Bicep muscles are one of the most visible muscle groups in our body, and it is a dream of any gym-goer to build their bicep and flex them. Targeting your biceps and building them are relatively easy. If you have been putting in the effort, but are still not able to see the results, you might have failed to understand your bicep brachii a little more.
With a clear understanding of your bicep muscles and learning the particular long head bicep exercises to target them, you can make your workout a bit intricate to get those big bicep guns.
If you are wondering how to make your bicep look bigger, and what exercises target your muscles, this article is for you. Read on to learn the 5 best long-head bicep exercises for a blazing huge bicep.
Understanding Your Bicep
Before we get into the list of the 5 best long-head bicep exercises, let’s discuss a little more about the large thick muscle in the upper arm, the bicep.
The Bicep muscle is one of the largest muscle groups in your body, and is made up of a short head, caput breve, and the long head, caput longum. This is how the “bi-cep” muscle gets its name. Its two heads make it one muscle.
Anatomically, the short head is located on the inner side of the upper arm, whereas the long head is located on the outer side of the upper arm. So, when you flex your bicep muscle, the short head forms the base, and your long head forms the peak. Thus, a strong, and trained long head makes your bicep look bigger.
Apart from making your bicep look bigger, training and strengthening your bicep muscle aids in flexion and adduction of the shoulder.
So, let’s get into the list of exercises to isolate, and train your long head bicep.
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5 Best Long Head Bicep Exercises
Bicep training involves the use of dumbbells and barbells, and involves a curling motion that squeezes and stretches your bicep muscle. Just like the usual exercises to train your bicep, focusing on the long head particularly involves isolated movements, and small variations in the traditional exercise.
Let’s start with the list of 5 exercises to help you build a bigger-looking bicep with a heightened peak:
1. Incline Bicep Curls
Bicep curls are a standard and well-known exercise for building biceps. A variation of this exercise, incline bicep curls, particularly focuses on the long head. For this exercise, you will need a gym bench and dumbbells of your preferred weight.
How to Do It
- Start this exercise by inclining your gym bench.
- Sit on the bench and lean back holding the dumbbells. Make sure your shoulders are stiff, and your arms are fully relaxed, stretching your bicep. This marks your starting position.
- Hold the dumbbell in, and slowly curl your arms up, squeezing your bicep.
- When you relax, remember to keep the dumbbell in a neutral position (palms facing your thighs) and rotate them to a supinated position (palms perpendicular to your bicep) as you curl your bicep.
- Exhale, return to your starting position and curl your other hand pertaining to your rep range and sets.
You can make certain variations to the bicep curl, like performing the curl from a supinated position, using the hammer curl position, using the neutral curl position, or using a cable machine to provide resistance, all by making use of the inclined position.
2. Hammer Curls
Holding the dumbbell, just like you hold the hammer is another way of performing curls to target the long head of the bicep muscle specifically. Hammer curls give your bicep its defined shape and structure.
How to Do It
- You can perform this exercise either by sitting on a gym bench or while standing.
- Start by holding the dumbbell in the neutral position (with the palms facing your thighs), and sit or stand with your spine straight. This will be your starting position.
- Slowly curl your bicep with your elbows fixed using only your bicep to aid in lifting. Do not twist your wrists.
- Then, slowly relax your bicep and get back to your starting position.
- Now, repeat the same on the other hand.
You can also perform other variations of the hammer curl by using the cable machine for additional resistance or turn your elbows inwards and perform the hammer curls close to your midsection concentrating on your bicep.
3. Barbell Curls
Barbells are used for a variety of compound exercises. When it comes to targeting your bicep, especially the long head, barbell curls are the exercise to go.
How to Do It
- First, position your barbell and set the weights.
- Make sure to hold the barbell with the palms facing upward, using the inner grip because the inner grip specifically activates your long head.
- Lift the barbell and stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. This is your starting position.
- Now, slowly curl upwards squeezing your bicep muscle.
- Relax and get back to your starting position. Repeat the exercise for the number of sets or reps depending on your difficulty level.
When performing the bicep curl, it is better to curl slowly, and by using heavy weights under a lower rep range. This will activate your bicep more. You can also use an EZ bar, or use dumbbells close to each other to target your bicep’s long head.
Preacher curls are one of the most effective concentrating exercises to target your muscle because of the resistance and uniformity the preacher curl machine offers. Also, keeping your tricep and elbow locked restricts other movements, and allows only your bicep muscle to move thereby delivering great effectiveness.
How to Do It
- First, use the barbell, dumbbell, or built-in preacher rods attached to weights to perform the curls.
- Start by positioning yourself in the preacher machine. Align yourself with the machine by keeping inclined towards the preacher machine and resting your triceps on padding.
- Now, fix your elbow and slowly curl your bicep, squeezing the muscle.
- Hold for a second or two.
- Then, slowly retract your arm, relaxing your muscles.
To perform variations of this exercise, you can either choose to hit the biceps of both arms simultaneously or alternatively depending on your difficulty level. You can also perform the preacher curls by holding the dumbbells in a hammer position or in a supinated position for targeting your bicep head.
Pulling yourself up against gravity certainly takes a fair amount of strength from your back muscles and arms. But a variation of it, holding the pull-up rod close, and lifting yourself up to the chin can target your bicep muscle. This makes it one of the most effective long head bicep exercises.
How to Do It
- For this exercise, you will need a pull-up bar with a perpendicular grip variation.
- Jump or stretch, and hold the grip of the pull-up bar. Make sure your hands are close to each other, not wider than an inch, and with your palms facing you.
- Now, pull yourself up with the shoulder blades protracted. Pull yourself until your chin is on par with the bar or above the bar.
- Now, slowly relax.
- You can cross your ankles to help you balance.
- Again, pull yourself up until your chin is on par with the bar, and repeat.
There aren’t many variations for this exercise, however, you can vary the tempo in which you lift yourself, choose the neutral grip or perpendicular grip, and even tie weights to your waist for an even more resistive workout.
Targeting the long head of your bicep gives it the natural peak when you flex them. This means that the long head deserves your special attention. In terms of strength and flexibility, targeting both heads is necessary. It also provides a good, all-around contour to your arm.
All the above-mentioned exercises can help you achieve the big guns you’ve always wanted. In addition to focusing on the exercise, focusing on the weights, rep ranges, and form can give your muscle that aesthetic shape. Apart from the exercise part, maintaining a proper diet, following your regimen, and staying consistent will be necessary for your overall training journey.
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