If you don’t have a pull up bar and you don’t have a set of dumbbells, then you’re going to find it rather challenging to train your biceps. These are one of the only muscle groups that can’t easily be targeted with regular calisthenics and there really isn’t an equivalent of the press ups for biceps.
So what do you do if you don’t have access to bicep training equipment?
Well, the first tip is to get some. Seriously: dumbbells aren’t that expensive and you can easily get an Iron Gym to go in your doorframe if you’re worried about screwing into the wall. As much as the exercises we’ll look at here are effective, they’re not nearly as adaptable as using dumbbells or a pull up bar. Use these in the time being, or if you are travelling. Otherwise, there’s no excuse for not having dumbbells if you’re serious about getting into shape.
Okay, so the rant’s out of the way… now on to the bicep exercises!
To start with, you have your towel pulls. Take your towel and then wrap it around anything you can find. This could be the leg of a table, it could be the base of a sink or it could be a door handle. Just fasten it at chest height, then lean back while holding onto it. Now you’re going to hammer curl your body back towards the point of origin, fighting gravity on the way. You should find this is enough to offer some resistance and to get a bit of a burn going in your arms. As an added benefit, you’ll be training your grip by holding onto the towel.
Inverted Bicep Curl
Better yet, if you have a firmly attached table somewhere, you can use it to do pull ups. Simply lie underneath the table, grab your hand over the top of it with an underhand grip with your feet on the floor and then curl your upper body towards it.
An isometric exercise is any exercise that doesn’t involve movement. So how does this work? In the case of a bicep workout, it might mean standing in front of a table, holding onto it from underneath and then trying to curl it up in the air. Only the table you’re going to choose will be one that won’t budge. As a result, you’ll be maximally contracting your biceps trying to lift the table but they won’t be moving anywhere. This is actually a great way to increase strength by improving your ability to recruit muscle fiber (Bruce Lee used to use this kind of training).
If you want to involve the full range of motion, then you can simply move up and down gradually with your legs to contract the muscle in a wide range of positions.
And there you have it! Those are three effective bicep exercises you can perform and all you’ll need is a table and a towel. You’ve got those… right?