How to Build Big Biceps at Home (NEVER DO THIS!!)

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To build big biceps at home, you have to start by doing the right exercises. Doing things like the biceps pushup is not going to help you in your pursuit of bigger biceps. In this video, I show you exactly why by breaking down the movement and showcasing the lack of true biceps function in the increasingly popular calisthenics exercise.

To begin with, it is imperative to understand that a muscle is built through overloaded tension and resistance. In the case of the biceps pushup, this is sorely lacking. As a matter of fact, the only muscle group getting the necessary applied tension and overload is the one on the opposite side of the joint – the triceps.

If you break down any pushup movement you will see that the work is being done to overcome the flexed elbow position to get your elbow into an extended or straightened position. This is crucial to understand. Overcoming a resistance to elbow extension is a accomplished by the triceps not the biceps. It doesn’t matter that your elbow is in a flexed position at the bottom of the home exercise. That is happening for free. The downward force of gravity is going to drive your body down flat to the ground without any extra help from your muscles.

So it helps to break down the real function of the biceps to better understand what is happening here. First, and most important, the biceps muscle has the ability to flex or bend the elbow (bring the hand closer to the shoulder by bending the elbow joint). As mentioned, while this bent position is achieved at the bottom of the biceps pushup you are not actively working to get into this position. Your body is simply dropping to the floor and giving into the force of gravity to get here, diminishing any work being done by the biceps.

Second, the biceps has the ability to supinate the forearm. Once again, while the forearm is in a position of supination (facing forward) at the bottom of the exercise it doesn’t mean that it was actively contracted to get into that position. As a matter of fact, you are actually locking your forearm into this forward facing position by placing your hands on the ground, further negating any active contraction of the biceps to keep you there.

Third, the biceps are capable of weak shoulder flexion. This is the only element of the three that might even remotely be taking place in this biceps home exercise variation. That said, even here however you are not flexing the shoulder to shoulder level at all but simply taking it from a position of great extension behind the body to one in less extension (thereby flexing it somewhat to get to the finish position). Nonetheless, the amount of biceps contraction that contributes to this is minimal at best.

The only thing the biceps can contribute, however minimally, is to the stability of the body during this home exercise. If you think about it, the tendency would be for the body to lose balance and tilt forward at either the top or bottom of the movement. This is because the hands are placed back towards the hips, shifting the center of gravity backwards and creating the tendency to be off balance to the front.

What the biceps would do here is simply try and contract to pull your body backwards and rebalance the center of mass. The problem again however is that the biceps cannot do this since the hands are unable to move or slide on the ground, meaning that there is no active shortening of the elbow. Once again this minimizes any real significance of the muscle.

If you are trying to build big biceps at home you need to look elsewhere. The first place you can look is to other bodyweight exercises for biceps if you lack any equipment. There are a few to pick from. The key element to all of them however is that they resist elbow flexion not extension. Realize that all of these, while options, are decent but inferior to things you can do with a pull-up bar.

With a pull-up bar, things like chinups, weighted chinups, eccentric chins, biceps chin curls and even one armed chinups are exercises that can be done to build big biceps without ever needing to step foot in a gym. The key is understanding what it is you are trying to accomplish with the home exercises that you are using and that is when all new arm gains and big biceps can be achieved.

If you are looking for a complete program that requires no equipment at all and uses just your own bodyweight for the resistance, head to and check out the ATHLEAN XERO program. You can see first hand just how quickly you can build muscle at home with home workouts by training like an athlete for just 6 weeks. Visit the link below to check it out.

For more home biceps exercises videos and home workouts for biceps, be sure to subscribe to our channel here on youtube via the link below and do not forget to turn on your notifications so you never miss a video when published.

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ATHLEAN-X™ says:

NEW “FAST ACTION” Q&A – Leave your most burning question about this video or any other training, PT or nutrition question within the first 2 hours of this video’s release (AS A SEPARATE COMMENT!!) and I will pick 8 to get a detailed reply from me right here in the comments. Answers will be posted within the first 24-48 hours of you leaving the question. Good luck!

TheKisj says:

and now we have a new video from FitnesFAQ giving us Daniels opinion of this exercise

Killa 10190 says:

Biceps are pulling and triceps are pushing.

Reddit Graduate says:

Jesse: Quarantines responsibly.
JeffCavalierAthleanXDotCom: That is the dumbest way to Quarantine yourself. Lemme show you.

samudra sen says:

Want to train your biceps and tendons to get stronger for Planche, ring dips, iron cross, Maltese – use this "bicep push up" actually called a pseudo planche push-up (obviously with proper scapula protraction)

Want to get just huge biceps – don't use this exercise

Macdal Charles says:

triceps phase…. its so commonsense how people think it helps with the biceps..smh

KillahAmpZz says:

Are bicep push-ups a good tricep workout 🤔🤔🤔

Ben S says:

I would love to see a reaction to the video of FitnessFAQs about that topic from you Jeff!

Aayush Grover says: – a more holistic analysis of the benefits of this exercise. Would love to hear what Jeff makes of this!

Keyser Soze says:

As much as I love Jeff this has been debunked by a calisthenics expert who is also a full time physio…

Marius Florian says:

What exercises can I do with only one dumbbell?

doncuomo says:

FitnessFAQs does a good explanation on why it might benefit you to do this exercise:

UnbiasedHuman says:

This is a supinated pseudo planche push up. It's a bent arm exercise for the planche. If you do it correctly (lean forward enough, ppt and locked out elbows at the top) it does stresses the biceps in its elbow stability component. Straight arm pushing strength is very stressful on the biceps, hence why gymnasts have huge biceps doing planche, back lever, maltese etc on the rings. The biceps stabilizes the elbow joint, as well as helping the isometric shoulder flexion.

MD Samiul says:

Here is the ans:

Mico bilder says:

6:00 reason why jeff never wears shorts… No calves

Jayzee Easy says:

It's happening guys…
Jesse's slowly takin over 2:48

Brandon Garcia B.j12 says:

Like si ves sus videos en español

Trelly Productions says:

I always heart my wrist when I try to do the bicep push-ups.

Kim Jong-un says:

ME: launched my ballistic missile 🚀

JEFF: you’re launching it wrong

Biman Basu says:

10 million subscribers on the way, congratulations

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