Build lean biceps with a targeted workout plan.
The biceps brachii muscle sits at the front of your upper arm, a two-headed muscle with a short and long head. The long head is the larger body of the biceps muscle and sits on the outside of the upper arm, with the short head of the biceps muscle located on the inside. To build your biceps, you need targeted exercises that work these muscles. For lean and not bulky biceps, stick to more reps with a lighter weight, as opposed to fewer reps with a heavier weight.
Do Some Dumbbell Curls
To get your muscles lean and defined, dumbbell curls are an essential exercise to include. This is an isolated exercise that directly targets the biceps muscles. Stand straight up with your feet positioned about shoulder-width apart. Keep your arms extended straight down at your sides, a dumbbell in each hand with your palms facing toward you. Keeping your shoulders back, flex one arm at the elbow, raising your forearm and rotating it so your palm and the weight are facing your shoulder. Lower your arm back down then repeat with the other arm. Do three sets of 12 reps, alternating arms each time.
Curl It with Cables
To get big muscle gains in your biceps, the cable alternating curl is one of the most effective exercises you can do. Start in a standing position between two low pulley machines, grasping the stirrups at your sides. Alternating arms each time, flex at the elbow, pulling the stirrup up to your shoulder before lowering it back down. Doing this on both arms once counts as one rep. Do three sets of 12 to 15 reps.
Hammer It Out
The dumbbell hammer curl targets the long head of the biceps muscle, a key part of any lean bicep workout. Start in a standing position with a shoulder-wide stance, feet flat on the floor. Keep your arms straight down at your sides, each hand grasping a dumbbell with your palms in. Flex one arm, bringing the weight up to your shoulder, so it sits parallel to the floor. Lower your arm and repeat on the other side to complete one rep. Do three sets of 12 to 15 reps.
Try Some Rows
Bent over supinated barbell rows works the biceps, but also the lats, shoulders and middle back. Stand with your feet hip-width apart, a barbell positioned just in front of your feet, your knees bent slightly. Bend over and grasp onto the barbell with an underhand grip. Keeping your feet pressed firmly on the floor, remaining in a bent over position, bring the barbell up to your chest, then lower it back down for one rep. Do three sets of 12 reps.
Don't Skip on Cardio
Even with the most effective targeted strength-training exercises, you won't be able to get lean, defined muscles if you don't include some cardio in your workout plan. Cardio helps you shed body fat, to reveal those hard-earned muscles underneath. Even just three to four 30-minute cardio sessions a week - walking, running, jumping rope, cycling, rowing - will help get your fat-to-muscle ratio low.
Don't Forget About Safety
Safety is always important when it comes to exercise, but this is especially true when you're doing weight training exercises. Never take on too much weight at once, and only increase the amount of weight you're using for each exercise by a 5 to 10 percent increment each time, warns the American Council on Exercise. Although you may be focusing on your biceps, make sure your total workout plan includes exercises for the other major muscle groups in your body as well, for the most well-rounded exercise regimen.