Better Grip for Bigger Biceps

The Right Technique for Max Pump

Your biceps don’t just flex your elbow; they also are a supinator your forearm. So, if we want to achieve maximal biceps recruitment when performing bicep curls with either a dumbbell or cable, we must do so in a manner that involves both elbow flexion and forearm supination. This can be achieved by holding the handle in a unique way that you’re likely not currently doing.

Here are two new gripping strategies – one for dumbbell curls and the other for cable curls – that will help you to increase the effectiveness of your biceps training.


– Instead of gripping the dumbbell from the middle (in the traditional manner), grip it all the way to the thumb side with your hand as far to this side as possible.

– This small change in hand positioning makes a huge difference because this grip forces you to resist forearm pronation (by using more of your biceps as supinators) while you also use them as elbow flexors to perform the curl.


This same strategy (as described above) can also be applied to single arm cable curls:

– Grab a PVC style cable handle attachment and fold the strap in on itself – pull it to one side to create a new grip, with both sides of strap on the same side

– Now, grab the handle so the strap is coming out the same side as your pinky finger (as shown).

– Just like when using a dumbbell, gripping the cable handle this way will (again) increase help to increase biceps recruitment because you have now added an additional element of resisted supination to the biceps curl, provided you perform the biceps curl action in the same manner displayed in the video above.

Nick Tumminello is the owner of Performance University fitness training and education in Fort Lauderdale, FL. He’s the author of the “Core Training: Facts, Fallacies & Top Techniques” 3-DVD set. Nick also writes a popular training blog at

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