The biceps consist of two muscles, or heads, which are the short and long heads. The short head is on the inside of the arm closer to the torso. Both heads work together to bend the elbow and turn the forearm so the palm faces up, but the short head also assists in flexing the shoulder. To target the inner head, perform three sets of eight to 12 repetitions of effective biceps-building exercises for both heads and include one shoulder flexion exercise.
Standing barbell curls target the biceps through elbow flexion, which is the curling motion of the exercise. The standing barbell curls is the most basic and effective of biceps curls. To perform barbell curls, stand and hold the barbell with your arms straight toward the floor and use a shoulder-width grip with your palms facing forward. Bend your elbows to raise the barbell toward your chest and then slowly lower the barbell back to the starting position to complete one curl.
The one-arm preacher curl works the biceps through elbow flexion and forearm supination. Supination is turning your forearm so your palm and the inside of your forearm face upward. It also works your arms individually. To perform this exercise, sit at a preacher curl bench and rest your right arm straight against the arm pad, holding a dumbbell with the palm facing upward. Bend your arm to raise the dumbbell toward your right shoulder. Lower the weight back to the starting position. Complete a set with your right arm and then do an equal number of preacher curls with the left arm.
Incline dumbbell curls work your biceps using an incline bench. An incline bench changes the angle of your arms in relation to your torso so there is a greater range of motion during your curling movement. It is ideal to set the bench to 30 degrees because the lower your incline, the harder your biceps work. To begin, sit on the bench and lean back so your back and neck are supported. Hold your arms straight toward the floor with the palms facing forward and a dumbbell in each hand. Curl both arms toward your shoulders and slowly straighten your arms to return to the starting position.
The short head of the bicep assists the deltoids with shoulder flexion. Shoulder flexion is bringing the shoulder forward. To perform shoulder flexion with a barbell, stand in the same starting position as the barbell curls, but turn your palms to face your legs. Bring your arms straight forward to raise the weight to eye level and then lower it slowly back down.
- Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images
This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.