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A Powerful Back And Bicep Workout: 8 Exercises, Walkthrough and Tips


This effective back and bicep workout will have you in shape in no time. Not just shape, but prime shape! Your toned biceps and v-tapered back will add killer aesthetics to your upper body.

You’ll be working your upper to lower back along with the major heads that make up your biceps. Some of these exercises work more than just the target muscles. As a result, expect your forearms, shoulders, and core to feel the burn as well.

The circuit rotates from one muscle group to another with each exercise. A different approach than most back and biceps workouts. Your main tools are pulls and curls which alternate one after the other.

Each exercise contains four sets with 15 repetitions each. If you’re starting out, you can take a 90 second breather in between each set. However, if you are looking to take it one step further, you can do supersets.

Meaning, you shift from a pull-exercise directly to a curl-exercise without taking a break in between. After you are done with alternating sets, you can take a 90 second break before the next superset.

This would exhaust your biceps and back but its results are phenomenal for strength and mass building.  Because of the high number of sets, supersets aren’t recommended for starters.

Back And Bicep Workout Setup


First, let’s look at the equipment you will be needing.

You’ll need a cable machine for the back exercises. The cable machine should have both low and high points for attachments, a rope attachment and two cable handles.

For the bicep exercises, you need dumbbells, an EZ-bar, a straight bar and a bench for the spider curls.

Yep, it’s a lot of equipment but the best dishes in this world require a lot of ingredients. So, this back and biceps workout is most suitable for a gym.

Before we move on, building strength and mass with just bodyweight is also an option. If you’re short on time or don’t have access to a gym, a resistance band bicep workout or triceps workout at home can also get the job done.

This bicep and back workout has 4 sets per exercise with 15 sets each and a total of 8 exercises.

If you plan on doing supersets, you need to choose your weight wisely. Rather than maxing out in the beginning and depleting your muscles, work wisely to finish the entire circuit.

Using excess weight is also the main culprit behind an improper form. While proper form for each exercise will be discussed below, choose an appropriate weight for each exercise.

Start this back and biceps workout with a blood-pumping warm-up.

It’s a must before you start any workout as it gets your body flexible and muscles geared up for a heavy lift. A set of push-ups, pull-ups and stretches should do the trick.

Now, let’s dive into the exercises.

Back And Biceps Workout Exercises


Wide Cable Pulldown

Start off with a wide cable pull down which is optimal to strengthen your back muscles and to improve posture. You’ll be needing a cable machine with both handles attached to the top, you can also use a bar. This movement can be done sitting down or standing up.

Choose a weight that allows you to pull down without rounding your back or moving forward.

  • Grab the handles with an overhand grip a bit wider than shoulder-width
  • Your palms should be facing inwards if you are using handles
  • Next, brace your core while keeping your arms straight and elbows locked
  • Now, pull the handles down in the direction of your core
  • Your elbows should make a 90-degree angle on the way down
  • Bring the handles down to shoulder level
  • Finally, slowly return to starting position


Sets: 4

Reps: 15

Rest: 90 seconds

Muscles Worked:  Latissimus Dorsi, Biceps, Forearms, Shoulders, and Abs

If you’re looking for more shoulder focused exercises, check out how to do upright rows.

EZ-Bar Bicep Curl

An EZ-bar activates your biceps more efficiently than dumbbells or a barbel. The obscure design offers a more natural grip for your shoulders and wrists which minimizes discomfort vs a straight bar.

You can take the EZ bar bicep curl one step further with a preacher curl variation.

Stand up straight with your chest out

  • Grab the EZ-bar with your palms facing forward
  • Your elbows need to be kept stationary which can be difficult for starters
  • Curl the weight using only force from your biceps and triceps
  • Raise the bar till shoulder level
  • Hold this position for a moment before slowly letting the bar down
  • Make sure to let the bar down slowly
  • Don’t rush the repetitions as you may end up using momentum which is counter productive


Sets: 4

Reps: 15

Rest: 90 seconds

Muscles Worked: Both the long and short head of the Biceps Brachii and Brachioradialis

High Single-Arm Pull

This back and biceps workout uses a combination of unilateral and bilateral exercises. The next 2 supersets focus on unilateral exercises.

You’ll be using the D-handle with a cable machine for this move and only one arm will be in action at a time. This is good if you have an imbalanced strength on one side.

Also, you activate more muscles with unilateral exercises. So, you’ll lift heavier, strain harder and gain more per arm.

This exercise can be done sitting or standing

  • Attach a handle to a high-point of a cable machine
  • Grab the handle with your palm facing inward
  • Your arm should be straight at this stage
  • Now, pull down to the side of your chest
  • Your elbow should form a 90-degree angle on the way down


Sets: 4

Reps: 15

Rest: 90 seconds

Muscles Worked: Latissimus Dorsi, Teres Major, Upper, Lower and Middle Trapezius, Posterior Deltoid, Chest and Biceps

Hammer Curls

Hammer curls have a plethora of benefits for your biceps and arms. It is an effective exercise to increase the size and strength of your biceps.

Also, this movement targets your wrists and forearms increasing your grip strength. This factor is essential for building functional strength as a strong wrist and grip will help you lift more in all of your workouts.

Use a suitable weight that prevents the swinging of your arms. Form is essential as it not only targets the muscles effectively but also prevents injuries.

  • Stand up straight with your back firm
  • Hold a pair of dumbbells in each hand with your palms facing your sides
  • Now, curl the dumbbells up while engaging your biceps
  • Make sure that your upper arms don’t move
  • Curl all the way up until your forearms are vertical
  • Hold for a moment before letting down slowly


Sets: 4

Reps: 15

Rest: 90 seconds

Muscles Worked: Biceps Brachii, Brachialis, Anterior Deltoid, Upper and Middle Trapezius, and Extensors

Low Single-Arm Pull

Another back buster that hits your lats effectively. Your lats are a big muscle group that need to be thoroughly worked out if you are going for that aesthetic V-tapered back.

So, you are coming back to your cable machine. This time the attachment will be attached to the low-point. While this exercise can be done with both arms, you’ll be doing it one arm at a time for proper activation.

  • Attach the handle to the low-point of a cable machine
  • Stand a few feet back
  • Bend your knees slightly and hold the handle in your hand
  • In the starting position, your arm should be straight
  • While keeping your back straight, row the handle back
  • Your elbow should make a 90-degree angle
  • Pull the handle back to your hip


Sets: 4

Reps: 15

Rest: 90 seconds

Muscles Worked: Latissimus Dorsi, Teres Major, Upper, Middle and Lower trapezius

Concentrated Curls

Concentrated curls are a bit harder to cheat on given the sitting position which minimizes momentum. While at this stage of this back and bicep workout, you’d be looking for a bit of leeway, concentrated curls won’t make it easy.

This is the final unilateral exercise in the mix, thank God! Anyway, the movement is very anti-momentum. You’ll notice the slow movement will stress your biceps much harder than the previous exercises.

  • Sit on bench so your knees make a 90-degree angle
  • Hold a dumbbell in your right hand
  • Now, place your arm on your thigh
  • The back of your arm should be resting on your thigh, not your elbow
  • Next, curl the weight up by moving your forearms only
  • Curl the weight up till it almost touches your chest


Sets: 4

Reps: 15

Rest: 90 seconds

Muscles Worked: Both the long and short head of the Biceps Brachii, Brachialis, and Forearms

Low Rope Pull

The final superset of this back and biceps workout focuses on more all-round activation of your back and body.

While the main emphasis will be on your back, you’ll feel your shoulders, forearms and biceps also in play.

  • Use a rope attachment for this variation
  • Attach it to the lowest point of the machine
  • Grab the rope and make sure your arms are straight
  • Slightly bend your knees
  • Now, pull the rope all the way back to your hip
  • Squeeze your shoulder blades together as you pull back


Sets: 4

Reps: 15

Rest: 90 seconds

Muscles Worked: Latissimus Dorsi, Middle and Lower Back, Shoulders, Biceps, and Forearms

Spider Curls

Alright, so you’re almost done. Let’s finish this back and biceps workout with a demanding bicep exercise. A Spider Curl is going to hurt by this stage simply because it only targets your biceps without taking support from any other muscle group.

Also, you’re suspended mid-air, just this unique form can add a bit of resistance for first timers.

  • Set a bench with 45-degree incline
  • Lay with your chest on the bench
  • Your mid-chest should be on the bench while the rest of your upper body is suspended in air
  • Keep your legs straight
  • Grab the barbell with your palms facing your body
  • Start with your arms fully extended
  • Now, curl the barbell high up till your elbows form a 90-degree angle
  • Pause for a moment before slowly letting it down


Sets: 4

Reps: 15

Rest: 90 seconds

Muscles Worked: Both the long and short head of the Biceps Brachii, and Brachialis

Key Takeaway

Both your back and biceps play a pivotal role in your daily life. From pulling to pushing to lifting, these two muscle groups are necessary for functional strength and to have a shredded upper body.

There are numerous back training workouts, even back workouts at home, however, they vary in results.

This back and biceps workout covers all the major muscles in your back using both unilateral and bilateral exercises. This ensures that your back muscles are properly activated and stressed.

You’ll also be giving your biceps a killer workout. This combination is perfect for those short on time or looking to gain quicker. Combining these two muscles in one day means you can fit in more back and biceps workouts throughout the week.

Let us know if you enjoyed this workout in the comments below, always log your progress, and remember to share this valuable advice with all your fitness-pals.

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