A shot of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Carl Weathers' arms while arm wrestling in the movie The Predator

6 Exercises to Hit Both Bicep Heads

So, you want to invite people to the gun show? Do you feel like putting everyone in arms’ way? Your aim is to turn everyone biceptual? Then you have to know how to train those bad boys! 

Bicep training is relatively straightforward because the muscle is simple to understand and stimulate.

But what many people don’t know is that the bicep has two heads, and training each is necessary for building a muscle that looks great from any angle.

Today’s post will outline the bicep muscle anatomy and present practical exercises for both heads.

Let’s dive in.

A Brief Look At The Bicep

As its name suggests, the bicep has two heads: a short (inner) and a long (outer) head. Both heads work together to produce elbow flexion (bending of the arm) and wrist supination (outward rotation).


 Depending on the exercise you do, one head might work slightly more than the other, resulting in superior development. You might unknowingly do mostly movements for the inner or outer head and struggle to build impressive biceps despite curling every chance you get.

A List of Movements For Thickening The Long Bicep Head

  1. Incline Dumbbell Curl
    Drawing of a basic human figure performing the incline dumbbell curl in two steps

    The incline dumbbell curl is an exercise you perform by holding a pair of weights and sitting on an incline gym bench. Having your arms by your sides causes a significant bicep stretch, and the position allows you to work on the long bicep head.


  1. Close-Grip Preacher Curl
    Drawing of a basic human figure performing the close-grip preacher curl in two steps
    The close-grip preacher curl is a movement you do by lifting a bar. Using a curved bar is beneficial because it takes the stress away from your wrists. Having your hands close puts the long bicep head at a mechanical advantage, forcing it to do most of the work.


  1. Close-Grip Chin-Up
    Drawing of a basic human figure performing the close-grip chin-up in two steps
    Chin-ups are great for the bicep because they allow you to train the muscle through a full range of motion. Lifting your entire body is also good for overloading the muscle and promoting greater mechanical tension. Similar to the preacher curl, having your hands closer is beneficial for emphasizing the long bicep head and developing the desired peak.


Bicep Exercises That Emphasize The Short Head

  1. Wide-Grip EZ Bar Bicep Curls
    Drawing of a basic human figure performing the wide-grip EZ bar dumbbell curl
    Just as a narrow grip works the long bicep head, a wider one emphasizes the short head. It puts that portion of the bicep at a mechanical advantage, allowing it to do most of the work.

    Using an EZ (curved) bar is beneficial for keeping stress away from your wrists. A straight bar can also work, but some trainees complain of pain on the outer side of their wrists.


  1. Concentration Curls
    Drawing of a basic human figure performing the concentration curl in two steps
    The concentration curl is a somewhat forgotten old-school exercise for the biceps. But, despite its lack of popularity, adding it to your bicep routine is a great way to target the short bicep head.

    Concentration curls are great for the whole bicep, but EMG data finds them slightly more beneficial for the inner portion of the muscle.


  1. Spider Curls
    Drawing of a basic human figure performing the spider curl in two steps
    Spider curls are a slightly unusual exercise that works the biceps well. The objective is to position yourself on an incline gym bench with your arms hanging down. Curling a bar from such a position allows you to emphasize the short bicep head and stretch the entire muscle well.



Bicep training isn’t complex, but you must pay attention to both heads for optimal development and arm size. Pick from the six exercises we shared and combine them for balanced and effective bicep routines.

And to complete the picture, why not get a Guns of Steel tee or tank? Get yours now and be the symbol of hope for all who aspire to reach new heights in gains!


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