Bodyweight bicep exercises are some of the most fun exercises you can do.
They force you to pull your whole body in one direction and engage a host of other muscles while you do it.
In fact, I only use bodyweight exercises to work my biceps.
When you do something like a chin up or inverted row you are engaging your core and back muscles on top of working your biceps as well.
Why not do a full body compound exercise when you workout and get in more exercise with less time?
It just makes sense to me.
Also, a major excuse that people have for not working out is that they can’t get to the gym.
Almost all of these exercises can be done anywhere you are; even a hotel room.
So the next time you don’t think you have access to weights or don’t have time for the gym just go ahead and try some of these exercises.
I guarantee you’ll get a good workout in!
#1) Pull Ups
Pull ups are one of my favorite exercises.
They work both your biceps and your upper back and lats at the same time.
On top of that they also engage a huge number of supporting muscles in order to support you as you steady yourself and hang in the air.
Pull ups can also be done almost anywhere.
Having a pull up bar at home is optimal but the lack of one is still no excuse not to do this great exercise.
Just looking around your house you can find many things which you can use to support yourself as you do pull ups.
I even wrote an entire article about ways to do pull ups when you don’t have a bar.
The only with issue with pull ups in this article is that they don’t really focus as much on your biceps as some other exercises.
Don’t get me wrong; they’re still a great exercise but they focus more on your back than your biceps compared to the exercise below.
#2) Chin Ups
Chin ups are a slightly different version of the pull up where your palms are facing towards you when you lift yourself.
By doing this you are effectively working your biceps more than your back when compared to doing pull ups where your palms are facing away from you.
(This means I probably should have put chin ups as exercise number one for this article but I just like pull ups so much that I couldn’t make myself do it)
Anyways, chin ups, similar to pull ups, will work both your biceps and upper back. The only difference is that chin ups will target your biceps more than pull ups.
Another added benefit to doing chin ups is that you can make it even more difficult by doing one-handed chin ups.
Once you get strong enough this is a fantastic way to seriously work the biceps in your arms.
To do them grip the forearm of the pulling arm with your free hand to help balance yourself and then go ahead and pull yourself up.
I guarantee that this exercise will pump up your biceps in no time!
Just don’t forget to work both arms equally or you’ll have one side disproportionately stronger than the other.
#3) Table Rows
Table rows are essentially inverse rows where instead of leaning forward and lifting weights upwards you are lying under a table and pulling your body upwards.
This is a great way to use your bodyweight as resistance and it targets all of the same muscle groups as a pull up.
The only difference is that the movement is a little easier as your feet still stay planted on the ground.
Because of this, though, table rows are a great exercise for people who are still building up to do their first pull up.
If you really want to start doing pull ups and don’t know how to build up the strength for it then table rows can help you get started.
They will build up the same muscles used when doing pull ups but they are slightly easier allowing your body to grow stronger and prepare for the more difficult exercise of a full bodyweight pull up.
The other great part about table rows is that they can literally be done anywhere.
Whether you’re at home or in a hotel room you can always find a table around somewhere.
Just lie underneath and grip either directly in front of you, as in the picture above, or place your hands around the side if the table is skinny enough.
The one thing you should check, however, is that the table is firm and heavy enough that it won’t tip forward on you and send you and the table crashing to the ground.
#4) Doorknob Rows
Another way to do rows and get in a good bodyweight workout for your biceps is to do doorknob rows.
Simply take a towel or a very strong shirt and it wrap around the doorknob like the picture above.
Now, grip the ends of the towel in your hands and walk your feet back towards the base of the door where the hinges are.
Go ahead and lean back so your body is hanging from the towel and your feet are planted not far away.
You’re now in a perfect position to start doing some inverted rows using your own bodyweight hanging from the door!
This exercise is very similar to the table rows in that your feet stay planted on the floor the entire time making it a little easier than having to lift your full bodyweight.
This also makes this exercise a great bodyweight bicep exercise for beginners as it is not as difficult as the pull up and chin up.
The main difference between this exercise and table rows is that doorknob rows more closely resemble the chin up.
This means that it focuses more intensely on your biceps instead of your back.
#5) Self Curls
Self resistance bicep curls are a type of curl where the resistance for your bicep is provided by the opposite arm pressing down on one hand as the other hand tries to rise up.
Essentially your opposite arm’s tricep is providing the resistance instead of a weight.
Just imagine that you are about to do a regular curl with a dumbbell with one of your arms except that instead of placing a weight into your palm you instead place your other hand palm down into your first hand.
Then you apply pressure downward with that opposite hand as your curling arm slowly rises up just as it would with a weight.
This is definitely not the type of compound exercise that I prefer doing but if you are left with no other options or if you’re trying to rehabilitate from an injury this can definitely be a good way to work your biceps without using any weights.
If you’re curious about this method of training you can get some more information from the study done here.
In conclusion, all of these exercises are a great way to use your own bodyweight to work your biceps.
They’re easy to do wherever you are so you never have the excuse of saying that you couldn’t get to the gym.
Also all of them, except #5, are solid compound exercises which work multiple muscle groups at the same time giving you a solid all around workout.
So the next time you’re planning what exercises to put into a new routine, or trying to figure out how to exercise when you’re on the go, just give some of these a shot!
I guarantee you’ll get some serious benefits from any of them if done regularly.
Until next time; stay strong, healthy, and happy!