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
Incline Dumbbell Curl
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.
Close-Grip Preacher Curl
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.
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
Wide-Grip EZ Bar Bicep Curls
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.
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.
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.
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