Let’s start with an exercise that you may have never done before – the Bayesian curl.
This exercise was originally popularized by Menno Henselmans. We can tweak it to specifically put more tension on the long head and develop nicer peaks.
First, lower a pulley all the way to the bottom of a cable cross machine.
Grab a cable in your hand with your palm facing up. Take a few steps forward, so that your arm is pulled behind your body.
This takes the slack out of the long head, which adds tension to that portion.
From that starting position, curl the cable up toward your chest while doing your best to keep your elbow locked in one place behind your body.
This will prevent your hands from coming up any higher than around your lower chest, which is what we want.
While still keeping your elbow back, slowly lower the cables back down to the starting position.
Repeat for reps making sure to hit each side for each set.
The major difference between regular barbell curls and drag curls is that your elbows end up further behind the body.
As mentioned, when we do that we increase the stretch and tension placed on the long head of the bicep.
To perform this correctly, you’ll grab a loaded bar. I recommend taking a closer grip to target the long head better.
From that starting position, curl the bar up while gliding the bar along your body the whole time.
Imagine that you’re dragging the bar up across your body. Your elbows will naturally stay back in the right place.
Once you curl the bar up as high as you can (about chest level), slowly lower it back down and repeat for reps.
You’ll most likely need to use a much lighter weight than what you would normally lift for regular bicep curls.
That’s perfectly normal for these first two exercises.
#3 Incline dumbbell bicep curl
This is another exercise that positions the elbows behind the body and can be done with just a pair of dumbbells.
Set the bench at an incline of about 45-60 degrees. Then lay back with the dumbbells in your hands at your sides.
With this starting position alone, your arms will be slightly behind your body. That’ll put the same stretch on the long head.
From that starting position, curl one dumbbell up towards your shoulder, while keeping your elbow close to your body.
Turn your hand over on your way up so that your pinky is pointing up like we talked about.
Slowly lower back down as you switch to the other side and alternate back and forth for reps.
Make sure as you’re doing this exercise that you’re not using your shoulders by driving your elbows forward at the end of the movement to rest.
Instead, keep your elbows and upper arms back in the starting position the whole time. This will ensure that the long head stays stretched.
If you’d like, do this exercise by curling both arms at the same time rather than alternating on each rep.
#4 Lying cable bicep curl
Going back to cables, this is another effective peak builder that you may not know about.
It’s one of the few bicep exercises that make it almost impossible to use momentum, which is an immediate plus.
To begin, position the pulley at the top of a cable cross. Attach a bar to the pulley and place a flat or declined bench under it.
Grab the bar with a close underhanded grip and lay back against the bench with your arms extended straight up.
Curl the bar towards your forehead. And right here you’ll notice another big benefit of this exercise.
There’s no way to rest at the top of the contraction. No matter how close you bring the bar, the tension stays on your biceps.
As you curl, remember to keep your elbows and upper arms locked in position. Only your forearms and hands must move.
Once the bar is almost at your forehead, extend your arms back to the starting position and repeat for reps.
#5 Alternating crossbody dumbbell curls (brachialis)
Aside from the long head, another muscle that contributes to the appearance of your bicep peak is the brachialis.
It sits behind that long head and can actually help push your bicep peak higher as it develops.
That’s why we’re going to throw in alternating crossbody dumbbell curls for that brachialis.
First, grab two dumbbells and hold them in a neutral position at your sides.
Lean slightly forward to help take your shoulder out of the movement and put more constant tension on the brachialis.
Curl the dumbbell up and across your body aiming to bring the dumbbell up to your opposite pec.
Slowly lower the dumbbell back down and repeat the same thing on the other side.
Go back and forth for reps.
This is one of the best compound exercises for your bicep peaks.
Chin-ups are a little different than pull-ups because your hands will be supinated. So your palms will be facing towards you rather than away from you.
Also, your hands will typically be closer together during chin-ups than with pullups. That’s especially true with this narrow variation.
Grab the pullup bar with your hands closer than shoulder-width apart.
Hang straight down, before pulling yourself all the way up until your chin clears the top of the pullup bar.
Slowly lower yourself down and repeat for reps. Pretty simple, but not easy.
Keep in mind, if you can’t do a pull-up at all right now, you can still develop your biceps with an assisted pullup machine. You can also use resistance bands.
As you progress, you can reduce the amount of assistance until you’re ready to do chin-ups on your own.
We can make concentration curls target the long head more by focusing on turning your hand over as you curl up.
Start by sitting on a flat bench with your legs wide and a dumbbell on the ground in between your feet.
Pick up the dumbbell and pin the area right above your elbow against your inner thigh.
Put your other hand on your other knee for support and this will be your starting position with your arm hanging straight down and your palm facing up.
From there, curl straight up leading with your pinky until the dumbbell is almost touching your chest.
Lower back down keeping the hand in that same supinated position, all the way through.
Then repeat for reps.
#8 Close-grip barbell curl
This is one of the best barbell exercises for adding mass to your bicep peaks.
Generally, a closer grip will internally rotate your arms which helps target the outer head better than a wide grip.
Grab a loaded barbell, with your hands positioned narrower than your shoulders.
From there, curl the barbell up towards your collar bones, keeping your elbows close to your ribs the whole time.
That means no swinging your elbows or hips forward, and no flaring your elbows outward.
When you get close to the peak of the contraction, don’t bring the bar under your chin and rest.
Instead, stop before that point, where you lose the tension, and lower right back down for your next rep.
This is one of my all-time favorites. This exercise will actually have your elbows in front of your body rather than behind.
But by taking a closer grip and internally rotating the arms we can still effectively hit the long head.
Preacher curls are also very good at developing your biceps in general. That’s because they almost prevent you from using momentum and not cheat, putting all the tension on your biceps.
Stand over the preacher curl and grab your loaded EZ bar with a close grip and your palms facing up.
Make sure you slide your elbows down the pad so that your armpits are basically against the angled edge at the top of the pad.
Curl the EZ bar as if you’re aiming to bring it to your collar bones. But once again stop a few inches in front to maintain that tension.
Then lower all the way back down. Just make sure that you don’t hyperextend your elbows at the bottom.
So even after you lower the bar down, keep tension in your biceps and a slight bend in your elbows before curling back up.
#10 Alternating dumbbell curls
The key to targeting the long head with this one is once again to really focus on supination. Essentially, turn that pinky up as you perform your reps.
Begin with two dumbbells in your hands at your sides in a neutral position.
Keep the elbows tight to your rib cage and curl one dumbbell up towards your shoulder. As you do this turn that hand from a neutral position to a supinated position.
Make sure your elbow doesn’t flare forward at the top of the movement. This would give you an opportunity to rest between every rep.
Just like before, stop a few inches in front of your shoulder. Then lower back down while turning your hand back to that neutral starting position.
Then repeat the same exact thing on the other side and alternate back and forth for reps.
So those are 10 of the best exercises that you can use to help build taller bicep peaks.
Now, don’t just go ahead and put all 10 into one arm workout. Your biceps are relatively small muscles, so they don’t need a crazy amount of sets and reps to stimulate growth.
Simply taking half of the exercises from this article and performing 3 sets of 8-10 reps for each will be more than enough for an amazing long head bicep workout.
The other half you can do on your second arm day of the week. Alternatively, you can save them for when you change up your routine.
I really hope you’ve gotten an exercise or two out of this that you can use to further develop your biceps.
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