Understanding Biceps Anatomy
If you want to build muscle mass on a specific muscle and build a biceps peak, you need to understand the role and the structure of the muscle first.
The Biceps is composed of three main muscles that make the front of the upper arm : the brachioradialis, the brachialis and the biceps brachii. The size of your biceps is somewhat determined by your genetics, but it is possible to grow your biceps peak at it's maximum potential with the following tips and exercises.
The brachialis is located under the biceps and basically makes your arm thicker. Its main role is to help the biceps brachii to flex the elbow. The brachioradialis is located at the end of the forearm, near the biceps, and its main role is to flex the elbow and the forearm.
The biceps brachii is the part of the biceps that people want to show. The biceps brachii is composed of two heads: the short and the long head. You can think of them as two separated long parts of the muscle. The long head is located on the side of the arm, close to the triceps, and the short one is located on the side near your pectoral muscles. As you can see in this diagram, the two heads join to form one big muscle.
The Biceps Peak and The Long Head
You'll need to target the long head of the biceps brachii to build your biceps peak. Even if you’re not interested in building a biceps peak, training the long head can have several good benefits for your body.
First, the long head of the biceps helps the stability of your shoulder. Your shoulder is a highly flexible joint in your body held together by the surrounding muscles, including the biceps brachii.
It is a good idea to train this part of the muscle as it is known to be the first cause of biceps injury when training for bodybuilding. An injury to this part of the muscle can lead to shoulder stability problems, discomfort and inability to execute press exercises like the military presses or the bench presses.
The long head is the part that makes the arm look muscular and that forms the mighty biceps peak.
First, let’s talk about wrist problems. If the wrist was not a sensible joint of the body, the straight barbell biceps curl would be the best exercise to target your long head.
This exercise would be perfect to place a lot of stress on the muscle because the hands are in a supinated position through all the execution and that the exercise allow to take a lot of weight. However, the wrists take a lot of stress at the top of the movement (when the bar is near your pecs) and doing this exercise with heavy load can ultimately lead to wrist injuries.
Double Dumbell Preacher Curl
To execute this exercise, take a dumbell in each hand and place yourself on a preacher curl bench like you would do with a barbell.
Begin the exercise with the dumbells side by side and begin your curl as you would do with a barbell. A straight barbell can also be used to target the long head. T
he barbell preacher curl is similar to the barbell biceps curl, but there is less pressure on the wrist, so it should not cause injury.
Supinated Dumbell Curl
This type of curl can be executed while standing or seated. You can do this exercise in a number of different ways like one arm at a time, alternate one rep on each arm or work both arms at the same time.
For guys who want to get big biceps, both arms can be worked at the same time to save time and build muscle faster. To target your long-head and build your biceps peak, it is important that you keep your palm up (supinated position) during all the motion.
You don’t want to do a Hammer Curl here. Remember to keep your elbows stable and to keep your wrist and hands in a line so you don’t get injured. If you move your elbow forward during the exercise, you’re using too much weight.
Supinated Cross Body Dumbell Curl
This exercise is very much like the supinated dumbell curl. You basically curl the dumbell across your body.
For maximum results, try squeezing your muscle at the top of your motion so the inside of the dumbell touches your opposite deltoid muscle. It can be a bit tricky to understand and to execute, but this exercise will really help you to build your biceps peak.
Narrow Grip Variations
A narrower grip on biceps exercises put more stress on the long head of the biceps, while a wider grip will do the opposite and put more stress on the short head of your biceps. That's why a narrower grip on these exercises will help get faster results. The narrow grip is generally harder for most lifters but it is great to target the long head part of the biceps.
Try to integrate these exercises in your weekly program and you’ll be on your way to building a great biceps peak.