The biceps, anatomically known as the biceps brachii, consist of the long head, or inner bicep, and the short head, or outer bicep. While certain exercises work both heads of the biceps, your biceps workout should include a variety of exercises to ensure both heads are sufficiently targeted to stimulate maximum growth and development.
Standing barbell curls are considered the basic biceps exercise. A wide grip targets the long head or inner bicep. Switch to a narrow grip to hit the short head or outer head of the bicep. Stand with your feet about shoulder-width apart and grasp a barbell with an underarm grip and your arms fully extended. Curl the bar up and squeeze your biceps at the top of the movement. Use a shoulder-width grip to simultaneously target the inner and outer heads of the biceps.
Seated alternate dumbbell curls emphasize the long head more than the short head of the biceps. They also enable you to work each arm independently. Your stronger arm is unable to assist your weaker arm in the movement. Set an incline bench between 30 and 45 degrees. Sit and grasp a dumbbell in each fully extended arm with your palms facing inwards. Start with your weaker arm and curl the dumbbell upward. Gradually twist your wrist on the way up so your palm ends up facing your shoulder at the top of the movement. This twist or supination enables you to fully contract your bicep at the top of the movement. Lower your arm to its starting position, and repeat the movement with your other arm.
Hammer curls target the brachialis. The brachialis is located on the side of your upper arm, between your triceps and biceps. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and grasp a dumbbell in each arm with your palms facing inward. Keep your palms facing inward and curl both dumbbells up to shoulder level. Keep your elbows tucked close to your sides.
This exercise targets the outer bicep. Grasp an EZ curl bar, and set yourself on a preacher curl bench. Ensure you are comfortable, with the back of your upper arms pressed firmly against the bench. Start with your arms fully extended and curl the bar up while keeping your upper arm pressed against the bench.