Biceps Exercises: Most Effective For Each Head.

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Biceps Exercises: Most Effective For Each Head.

Mirroring the style of our Triceps Exercises article, it’s time to find out which exercises can help you grow a softball between your elbow and your shoulder. Although the triceps make up 2/3 of your arm, and it would be wise to invest plenty of time into making them grow, the biceps remain the undisputed king of showing off those guns. The regular person, influenced by the movies and the fitness industry, automatically correlates arm size to the size of an individual’s bicep. Think about that for a second. When actors or even bodybuilders are asked to show off their guns, what is overwhelmingly the first they do? Extend their arm to the side, and curl their wrist to their shoulder. Very rarely do you see these same folks turn slightly to their side, stretch out their arm, and show off that horseshoe tricep. Whether this is good or bad is a debate that could be waged ad nausea, and quite frankly, would be a waste of time. Because this bicep domination is reality, it’s time to make sure yours are not lagging behind.

The first thing you need to keep in mind is that growing any body part requires not only a solid diet, but progressive overload. Without providing your muscles with the stimulation necessary to induce growth through progressive overload, and not following that stimulation up with a nice dose of nutrients necessary to repair and grow those muscles, which exercises you choose to do means very little, if anything at all. With that said, if those two things are in order, picking particular exercises to target a particular muscle head is essential to growing and developing a symmetrical physique. This is true even for a small muscle like the biceps. Because the biceps are made up of a long head (outer part of the bicep) and a short head (inside part of the bicep), and the brachialis (located right under the bicep), although each bicep exercise may affect all three of these parts to a certain extent, each exercise will often affect each part to a different degree. Therefore, making sure you’re not only doing the type of exercises that favor one part over the others is essential in achieving maximum bicep growth and shape.

The following are taken from Target Bodybuilding, by Per A. Tesch, who examined which heads are most battered by which variations of biceps exercises. Like explained in the triceps parallel to this article, these exercises are ranked on a rating scale of 1 or 2 asterisks (with 2 naturally meaning that particular part of the bicep receives more stimulation). There are exercises that can hit 2 of the 3 parts maximally, or even all 3. Let’s check out the findings:

Standing biceps curl with straight bar and wide grip:
Long Head: *
Short Head: **
Brachialis: *

Standing biceps curl with ez bar and wide grip:
Long Head: *
Short Head: **
Brachialis: *

Standing dumbbell curl with palm up:
Long Head: *
Short Head: **
Brachialis: *

Standing dumbbell hammer curl:
Long Head: **
Short Head: *
Brachialis: *

Standing supinating dumbbell curl:
Long Head: **
Short Head: **
Brachialis: *

Incline seated supinating dumbbell curl:
Long Head: **
Short Head: **
Brachialis: *

Incline seated dumbbell hammer curl:
Long Head: **
Short Head: *
Brachialis: **

Incline seated dumbbell curl with palm up:
Long Head: **
Short Head: **
Brachialis: *

Standing ez bar curl with arm blaster:
Long Head: **
Short Head: **
Brachialis: *

Standing biceps curl with straight bar and arm blaster:
Long Head: **
Short Head: **
Brachialis: **

Standing biceps curl with straight bar and narrow grip:
Long Head: **
Short Head: **
Brachialis: **

The exercises that include “supinating” refer to the Arnold-style curl where you start at the neutral position (like a hammer curl) and turn the palm inwards as you move towards completing the curl (at the top, your palm is facing you). Keep in mind these are the examples that were tested, there are more exercises out there. For example, this little known, yet effective, bicep exercise can be a useful addition to your bicep workouts. In addition, switching up your arm grip on any particular exercise can have an immediate change to the stimulation of any particular part. As always, make sure to use the Mind Muscle Connection. Without the MMC, you’re just throwing weight around. Remember, what really matters is the effective targeting of the intended muscle. For the bicep, this means focus on form rather weight when curling (outside of an intended cheat curl). For a solid article on developing overall arm growth, also check out How to Get Bigger Arms. Now get those biceps (and triceps) growing!










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