It only takes 7 exercises to build strength and definition in your biceps

a photo of a woman doing a dumbbell bicep curl
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

You don’t need multiple pieces of gym equipment to build a strong and muscular upper body. As long as you have a good bank of exercises tailored to the muscles you want to work out and have access to some dumbbells, then you are halfway there. Now, you just need to fit these seven exercises into your next workout.

The exercises you are about to be introduced to are designed to target your biceps but will also help to develop strength and muscle in your arms and upper body while you’re at it. There are seven exercises to work through in this upper body routine and they all vary in intensity, so you will want to ensure that you have more than one dumbbell weight to work with.

When working out from home, we like the convenience of using a set of the best adjustable dumbbells. Or, if you are training at the gym, picking up more than one weight option will set you up for a successful bicep pump.

This routine comes from NASM certified personal trainer, Britany Williams, and is available to view on her Instagram account. If you’re eager to get stuck into arm day, stick with us for a full rundown on the workout and how to complete each exercise below. 

What is the workout? 

There are seven exercises included in this dumbbell arm workout. You can complete all seven for a bicep centred arm workout. Or, if you want to incorporate this into a more rounded upper body workout then Williams recommends picking your favorite two to three exercises and pairing them with other upper body moves, such as tricep and shoulder moves.

The aim is to complete 10-12 reps of each exercise and repeat for three rounds in total. Ready to go? Find instructions on each exercise below...

Biceps Isometric Hold with March

Stand with a dumbbell in each hand, elbows bent and hands held out in front of your body. While holding, lift one knee towards your chest in a marching motion. Maintain the isometric hold on the bicep while alternating knee lifts.

Crossbody Punch

Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, dumbbell in each hand. Punch one dumbbell diagonally across your body, engaging the core. Return to the starting position and repeat on the other side.

Paused Squat Hammer Curl

Begin with a dumbbell in each hand, palms facing in, and feet stood far enough part to bend into a sumo squat position. Now lower into a sumo squat, pausing briefly at the bottom and performing a hammer curl whilst still in the sumo position. Rise from the squat and repeat.

Single Arm Isometric Hold + Bicep Curl

Hold one dumbbell in a static position in one hand while performing bicep curls with the other. Switch hands for the isometric hold and continue alternating curls.

Zottman Curl

Start with palms facing up, perform a standard bicep curl. At the top of the curl, rotate your wrists, so palms face down. Lower the dumbbells with this new grip, then rotate back to the starting position.

Partial Wide Curl to Bicep Curl

Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, dumbbell in each hand. Curl one dumbbell towards the opposite shoulder in a diagonal motion.  Alternate sides and repeat for the desired number of reps.

Partial Wide Curl to Bicep Curl

Perform a standard bicep curl. Once returned to the starting stance, glide your arms out to now perform a wider bicep curl. Repeat the same sequence, keeping count of your reps.

What are the benefits of training your biceps?

a photo of a man sitting on a home workout bench completing a bicep curl

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Training your biceps with dumbbells provides numerous benefits. First, dumbbell exercises offer better isolation of the biceps, allowing for more targeted muscle engagement compared to certain compound movements. If you want to find out more about this, we have weighed up isolation vs compound exercises to help you find out which is better for building muscle.

Additionally, using dumbbells promotes balanced development. Since each arm works independently, it helps address any strength imbalances between your left and right sides. This balanced development not only contributes to a more symmetrical appearance but also enhances functional strength and reduces the risk of injury associated with muscle imbalances. 

Dumbbell workouts often facilitate a greater range of motion. The freedom of movement with dumbbells allows you to extend and contract your muscles through a fuller range, promoting flexibility and overall joint health. This increased range of motion can contribute to improved muscle activation and better results from your bicep training. 

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Jessica Downey
Fitness Writer

Jessica is an experienced fitness writer with a passion for running. Her love for keeping fit and fueling her body with healthy and enjoyable food quite naturally led her to write about all things fitness and health-related. If she isn’t out testing the latest fitness products such as the latest running shoe or yoga mat for reviewing then she can be found writing news and features on the best ways to build strength, active aging, female health, and anything in between. Before then she had a small stint writing in local news, has also written for Runners World UK (print and digital), and gained experience with global content marketing agency, Cedar Communications.


Born and raised in Scotland, Jessica is a massive fan of exercising and keeping active outdoors. When at home she can be found running by the sea, swimming in it, or up a mountain. This continued as she studied and trained to become a PPA-accredited magazine journalist in Wales. And since working and living in London, she splits her time between weight training in the gym, trying new fitness classes, and finding scenic running routes. Jessica enjoys documenting this on her fitness-inspired Instagram page @jessrunshere where she loves engaging with like-minded fitness junkies.


She is a big fan of healthy cooking and loves learning more about this area with expert nutritionists she has met over the years. Jessica is a big advocate for building healthy relationships with food rather than building restrictive attitudes towards it. When she isn’t eating or running she also enjoys practicing yoga in her free time as it helps her to unwind and benefits her performance in other sports.