7 Amazing Long Head Biceps Exercises for Women
For so many men and women out there, training biceps seems pretty straightforward – get your curls in and you’ll see shape and strength results. Right?!
Building strength in your biceps is a little more complicated than that! But, if you get the balance sorted with a mixture of long head bicep exercises and short head movements, you’ll start to see some amazing results.
If you’re confused or in need of a little inspiration for your long head bicep exercises, look no further. We’ve answered all your bicep-related questions in this article!
What is the long head of a bicep?
The long head of the biceps brachii muscle is one of two muscle heads that make up the muscle in the upper arm. It’s really important to work these muscles in any challenging arms workout.
As the name might suggest, it’s the longer of the two heads and originates from the supraglenoid tubercle at the top of the shoulder blade. The long head of the biceps passes through the shoulder joint and attaches to the top of the forearm bone (radius) at the elbow joint.
The primary function of the long head of the biceps is to flex the elbow joint and supinate the forearm, which in normal terms means it helps you turn your palm upward. It also assists in shoulder flexion and abduction (raising the arm forward and to the side).
So, with that in mind it’s pretty important! Plus, it needs a good amount of focus in your biceps workouts.
Why do you need to do long head bicep exercises?
Incorporating long head bicep exercises into your workout routine can provide a number of benefits. Here are some reasons why you may want to focus on training the long head of the biceps:
- Balanced Muscle Development: The biceps muscle is made up of two heads – the long head and the short head. While both heads work together to produce elbow flexion, the long head is more involved in shoulder flexion and abduction. By training both heads, you can achieve more balanced muscle development in your arms and shoulders.
- Increased Arm Strength: The biceps muscle is one of the most important muscles for arm strength. By training the long head, you can increase the overall strength of your biceps, which can help with general lifting. For example, a strong bicep is absolutely essential for heavy deadlifts, so don’t neglect them!
- Improved Aesthetics: One for all our aesthetic body builders out there! The long head of the biceps is located on the outer portion of the arm and can contribute to that rounded appearance of the biceps muscle that so many of us are working towards. By training the long head, you can improve the size and definition of your biceps, which can help create a more aesthetic appearance for competition.
- Injury Prevention: Strong biceps muscles can help prevent injuries to the elbow and shoulder joints, which are common in many sports and activities. By training the long head of the biceps, you can help protect these joints and reduce your risk of injury. Basically, it’s just a good idea to have a strong, well-rounded physique that’s ready for anything life throws at you.
7 Best Long Head Biceps Exercises
- Barbell Curl: The barbell curl is a classic exercise that targets the biceps, including the long head. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and grip a barbell with your hands shoulder-width apart. Keeping your elbows close to your body, curl the barbell up to your chest, then lower it back down slowly.
- Incline Dumbbell Curl: This exercise targets the biceps, with an emphasis on the long head. Sit on an incline bench with a dumbbell in each hand. With your arms fully extended and palms facing forward, curl the weights up to your shoulders, then lower them back down slowly.
- Hammer Curl: The hammer curl targets the biceps, as well as the brachioradialis muscle in the forearm. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold a dumbbell in each hand with your palms facing each other. Curl the weights up to your shoulders, then lower them back down slowly.
- Preacher Curl: The preacher curl targets the biceps, with a focus on the long head. Sit at a preacher curl bench with your arms extended over the pad and a barbell or dumbbells in your hands. Curl the weights up to your shoulders, then lower them back down slowly.
- Concentration Curl: The concentration curl isolates the biceps and allows you to target the long head more effectively. Sit on a bench with your legs spread wide and hold a dumbbell in one hand. Rest your elbow on your inner thigh and curl the weight up to your shoulder, then lower it back down slowly.
- Cable Curl: The cable curl is a great exercise for targeting the long head of the biceps. Attach a rope handle to a cable machine and stand facing the machine. With your arms fully extended and palms facing up, curl the handle up to your shoulders, then lower it back down slowly.
- Reverse Grip Barbell Curl: This exercise targets the biceps, with a focus on the long head and the brachialis muscle. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and grip a barbell with your palms facing down. Keeping your elbows close to your body, curl the barbell up to your chest, then lower it back down slowly.
Remember to use proper form and technique with each exercise, and gradually increase the weight as your strength improves.
Should you use barbells or dumbbells for long head biceps exercises?
There’s an age old debate amongst avid gym goers about whether a barbell or set of dumbbells is more effective for growing bicep strength. Well, we’ve looked into it in detail.
Both barbells and dumbbells can be effective for training the long head of the biceps exercises. Surprised?
The choice between the two may depend on your personal preference, fitness level, and goals. Here are some pros and cons of using each:
- Allow you to lift heavier weights, which can help build strength and muscle mass.
- Can be more stable than dumbbells, which can be helpful for beginners.
- Can be used for a variety of exercises, including curls, rows, and presses.
- Can place more stress on the wrists and forearms, which can be uncomfortable for some people.
- May not allow for as much range of motion or isolation of the biceps as dumbbells.
- Allow for a greater range of motion and more isolation of the biceps.
- Can help improve muscle imbalances and prevent one arm from compensating for the other.
- Can be more comfortable for people with wrist or forearm issues.
- May not allow you to lift as heavy as with barbells, which can limit strength gains.
- Can be more difficult to stabilize, which may require more core and shoulder strength.
Ultimately, both barbells and dumbbells can be effective for long head biceps exercises. It may be helpful to incorporate both into your workout routine and switch between them to keep your workouts challenging and prevent boredom.
How often should you train your long head biceps exercises?
The frequency at which you should train your biceps can depend on various factors, such as your fitness goals, training experience, overall workout routine, and recovery ability. Here are some general guidelines for bicep training frequency:
Beginner lifters: If you are new to strength training, it’s recommended to start with 1-2 bicep workouts per week to allow your muscles to adapt and recover.
Intermediate to advanced lifters: If you have been training for a while and have developed some strength and muscle mass, you may be able to increase your bicep training frequency to 2-3 workouts per week. However, it’s important to ensure that you are allowing adequate recovery time between workouts to prevent overtraining and injury.
Overlapping muscle groups: Since the biceps are often used as a secondary muscle group in exercises that target other muscle groups such as the back, chest, and shoulders, it’s important to consider the frequency at which you train those muscle groups as well. For example, if you train your back 2-3 times per week, you may not need to do as much direct bicep training.
Overall, it’s important to listen to your body and adjust your training frequency accordingly when using these long head biceps exercises. If you experience excessive soreness, fatigue, or lack of progress, you may need to reduce your training frequency or adjust your exercise selection and intensity. On the other hand, if you are not seeing the results you want, you may need to increase your training frequency or intensity.