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8 CrossFit Bicep Workouts (Increase Arm Strength & Size)

Connor Sellers
Published by Connor Sellers
Last updated: May 22, 2023

As a fitness trainer with over 9+ years of experience, I've guided many clients and readers in strengthening their arms with various arm workouts.

CrossFit bicep workouts are the greatest as they improve and strengthen your upper body.

Each arm workout is meant to put your arm strength to the test, uncover your weaknesses, and allow you to overcome them while pushing yourself to the limits.

In this article, I will provide the best CrossFit exercises you can perform to develop your biceps and the benefits of training them.

Quick Summary

  • Effectively training your arms can help enhance CrossFit productivity and minimize any imbalances.
  • CrossFit arm workouts will immediately enhance your endurance and strength, making you that much stronger at functional big compound movements.
  • Your biceps are vital for upper-body pulling. Developing biceps strength and muscle can help with muscle-ups, pull-ups, cleans, rope climbs, and snatches.

Best CrossFit Bicep Workouts

Performing CrossFit Bicep workout

1. Ring Curl

Aid workouts don't have to be monotonous and tedious. Ring curls will provide variety to your arm workouts and give your upper body new stimuli.

This action resembles the synchronization of ring dips and muscle-ups, in which your midline is held constant while your upper body completes the movement with a pull.

This excellent biceps-specific exercise can also transfer skills to higher-level activities.

How to perform: 

  1. Grasp a pair of rings with a supinated grip (palms facing up). Ensure the rings are about a firearm's distance apart.
  2. Move away from the setup, leaning back with your legs flat on the floor. You may make the loading more challenging by walking closer to the rig or making it easier by stepping further away.
  3. After finding a comfortable distance, stabilize your midline by clenching your glutes and compressing your abs.
  4. Curl both hands towards your shoulders, keeping your elbows stationary until your elbows have surpassed a 90-degree angle.
  5. At this point, squeeze your biceps.
  6. Controllably lower yourself back to the starting position.
  7. Repeat for the desired number of reps.

2. Barbell Curl

Doing curls using a barbell

The barbell curl is the master of curl workouts. This is the most traditional approach to exercising the bicep curl and should not be overlooked.

Keeping a firm hold on the barbell can help condition your elbows for higher-impact moves such as snatches and jerks, in which you will receive a heavy weight overhead with arms extended.

How to perform:

  1. With an underhand grip, grab a V-bar  or Olympic bar about shoulder width apart (palms facing up).
  2. Stand tall with your feet together (you may find it more relaxing to put one foot back for support), your back in a straight line, and your arms fully extended.
  3. The bar shouldn't come into contact with your body.
  4. Keeping your eyes ahead, slowly curl the bar, elbows tucked down at your sides, and your body motionless.
  5. Squeeze your biceps firmly at the top of the action, then gradually drop them down to the starting position.
  6. Repeat for the desired number of reps.

3. Push-ups

Although conventional push-ups don't stimulate the biceps muscle, adjusting your hand posture when performing the push-ups can make this muscle more significant in the movement.

The best way to target your biceps is to do inside push-ups with reversed hands.

"Moving your hands down your chest and inverting their position will result in a greater arm-curling action, which is critical for biceps targeting."

- Daniel Bubnis, NASM Certified Personal Trainer

How to perform:

  1. Begin in a regular push-up position.
  2. Turn your hands so that the fingers face the wall behind you.
  3. Adjust your hands so that they are parallel to your mid-back.
  4. Descend, tucking the elbows as close to your body as possible.
  5. When your chest nears the floor, push upwards to the starting position.
  6. Repeat for the desired number of reps.

4. EZ-Bar Preacher Curl

Doing Preacher curls using EZ bar

The EZ-bar preacher curls improve arm power and target your biceps. This workout makes use of a curved bar.

The primary goal of this curved bar is to relieve wrist stress, allowing you to concentrate on your biceps.

How to perform:

  1. Grasp the EZ curl bar with a firm grip.
  2. Stand upright, shoulders neutral, and in a comfortable position.
  3. Squeeze your biceps briefly to curl the EZ barbell to your chest.
  4. Drop the bar in a smooth motion while keeping your elbows bent. The pressure should be felt on your elbows.
  5. Repeat for the desired number of reps.

5. Resistance Bands Hammer Curl

Rotating in resistance band mobility training is an excellent method to offer your joints a rest from free weights while accelerating recovery, which is especially important for CrossFitters.

If you've done a bunch of pressing movements during the week, resistance bands hammer curls are an excellent technique to repair some of the damage inflicted on the pressing muscles.

By flooding the antagonist muscles with fresh blood supply, you will reduce joint tension and prepare your body for another week of upper body presses.

How to perform: 

  1. Hold the resistance band in each hand, palms facing each other, and loop it beneath your feet.
  2. Bending your elbows, curl the band toward your shoulders without raising your upper arms. Your palms should always be facing each other.
  3. Pause, then return to the starting position.
  4. Repeat for reps.

6. Chin-ups

Performing chin ups in the gym

There is a lot of dynamic kipping in CrossFit. This allows you to do more reps quickly, but it might be hard on your shoulders.

Pulling exercises are excellent for maintaining arm and shoulder health, mobility, and strength.

Chin-ups focus on shoulder mobility, pulling strength, and biceps growth all at the same time.

This functional activity will still provide better full-body development than a focused isolation action.

How to perform: 

  1. Hang with a supinated grip on a quality pull-up bar (palms up).
  2. With your arms wholly extended overhead, place your hands slightly outside shoulder width apart.
  3. Maintain a firm hollow position in your midline throughout the exercise.
  4. Tuck the pelvis under and squeeze your glutes to do this.
  5. To complete each rep, raise your chin over the bar and drop yourself to a completely hanging, extended position.
  6. Initiate every pull from the core to the extremities, first with the lats, then the shoulders, and ultimately your arms.

7. Dumbbell Hammer Curl

CrossFit requires a firm grip since it aids in all gymnastics pulling and hanging movements.

You'll also need a firm grip for moves using barbells, kettlebells, and dumbbells. The hammer curl strengthens your forearms and biceps, making it an effective grip improver.

"A hammer curl is mainly about developing the thickness and general growth and strength of the forearm and arm, which will help with larger complex exercises with a more pronated grip, like wide grip pull-downs or pull-ups."

- Ray Buckton, Gymbox Personal Trainer

How to perform:

  1. Begin by holding a pair of dumbbells and standing upright with them by your sides.
  2. You should use a neutral grip, with your hands facing your body.
  3. Bend your hands slightly to increase biceps tension.
  4. Slowly curl the dumbbells as much as possible while keeping your torso stable and your elbows at your sides.
  5. At the apex of the action, squeeze the biceps and then slowly drop the load to the starting position.
  6. Repeat for the desired number of reps.

Related: Dumbbell Crossfit Workout Routines To Transform Your Physique

8. Cable Concentration Curl

Using a cable rope for a concentration curl

The cable concentration curl is a strengthening workout that focuses on your biceps.

This isolated workout concentrates entirely on the biceps and aids muscle mass development.

Keeping proper posture during the exercise is essential for good results.

How to perform:

  1. Position a flat bench in front of a low pulley cable machine.
  2. Connect the straight bar to the low pulley cable. On the stack, choose the required weight.
  3. Sit on the bench with both feet shoulder-width apart.
  4. Using an underhand grip, grasp the bar with the palms facing up.
  5. Place your elbows on the inside of your knees. Push out with the elbows and in with the knees while keeping your elbows in place. This will keep them locked during the activity.
  6. Remove the slack from the cable to create tension in your biceps. This is your starting point.
  7. Slowly curl the bar up until your hand is near your head.
  8. Pause here, squeeze your biceps, and return to the starting position.
  9. Repeat for the desired number of reps.

Anatomy of the Bicep

Flexing biceps to show anatomy

The biceps are known as brachii, Latin for "two-headed muscle of the arm," referring to the short and long heads.

The biceps are connected to two joints: the shoulder and the elbow. Its primary role is to flex and turn the elbow and wrist [1].

The biceps are small muscles that serve an essential function.

You flex your elbow (and so your biceps) to some extent whenever you lift anything or push something overhead.

1. The Short Head

The biceps short head is attached to the coracoid process of the scapula (the curving section that shoots out beneath the collarbone) and enters into the biceps tendon down towards the elbow [2].

The short head is well recognized for its responsibilities in supination (forearm or wrist rotation) and elbow flexion. When individuals talk of the short head, they typically mean the biceps peak.

2. The Long Head

Showing long head muscle on biceps

The biceps long head is located on the exterior of the upper arm.

It connects to the scapula at the shoulder, where its tendon travels straight through a grooved slot in the humerus bone and enters into the biceps tendon across the short head [3].

The long head also bends the elbow and causes supination (forearm or wrist twisting).

The long head rests beneath the short head and, when trained, aids in the growth of a thicker arm [4].

Biceps Training Tips

Man showing both biceps

Including bicep aid exercises in your CrossFit workouts may be a fun and practical approach to correct muscle imbalances and bring trailing body parts up to speed. To get started, consider the four tips below.

1. Increase Volume Via Progression

A 3-week progression of a particular superset is an excellent strategy for aid training.

For instance, if you couple barbell curls with dumbbell hammer curls, you may utilize the following progression:

  • Week 1 — 3 sets x 8 reps
  • Week 2 — 3 set x 10 reps
  • Week 3 — 3 sets x 12 reps

This development would be carried out with the same weight for all 3 weeks while elevating the total amount of work from 24 to 36 repetitions.

After three weeks, you would restart the progression with different motions.

Another illustration might be:

  • Week 1 — 3 sets x 10-12 reps
  • Week 2 — 4 sets x 10-12 reps
  • Week 3 — 5 sets x 10-12 reps

You'd also use the same load for all three weeks for this method of progression.

This time, you'll raise the overall volume from 30 to 36 repetitions to 50 to 60 reps.

This example requires more time for exercising and recovery, so try both and see which works better for you.

2. Utilize Supersets

Holding a dumbbell to perform bicep supersets

After a training session, you may achieve a lot in only five to ten minutes.

Combining two biceps exercises back-to-back will enable you to rest one bicep muscle while working the other.

This type of superset training increases muscular endurance while saving time with your aid exercise.

If you're going to superset exercises, do the first and then the next without any rest in between. After completing the entire set of both motions, take a little break and repeat.

3. Keep It Simple

There's no such thing as a perfect formula or a one-size-fits-all solution to programming.

While putting together your aid workouts, remember that it is supposed to supplement your training, not replace it.

Suitable aid exercise will improve power and muscle in trailing body regions that may impede your functional movement performance.

Benefits of Training Your Biceps

Training biceps inside gym

If you want round, peaked biceps, the advantages of training them may appear evident.

Even if you aren't motivated by a specific aesthetic, having strong biceps will aid you with your heavier lifts.

1. Support Compound Lifts

You'll need strong biceps to grow a sturdy, powerful back. Each type of rowing action requires biceps power to sustain all that weight.

With hard rows, your back should perform most of the work. Nevertheless, if the biceps are too weak to help, your back improvements will plateau before they even start.

Developing your biceps is critical for supporting those back-builders. Yet, they are also necessary for forceful pushing actions.

The triceps will receive much attention if you enjoy a close grip bench press. Exercise your biceps to keep your arms balanced. This equilibrium is critical for avoiding injury.

2. Physique Conditioning

Training your biceps will help you achieve significant physique objectives and aid your heavy lifts.

3. Functional Fitness

A man showing his biceps

Strong biceps aren't simply for ripping your sleeveless shirts.

Building strong upper arms also helps you with daily duties such as lifting your children or moving your groceries into the trunk of your car.

As you strengthen your biceps, your wrists and forearms benefit as well.

The muscles engaged here are necessary for maintaining your grip during extensive training sessions focusing on functional exercises like farmer's carry.

Similar Article: Crossfit Diane Workout Plan


How Do CrossFitters Train Biceps?

CrossFitters train their biceps by performing workouts such as chin-ups, hammer curls, EZ preacher curls, and incline dumbbell curls targeting the muscles.

Is CrossFit Good for Your Biceps?

Yes, CrossFit is suitable for your biceps. Functional arm workouts may help you gain muscle, test and develop your biceps, grip strength, triceps, and forearm, and strengthen your shoulders in preparation for CrossFit.

What Exercise Builds Biceps the Fastest?

The exercises that build the biceps the fastest are the barbell, preacher, concentration, and zottman curls. They target all the biceps muscles for overall development.

Try Pre-Workouts To Boost CrossFit Arm Workout Gains

CrossFitters may improve their arm strength and muscular mass by devoting time to them.

You'll boost your pushing lockout by strengthening your triceps with triceps exercises and enhance your pulling and gripping stamina by strengthening your biceps and forearms.

Don't overlook your arms if you want to gain a competitive edge. Incorporate these workouts into your weekly routine, eat a healthy diet, get enough rest, and incorporate these strong and effective pre-workout supplements for the energy and pump needed to perform the exercises.


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