The key to building biceps peaks is shifting your arms away from your torso, says Men’s Health Ebenezer Samuel, C.S.C.S. That’s easily done in the gym, with moves like preacher curls and spider curls, but you don’t have those machines at home. If you have a resistance band, though, you can still blast your biceps and grow them just the way you want to, using Samuel’s Resistance Band Preacher Pump.
“We’re going to use your feet and the band to help create a different upper arm angle relative to torso,” says Samuel, “and then we’re going to ratchet up the time-under-tension here, too, and pile up really good biceps squeezes.”
You’ll do that while also tensing your quads and hamstrings, and while tightening your core and squeezing your shoulder blades too. In fact, keeping a tight core and squeezing your shoulder blades is critical to the use of the move. “The key here is that you’re going to sit straight up,” says Samuel, “while using your abs to tighten your ribcage, and keeping your entire upper body active. Since you don’t have a bench, it’s that much more important.”
It’s convenient to hunch over when doing a seated move, says Samuel, but you can’t let that happen. “Battle any urge to lean forward and maintain a tight, strong structure,” he says. “And then you’ll blast your biceps.”
By adding the half-iso component in, maintaining a squeeze on one arm while doing a standard “rep” on the other, you also challenge your abs that much more. “You can’t let your torso rotate too much to one side,” says Samuel. “That’s core, and a ton of biceps overall too.”
The best part: All you need is a resistance band.
- Start seated on the ground, legs straight, core tight. Loop the resistance band around your feet. Grab a handle with each hand and curl up, raising your upper arms so elbows are slightly below shoulders. Don’t let your elbows shift up and down as you do this.
- Squeeze one biceps hard, while doing a curl rep on the other side. Repeat on the other side. That’s 1 rep. Focus on taking your time during each curl rep. “The band will help take care of that,” says Samuel. “As long as there’s some tension there, it’ll make you work for every curl.”
- Do 3 sets of 10 to 12.
You can use the Resistance Band Preacher Pump in a variety of situations. If you’re doing a full-body resistance band circuit, go ahead and make this your main biceps exercise. Or it’s a great finisher on a resistance band arm day, or pull day, says Samuel. Going all-in on biceps? Then end your workout here. “I still like doing traditional biceps curls and hammer curls first,” says Samuel, “then finishing out the pump with this.”
This article originally appeared on Men’s Health