Best Back and Bicep Workout for Muscle Growth

This best back and bicep workout focuses on building mass and strength in the lats, lower back, rhomboids, both heads of the biceps, and forearms.

Here we discuss the effective back and bicep workout that you can do to build muscle mass and strength.

The combination of back and bicep exercise help to increase your muscle strength and endurance in back and bicep. Back and bicep is a muscle pairing as old as the Pull-ups, lat pull down and rows.

The back muscle is the main targeted muscle in most rows exercises, and the bicep and shoulder are crucial synergistic muscles.

Training your back and biceps together in the same workout is something very common in today’s bodybuilding training routines. It doesn’t matter whether you are a beginner or an advanced gym lifter. You need a good workout routine to optimize your muscle gains.

Why You Should Train back and biceps together on same day workout session

During a compound workout, many targeted muscles work together with other Synergistic and stabilizer muscles to function. Targeting one muscle may not fully engage these other supportive muscles, but they may be in use to some degree.

Training back and bicep together in the same gym workout is something that bodybuilders have been doing for decades. The reason for training those muscle groups together is very logical.

Like when you are doing a pull-up, the back is one of the target muscles. However, there are many other Synergistic and stabilizer muscles acting in this motion, such as the Biceps brachii, rear deltoid, traps.

It’s important that first, you train your back than your bicep during your workout routine. This is because your back muscle will need your full energy and is most likely the heavies to train and gain in terms of muscle.

In this article, you will learn everything you need to know about 

  • Back and bicep anatomy
  • The best exercises to build strength and mass in the back and bicep.
  • How to perform them correctly
  • Back and bicep workout plan including sets and reps
  • Back and bicep workout routine for beginner, intermediate and advanced.

Back Muscle Anatomy

The back or upper posterior chain (Backside of the body) is composed of many different muscles which include.

  • Trapezius -Muscles near the neck responsible for neck rotation/lateral flexion, scapular retraction/depression, shoulder stabilization, and arm rotation.
  • Rhomboids – Located below the traps and responsible for scapular retraction.
  • Latissimus Dorsi – The largest muscle of the upper body which performs the functions of adduction, extension, and horizontal abduction of the humerus
  • Erector Spinae – Muscles located along the spinal column responsible for lumbar spine function like lateral flexion, bending, and twisting.

Back anatomy

Bicep Muscle Anatomy

The Bicep Muscle consists of the following parts:

Biceps brachii muscle (biceps) is a large, thick muscle of the upper arm. The Biceps Brachii is attached to the forearm bone called the radius and originates at the scapula in two heads (the Bicep gets its name from the two heads).

Brachialis lies on the outer side of the arm. The brachioradialis muscle group is firmly attached to the bicep and is also activated when tracking back and biceps.

bicep anatomy

12 Best Back and Bicep Exercises for Mass and Strength

Here are 12 exercises to help you build back and biceps in the gym. You can use these as part of a regular workout or as a standalone circuit.

1. Pull-Up

The pull-up is an upper-body strength movement that targets your back, chest, shoulders, and arms. Pull ups are a challenge for beginners and experienced athletes.

The wide-grip pull-up is harder to perform than a standard pull-up because it places your hands further from the center of your body, making the exercise more difficult. 

It increases the strength, thickness, and width of your back, specifically your lats. The lats are what make the back wide and form the “V” in the upper back.

Wide Grip Pull Up

How To Do It

  1. Using an overhand grip, grab a pull-up bar with your hands wider than shoulder-width apart.
  2. Hang from the bar with your arms fully extended and your chest high, while exaggerating the arch in your lower back.
  3. Pull yourself up by contracting your lats and squeezing your shoulder blades together.
  4. Hold the contraction at the top for a second before slowly lowering yourself back to the starting position.


  • To decrease bicep involvement, use a thumbless grip.
  • Go full range of motion and keep form correct.
  • Keep your movements smooth and controlled.

2. Lat Pull Down

The lat pulldown is an exercise used to build the muscles of the back. It is a great exercise of the back that is widely used by fitness trainers to build bigger lats.

It’s important to target your back muscles to help with proper posture and to ease pulling movements. This exercise can be performed using wide grips and narrow grips, as well as pulling to the front and the back.

The wider grip is the best variation to target the outer lats. You should add this back and bicep workout to your exercise arsenal.

Lat Pull Down

How To Do It

  1. Sit on the machine seat with an overhand grip, hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Lock your knees under the support pads.
  2. Keep your upper back straight, pull the bar down and bring it up to the chest. As you pull down, squeeze your shoulder blades together and feel back muscles contracting.
  3. Use your upper lats to perform this movement, and consider your arms to be nothing more than a lever between the bar and your lats.
  4. Now let go of the bar slowly and stretch your lats as much as you can.


  • In order to get the most out of this move, your reps should be slow and controlled.
  • Go through the full range of motion and focus on using your back muscles.
  • Avoid rising yourself from the seat.

3. Seated Cable Rows

Seated Cable Rows is an excellent exercise to build middle back muscles and this works on lower lats as well. During this exercise, the bicep, brachialis, and brachioradialis muscles are also trained.

It can be done with wide and narrow grips. This exercise is done on a cable rowing machine with separate handles. It would be best to add these exercises to your back and bicep mass building workout.

Seated Cable Rows

How To Do It

  1. Sit on a seated cable pulley rowing machine with legs slightly bent and feet supported against the crossbar.
  2. Grab the handles with your arms extended and your back stretched.
  3. Pull the handles so that they come as close to the lower chest/abdomen as possible.
  4. Thrust your chest out while pulling with your body in upright position.
  5. Slowly return the handle to the starting position.


  • When the handles are close to the chest, pause for a moment and squeeze your upper back muscles to bring the scapulae closer.
  • Keeping your knees bent will help avoid knee and back pressure.
  • Remember, a rounded back is a wrong back. Keep it straight at all times.
  • Keep your upper back stationary, don’t move your upper back, back, and forth.

4. Bent Over Barbell Rows

If you want to build a lot of muscle in the upper back and strengthen the upper back, bent over barbell rows are the best upper back exercise.

Spacing your hands shoulder-width apart or closer targets the central inner section of the lats, whereas a wider grip targets the outer lats.

Bent Over Barbell Rows

How To Do It

  1. Stand with a narrow stance and grab a bar with overhand grip.
  2. Bend your torso forward at an angle of 45 degrees to the floor with the knees slightly, and let the bar hang in front of you.
  3. Now use the back and raise the bar until it touches the abdominal region and not the chest region, as it reduces back muscle contraction.
  4. Slowly lower the bar under control to starting position.


  • Do not use more weight than you can handle. This fatigues your spinal erectors and say goodbye to form.
  • Exhale on pushing movement, and inhale when returning to the starting position.
  • Hold a neutral spine throughout the movement to prevent injury.

5. Barbell Upright Row

Upright Row is an excellent exercise to build huge Trapezius muscles. Heavy Upright Rows along with shrugs build massive traps.

The narrow grip focuses on the trapezius, and the wider focuses on the entire shoulder girdle. Furthermore, the wider grip allows some cheating movement, thereby allowing you to lift more weight.

Barbell Upright Row

How To Do It

  1. Hold a bar with a narrow overhand grip and let it hang in front of you.
  2. Lift the bar and get it as close as possible to the chin, using your arms and elevating your shoulders to squeeze your trapezius muscles.
  3. Now lower the bar under controlled motion until it comes back to its starting position.
  4. Repeat for desired reps.


  • Focus on keeping your elbows higher than your forearms
  • Keep a controlled motion and avoid jerky movements.
  • Keep your back straight.

6. One Arm Dumbbell Rows

One Arm Dumbbell Rows are an excellent alternative to barbell rows, and it provides the full-range motion to build the lats muscles.

This exercise helps to work on each side independently, thereby provide better muscle isolation and a longer range of motion. This exercise is done with a heavy dumbbell with your body supported by a bench.

One Arm Dumbbell Row

How To Do It

  1. Grasp a dumbbell with palm facing in. Rest the opposite hand and knee on a bench, keeping your spine straight and just above parallel to the floor.
  2. Pull the dumbbell vertically upward alongside your torso, raising the elbow as high as possible.
  3. Lower the dumbbell as slowly as possible, feeling a good stretch in your lats.
  4. Repeat on the other side.


  • For better isolation, keep motion under strict control.
  • Don’t bend over in a hunchback position, as it can lead to an injury.

7. Chin Up

A chin-up is a strength training exercise that uses your entire body weight, with a special focus on your upper body and core. This is the best bodyweight back exercise that can induce serious muscle growth of the bicep and back.

In this exercise, the palms are faced towards the body. Since the lifter is pulling their own bodyweight, the biceps are usually exposed to loads heavier than what one can lift with a barbell. Must add this back and bicep Workout in your exercises arsenal.

Chin Up

How To Do It

  1. Grab a pull-up bar with an underhand grip (palm facing toward the body), hands shoulder-width apart or slightly narrower.
  2. Straighten your arms, keep your knees bent and cross your lower legs. It can also be done with leg straight.
  3. Retract your shoulder blades and pull your body up until your chin becomes aligned with the bar.
  4. Pause for one to two seconds at the top with the biceps under maximum tension. Slowly lower to the start position.


  • Don’t get in the habit of doing half reps and chasing numbers.
  • Lower to almost full extension of the elbow but avoid locking out completely.

8. Cable Curl

The bicep cable curl is one of the best isolation exercises for the upper arm biceps muscle. It’s a pulling action performed with a cable machine and is suitable for beginners.

The cable pulley provides a uniform resistance throughout the movement.

Cable Curl

How To Do It

  1. Set up for the cable curl by attaching a straight bar to the low pulley cable.
  2. Grasp the bar with an underhand grip (palms facing up), and your hands about shoulder-width apart.
  3. Curl the bar up toward your shoulders by bending at the elbows.
  4. Lower the weight down to the arms extended position.


  • Stand upright with the spine straight.
  • Keep the rep timing slow and control the weight as you lower it.
  • Fixing the elbows against your sides prevents movement at the shoulder and is an excellent way to isolate the biceps.

9. Barbell Curl

The barbell curl is a highly recognizable biceps exercise that builds biceps muscle mass. It’s a great exercise for seeing results in strength and definition.

It is a pull-type, isolation exercise that works primarily on your biceps and also trains the muscles in your forearms. Barbell curl in the best exercise, that you can add in your back and bicep Workout routine to build mass.

A wide grip focuses effort on the inner biceps (short head), whereas a narrow grip arks the outer biceps (long head).

Barbell Curl

How To Do It

  1. Hold a barbell at arm’s length, using a shoulder-width underhand grip.
  2. Curl the bar up to shoulder level by bending your elbows.
  3. Lower the bar back down to the arms’ extended position.
  4. Repeat for desired reps.


  • Your body should remain fixed. Only your biceps should be used to move the weight.
  • Pause at the top of the movement and squeeze your biceps.
  • The motion should occur at the elbow to isolate the biceps, not on the shoulders.

10. Seated Dumbbell Curl

The Seated Dumbbell Curl is a good variation of a dumbbell curl. It allows extra bicep contraction, Build overall muscle mass in the biceps, and defines them more.

In Dumbbell Curls, the natural full range of motion of the biceps is enhanced. Therefore, it provides a better bicep contraction.

Seated Dumbbell Curl

How To Do It

  1. Sit on the edge of a bench holding a dumbbell in each hand at arm’s length.
  2. Now curl the arms bringing them to maximum contraction, and let the palms face you as you do so.
  3. Lower the dumbbell through the same arc and extend your arms fully.
  4. Repeats the desired number of sets.


  • Remember to exert while you exert.
  • Keep a controlled motion and avoid jerky movements.
  • Bending forward and leaning forward cuts the range of motion.

11. Incline Dumbbell Curl

Incline Dumbbell Curl is an excellent full-range exercise to build bigger muscles and also add variety to your bicep exercises plan.

It is a variation of the dumbbell curl and an exercise used to build bigger biceps. The incline dumbbell curl elongates the negative portion of the dumbbell curl by creating a deeper stretch on the biceps muscle tissue.

Incline Dumbbell Curl

How To Do It

  1. Position an incline bench at roughly 45-60 degrees. Sit on it with a pair of heavy dumbbells.
  2. Curl the dumbbells up to shoulder levels and then curl back to the start position.
  3. At the top of the movement, contract harder and let the palms face yourself, and at the end of the movement let the palms face each other.
  4. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.


  • Using a slow eccentric (lowering portion) of the exercise can help to improve tension and mind-muscle connection.
  • Exhale while you exert.
  • Go full range to build longer biceps.

12. Hammer Curl

The Hammer Curl is a classic weightlifting exercise that targets the biceps and forearms. It strengthens the three largest muscles along the front of your upper arms.

It is different from the regular bicep curl as it involves an overhand grip with a pronated wrist, instead of an underhand grip.

When it comes to building muscular hypertrophy and strength, the hammer curl exercise is one of the most popular bicep exercises among bodybuilders and regular weightlifters.

Hammer Curl

How To Do It

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and a slight bend in your knees.
  2. Hold a pair of dumbbells in your hands with your palms facing towards your body.
  3. Keeping your elbows close to your body, slowly curl the dumbbell up to your shoulders.
  4. Pause for a second at the top of the lift, squeeze your biceps, then lower the weights under control.


  • Raise and lower the dumbbell slowly. Keep in control by using your strength, not using momentum or gravity.
  • Neither lean back as you lift the weight nor lean forward as you lower it.

Back And Bicep Workout Plan Including Sets And Reps

In this context, volume refers to how much work we’re doing for a particular body part. And the simplest way to lay out volume is in terms of sets being done.

Of course, the number of sets and reps will be determined based on your fitness journey, but here is a great starting point:


  • Beginners: ~10 sets per week.
  • Intermediate: ~15 sets per week.
  • Advanced: ~20 sets per week.


  • 6-8 reps with heavy load
  • 8-15 reps with moderate load
  • 15-20+ with light load


Do you remember that the biceps are involved in most back exercises?

If you were to do 10-20 sets for the back each week, you would not also need 10-20 sets for the biceps, because the biceps would already receive a lot of secondary volume while training the back.

How To Schedule A Back And Biceps Workout

There are numerous different workout splits you can use that involve having a “back and biceps day.”” However, they would all fall into one of two categories.

  1. A body part split: Workout routines that train related muscle groups on separate days.
  2. A Push Pull Legs split: Workout routines that train related muscle groups on the same day.

Let’s look at some examples of each and see which one is best for you.

Execute this with any program

You can use this with any other program you have.

To give you an idea of how this workout can fit into various programs, I wanted to give you a rough estimate of how often you could do it without interfering with other workouts. You could probably do it two times a week without interfering with other workouts.

Body Part Routine Split:

If you have a 4 or 5 day body part split:

  • Day 1: Back and Bicep Workout
  • Day 2: Chest and Tricep Workout
  • Day 3: Legs and Shoulder Workout
  • Day 4: Back and Bicep Workout
  • Day 5: Chest and Tricep Workout

Push Pull Legs Routine Split:

You could do a 5 or 6 day PPL split:

5 Days Workout Plan:
  • Day 1: Push Day (Chest, Shoulders, Triceps Workout)
  • Day 2: Pull Day (Back And Bicep, Rear Delt Workout)
  • Day 3: Leg Day (Glutes, Quads, Hamstrings, Core Workout)
  • Day 4: Push Day
  • Day 5: Pull Day
  • Day 6-7: Rest
  • Note: Start the following next week with Leg Day. 
6-Day Workout Plan:
  • Day 1: Push Day (Chest, Shoulders, Triceps Workout)
  • Day 2: Pull Day (Back and Bicep, Rear Delt Workout)
  • Day 3: Leg Day (Glutes, Quads, Hamstrings, Core Workout)
  • Day 4: Rest
  • Day 5: Push Day (Back and Bicep Workout)
  • Day 6: Pull Day (Chest, Shoulders, Triceps Workout)
  • Day 7: Leg Day (Glutes, Quads, Hamstrings, Core Workout)
  • Day 8: Rest
    — Repeat

Back And Bicep Workout Routine for Beginner

It’s time to share a workout routine with you. It is a beginner’s level back and bicep workout.

Below you will find an easy-to-understand back and bicep workout routine for beginner. This workout program consists of the primary back movements and will help you out with getting a good base of muscle mass and strength.

Make sure you select weight loads that bring about failure at the rep ranges listed to make this a real mass-builder. If you get less than 10 reps on the exercises, don’t worry because the next time you complete this workout you will know what to expect and be mentally and physically stronger.

  1. One Arm Dumbbell Rows: 4 sets of 8-12 reps.
  2. Seated Cable Rows: 4 sets of 10-12 reps.
  3. Lat Pull Down: 3 sets of 8-10 reps.
  4. Cable Curl: 4 sets of 8-10 reps.
  5. Hammer Curl: 3 sets of 8-10 reps.

Back And Bicep Workout Routine for Intermediate/Advanced

We’ve got some effective workouts routine for intermediate and advanced, which include the exercises, sets, reps, so you can keep making progress.

Before you get into your working sets, make sure to warm-up with at least two lighter sets, pyramiding up in weight from 30 to 50-60% of your one-rep max. Keep the working sets to no higher than 80-85% of your one-rep max.

Train to failure for each set and allow at least 3-4 days of rest in between workouts for the same muscle group.

  1. Pull Ups : 4 sets of 8-10 reps.
  2. Barbell Row: 4 sets of 10-12 reps.
  3. Lat Pull Down: 3 sets of 8-10 reps.
  4. One Arm Dumbbell Rows: 3 sets of 8-10 reps.
  5. Barbell Curls: 4 sets of 8-10 reps.
  6. Hammer Curl: 4 sets of 10-12 reps.
  7. Incline Dumbbell Curl: 3 sets of 8-10 reps.

Back and Bicep Superset Workout Plan

 A superset is doing two different exercises without enough rest in between.

The workout includes supersets, which means you’ll do two exercises for the same muscle group back-to-back, then rest and repeat one or more times. You’ll use enough weight that you can only complete 8 to 12 repetitions per set.

  1. Barbell Bent Over Row: 4 sets of 8-12 reps, superset with,
    • Barbell Curls: 4 sets of 6-8 reps.
  2. Lat Pull Down: 3 sets of 10-12 reps, superset with,
    • Cable Curl: 3 sets of 8-10 reps.
  3. Barbell Upright Row: 3 sets of 8-12 reps, superset with,
    • Hammer Curl: 3 sets of 6-8 reps.

If you are looking for more bodyweight and dumbbell bicep and back workouts that you can do at home, check the below.

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Back And Bicep Training.

Can you train back and bicep together for mass?

Yes, you can train back and bicep together in your workout regime to gain mass. It’s actually preferred by many fitness gurus and bodybuilders to train them together, since you are already working the bicep when doing back.

How Many Sets and Reps Should I Do?

For just about every exercise of back or bicep, 3–4 work sets (the real work you do, not warm-up sets) is a good choice. But rep ranges fluctuate. You can go as low as 5 reps on heavy presses, and up to 15–30 reps for accessory work.

How long should a back and bicep workout be?

There is no such thing as the optimal time for a back and bicep workout. Generally, a workout routine is between 45-90 minutes and shouldn’t take any longer than that. Some people like to train fast, and some people want to train slow.

Back and bicep workout gym

All the below exercise are best options for back and bicep workout at gym. Having a V-taper back and big Gun are accomplished through building your back and biceps, and is a sign of dominance at the gym.

How frequently should I train my back and bicep?

Since the back is a large group of muscles, you’ll have to be strategic about training them, since they need more attention than the biceps.

How often you train depends on the muscle, your schedule, and your goals.

So, if you can only make it to the gym once per week, then you need to up your volume. But, if you train 2 times per week, then just train a muscle to the start of exhaustion and quit.


We’ve already introduced you to the best back exercises and the best biceps exercises for building muscle mass.

I strongly encourage you to ensure you perform these exercises correctly, as that will have a massive impact on your progress.

You have also been shown back and bicep workout plans forbeginner, Intermediate and advanced. We also presented a back and bicep superset workout plan.

Depending on your preference, you can try out one of these and then let us know how it worked for you.

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