5 resistance bands exercises to train your biceps



Anatomy of the Biceps

Why use resistance Bands

5 variations of resistance band curls


Training your biceps is a staple part of most training programs. Whether you’re looking to increase your strength or chase after that well known Popeye bulge in the upper arm, it’s likely that you are including some bicep exercises in your session, but are you getting the most out of them?

Many of us tend to hit a brick wall when it comes to variety in training biceps. The well-known dumbbell bicep curl is a great start, but what other exercises can we do to really get to that next level, and how do we combat the dreaded fatigue that comes on so quickly and unexpectedly when repping the curls?

In this article we’ll discuss the anatomy of the bicep to show the benefit of variety, we’ll discuss why resistance bands are a great addition to your program, and finally, we’ll give you some curl varieties to incorporate into your training straight away.

Anatomy of the Biceps

Let’s start with the nitty gritty. The biceps, also known as bicep brachii, run from the top of the shoulder down to the inner forearm. It has two heads at the shoulder, the long and short head. Its main role is to flex the elbow and supinate the forearm (turn your palm upwards), however, as the muscle runs across both the shoulder and the elbow, it’s involved in movements at both joints.

At the shoulder, the bicep helps to flex your arm forward and across your body, and acts as a stabiliser for the front of the shoulder joint. So, if you really want to get the most out of training your biceps, variety is essential.

Why use resistance Bands

With the primary movement of the biceps being a pull, it’s common to hear people complain that they fatigue especially quickly. This is where variable resistance training comes in.

Variable resistance training (VRT) essentially means that you can optimise the resistance at the easiest part of the exercise, while keeping a slightly lighter resistance at the harder part of the exercise, making it easier to progress your strength, stamina, and performance. To read more about VRT be sure to head to our recent article ‘Variable Resistance Training’ where we go into a lot more detail.

One of the most effective methods of variable resistance training is resistance bands. Bands are a great addition to your training and give you the freedom to add variety and progression whether you are in the gym, at home or in the park. If you haven’t got your hands on a resistance band yet, give Onterra Fitness a go!

5 resistance band exercises for the biceps:

Ready to add that variety and get those biceps you’ve been hoping for? Read on for five exercises to get started with straight away.


  1. Stand with your feet apart with the band under one foot and the other end in your hand on the same side.
  2. Palm facing inwards and thumb at the top.
  3. Flex your elbow pulling the band away from the ground, keeping your hand facing the same direction throughout.
  4. Stay slow and controlled.
  5. 3-4 sets of 8-12 each side.


  1. Feet shoulder width apart with the band secured under your feet.
  2. Hold the band with both hands, with your hands facing in (as above).
  3. Start your bicep curl and as you are pulling the band rotate your forearm to finish in a palm up position.
  4. When lowering back down, rotate your hand back to the starting position.
  5. 3-4 sets of 8-12 reps.


  1. Secure the band to a low anchor point and hold the other end in one hand. Step away from the anchor to add resistance.
  2. Get into a half kneeling position with the knee closest to the anchor on the ground and place the elbow of your working arm on your inner thigh, palm facing up and forearm along the same line as the band.
  3. Keeping your elbow on your inner thigh, pull the band by flexing at the elbow.
  4. Try 3 sets of 8-10 for this one, it’s a tough one!


  1. Keep the band at the same anchor point as above and stand facing away from the anchor point with your arm stretched slightly behind you holding the band.
  2. Curl the band while flexing your shoulder slightly at the same time to end in a full bicep curl position.
  3. Keep it slow and controlled as you lower
  4. Start with 4 sets of 8-10


  1. Secure the band to a high anchor point and hold the other end in both hands. Step away from the anchor to add resistance.
  2. Start with your arms out in front of you around shoulder level.
  3. In a curling motion, pull the band towards your face.
  4. Keep it slow and controlled
  5. Try 3-4 sets of 8-12 reps

You can tailor the sets and reps to suit your goals and fit into your program. Remember to challenge yourself by switching things up with the resistance and keep the tempo slow and controlled on the eccentric (lowering) phase of the exercise for optimal outcome. Give it a go and see how you get on!

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