The 6 Best Bicep Exercises With Resistance Bands

You want to know how to work out your biceps effectively and what exercises are the best for this purpose? You came to the right place. We will show you how to train your biceps anywhere and having great results – the only tool you will need – is a set of resistance bands!

You will start by learning how a great biceps workout is structured and what set/reps to do. Then we jump straight into the different variations of the biceps curl – standing, lying, sitting, arm position, grip – we get it all covered. And if you still don’t have enough we have the last section where we discuss how effective resistance bands are for working out biceps and what specific muscles the biceps is constructed off.

Biceps intro muscles

Biceps Workout

In the following section we selected 6 biceps exercises, which we like the most and bring the best results when it comes to effective biceps training. In addition to the finish and start position – you will find a step-by-step description on how-to do each exercise.

A simple, effective and quick biceps workout can be done as follows:

  • Pick 3 exercises from the selection below.
  • For each exercise you will perform 3 Sets.
  • For best results use the rep scheme: 20-10-10
  • Rest 60-90 sec between sets

Rep Scheme:

  1. Set: Complete 20 clean, slow and controlled reps with a moderate resistance.
  2. Set: Increase the resistance to the level that you can do 10 reps and no more.
  3. Set: Same as Set 2 – 10 reps – Give it your all!

Time under Tension (TUT):

To get the most out of a set you need to take the total time under tension into consideration. The best results you will reap when your total set time is at least 30 seconds. You can go as high as a minute or even higher. To reach that TUT each of your reps has to have a duration of about 4 seconds.

To get there try this method:

  • 1 sec. concentric part of the rep – going up
  • ½ – 1 sec. of an isometric hold in the fully contracted phase
  • 2 sec. of eccentric movement – going down

Workout App

How to effectively incorporate working out your biceps in a full workout program? We show you that in our workout app. Interested? Check out what you can expect right here: BIQ Workout App

In the Workout app included is a searchable collection of all exercises you can do with resistance bands. For each exercise there is a how-to video as well as a step-by-step explanation.

What Equipment Do You Need?

To have a great biceps workout and to be able to do every exercise we show you in this article you will need 3 equipment pieces:

Resistance Band Set – Of course you need resistance bands to do a resistance band exercise – duh – but this is not the point here. The point is getting a set of resistance bands with different resistance levels from the beginning. Many people start by only getting a single band – that’s silly. Get a set – this way you will be able to train every part of your body and make progress. If you don’t have a set, get this one: Resistance Band Set

Door Anchor – For some exercises you will be needing a door anchor and there is no reason not to get one. It is dirt cheap, and it opens up the possibility to perform a ton of additional exercises: Door Anchor

Workout Gloves – When you hold a resistance band and stretch it there is friction between the band and your skin. This stress is simply unnecessary and easily to eliminate by wearing workout gloves. We recommend having full finger gloves like these right here: Workout Gloves

The Best Bicep Exercises To Do With Resistance Bands

#1 – Standing Bicep Curl

Focus: Long Head and Short Head

Band: Medium to Heavy

Biceps Standing

The most basic bicep curl out there. With this variation you will be able to handle the most load, and you won’t need any other equipment besides the resistance band. Although we highly recommend getting some workout gloves and putting on some shoes.

Step-By-Step How-To:

  1. Stand on the bands shoulder wide apart
  2. Grab the band with both hands
  3. Upright position with straight back and head, chest up and tight core
  4. Keep your elbows tight to the side of your torso
  5. Curl your hands up while remaining your elbows in a fixed position (no forward or backward movement)
  6. Hold up for about 1 second and then slowly return your hands down
  7. Repeat for reps

To learn more about the biceps curl and how to do this exercise 100% correctly check out the full article: Biceps Curl With Resistance Bands

#2 – Unilateral Behind The Back Biceps Curl

Focus: Long Head

Band: Medium

One Arm biceps Curl

This variation is great when it comes to target one arm at a time. As well as to target the long head of the biceps.

Step-By-Step How-To:

  1. Use a door anchor or any other kind of fix point for the resistance band and mount the band at a low point (floor level)
  2. Grab the band with one hand and step forward until you feel a stretch in the band
  3. Now position your arm, so you will get a straight line between your shoulders and the fixpoint
  4. Curl your hand up and bring your elbow to the side of your body (not further forward)
  5. Hold for about 1 second and then slowly return your hand to the starting position
  6. Repeat for reps

#3 – Concentration Curl

Focus: Short Head

Band: Medium

Concentration Sitting 2 Arm Curl

This is a great variation for you if you tend to move your elbows while doing a standing bicep curl as it will lock your elbow into a fixed position where you can’t move it and you’re forced to use your bicep to do the curl. Also you will feel a pump like with none other exercise.

Step-By-Step How-To:

  1. Use a door anchor or any other kind of fix point for the resistance band and mount the band at a low point
  2. Get on the floor and get away from the fix point as much as needed to have the band already pre-stretched
  3. Now position your elbows right under your knees in your thighs
  4. Curl your hands towards your face and keep your elbows fixed on your thighs
  5. Hold for about 1 second and then slowly return your hands back
  6. Repeat for reps

The BIQ App

Take training with resistance bands to the next level with our free app.

  • 172 Exercises
  • all band types
  • different training goals & workouts
  • challenges
  • much more

#4 – Crucifix Curl

Focus: Short Head and Brachialis

Band: Light to Medium

Crucifix Curl

This is a great variation to get the focus also on the brachialis, which will bring more thickness to your upper arm.

Step-By-Step How-To:

  1. Use a door anchor or any other kind of fix point for the resistance band and mount the band around shoulder-height
  2. Step away from the anchor point until you have a good stretch in the band – Your shoulders should be in line with the resistance band
  3. Get into and keep an upright position with straight back and head, chest up, and tight core
  4. Now raise your arm so you will get a 90-degree angle with your upper body and curl your hand towards your head
  5. Hold for about 1 second and then slowly return your hand to the starting position
  6. Repeat for reps

#5 – Lying In Front Of Body Biceps Curl

Focus: Short Head

Band: Medium

Lying 2 Arm Biceps Curl

Step-By-Step How-To:

  1. Use a door anchor or any other kind of fix point for the resistance band and mount the band at a high point
  2. Get on the floor and get away from the fix point as much as needed to have the band already pre-stretched
  3. Now position your arms so you will get a straight line between your shoulders and the fix point
  4. Curl your hands towards your face and keep your elbows in a fixed position
  5. Hold for about 1 second and then slowly return your hands to the starting position
  6. Repeat for reps

#6 – Forearm Curl

Focus: Forearm Muscles (Brachioradialis)

Band: Light

Forearm Curl

This is not a direct biceps exercise, but the forearm muscles are also involved when doing biceps curl. To make progress with your biceps you should also have direct forearm work in your workout program.

Step-By-Step How-To:

  1. Grab a light band, double it up and step on it with both feet
  2. Sit down on a chair and grab each loop with one hand
  3. Place your forearms on your upper legs
  4. Curl your hands up – make sure that only the hand are moving (not the arms)
  5. Hold for about 1 second and then slowly return your hands to the starting position
  6. Repeat for reps

Grip and Arm Position Variation

Grip Variations

By changing your grip you can adjust how much you will involve the muscles of the forearm into the biceps curl.

Bicep Curl grips

In the first image you see the underhand grip, the basic version for bicep curls which will focus primarily on the bicep with minimal forearm activation.

You can then add more forearm activation into your bicep curl by either using the neutral grip as you would in a hammer curl (second image) or get the most forearm activation with the overhand grip shown in the third image here.

Arm Position Variations

With your arm position you can shift the focus between short head and long head of your biceps

Bicep Curl arm positions

The more narrow you have your arms, the more focus you will have on the long head of your biceps and the more wide you open up your arm position during the curl, the more short head activation you will create.

Can You Train Biceps Effectively With Resistance Bands?

It is a pity that there are still people out there who think that resistance bands are only a toy and you can’t do serious training let alone build muscle by using them. These people simply don’t understand that our muscle don’t know if they move weights, machines, body weight or work against the resistance of a band. The only thing our muscles know and respond to is resistance. Resistance band are as good if not better and more versatile than weights.

Conclusion: Yes! You can very much train your biceps effectively with resistance bands.

To get in depth information about this topic check out our full article: Why Does Training With Resistance Bands Work

Benefits of Training With Resistance Bands:

Not only is working out with resistance bands effective it has also other benefits!

  • Follow the natural strength curve of your muscle! The resistance of a band will always increase the more you stretch it and that’s also the natural strength curve of our muscles, having the most power in the full contraction.
  • Joint Friendly! Resistance bands are easier on the joints compared to weights. This will reduce the chance of injury.
  • Home Workout! Small, handy and light. You can work out anywhere and safe time by not having to got to the gym. And the gym fees!
  • Mind Muscle Connection!

You want to find out what other advantages bands have over weights and machines? Check out our full article on this topic: Benefits Of Resistance Band Training

What Muscles Does The Biceps Curl Work?

The biceps consists of 3 main muscle portions. The long and the short head form the most muscle mass of the biceps. The Brachialis is a smaller portion which connects to the forearm. We learned that different elbow position and grip variation change the focus of a biceps curl more towards the short or the long head.

Biceps Muscles

Short Head – This is the part of the bicep you see then flexing in the typical Arnold pose. Basically the bigger the short head the higher the peak of your biceps when flexing.

Long Head – The long head is the counterpart that will give your bicep the width and is trained in the stretched position like the behind the back biceps curl.

Brachialis – The brachialis lies below the short and the long head and can make pop both even more. It’s the flexor of the forearm and can be built best with exercises like hammer curls, curls with overhand grip or direct forearm work.

Check out the BIQ Resistance Band Training App

The BIQ App

Take training with resistance bands to the next level with our free app.

  • 172 Exercises
  • all band types
  • different training goals & workouts
  • challenges
  • much more

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