Training your biceps without a pull-up bar is possible, but training the biceps without pulling exercises is impossible to do effectively. I know that many seek home bicep workouts during this lockdown, and many discovered bodyweight training in this period as well. Still, it is essential to get creative if you want to train your biceps effectively at home.
The number of exercises that circulate the internet these days that are meant to replace pull-ups is enormous. Many fitness gurus come with new variations and sophisticated approaches.
They either don’t understand bodyweight training at all and its impact over time, or they are lying to their audience in the hope of making some extra cash.
My opinion after years of dedicated calisthenics training is that nothing in this world, no matter what, can’t replace pull-ups under any circumstance. That doesn’t mean you can’t do pull-ups without a pull-up bar, because you can, but you have to get creative and replace the bar without quitting or modifying the exercise.
Gymnastic Rings and Suspension Trainer Can Replace a Pull Up Bar
Biceps are pulling muscles. Thus you don’t need further scientific explanations why you need pulling exercises. Any other exercise that doesn’t require a pull is a waste of your time and effort.
You have two different pull-ups:
- Vertical Pull-Ups
- Horizontal Pull-Ups and even
- Aussie Pull-Ups and Bicep Curls.
Get creative, and unless you can’t improvise something like a pull-up bar at home, then a pair of gymnastic rings and a set of suspension trainers provide the possibility to train any pull-up exercise and grip mentioned above.
Find a way to anchor the suspension trainer or the rings of something very stable and reliable.
Many prefer using the dining table in the living room, getting underneath and doing horizontal pull-ups. That’s the right way too in the absence of anything else. However, honestly, I don’t see why it is so difficult to improvise something. I prefer this method anytime rather than searching a hundred videos and explanations to replace pull-ups, which by the way, almost 100% of them are complete crap.
You can also get a weighted vest of 20-40 pounds just for the sake of variety. You don’t necessarily need one, but it’s upon whether you can afford it or not. In general, they cost around $40-60.
Home Bicep Workout Using Suspension Trainer
I’m going to consider that you already got and anchored a set of a suspension trainer and a weighted vest too, then home bicep workout is:
- Bodyweight Horizontal Pull-Ups: 5 sets x 6-10 reps
- Horizontal Pull-Ups + Weighted Vest: 5 sets x Max Reps
- One-Arm Bodyweight Rows: 3 sets (3 for each hand) x Max Reps
- Aussie Neutral Grip Pull-Ups: 5 sets x Max Reps
- Bodyweight Bicep Curls: 5 Sets X Max Reps.
I recommend a pause of 60 seconds from set to set and of 30 seconds for the exercise number 4 and 5.
In case you don’t have a weighted vest, then I suggest over 4 sets for each arm for One-Arm Bodyweight Rows. It’s easy to adjust and modify the workout to meet your fitness.
The good aspect is that you will also engage and recruit the back muscles too. In any case, do a second workout in the week more composed of vertical pull-ups to get a complete workout for the entire pulling upper-body muscles.
Nonetheless, if you can’t do vertical pull-ups because you can’t anchor the rings or suspension cords, then use horizontal pulling exercises like the ones I recommended in the bicep workout above. All these exercises, I put in a workout video below and you check it out to see the execution, form, rest time, and all else that matters: