What works the short bicep?


To achieve well-rounded bicep development, it’s essential to focus on both the short and long heads of the muscle. In this guide, we’ll explore exercises and techniques that specifically target the short head for optimal bicep growth.

Understanding the Bicep Anatomy

The biceps brachii is a complex muscle with two heads: the short head and the long head. While both heads work together in most bicep exercises, certain movements can emphasize one head over the other.

Exercises for the Short Head

Here are some highly effective exercises and techniques that predominantly target the short head of the biceps:

1. Barbell Curl (Narrow Grip)

  • Description: Hold a barbell with a grip slightly narrower than shoulder-width. Curl the barbell upward, keeping your elbows close to your torso.
  • Benefits: The narrow grip places more emphasis on the short head of the biceps, leading to targeted growth.

2. Preacher Curl

  • Description: Sit at a preacher bench with your upper arms resting on the pad. Hold a barbell or dumbbells with an underhand grip and curl.
  • Benefits: This exercise isolates the biceps, with a focus on the short head. It also helps to prevent cheating motions.

3. Incline Dumbbell Curl

  • Description: Lie face-first on an incline bench, allowing your arms to hang straight down. Curl the dumbbells upwards.
  • Benefits: The incline position stretches the long head while placing more tension on the short head for targeted growth.
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4. Concentration Curl

  • Description: Sit on a bench with your legs spread. Hold a dumbbell with one hand, placing your elbow on the inside of your thigh. Curl the dumbbell.
  • Benefits: This isolation exercise allows for maximum short head engagement and helps in achieving peak contractions.

5. Cable Curls (Low Pulley)

  • Description: Attach a straight bar to the low pulley of a cable machine. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and curl the bar upwards.
  • Benefits: Using a low pulley position provides continuous tension, effectively targeting the short head throughout the movement.

Incorporating Proper Form

Regardless of the exercise, maintaining proper form is crucial for maximizing the effectiveness of short head targeting. Keep these tips in mind:

  • Keep elbows close to the torso.
  • Focus on controlled, deliberate movements.
  • Use a full range of motion for each repetition.

Conclusion: A Balanced Approach

Incorporating exercises that specifically target the short head of the biceps is key to achieving well-rounded bicep development. Remember to use proper form, gradually increase resistance, and maintain consistency for effective and safe workouts.

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