So many options to work your arms, but which to choose? Here is a list of 15 biceps exercises ranked worst to best according to top fitness coach Jeff Cavaliere.

Jeff Cavaliere was the head physical therapist of the New York Mets for 3 years and is now a YouTube sensation. He delivers clear information without noise on his ATHLEAN-X YouTube channel.

When training your biceps, there is only so much you can do. We are talking about curls. Yes, curls are one of the few ways you can train your biceps, due to the anatomy of the muscle, but there are still many options for you to try: concentration, reverse, Zottman, or barbell curls to name a few. So which one should you do?

Take a look at Cavaliere’s biceps exercises ranked worst to best so you can get a better idea of what to do next time you hit the gym. Just remember to spice your training a little bit and add variety, so don’t just stick with the “best” exercise forever.

Biceps Exercises Ranked Worst to Best

Know that not all bicep exercises are listed here. These are, however, the most popular ones and probably you have done most of them if you are an avid gym-goer.

Jeff explains that for the list of biceps exercises ranked worst to best, he is looking at hypertrophy. “Which of those exercises is most capable of delivering those gains above all else. Secondly, can it do it safely?”

Source: Photo by Andres Ayrton from Pexels


Concentration Curls

Concentration curls are not inherently bad, but you must know how to do them properly, which a vast majority of people simply don’t do it.

Reverse Curls

Although it has the name curl, the reverse curl is not a good bicep exercise. It is rather a brachioradialis exercise.

Biceps Push-ups

Biceps push-ups simply don’t hit the biceps at all, according to Cavaliere.


Inverted Chin Curls

This is a good exercise, but it is difficult to overload, making it not optimal for muscle hypertrophy.

Zottman Curls

A lack of eccentric overload on the biceps is the main reason this exercise is not ranked higher.

Preacher Curls

Good exercise, but it gives the false impression of safety making most people choose heavier weights than they should.

Cable Curls

With cables you are getting a great contraction at the top of the movement, but not so much at the bottom.

Better Still

Spider Curls

The freedom of movement doing spider curls ranks this exercise higher than others.

Drag Curls

Drag curls will hit the long head of your biceps, something none of the previously mentioned exercises do.

Cable Flex Curls / Lip Buster Curls

This exercise gets the shoulder into flexion, an important secondary component of biceps function.

Waiter Curls

Achieve peak contraction with the waiter curls.

Almost Best

Incline Dumbbell Curls

The incline dumbbell curls get the biceps into a complete stretched position that other exercises simply can’t get (except for the drag curl).


One of the best biceps builder you can do with no equipment needed, except a bar or something for you to hang on.

Barbell Curls

Versatile and easy to overload. The barbell curl can be performed strictly or cheating and both options have benefits for your biceps.


Alternating Standing Dumbbell Curls

Ranked the best, the alternating standing dumbbell curls have incredible effectiveness and versatility. You can add external rotation to benefit the shoulders, add resistance bands, or offset the dumbbell to achieve maximum load under supination.

VIDEO – 15 Biceps Exercises Ranked Worst to Best

Check out more bicep content from BOXROX:

How to Get Thicker Biceps

Best Bicep Curl Variations Per Muscle

10-Minute Video Home Biceps Workout (Sets and Reps Included)

Bicep Workouts to Build Mass, Muscle and Stronger Arms


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