17 Best Long Head Bicep Exercises | Top Biceps Exercise

17 Best Long Head Bicep Exercises | Top Biceps Exercise

Dec 30, 2023

Man doing biceps curls Young adult teenage man doing dumbbell biceps curls in gym ripl fitness

17 Best Long Head Biceps Exercises for Massive Peaks

Want to build an impressive bicep peak and maximize muscle activation? Then you need to train the long head of your biceps.

The biceps muscle has two separate heads – the long head and the short head. Targeting the long head is crucial for sculpting huge bicep peaks and taking your arm development to the next level.

In this article, you’ll discover the best exercises to really isolate and hammer the long head for tremendous growth and definition. Read on to activate the long head and start building eye-popping arms!

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What Does the Long Head of the Biceps Do?

The long head originates on the scapula and makes up the outer part of the bicep, while the short head starts under the deltoid.

When performing biceps curls, the long head remains active throughout the entire range of motion. It plays a major role during elbow flexion.

This challenging long head also adds an impressive peak contraction at the top of arm exercises. Train it properly with peak contraction holds for that full, bulging bicep look.

Why Train the Long Head of the Biceps?

There’s a reason the long head is sometimes called “the business end of the biceps.”

Emphasizing the long head leads to greater biceps activation and muscle growth. It also sculpts an amazing high peak that bodybuilders covet.

By learning exercises that target the long head, you can work this important section thoroughly and build huge, sculpted bicep peaks!

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Best Exercises for the Long Head of the Biceps

Here are the top exercises that really isolate the long head for tremendous biceps development:

1. Cable Curls

Cable curls are great for isolating the long head of the bicep. The cable machine provides constant tension and resistance throughout the curling movement to fully activate the long head.

Attach a straight or angled bar to the low pulley. Stand facing the weight stack, feet shoulder-width apart. Keep your core braced and grab the bar using a shoulder-width underhand grip.

Initiate movement by flexing at the elbows and curling arms up toward shoulders until fully contracted at the peak. Squeeze hard then slowly return until arms are straight.

2. Incline Dumbbell Curl

The incline dumbbell curl ranks as one of the best long head bicep exercises. The angle puts maximum tension on the long head biceps peak contraction.

Sit back on an incline bench holding a dumbbell in each hand with elbows back and palms facing up. Keep good posture and engage your core.

Flex your elbows and curl both dumbbells up toward shoulders, squeezing at the top contraction for maximum long head activation. Slowly lower back down until arms extend fully.

Incline curls work the long head harder due to the stretch and constant tension on the biceps peak contraction. Lift moderately heavy for growth.

3. Dumbbell Hammer Curl

The dumbbell hammer curl is effective for building stronger biceps brachii and improving muscle definition. The neutral grip targets the long head from a different angle.

Stand holding dumbbells at your sides with elbows extended and palms facing each other in neutral position.

Keeping palms facing in, curl dumbbells up toward shoulders until fully contracted then lower back down slowly with control.

Squeeze each rep at the top to hit the long head!

4. Cable Rope Hammer Curl

The cable rope hammer curl works wonders for bringing up the long head and outer biceps. The rope handle provides a different stimulus.

Attach a rope handle to the low pulley of a cable machine. Stand with knees slightly bent, core braced, and grab each side of the rope using neutral grip.

Curl the rope up while flexing elbows until fully contracted then slowly lower back down. Make sure to isolate the long head peak!

5. Zottman Curl

This unique Zottman curl targets the long head biceps thanks to its extended range of motion and unique rotation that keeps constant tension.

Stand holding dumbbells at your sides with palms facing back in underhand grip and elbows straight.

Curl one dumbbell up while rotating hand until palm faces front in standard biceps curl grip. Squeeze the long head hard at peak contraction then slowly lower back down while rotating until palm faces back in underhand grip again.

6. Narrow Grip Preacher Curls

The narrow grip preacher curl is a strict exercise that increases long head activation. It can be done with a barbell, dumbbells or cables.

Grasp the handles using narrow underhand grip that places your hands closer together than shoulder width. Sitting at the preacher bench, rest the upper arms firmly on the angled pad.

Keeping the upper arms fixed, curl upwards by bending the elbows until the bar/dumbbells reach shoulder height while squeezed hard. Slowly lower back down afterward.

The strict preacher arm angle isolates the biceps for higher long head emphasis. Use good form and lighter weight here focusing on contraction.

7. EZ Bar Cable Preacher Curl

The EZ bar preacher curl performed on a cable machine isolates the long head beautifully for great arm workout results.

Attach an EZ curl bar to the low pulley cable. Sit at a preacher bench placing upper arms flush on the angled preacher pad. Grab the EZ bar using close or shoulder width grip.

Keeping upper arms pinned, flex your elbows and curl the bar up toward shoulders until fully peaked. Squeeze the long head hard then slowly lower back down.
The preacher bench minimizes cheating, allowing you to feel a super strong, sustained contraction targeting the long head!

8. Close Grip Supine Cable Curls and Seated Row Superset

This superset combines isolation and compound movements together to target the long head effectively in a new stimulating way that burns!

First, perform close grip cable supine cable curls by lying down flat on a bench under the high pulley, arms extended gripping bar with palms up and close hands.
Curl cable down in an arc motion, pulling to upper chest until fully contracted with elbows. Squeeze biceps hard then slowly return to start.

Then quickly switch to do seated cable rows until failure by sitting upright at low pulley station and pulling handles to chest.

The combined stress maximizes long head fatigue! Do 2 supersets for new biceps growth.

9. Bayesian Curl

The Bayesian curl offers a longer range of motion compared to standard incline dumbbell curls, effectively stretching the bicep further using emphasis on the negative portion of the lift.

Use a cable machine and with elbows fully extended and palms facing up. Initiate curl by flexing elbows and lifting handles up in semi-circle motion toward shoulders until fully contracted.

Hold peak squeeze briefly then slowly lower down toward the floor to get an extra stretch while keeping constant tension on biceps.

Use lighter weight and perform higher reps focusing on form and contraction for long head gains.

10. Waiter Curl

Similar to a drag curl, the waiter curl is effective because it eliminates forearm involvement to maximize tension placed directly on the long head biceps.

Stand upright while holding one dumbbell in front of body arms fully extended. Initiate curl by bringing one dumbbell up as if holding tray like a waiter.

Only move forearm so it remains vertical, curling dumbbell straight up by flexing elbow until bicep fully contracted up top. Slow negative return until arm straightens.

Keeping forearm vertical minimizes forearm assistance on the bicep for greater long head isolation.

11. Cross Body Hammer Curl (Pinwheel Curl)

The cross body hammer curl places more direct tension on the long head biceps. The lateral movement allows focus on the lower biceps region and fast-twitch muscle fibers.

Stand holding dumbbells at sides with neutral hammer grip and palms facing each other. Keeping elbows tight to body, flex one elbow and curl dumbbell up across chest to opposite shoulder until fully contracted.

Slowly lower back down until arm straightens then repeat to failure before switching. Make sure not to swing body or rock the shoulder joint when curling!

12. Close-Grip EZ Bar Curl

The close grip EZ bar curl focuses tension on the long head biceps peak without overly straining the wrists. Performed using a semi-supinated, palms facing up and thumbs around bar grip.

Stand upright while holding close grip on the EZ barbell with elbows fully extended at sides.

Initiate curl by flexing elbows and lifting bar toward upper chest in an arc motion until biceps peak fully squeezed. Control return to starting position.

Do 2-3 sets of 12-15 reps to fatigue the long head!

13. Barbell Curl

The barbell curl is a classic exercise for building bigger biceps, especially effective with a narrower shoulder width underhand grip which shifts emphasis onto the long head.

Stand holding barbell with closer grip, hands facing up. Initiate bar curl by flexing elbows and lifting bar in arc motion up toward upper chest until biceps fully squeezed with contraction.

Slowly lower bar back down by straightening arms. Repeat!

Use perfect form not swinging or rocking torso for strict long head activation. Do 3 hard sets after benching!

14. Dumbbell Curl

Dumbbell curls offer the advantage of extending the shoulder joint further back compared to barbells, which potentially activates the long head more effectively.
Stand holding dumbbells down at sides until arms extended. Keep palms facing up and torso upright.

Initiate curl by flexing elbows and lifting dumbbells up towards shoulder height in a semi-circle motion until biceps peak fully contracted. Slow return to straight arm starting position.

The greater shoulder joint range hits the long head isolation! Do for muscle building.

15. Band Curl

Band curls provide increasing levels of resistance and pull as the band stretches on the descent, creating an effective peak contraction unlike regular dumbbells that release inner tension on the way down. This maximizes time under tension for the long head.

Place the center of a band securely under both feet shoulder-width apart. Stand upright while grasping ends of bands located on both sides with palms facing up and elbows extended downward.

Initiate curl by flexing elbow joints, pulling bands up toward shoulders until peak bicep contraction. Slowly return bands down with control, feeling added resistance from the band.

Use perfect form without cheating or swaying body!

16. Preacher Curl

The preacher curl is a favorite exercise among professional bodybuilders to build huge biceps peaks. The preacher bench helps lock the upper arms in a fixed position for better long head isolation.

Sit at preacher bench station and rest upper arms directly against the sloped preacher pad cushion. Maintaining this strict arm placement, grasp bar using close underhand grip.

Proceed to curl bar upward by flexing elbows until peak bicep squeeze contraction. Slowly lower bar back down afterward toward start position. Do NOT swing torso or lift butt off seat when curling weight up. Keep upper body stationary and only move forearms.

17. Reverse Curl

Finally, the reverse curl should not be overlooked. By utilizing a pronated, palms down grip, it places more engagement on the long head biceps due to the unfamiliar angle while also involving forearm muscle fibers.

Stand holding either a barbell or pair of dumbbells with palms fully facing down and hands shoulder-width apart using overhand pronated grip.

Initiate reverse curl by flexing only at the elbow joints, pulling weights up toward upper chest until biceps fully contracted. Slowly lower weights back down with control.

Squeeze the long head hard and feel the burn! Do higher rep sets here.

Long Head Exercise Technique Tips

Follow these exercise form pointers when performing long head moves:

  • Emphasize the long head peak contraction by squeezing hard and holding for 1-2 seconds.
  • Use good form and execution with no cheating, swinging, or rocking the upper body.
  • Lower slowly with perfect control - no fast dropping which removes tension.
  • Use challenging weights/resistance that activate the biceps through a full range of motion.
  • Maintain constant tension and keep long head engaged for maximum results!

Long Head Bicep Workout

Incorporate these long head bicep exercises into your next arm workout:
Warm Up: Slow Controlled Cable Curls

3 sets of 10-12 reps

Work Sets:

  • Incline Dumbbell Curls 4x10
  • Close Grip EZ Bar Curls 3x12
  • Single-Arm High Cable Curls 4x12
  • Standing Cable Curl Drop Set 2x failure

The workout hits the long head hard for complete biceps training and phenomenal peaks!

Male Athlete Doing Arm Workout With Barbell In Gym Male Athlete Doing Arm Workout With Barbell ripl fitness


  • The long head of the biceps needs to be thoroughly targeted for maximum biceps activation and huge peaks.
  • Use these proven long head bicep exercises in your workouts to isolate this key section for tremendous arm development!
  • Focus on good form, constant tension, peak squeezes, and full range of motion.

Incorporate these tips and arm your way to greater long head training and spectacular sculpted bicep peaks you’ll turn heads with!

FAQ: Bicep and Long Head Bicep Exercises

What is a bicep exercise?

A bicep exercise is any workout specifically designed to target the bicep muscle, which includes the long and short head of the biceps. Exercises like bicep curls and compound exercises are common methods to develop bicep strength and muscle mass.

How do long head bicep exercises differ from other bicep workouts?

Long head bicep exercises focus specifically on the long head of the biceps, which is crucial for bicep peak development. These exercises often involve techniques to isolate the long head, such as maintaining the elbow in a specific position during the exercise.

What are the best exercises to target the long head of the biceps?

To effectively target the long head of the biceps, exercises like incline dumbbell curls, preacher curls, and specific variations of bicep curls are recommended. These exercises focus on the long head and are essential for achieving huge bicep peaks.

Can you give examples of biceps exercises?

Biceps exercises include various forms of bicep curls, such as the standard curl, hammer curl, and concentration curl. These exercises work both the long and short head of the biceps, contributing to overall bicep development.

What's unique about long head biceps exercises?

Long head biceps exercises specifically target the long head of the bicep muscle. These exercises are designed to enhance the bicep peak and often involve keeping the elbow in a fixed position to maximize the activation of the long head.

Why is it important to target the long head of the bicep?

Targeting the long head of the bicep is crucial for achieving a well-defined and peaky bicep shape. Exercises focusing on the long head contribute significantly to the aesthetic appearance of the biceps.

What exercises are considered the best for the long head of the bicep?

The best exercises for the long head of the bicep include variations of bicep curls that emphasize the long head, such as incline curls and concentration curls. These exercises are effective for isolating and activating the long head.

Are there specific head biceps exercises for muscle growth?

Yes, there are specific head biceps exercises that focus on muscle growth, like isolation and compound exercises. These exercises target both the long and short head of the biceps, contributing to overall muscle mass and strength.

What is the role of the biceps brachii in bicep exercises?

The biceps brachii is the primary muscle involved in bicep exercises. It consists of the long and short head, both of which are activated during various bicep exercises, contributing to the overall development and strength of the biceps.

How can I achieve a prominent bicep peak?

To achieve a prominent bicep peak, focus on exercises that emphasize the long head of the biceps, as this part of the muscle contributes significantly to the peak. Incline curls and concentration curls are particularly effective for this purpose.

What techniques are important for an effective bicep curl?

For an effective bicep curl, maintaining proper form is crucial. This includes keeping your elbow stationary, focusing on the contraction of the bicep muscle, and controlling the weight throughout the movement for the best results.

What are the best long head bicep exercises for muscle definition?

The best long head bicep exercises for muscle definition include incline curls, hammer curls, and concentration curls. These exercises isolate the long head, leading to improved definition and peak.

How can I isolate the long head in bicep workouts?

To isolate the long head in bicep workouts, focus on exercises that maintain the elbow in a position that maximizes tension on the long head. Incline curls and specific variations of the bicep curl are effective for this purpose.

What's the difference between biceps peak and overall muscle growth?

Biceps peak refers to the prominent point on the upper arm, mainly developed by targeting the long head of the biceps. Overall muscle growth involves increasing the size and strength of both the long and short head of the biceps.

How do compound exercises benefit the biceps?

Compound exercises benefit the biceps by working multiple muscle groups at once, including the biceps. This leads to more efficient workouts and can contribute to overall muscle growth and strength.

Why should I focus on the long head of biceps in my training?

Focusing on the long head of the biceps is key for achieving a more defined bicep peak and overall balanced muscle development. It's crucial for aesthetic purposes and functional strength.

What exercises can help me achieve huge bicep peaks?

Exercises that help achieve huge bicep peaks include those that specifically target the long

Bicep curl Muscular man doing bicep curl with dumbbell bicep curl ripl fitness

My Experience With Long Head Biceps Exercises

Incorporating moves that target the long head of the biceps has tremendously improved my arm development and strength. Here's my take on a few excellent long head exercises.

Isolation Exercises

Isolation exercises like spider curls and cable curls that really focus on the long head have sculpted my outer biceps peak nicely. I always include one isolation move at the end of arm day now. The strict form and emphasis on squeezing the long head has given me great detail.

Head Bicep Exercises For Huge Peaks

Exercises like close grip supinated curls and incline dumbbell curls that hit the long head hard have really built impressive peak height on my biceps over time. By hitting the long head from different angles, I fatigue all the muscle fibers for new growth. My arms look fuller and more 3D since focusing on the long head with challenging lifts.

Effective Long Head Training

I’ve found Zottman curls to be highly effective for blasting the long head. The unique hand rotation keeps constant tension right on the outer biceps. Combined with cable rope curls using peak contractions, my long head gets an amazing workout. I always feel an intense pump after properly targeting the long head directly.

Best Biceps Exercises

Some of the best exercises I’ve tried for complete biceps development are close grip weighted chin ups to failure, barbell spider curls, one arm preacher hammer curls, and the cross body dumbbell curl. Each hits the long head from a slightly different angle for maximum overall stimulation. I owe my current arm size PRs to these killer long head moves!

Target The Long Head

I occasionally do a whole workout targeting just the long head with moves like the incline dumbbell curl and fat grip Zottman curl for high reps. Really honing in on the long head with both isolation and compound lifts has given me biceps I never thought possible. My arms have better shape and peaks!


Properly isolating and developing the long head of my biceps has done wonders for building impressive 3D arm peaks. Give these challenging yet effective exercises a try and watch your biceps transform before your eyes!

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Scientific Evidence Supporting These Biceps Exercises

Differences in Electromyographic Activity of Biceps Brachii and Brachioradialis While Performing Three Variants of Curl: This study investigates electromyographic activity in different curl exercises, providing insights into their effectiveness for muscle activation.

ACE Study Reveals Best Biceps Exercises: Conducted by the American Council on Exercise, this study aimed to find the most effective exercises for activating the biceps brachii, including implications for targeting the long head.

Effect of the Shoulder Position on the Biceps Brachii EMG in Different Curl Exercises: This study examines how shoulder positioning affects biceps brachii muscle activation during curl exercises, relevant for targeting the long head.

Effects of Range of Motion on Muscle Development During Resistance Training Exercises: This research reviews the effects of range of motion in exercise on muscle development, with attention to the biceps brachii.

For More Training Advice + Diet and Lifestyle visit us RIPL Fitness

PS: Make sure you check out the rest of our Bicep Training Guides:

12 Best Bicep Tendonitis Exercises | Biceps Tendon Treatment

The 10 Best Kettlebell Bicep Exercises for Bigger, Stronger Arms

The 14 Best Resistance Band Bicep Exercises

The 14 Best Short Head Biceps Exercises

The 20 Best Bicep Exercises

Get Stronger Biceps with a Bicep Curl Machine