceps as you do.
Step 6: Repeat for the desired number of reps.
When performing the Korean Ring Dip, keeping your elbows close to your body and your back straight is important. Do not let your elbows flare out, as this can strain your shoulders unnecessarily. It is also important to ensure that your body is at an angle throughout the exercise.
Korean Ring Dips are known as bicep dips because it is an excellent exercise for building strength and size in your biceps. This exercise also works your triceps and chest, making it a great compound exercise.
Step 1: Start a regular pushup by getting into a prone position on the floor. Place your hands wider than shoulder-width apart and keep your legs behind you.
Step 2: Engage your core and glutes and maintain a straight line from your head to your feet.
Step 3: Bend your arms and lower your chest towards the floor. Keep your elbows closer to your sides and your wrists in line with your elbows.
Step 4: Once your chest is close to the floor, press your palms into the floor and push your body back up to the starting position. Make sure to keep your body in a straight line throughout the entire movement.
Regular pushups are a great exercise for building strength and size in your biceps. As you lower your body towards the floor and push back up, your biceps are forced to work hard to complete the movement. This exercise also engages your chest, shoulders, triceps, back and core muscles, making it an effective total-body exercise.
Calisthenics Biceps Exercises Without A Bar (No Equipment)
You can also do calisthenic bicep exercises without having a bar at home. At Fitbodii, we often recommend exercises with resistance bands for doing these exercises without bars.
The most recommended resistance bands:
Resistance Bands Bicep Curls
Step 1: Start standing with your feet shoulder-width apart, and place the resistance band under both feet.
Step 2: Hold the ends of the resistance band with both hands, with your palms facing up and your arms extended down.
Step 3: Keep your elbows close to your body throughout the movement, and curl your hands up towards your shoulders.
Step 4: At the top of the movement, pause for a moment, and then slowly return to the original position.
Resistance bands are an effective and versatile tool for performing bicep curls without using traditional weights such as dumbbells. The bands allow for a greater range of motion than weights and provide an extra challenge by providing continuous tension throughout the entire movement. Resistance band bicep curls are a great exercise to build strength and size in your biceps.
Calisthenics Biceps Workout Program
Here, we recommend the following biceps workout program for your calisthenics.
You will notice that the calisthenic exercises described so far and the recommended workout below are mostly compound exercises. At Fitbodii, we are a big fan of compound movements rather than isolated ones. These compound exercises engage several muscle groups, including the upper back in your arm workouts and bicep muscles.
Calisthenic Bicep Workout Tips
Keep the following tips in mind while performing these workouts. These are tips necessary for all kinds of exercises.
Keeping your wrist straight when performing exercises is essential for maximizing the tension on the biceps. When your wrist is not kept straight, it can cause your grip to be weak and decrease the amount of tension on the biceps. This can lead to a decrease in the number of reps you can perform and the amount of weight you can lift, as well as potentially causing injury.
Additionally, keeping your wrist straight can help prevent wrist injuries, such as carpal tunnel syndrome, and help activate the biceps more effectively and efficiently.
Full Range of Motion (ROM)
Full Range of Motion (RoM) is important for every repetition because it helps ensure that the target muscles are being worked through their full range of motion. This helps to maximize muscle growth and strength gains and increases flexibility and mobility.
Additionally, full RoM helps to prevent injury by allowing for a more balanced and efficient muscular activation. Finally, performing a full ROM for every repetition helps build and maintain good form and technique.
Training with a low tempo is important because it allows you to focus on the muscle being worked and gain greater control over the weight lifted. Low-tempo exercises help to increase strength, build muscle, and improve joint stability and flexibility. This type of exercise also helps to reduce the risk of injury by allowing for a slower, more controlled movement that reduces the amount of stress placed on the joints, muscles, and tendons.
Low-tempo exercises are also beneficial for targeting smaller muscle groups, like the bicep, and can help to maximize muscle growth and strength gains when combined with heavier, higher-tempo exercises.
Calisthenics is a great way to get a full-body workout without needing gym equipment. If you are looking to specifically target your biceps and build strength and definition, you can do plenty of exercises using only your body weight. This blog post has outlined 9 of the best calisthenics bicep exercises that you can do from the comfort of your own home. By adding these exercises into your routine, you can build stronger biceps, improve your overall strength and work on achieving the toned arms you desire. Get started with these calisthenics bicep workouts today!
Frequently Asked Questions about Calisthenic Bicep Workouts and Bicep workouts
What calisthenics movements work the biceps
The main function of the biceps muscles is to flex and supinate the forearm. Imagine opening a bottle with a corkscrew, and your biceps are doing both flexion and supination (turning off the arm outward)
Any bodyweight exercises that flexibly and supinate the forearms will be calisthenics bicep movements.
Do pushups work your biceps?
Yes, pushups do work the biceps. When you perform a pushup, your triceps and biceps stabilize your elbows and shoulders, so your body remains straight. As you lower your body, your biceps flex to keep your elbows in, and your triceps extend to keep your arms straight. As you push up, your biceps are working to help you return to the starting position, and your triceps are helping to extend your arms. So yes, pushups do work your biceps.
What Should I Eat For Better Bicep Training?
For better bicep training, you should consume more protein. Protein helps the body build muscle and recover faster after workouts. Good protein sources for bicep training include lean meats such as chicken, turkey, and fish. Eggs, dairy, nuts and seeds, beans, and legumes are good protein sources.
Additionally, you should consume complex carbohydrates such as whole grains and fruits and vegetables to provide your body with energy and essential vitamins and minerals. Lastly, it is important to stay hydrated while training to ensure your muscles have enough oxygen and nutrients to keep your body functioning efficiently.