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The biceps brachii muscle group comprises of two separate muscles, the short head of the biceps and the long head of the biceps. The long head of your biceps is the larger of the two and results in the biceps peak. Bicep workouts that focus mainly on isolation exercises will specifically target the bicep heads ensuring effective muscle activation which will result in increased muscle mass and strength.
Long-head bicep exercises are a great way to help you build your bicep muscles. If you need to build your bicep muscles, you must focus mainly on the density, strength, and size of the long head of the biceps. However, what are the best long head bicep exercises and how much weight should you be lifting for optimum muscle growth?
In this article, we will consider some of the best bicep exercises you can consider to improve your long-head bicep. Once you subscribe to the exercises in our article, you’ll be sure to build bigger biceps in no time.
Best Long Head Bicep Exercises
⦁ Hammer curls
⦁ Close-grip barbell curls
⦁ Bayesian cable curls
⦁ Incline dumbbell curls
The hammer curl exercise focuses on a neutral grip and helps with your overall arm development. The movement is essential because it engages both the forearm and bicep muscles, making it a compound exercise. Furthermore, many people prefer to perform hammer curls when compared to other standard supinated curls due to them being easier on the elbow joint.
Hammer curls do not put as much stress on the wrist joints when compared to a standard bicep curl and will also aid with increasing muscle width. However, that’s not to say you should perform one over the other. By variations play an important role in helping to build bigger arms.
How To Do Hammer Curls
To perform the hammer curl exercise, you must first grab a pair of dumbbells and maintain a standing position, hold them down by your sides and keep your palms facing inwards (towards your body).
- Stand upright with your feet around shoulder width.
- Next, take a deep breath and curl the dumbbells up and towards your chest.
- Keep your elbow position the same throughout and palms facing towards you.
- Pause for a second or two at the top of the movement and then slowly return your arms down by your sides. Repeat repetitions as necessary.
Close-Grip Barbell Curl
One of the most efficient mass-building exercises you could undertake for your biceps is the close-grip barbell curls. One advantage of this exercise on your long-head bicep is the ability to target the long head due to the narrow grips.
Since you require bilateral movements to perform narrow grip barbell curls, you will typically lift heavier weights than you would with unilateral exercises such as dumbbell curls. Hence, if you need a progressive overload, the close-grip barbell curl is a great option. Unlike other exercises, you only need a barbell to begin with. As you gain strength, you can then consider adding weight plates to make the exercise more challenging.
How To Do Close-Grip Barbell Curls
The first thing you must do is add the appropriate amount of weight to your barbell. A typical Olympic barbell will weigh around 20kg, so this may be an ideal starting weight.
- Stand with feet shoulder width apart and grip the barbell with a supinated grip, palms facing away from your head.
- Ensure that your hands are around shoulder-width grip as you hold your barbell.
- Allow your arms to relax with the barbell in position.
- Always keep your elbows tucked in and by your sides while doing the close grip.
- Curl the bar up towards your chest.
- Ensure your upper arm does not excessively sway forward on the lift’s concentric portion.
- Pause at the top of the exercise and squeeze the biceps.
- Exhale and slowly lower the bar back to the starting position.
- Repeat as necessary.
Bayesian Cable Curls
Bayesian cable and Incline dumbbell curls offer similar benefits since your elbows remain positioned behind your body while performing these exercises. However, one thing separates the Bayesian cable curls from incline dumbbell curls and that is the tension on the muscles throughout the exercise. While the Bayesian cable curls provide constant tension, the incline dumbbell curls does not.
If you want to enjoy a hypertrophic response, the best exercise to perform is free weights and cable exercises. While performing the Bayesian cable curls, it is necessary to perform the exercise with one arm at a time. Although the Bayesian curls exercises are less popular than other bicep movements, this is usually because it can be a little more difficult to perform and harder on the shoulder joints, the benefits are worth considering this as part of your arm workout.
How To Do The Bayesian Cable Curl
- Firstly, attach a D handle attachment to a cable machine, it should be positioned at the bottom of the machine.
- Next, you must move the pin up or down to select the appropriate weight amount you can curl.
- Grab the D-handle with your chosen hand, your body facing away from the cable machine, and your palm facing forward (supinated grip).
- Take a few steps forward, away from the cable stack, then assume a split stance to commence your Bayesian cable curls.
- Ensure you place your legs forward and the other backward while taking the split stance.
- Also, ensure that your lower elbow and upper arm are behind your body while extending your arm. Ensure that your elbow remains behind your body and your upper arm remains stable throughout the movement.
- Inhale and start to curl the attachment up and towards your chest. Flex your elbow and contract your bicep to curl the D-handle.
- Supinate your wrists slightly when you reach the top of your rep.
- Pause for one or two seconds and squeeze your biceps.
- Exhale and lower the weight back to the starting position. Relax your arms at full stretch to lower the D-handle to the starting position.
- Repeat the desired number of reps and then swap to the other arm
Incline Dumbbell Curls
Besides the neutral or closer grip, incline dumbbell curls also help emphasize long-head biceps. You must place your elbow behind your body to perform the incline dumbbell curl. The exercise benefits your shoulder and elbow flexion since the long head crosses these areas. Additionally, incline dumbbell curls help with wrist supination, making it one of the best exercises for your biceps and overall performance.
This exercise also stretches your biceps since the elbows are behind your body. Also, this exercise offers an excellent range of motion and allows for more muscle growth when compared to other bicep exercises. Another essential feature of this curl is that of supporting your torso. Since the exercise helps your torso, you will find it challenging to use momentum to cheat. This exercise makes it easier for you to isolate and grow your biceps.
How To Do The Incline Dumbbell Curl
- Set your bench to a 45 to 60-degree angle to accommodate your exercise position. The angle of the bench determines the ease with which you can perform the Incline dumbbell curls. Hence, the steeper the bench, the easier it will be for you to achieve this curl. Ensure to set the bench to a 60-degree angle if you are a new to the exercise.
- Choose the appropriate pair of dumbbells and sit on the bench, then lean back to fully support your back and head on the back pad.
- Ensure you fully extend your arms with the dumbbells facing forwards by your side. B
- Inhale whilst curling the dumbbells toward your body for the incline rep. You can curl the dumbbells by flexing your elbows to contract your biceps. Ensure that the only thing moving during this exercise is your forearms.
- Always ensure that the upper arm remains still throughout your workout to enjoy better results.
- Keep your elbows tucked in throughout and pause briefly before you squeeze your biceps.
- Slowly exhale and then lower the dumbbells to the starting position.
Chin-ups are also some of the best ways to improve your long bicep muscles. Although most people consider chin-ups as back exercises, you can leverage them in a particular way to target the biceps. How do you use chin-ups to target the long-head biceps? You must flex your elbows instead of retracting shoulder movements that engage the back.
If you want to build huge biceps, chin-ups are the most efficient compound and bodyweight exercises you can consider. Although chin-ups only use your body weight, you can make the exercise more challenging by incorporating resistance bands or a weightlifting belt with some plates added.
How To Execute Effective Chin-Ups For The Bicep Long Head
- Use a supinated grip to hold onto a chin-up bar to start your exercise, chinning bars are usually located at the top of a power rack or fixed to a wall. Your palms must face you to have an effective chin-up exercise. Ensure that your hands remain closer and shoulder-width apart at most. Fully relax your arms while allowing your legs to hang down from the chin-up bar. Alternatively, you could bend your knees to cross them behind your body.
- Take deep breaths, pull your chin towards the bar for one to two seconds, pause, and squeeze your biceps.
- Exhale while slowly lowering your body to the starting position by moving your arms and chin away from the bar.
- Ensure you fully relax your arms to return to the chin-up starting position.
- Repeat this chin-up procedure until you complete the required number of chin-up repetitions.
How to Pick the Best Exercise for Long Biceps
You will find several exercises for long biceps when you search the internet or ask your trainer for recommendations. It is best to pick the bicep exercise(s) that work best for you, this can depend upon your ability, anatomy and any pre existing injuries you may have. It would help to consider a few things before selecting the best long bicep exercises. As with any exercise, be sure to execute with proper form and full range of motion for best results.
Each long bicep exercise has an estimated duration that is recommended before you can expect to start to see visible changes in your long-head biceps. If you want to build bigger biceps within a shorter period, there is no need to pick exercises that would take longer to achieve that aim. Instead, it would help if you considered exercises that take shorter periods to produce big biceps. On the other hand, if you are not in a hurry, consider long-head exercises that take longer and, when performed correctly, can help you add plenty of muscle mass to your arms.
Which Type of Exercise
There are several long bicep exercises you can leverage for massive biceps. However, it is best for you to pick exercises you are comfortable with, and your body can tolerate. It will help if you go for exercises that offer an enjoyable experience while striving for massive long-head biceps. Also, pick bicep exercises targeting long-head biceps if you want to enjoy huge muscles.
As with any training, it’s always worth incorporating a wide variety of exercises for best results and this will also include movements that work the short head bicep muscles.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is It Possible To Isolate Only The Long Head Of The Bicep?
Technically, yes; in the real sense, no. Once you exercise your biceps, both the long and short-head biceps get exercised. However, the difference is that you can target long-head biceps using several advanced exercises. The best way to target your long-head biceps is by keeping your elbows tucked in by your sides or behind you when working out. Additionally, it would help to keep your hands closer while working out.
How Often Must You Exercise Your Biceps?
The exercise duration depends on your long head bicep training split and volume. However, you must note that more training volume entails higher training frequency.
What Is The Best Rep Range For Performing Bicep Hypertrophy?
Use a moderate rep range of about 10 to 20 reps for almost half of your bicep training. It would also help to split the other half of your reps between a heavy (five to ten reps) and a light rep range (20 – 30 reps).
You will find several bicep exercises while looking to build bigger arms. In this article, we have outlined some effective exercises that help you to target long-head biceps. Other engaging bicep exercises for long-head biceps you can perform include dumbbell curls, drag curls, and close-chin preacher curls, among others.