ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Back and Biceps Workout

Updated on August 7, 2013

My usual back & biceps routine

This is the workout I do to train my back and biceps. I work these muscle groups together because most pulling exercises are compound movements that use both the biceps and the back muscles. It only makes sense to train them both on the same day. I like to save the bicep exercises for the end, because I need my arms fresh for pull ups and rows.

That being said, I'll do this routine once per week to allow for a full recovery.

1 + 2. Body Weight Starters

I'll always begin my back workout with several sets of body weight exercises, namely pull ups and inverted push ups. This is because after a long workout, I simply wont be able to do any. With free weights, you can always step down to a lighter weight if your feeling tired. Not so with body weight maneuvers.

Pull Ups

Mechanics and Routine

1. Wide Grip Pull Ups

Two sets of as many as you can.

How To:

Find a pull up bar and use a shoulder-width or wider grip. Palms facing away from you. Look upwards and pull your chest to the bar, all the way up and all the way back down. Go for as many as you can do.

Tip: A pull up assist machine can also be used. Look for a pull up bar that you can kneel on. This apparatus can subtract some weight, allowing for easier pull ups. This is a lifesaver for beginners.

Men's Fitness Talks about the importance of Pull Ups

2. Inverted Push Ups

Two sets of as many as you can

How To:

Find a Smith Machine and lock the bar about 3 feet off the ground. Next, pull a bench up to it, that you can rest your feet on. Now hang from the bar, overhand grip, upside down. You should be in a reverse push up position, with just your shoes resting on the bench.

To do the exercise, pull your upper body to the bar. This will raise yourself to a horizontal position. Hold yourself at the top for a second, then slowly lower down until your arms are straight and your head is close to the ground. Do as many as you can.

3. Lat Pulldown

With multiple variations available, the lat pulldown is an great exercise for all-around back strength. No back routine is complete without it.

Lat Pulldown

Mechanics and Routine

I will usually do 5-6 sets on this machine, but with different grips.

2 Normal sets of 10 (shoulder width, palms away)

2 Bicep sets of 10 (narrower grip, palms towards you)

1-2 Wide grip sets of 15, less weight (grip the wide, angled part, palms away)

How To:

To start, try lifting about 50% of your bodyweight, and set the knee pads to a comfortable level. Grab the bar, and sit down. Keeping your back straight and upright, lower the bar to your chest. To better target the Latissimus Dorsi, focus on pulling your elbows to your sides, instead of squeezing with the arms.

Wikipedia on the Pulldown

Demonstrations

4. Cable Row

This exercise hits the Rhomboids and and Latissimus Dorsi. It can either be done using a cable, or a compound machine.

Cable Row

Mechanics and Routine

3 sets of 10. Use a little less weight than the Lat Pulldown we just did.

How To:

Take a seat on the bench, grab the handle, and use your legs to push yourself back into position. With your back upright, pull the cable to your center and slowly release.

This exercise is very easy to learn, but it's important to not rock back and forth at the hips. Try to keep your body as stationary as possible to avoid straining the lower back.

How many pull ups can you do?

See results

5. Bent Over Dumbbell Rows

To end the back work, I'll grab a single heavy dumbbell and rip off a few sets of bent over rows. Its a nice transition into biceps work.

dumbell bent over row
dumbell bent over row

Dumbbell Rows

Mechanics and Routine

2 Sets of 10, both sides.

How To:

Lean alongside a bench and rest a hand and a knee on top of it. Reach down and grab your dumbbell. Without rotating your torso, pull the weight to your side, as high as you can. Lower and repeat.

6. Bicep Curls

From Men's Health magazine:

"Your biceps muscles account for only 3% of your body's muscle, by weight. So this means you should spend 3% of your total workout on them"

And considering each one of the previous exercises done today have worked your arms in some form or another, the biceps will only need an extra set or two.

Preacher Curls

Mechanics and Routine

2 Sets of 10

How To:

Locate the preacher bench and load up a bar with weight plates. Slowly curl the bar all the way up to your head, and then back down until your arms are straight. This one isn't too hard to master.

Alternatively, find a trainer or friend to assist you with Resistance Curls. The same curling motion applies, except there is no weight on the bar. Your buddy should give you downward resistance so the bar raises very slowly. At the top, the roles switch, and the lifter tries to keep the bar raised while the partner pushes it down.

With these curls, every lift is working to failure, so they are a very effective way to end a workout. Try to do 6-7 and then switch.

Reader Feedback

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • imagelist lm profile image

      imagelist lm 4 years ago

      A really helpful lens...

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Will this workout be sufficient to build my biceps, or should I still reserve a day just for biceps?

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Tried this yesterday. Very impressed. Only addition I made was the rear delt flies. I have a great pump in my back today. I will be adding this workout to my weekly routine.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Tried this in gym today wanted a variance was a nice change

    • country509 profile image

      country509 5 years ago

      what a great lens and well put together

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Yes, you can even save the pull ups for last and you'll be wiped and can't get as much out of them as you please, if you want to try. Pull ups first is the way to go, and it goes back to what he said earlier about using less weight for other exercises as you can not do that with pull ups. Plain and simple, you will benefit way more. Good luck.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I just did it! Easy to follow. Excellent explanations!! Thank you!

    • raelcalu profile image

      raelcalu 5 years ago

      Wow, thanks for the share...I'll certainly try this...I'm thinking of going back to the gym.hmmm.

    • profile image

      MKolitsov 5 years ago

      Great info. Please, check out my new lens: http://www.squidoo.com/my-fitness or click on my name. I would appreciate your feedback. Thank you.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Great lens. Workouts are good! It true about doing the pullups first.

    • profile image

      turnerpool 5 years ago

      Nice Lens! It is very informative on what to do. I found a great website If anybody is looking for cheap weights, www.cheapweights.org You will find the cheapest online exercise weights on the internet.

    • LewesDE profile image

      LewesDE 5 years ago

      Love this lens!

    • medicineballwor profile image

      medicineballwor 5 years ago

      Good stuff, rarely do you see someone put so much good info on one lens. Do you ever find you reach a plateu with weight training, I find that taking a 2-3week break with some medicine ball workouts really helps to recover the muscles and give them a different routine for a while

    • profile image

      shaw4991 5 years ago

      Like the step by step information in the lens.

      Keep up the good work.

    • profile image

      dnmarket 5 years ago

      Good Lens

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      For people interested in the condition of their biceps, this is a very good read. It will give you an idea how to work for a nice shape of your biceps. DePuy Pinnacle Hip Replacement

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Great Lens!

      depuy pinnacle recall

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Very good review of how to do these exercises correctly.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Deadlifts?

    • profile image

      rikisHolo6 6 years ago

      @ToTheBrimm LM: deadlift bes exercize for lower back

    • mattseefood lm profile image

      mattseefood lm 6 years ago

      Don't forget chin ups! If you ever get tired of the basic chin ups, try the one-arm variant :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      @david_fisher: Man get out of here with your advertisements, this is a great workout.

    • profile image

      david_fisher 6 years ago

      This isn't exactly a back or bicep workout, but the Air Climber exercise machine has been doing wonders for both myself and my wife. We use it religiously day and night and have shed a lot of pounds quickly. Once I lose a little more I'll start the sculpting with some of the exercises you recommend here. Thanks for sharing them!

    • profile image

      Colin849 6 years ago

      I've always let my arms take care of themselves by working out every other part of my body, because I think your MensHealth quote sums it up well, they are only 3% of your muscle mass, so they shouldn't get more focus than that. Your legs are where you get the most muscle is where it is at. So I use my jumping workouts to work my back and legs, then add pushups and stuff afterwards to finish them off.

    • ToTheBrimm LM profile image

      ToTheBrimm LM 6 years ago

      I change my routine every 3 to 4 weeks. I don't think I've ever focused on Back and Biceps in a single session; interesting idea.

    • profile image

      Henrywilliams 6 years ago

      Got lots of useful information about back and bicep workouts. Will surely try these tips. Very nice lens. I also have suggestion for everyone, if you are in search of a product to reduce belly fat try out using ab coaster workout system. You can buy AbCoaster 5 with easy payments, 30 day trial offer and free shipping.

    • george185 lm profile image

      george185 lm 6 years ago

      Great info. I'm a huge fan of free weights and tend to avoid the machines at the gym.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Nice workout info., everyone should be doing that. Thanks for the lens.

    • Senora M profile image

      Senora M 6 years ago

      I hate working out my back!! My biceps get a workout every day because I carry around my 20+ lb. 10 month old son! :) I work out at 24 Hour too, though. Thanks for the lens.

    • profile image

      muscle-man-here 6 years ago

      I like chinups for my arms

    • profile image

      aspivey 6 years ago

      Thanks for the informative article. I will check out more of your blog posts! As you know weightlifting supplements are very important to any weight lifting program.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      very cool routine indeed, check my Bicpes Training here

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I want to increase the seize of my back biceps thanks, with a bigger biceps and taking Generic Viagra I would be such a stud!

    • profile image

      Fit_Over_40_Buzz 6 years ago

      Nice idea for a lens. Very informative. Gave you a quick thumbs up.

    • raswook profile image

      Jeff Wendland 6 years ago from Kalamazoo, MI

      I do a lot of these on my back and bi days. I have never thought of those inverted pushups. I am going to have to try that this week.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Wow this would really be a workout for me.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      thanku u give good information about workout.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      This is good, but some lower back would be good. Definitely add a deadlift or straight leg lift

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      only one concentrated bicep workout???.....BOOOOTY

    • Airinka profile image

      Airinka 7 years ago

      Great work! 5 stars!

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      @anonymous: Love how you use the word fag as a derogatory term since most of the time "fags" are better looking, more ripped, and could probably get more pussy than you could ever imagine. So suck it hater.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      @anonymous: Isn't that the definition of overtraining? smashing a muscle and not giving it time to repair before smashing it again?

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      @anonymous: shutup fag

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Great stuff you got there. Found some other useful stuff on this blog: http://buildupmuscles.com

      Thanks for the information :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Good exercise suggestions. I also recommend the following site for more suggestion on bicep exercises

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      shut the hell up and just work out faggots.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      In boss' defense, I think it is ridiculous to only do one or two exercises on your bi's because you worked them while you were doing back. You always use muscles other than the main one that is being targeted with every exercise you perform. You do not slack off on the that other muscle just because it might already be a little tired. Man up and hit the weights hard and heavy!!! The only way to make gains is to destroy the muscle and let it repair and grow. With that being said, stop stop bickering with each other and do a real workout. I will post one if you want one.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      such a nice workout

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      [in reply to boss] in reply to boss] If you know what you're talking about, maybe you shouldn't be commenting.

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      hey boss, you're oviously not someone who trains. You find me a good bone workout, and i'll try it. You strengthen bones with proper minerals, and maintain healthy arteries with a well balanced diet, also with cardiovascular training. Plus weight training does improve bone density, thus securing a better health later on in life. It's worst in women as they get older as they're more susceptible to be affected with osteoporosus, some worst then others.

      in other words squats will not improve to humerous bone, you have to work every muscle group in order to improve bone density in that area. So working out your biceps is important, just as much as anything else. People shouldn't neglect any body in order to stay balanced out.

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      sounds like your brain is 4 standard deviations to the less of the population.

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Not a bad work out, similar to mine. But that guys is kind of average looking. I don't know that I want his advice. Not that he's fat or not kinda ripped, but no more than I am with my current workout. It's all about commitment and intensity anyway.

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Not a bad work out, similar to mine. But that guys is kind of average looking. I don't know that I want his advice. Not that he's fat or not kinda ripped, but no more than I am with my current workout. It's all about commitment and intensity anyway.

    • TJ11240 profile image
      Author

      TJ11240 8 years ago

      [in reply to boss] MUSCLE mass, not total body mass.

      Excerpt from Mens Health

      3. The average guy's biceps are composed of about 1 pound of muscle. For both of your arms combined, that's just 3 percent of the amount of muscle mass in your entire body. Remember that number: It's a good way to keep a perspective on how much you train your biceps compared with your other muscle groups.

      http://www.menshealth.com/cda/article.do?site=Mens...

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      lol biceps are only three percent of body mass that's fucking stupid. so should we spend more time working out on our bones and main arteries or what??

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      [in reply to Country] I've always grouped Back and Bicep because the Bicep was already being worked on when doing back. So I do back first, then do Biceps. If figure I was already working them , so just finish them off.

      Hammer Curls 3 sets

      DB curls 3 sets

      Wrist curls front (palm up) 3 sets

      Wrist Curls back (palm down) 3 sets

      The above is after lat pull down , cable row, row.

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      How about we say don't workout back and bi's on the same day. You can do two different muscle groups in one day but this is usually if you are trying to lean out or lose weight. If you want to bulk or get bigger...you should stick to only doing one group a day. Now, overtraining is something that is a touchy subject to most bodybuilders. I personally think there is no such thing as overtraining...I feel you just need to make sure once you blast any part of your body...make sure to give it proper rest. The only way to build muscle is to destroy it and let it rebuild.

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Ok... 1 bicep exercise is ridiculous. 5 may be overtraining though. If biceps were to be done before the back, then yes you would want to do 5 different exercises. Since training your back exausts your biceps, I would do about 3-4 exercises to maximize muscle growth, while preventing overtraining. MAKE SURE that you target as much of the bicep as possible with these 3-4 exercises though. Try:

      reverse curls or hammer curls

      BB curls

      Incline DB curls

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      [in reply to 2 months in] It is totally wrong doin' 5 ex. for biceps. It is small bodypart and there is no single bodybuilder that trains biceps in 5 exercises. :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      I'm glad to see somebody else knows the basics to bodybuilding. Rip'em to shreds and let them heal.

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      I have to agree with Country! 1 bicep exercise is crazy! I do 5 different exercises as I do for every muscle group! Just because it's small in comparison to other muscles, you still need to rip it up to see gains!

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Oh no...I get it. But if this is the only bicep workout you do...you will forever have the arms of a 12 year old girl.

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      You will never get this!

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      This is by far the craziest thing I have ever heard.

      "Your biceps muscles account for only 3% of your body's muscle, by weight. So this means you should spend 3% of your total workout on them"

      LOL! What a joke.

    • profile image

      FitSteph 8 years ago

      Wow what a great hub! If anyone is looking for weight training tips, this is one of my favorite health & fitness sites. It lets you track food, workouts, and calories!

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      my lifes a movie

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Back and Bi

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      25 pullups. oorah??

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      25 pullups. oorah??

    • profile image

      profitmc 8 years ago

      Good lens, good use of pictures. I believe home gym equipments gives more room and flexibility for bicep exercises. If you want a budget-friendly home gym equipment that offers all the benefits of the best equipped health clubs then click the link above and read the lens.

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      I'll come to your apartment

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      [in reply to Will] well fine ill call you then.

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      [in reply to Tina] sorry i'm married!

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      [in reply to Will] i Bet you are some kinda HOTT! wanna come to my apartment?

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      [in reply to Tina] Thanks

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      [in reply to Will] man you sound like your smart! I like a smart man!

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Great! Thanks for the tips, I will defiantly stop wrapping my thumb around the bar.