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20 Long Head Bicep Exercises for Huge Gains

By Thomas Wooten


Updated on

Do you want people to stare at your arms every time you go out? Do you want to impress everyone around you the moment you actually walk out regardless of the shirt you’re wearing?

Do you want people to look at you and instantly know that they want to be you? In that case, you will definitely want to work out those biceps so you can really show off the next time you meet up with your friends.

In order to do this, we’ve compiled a list of 20 of the best long head bicep exercises you could ever do in the gym or at home.

Some of these require proper workout equipment, others require barbells, but for the most part, as long as you have a pair of decently heavy dumbbells you can still get the pump you want with them.

But before we actually get into our top 20, we should first give you an idea of why we chose to target the long head bicep in the first place.

Why You Need to Train the Long Head Bicep?

Training the Long Head Bicep
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio / pexels.com

The “bi” that you can instantly spot in the term “biceps” is meant to indicate that there are two muscle heads that are working together on the front of your arm. You have the short inner head and the long outer head part.

Besides these two you also have the brachialis, and while this muscle may not be a part of the bicep itself, it does pretty much do the same thing that the long head does.

By working out your short head you essentially add to the thickness of your arm, but by working out your long head you get to work on that bicep’s height aka its peak.

If you want your bicep to look bigger and show off more when you flex you will want to work out your long head but if you want your arm to look more defined you will want to work out that inner bicep more.

While this may be true though we highly recommend you do both during your session so that you don’t miss out on any gains.

Long Head Bicep workout
Photo by Anastase Maragos / unsplsh.com

A quick tip we have in store for you here is for you to do more than just adding more reps or using heavier weight to add to your workout and progressively overload your muscles.

Instead, change the exercises you’re doing, change the rep range, add more volume and make sure that you keep the time under tension as much as possible. This will all result in you building bigger biceps without actually risking injuries by simply adding more weight instead.

While you can’t completely isolate the long head, you can do exercises that specifically target it, such as the great majority of the exercises we have for you down here.

Both of them will be activated regardless, just keep in mind that you will want to work on your mind muscle connection in order to properly isolate one of them during your workouts.

With all of that being said though, let’s just hop right into our first exercise of the day, aka:

20. Resistance Band Hammer Curls

This is a great exercise for beginners that can be done anywhere and at any time. Just make sure to slide the foam handles off to one side and then start hammering away.

This exercise will also work out your forearms also, so you will be getting a proper pump as you get ready to go out.

19. EZ Bar Reverse Preacher Curls

This exercise may seem a bit awkward to look at from afar, but trust us when we tell you that it will really be worth it at the end of the day because the curved bar makes the exercise feel a lot more natural, and it allows you to use a lot more weight at all times.

This also puts a lot less stress on your wrists which is definitely a plus considering how easily you can get yourself hurt doing this exercise with improper form. Just remember to keep your thumbs up, a bit higher than your pinky fingers, and you’ll instantly feel it.

18. Dumbbell Reverse Curls

We really love dumbbell reverse curls simply because they give you a different pump from what you’re used to most of the time. The traditional bicep curl is definitely more useful for the bicep’s peak, but if you want to change things up, you can’t go wrong with reverse curls.

Just keep in mind that you will need to keep your palms face down all throughout the exercise, otherwise you won’t be doing this properly because you will be involving your inner bicep a lot more.

17. Drag Curls

Regardless of whether you’re doing these with dumbbells or if you prefer a barbell instead, drag curls will forever hold a special place in our hearts simply because they almost completely prevent your front delts from taking the load off of your biceps.

16. Cable Reverse Curls

As opposed to using a straight bar or an EZ bar, using a cable for your reverse curls is a lot better because you are constantly keeping your biceps under tension.

With ordinary weights you would find yourself getting to static holds every now and then which can in turn lead to you losing out on that time under tension. Eliminate this almost completely by using cables instead.

15. Seated Incline Hammer Curls

We absolutely love sitting down on an inclined bench and doing hammer curls because it reduces all of the momentum you may be using to get the weight up and it prevents you from ego lifting the whole time.

Fun fact about this exercise, a lot more people prefer to do them standing up because they like to use the momentum and because they don’t like that it makes them feel weaker because they can’t lift as much as they would standing up.

14. Bayesian Curls

Bayesian curls are actually very similar to incline dumbbell curls, except for the fact that it further emphasizes your arms by curling with your elbows completely behind you.

Again, by using cables instead of weights though you are constantly putting yourself under tension, so you will be feeling the full force of every one of those lifts as you continue to push through without a care in the world.

13. Kettlebell Reverse Curls

The reason as to why we really recommend that you try to implement as many kettle exercises in your workout as possible is because honestly, they feel a lot more difficult to hold onto which makes you concentrate a lot more on the muscle that you’re using to stabilize yourself.

As such, you can get a bigger and better pump from this exercise than you would with a dumbbell, just keep in mind that you do need to be properly strong to actually lift as much as you would with the dumbbells.

12. Close Grip Barbell Curls

This is one of those exercises that you either love all the way or you can’t stand because of how awkward it is to do. For us, we’ve gradually learned to love it because it offers us such a good pump.

Many people do find this exercise to be a bit lacking though and we do agree that it is not the best, but if done properly you can really increase your bicep peak very quickly because of how much tension you put on the muscle.

Just keep in mind that you can’t go all the way down and force out another rep because that is how you will end up with a torn bicep.

11. Resistance Band Reverse Curl

In order to properly perform this exercise, you will need to grab the band or the handles, depending on what kind of resistance bands you have, and make sure that your palms are facing down as you start curling the weight up and down.

The reason as to why this exercise is so high up for us is honestly the fact that it is just so easy to perform and you can do it even if you did just go through an injury because of how safe it really is.

It may not be the hardest exercise in the world or the most rewarding, but it is the best for injuries and beginners so definitely keep that in mind. 

10. Barbell Reverse Curls

Using a barbell to perform your reverse curls is honestly one of our personal favorite ways of doing this exercise simply because it makes your arms completely burst through your shirt.

You can also use an EZ bar to get this done but honestly if you want to really feel the pain, we recommend that you instead use a normal barbell and you gradually increase the weight to make it harder for yourself while also not breaking your form at all.

9. Neutral Grip Pullups

Pullups are already great back building exercises, but if you want to switch the weight towards your biceps then we highly recommend that you try to use this neutral grip to lift yourself up.

This exercise always hurts to do but it feels amazing afterwards, just keep in mind that you will need to be decently strong to do it without a machine. If you can’t do it then definitely don’t try it too much, stick with normal dumbbell or barbell exercises instead for now.

8. Cable Rope Curls

Using a rope for your curls is honesty brilliant because you can still work out your arms while also pretty much isolating your biceps almost to a tee.

You can also keep your hands in a neutral position while lifting which is always great because it helps isolate your long head even further.

So, while this may seem like a similar exercise to hammer curls or cross-body curls, just keep in mind that there’s a reason as to why they are so much higher on the list.

7. Incline Dumbbell Curls

If you want to really feel your long head bicep then you will need to try out the incline bench curls. This exercise will really help you out a ton by always keeping your long head in a stretched position which will put a lot more pressure on it than you may think.

On top of that, you will also get a higher range of motion which you can never get enough of, and let’s not forget about the fact that this exercise is also way harder than the standard curl which makes it a better option for those that want to elevate their workouts to the next level.

6. Chin-ups

Chin-ups are amazing because you can do them normally or you can just add weight to yourself to make it harder to pull yourself up.

Simply changing your grip will completely isolate your bicep and specifically target your long head. The best part about it is that you can also hit your short head with this, so no matter what you do, you will still get the pump of your dreams doing this exercise.

Just keep in mind that not everyone can do this exercise, so even though it is easier to do than standard pull ups, it is still not the best option for beginners out there.

5. Alternating Dumbbell Curls

This may be one of the best exercises that should never be missing from your workout regardless of whether you are a beginner or if you’ve been working out for many years now.

The fact of the matter is that you can use super light weight and still get the pump that you want from using them in the first place. All that you need to keep in mind is that you should always go for around eight to twelve reps on each side, since any more than that will pretty much just be cardio for you.

4. Concentration Curls

This exercise is actually a lot better than you may think, it is in fact one of those classic exercises that everyone starts doing when they first pick up a weight but very few of them continue to do it after they get to become stronger and all that.

This is quite sad to see as the concentration curl is still one of our personal favorites and it will still get the job done while also activating your short head and the biceps brachii which is really good news since you’ll be working out everything at once doing a single exercise. 

3. Zottman Curls

Zottman curls are absolutely worth adding to your workout plan simply because they are amazing when it comes to making your reps harder, while also not having to increase the weight all that much to begin with.

It is another one of those exercises that works out everything at once, so you can pretty much get a full arm workout while doing this simple curl as you have many times over in the past.

Just make sure to keep your reps slow and controlled, if you just swing the weight around you will have quite a hard time because you will not be getting the time under tension that you need to grow your arms in the first place.

2. Standing Dumbbell Hammer Curls

Standing hammer curls are an absolute treat to say the least. They are great because they work out your entire bicep, all three of the major muscles to be precise, while also pretty much adding a lot of mass to your forearms as you swing your arms up and down.

Just make sure that you don’t swing too hard until that final rep. You are allowed to cheat a bit near the end to get the weight up, just make sure that you keep that to a minimum until you can’t do a single rep without a little bit of swing in your motion.

1. Preacher Curls

Preacher curls take the number one spot on our list today, not because they are the absolute best for everyone, that is largely dependent on the person’s preferences of course, but because they are just our personal favorite when it comes to the pump that they give us.

We love preacher curls because they are also very safe to do and you can steadily make your exercises way harder by just adding weight and keeping the time under tension as much as possible. Just don’t ego lift because if you do, you will quickly tear your bicep in no time.


Long Head Bicep Exercises
Photo By Oleksandr / stock.adobe.com

Each and every single exercise we listed off here is going to do the job that you want it to do. If you want to completely isolate your long head though, keep in mind that you won’t be able to do it unless you have the mind-muscle connection built in you already.

Even so though, you are sure to hit the right muscles by doing these once per week or so. So, for now, thank you for reading and good luck getting that summer body!

About Thomas Wooten

Thomas is a certified fitness coach hailing from the bustling streets of New York City. With a degree in exercise science and nutrition and a background in competitive bodybuilding, he brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to our site. Please read our Disclaimer.