Bicep anatomy 101!
The biceps brachii is known simply as the biceps. It is made up of two “heads”; the long head and the short head. The head of the bicep is one of the most important of the scapula, and the head of the supragloid tubercle.
They are different in the elbow and parallel to one another, they are different in composition. The short head of the bicep magnifies the thickness of the arm of the forehead, while the long head runs through the shapes and the peaks when an individual flexes their arm.
If genetics is in your favor, it is possible to be hurt with a noticeable split between the two heads. If not, some believe that you can be sure of certain exercises. In my personal opinion, Scott Francis, curls and other basics are king for bigger biceps.
More specifically for me, I found that dumbbell curls provide significant gains for the biceps. Because you have a greater range of motion and resistance, more muscle fibers are being recruited throughout your lifts. More muscle fiber involvement leads to more muscle being worked, and this equates to more muscle growth. Get it? Got it? Good. I do not want to build a massive biceps, but I would suggest sticking to the basics and working with dumbbell to ensure optimal performance.
Here are three different exercises intended for arms. They target either the whole bicep, the short head or the long head. Try ’em out and watch them grow, grow, grow!
Full bicep targeter // Dumbbell Hammer Curls!
Dumbbell hammer curls the head of the forearm, the brachioradialis. The dumbbell hammer curl is performed by hanging your arms at your side with your hands facing your thighs while gripping the chosen dumbbells. While keeping your elbows close to your side, raise the dumbbells straight up, meeting just below your pectoral muscles at the height of the exercise. You’re going to keep the dumbbells in this neutral position and refrain from turning your wrist at the height of the curl.
After raising it in this way, you will return to its original position and perform this motion for the future. A tip I use to maximize the effects of being able to keep your motion as slow and controlled as possible. Also, minimize the swinging of the back as it tends to take the contraction intended of the exercise.
Long head targeter // Alternating Incline Dumbbell Curls!
Alternating inclines dumbbell curls has been believed by the masses to isolate the head of the bicep, but I’ll let you guys be the judge of that ultimate.
First, set an incline at least 30 degrees before sitting and leaning back into it. Grab two dumbbells (which are not too heavy), to ensure optimal range of motion. Allow them to hang on your side with your arms completely stretched out. From there, you will be able to begin with the bells up, alternating each arm in the process, while remaining completely plastered to the bench with your back.
What I like to do is this. Once I hit 10 out of a 15 rep count, I start the dumbbells at a 90 degree angle mid-rep and count to 3 seconds. I am using this method to increase my tension in my muscle fiber, and to be able to work at the end of a set.
Short head targeter // Alternating Dumbbell Preacher Curls!
To give the head of the bicep some love, a lot of people suggest using dumbbell preacher curls. Exercises that are believed to focus on the front of the body. This includes the dumbbell preacher curl, and exercises like cable curls and concentration curls. In my opinion it’s best to perform this exercise to maximize tension, reduce the chances of your wrist curling, and get a better range of motion.
Position the pad just below your pecs. Make sure to place your arm on it so it’s a little more than half of the tricep are on the pad. At the start of the lift your torso should be leaning back. As you begin, lean forward so you can keep the tension on the bicep and optimize range of motion.
Keep your wrist strong and your fingers tight while dumbbell while curling. Place your other hand on the top of the pad for moral support as I like to call it (it’s a mental thing).
To ooze out some additional bicep growth from this exercise, I like to pause at the maximum range of motion going down for about 5 seconds. I do this on the last 3 reps. It helps to keep that voltage as good as possible right before finishing.