11 Best Bicep Exercises To Target The Long Head

Published by Roshan S Pillai on

Long head bicep exercises

Photo Credits- People photo created by master1305 – www.freepik.com

Are you looking for bigger biceps? If yes then you need to train the long head of the biceps because it is the side part of the bicep muscle which brings a nice peak to your biceps. This makes your bicep look bigger and strong. So training the long head is very important.

Here, in this article, I will first share with you some important tips and ways to target the long head of the bicep. Then you will find the list of the best long head bicep exercises which you can include in your workout program to get big jacked biceps. So lets first talk about the ways to target the long head!

How to Target The Long Head Of The Biceps

Holding a Narrow Grip

Whenever you hold the barbell or a cable bar, hold it with a narrow grip to specifically target the long head of the bicep. The long head works more when your hands move inward during a curl rather than going out. So hold a narrow grip bar and start curling, you will hit the long head!

Long Head Facing The Mirror

When you perform a curl, try to keep your biceps facing the mirror. The long head should be visible when you do curls like bicep cross-body curls, narrow grip barbell curls. This will make sure that the tension is more on the long head.

Keeping The Long Head At Stretched Position

When you keep your elbows behind the body and curl, your long head will be at a great stretch which allows it to activate more. For Example during an incline bicep curl, the long head is completely at a stretched position. From that downward position when you curl, all the tension is on the long head. So definitely you must do this exercise if you want to get fuller-looking biceps.

So as I discussed with you some ways and techniques to focus and train the long head of the bicep. Now you will find some awesome long head bicep exercises following all the techniques mentioned above. So let’s begin!

Long Head Bicep Exercises

1. Close-grip EZ Bar Curls

If you want to target your outer biceps, then this is a great exercise for you. Here, you can focus on the long head as your hands are close to each other during the movement.

Targeted Muscles- biceps brachii (long head)

How to do

1. Hold the close grip curve of the EZ bar and stand straight with your chest up and shoulders retracted.

2. Keep your elbows in front of the hips and arms straight down. This will be your starting position.

3. Now start lifting the bar while breathing out and bring it at about shoulder height.

4. Squeeze your biceps at the top and then slowly bring the bar back to the starting position.

  • Recommended Reps- 10-12 reps

You can also perform this exercise with a straight barbell if you have good wrist mobility. Most people have less wrist mobility and can’t balance the barbell during curls. So that’s why it is advisable to start with the EZ bar and then move to the straight bar curls.

2. Barbell Spider Curls

This is a killer bicep move that will completely pump up your biceps. This works mostly on the long head and will help you develop that amazing peak of the bicep. So definitely try this exercise. You can also do this exercise with dumbbells. You just need to keep your elbows forward during the movement.

Targeted Muscles- biceps brachii

How to do

1. Set up a bench at about 45° angle and place a weighted barbell in front of the bench.

2. Lay down on a bench with your chest hanging above the bench and let your training partner lift the weights to hand over to you.

3. While keeping your elbow perpendicular to the floor, curl up the barbell and fully squeeze your biceps at the top.

4. Stop when your biceps are fully contracted and then control the weights and bring the bar back to the starting position.

Recommended Reps- 12-15

Here, you will be able to feel a hardcore burn on your biceps. After performing 3 sets of this, your biceps will look bigger and harder. You can add this exercise into your workout program if you want to focus more on bicep peak.

3. Behind The Head Cable Curls

This is a great finisher exercise for your biceps! You can do this at the end of the workout to get that amazing pump. Try this at the beginning with lighter weights and then gradually progress to the heavier sets.

How to do

1. Attach a zig-zag bar at the pulley placed at the upper part of the cable machine.

2. Place a bench in front of the cables and set it at about 60° angle.

3. Sit on the bench while holding the bar and lean back slightly. Your arms should be straight and should face up. This will be your starting position.

4. Start curling the bar up and bring the bar above your head at the end to get that peak contraction.

5. Slowly return to the starting position without dropping your elbow. Your elbow should be extended at the end.

This is an awesome exercise to build that amazing peak to your biceps. Make sure that your hands are parallel to the cables when you curl. You can also use the straight bar for this exercise.

4. Preacher Curls

Another best way to build a solid peak. This is a very popular exercise which most people in the gym perform on a preacher machine. Try this exercise with an EZ bar or with a small barbell which will make it more challenging than machine curls.

Targeted Muscles- biceps brachii

How to do

1. Hold the bar placed in front of the preacher machine and sit down on a seat.

2. Keep your elbows in and your arms resting on the platform. This will be your starting position.

3. Start lifting the bar and bring it towards the shoulder height. Remember to breath out on the way up.

4. Slowly lower the bar down while breathing in, back towards the starting position, and then repeat the movement.

Preacher curls can be done with dumbbells or on a cable machine. You should try to change your workout program by replacing the dumbbells with cables or barbells with dumbbells. This will bring a new stimulus to the muscles and will help you to avoid hitting the plateau.

5. Lying High-pulley Cable Curl

This is another great variation of a bicep curl. This time, your back is flat on the bench which means that you cannot use too much momentum. Thus your biceps will work more during this exercise.

How to do

1. Place a bench in front of a high pulley cable machine and attach a straight bar to it.

2. Lay down on the bench and grab the bar with an underhand grip and keep your back flat on the bench. This will be your starting position.

3. Now start curling and bring the bar towards your forehead. Breath out as you move the down.

4. Slowly bring the bar back to the starting position while breathing in and then repeat the exercise

Here, you cannot cheat during the movement because your body is lying down and you don’t have the leverage to use much momentum. That’s why it is a great isolation exercise for your biceps. You should do this after performing heavy barbell and dumbbell curls.

6. Barbell Drag Curls

This is a great exercise to work on your biceps without involving a lot of shoulder muscles. Drag curls are a great way to add some size to your biceps. This exercise will hit the long head by holding a narrow grip.

Targeted Muscles- biceps brachii

How to do

1. Hold a bar with both hands placed at about shoulder-width apart.

2. Stand straight while keeping your shoulders retracted and this will be your starting position.

3. Start curling up by dragging the barbell towards your body such that the bar is in contact with your torso.

4. Fully contract your biceps at the top and then slowly bring the bar back to the starting position. Breath in on the way down.

Make sure that while you lift the barbell, your elbows should be going back. Also, remember not to shrug the weights up or lift the shoulder during the movement. Otherwise, you won’t engage your biceps.

7. Cross Body Cable Curl

Another effective way to use a cable machine! Here, you can focus on each side separately which is good for those who cannot feel their one side working while performing any bicep curl movements.

Here, your long head is facing forward. Any curls where you can see your long head on the mirror will activate the long head at a greater extend.

How to do

1. Attach a handle on a low cable pulley and grab the handle with the opposite hand. This will be your starting position.

2. Stand straight while holding the handle and then start moving the arms up without moving your elbows.

3. Curl up and bring your wrist towards your mid-chest and squeeze your biceps at the top. Breath out on the way up.

4. Slowly return to the starting position and then repeat the movement. Do the same exercise from the other side as well.

If you have a muscular imbalance or if your one arm is bigger or stronger than the other, then adding these unilateral movements will help you in reducing those imbalances which occur due to a lack of muscle activation.

These single-arm movements will also help you in creating a better mind and muscle connection. So if you have a complaint that you cannot feel on your left biceps, then start doing these movements to create a better mind-muscle connection and to eliminate such problems.

8. Concentration Curls

This is another awesome exercise to train the long head of the biceps. Concentration curls can be done at home if you have a dumbbell. This exercise will help you to build that amazing peak.

How to do

1. Sit on a bench with a dumbbell in one hand. Place an elbow on the mid part of your thigh and place the other hand on the other leg.

2. Start the exercise by curling up the dumbbell and squeeze your biceps at the top. Don’t bend or roll your back during the movement.

3. Slowly bring the dumbbell down to the starting position and then repeat the movement.

9. Single Dumbbell Curls

This is another great dumbbell exercise to hit the long head! you can do this anywhere with just a dumbbell and you do not require any additional equipment for this. So if you are at home, stuck at lockdown, then grab a dumbbell and start this exercise right away!

How to do

1. Hold a dumbbell with both hands by placing your palm beneath the dumbbell and stand at about hip-width apart.

2. Keep your chest up and shoulder back and stand straight. This will be your starting position.

3. Start the exercise by curling the dumbbell up by keeping your hands forward and stop at shoulder level.

4. Slowly bring your hands down to the starting position and then repeat.

Make sure that you move at a full range of motion instead of partial reps. Also, keep your back straight through the entire movement.

10. Hammer Curls

If you want to train your long head and build an amazing peak, then you need to train the brachialis muscle. the brachialis is situated at the lateral part of the bicep which pushes your biceps forward and increases the size of the bicep. So you cannot skip brachialis if you want fully developed biceps.

How to do

1. Hold a pair of dumbbell and stand straight at shoulder width apart with your arms facing down to the side. This will be your starting position.

2. Start the exercise by moving the dumbbell up from one side while holding a neutral grip. Stop at the top when the dumbbell reaches the shoulder level.

3. Slowly return to the starting position by keeping your hands neutral and then repeat the same from the other side.

Don’t go too heavy and just swing the weights. Always control on the way up and engage your brachialis throughout the range of motion. Also make sure to keep your chest up and back straight as you curl.

There are many other alternatives to dumbbell hammer curls that will hit the brachialis and will help you to build a bigger arm. You should also do those alternative exercises to bring some variation to your workout program. You can check those options here.

11. Incline Dumbbell Curls

Incline dumbbell curl is one of the great exercises to train the long head of the bicep. Here, the bicep gets in a good stretch which allows you to put extra tension on the long head. So you must add this to your workout program.

How to do

1. Pick two dumbbells and sit on an incline bench set up at a 60° angle.

2. Keep your arm straight down while keeping your head on the bench. Your arm should be back at a nice stretch position.

3. Start the exercise by curling the dumbbell up while keeping your shoulders retracted.

4. pause at the top and squeeze your biceps and then slowly return to the starting position.

Make sure that you completely stretch your biceps at the bottom. Also, keep your feet on the floor and breathe out on the way up.

Bicep Workout (Targeting The Long Head)

So now let me share with you one of the workout programs which you can follow if your main focus is to strengthen and target the long head of the bicep. Some dudes complain that they don’t have a good peak. Now you don’t have to be sad, this workout will help you in developing that amazing round peak.

All of the exercises included in this workout are already discussed in depth. So if you have any confusion, then scroll up and check the list. So let’s start with the workout.

S.No.ExerciseRepsSetsRest
1Close Grip EZ Bar Curl832 min.
2Incline Dumbbell Curl10390 sec.
3Preacher Curl12360 sec.
4*Cross Body Cable Curl + hammer curl15 each360 sec.

4* Last exercise is a superset where you will do cross body cable curls first, and then without taking a rest you need to do hammer curls of 15 reps. After completing both the exercise, take 60 seconds rest and then continue.

Final Words

So here we are at the end of this blog. I have shared with you all the best possible strategies to target the long head of the bicep and then applied my knowledge and experience and gathered the best long head bicep exercises for you. Also, the workout program at the end is a bonus for you which you can follow and can get some serious results.

So if you would like to gain more knowledge then go through my website and you will find all the amazing and informative content free of cost.

if you found this blog helpful then do share it with your friends and relatives as knowledge is meant to be shared rather than kept secretly. If you want me to cover some more topics then do let me know in the comment section below.

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Categories: Biceps

Roshan S Pillai

Roshan Pillai is an ACSM Certified Personal Trainer with more than 6 years of experience in lifting weights and guiding people to get fit. He is the owner and editor of fitnessproworkout.com, and has worked as a fitness coach in gyms and is passionate about fitness and helping people to get in shape.

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