Written by Andy Chasse’ in Exercise
Viewed by 22 readers since 08-28-2009
The biceps, as we all know, is one of the first things noticed amongst gym goers. Nearly every male in the gym judges his fellow member by the size of his arms. This practice has become quite normal over the years. What exactly makes up the arm, though?
The arm consists of several muscle groups. These muscle groups include the biceps, triceps, and forearms. The biceps group consists of the biceps brachii, which is made up of a long head and a short head, and the brachialis. The triceps are made up of of three distinct heads – long, lateral, and medial. A number of small extensors and flexors make up the forearms, as well as the brachioradialis. The biceps runs along the upper front of the arm, the triceps runs along the upper back of the arm, and the forearms make up the lower arm.Each of these muscle groups contributes to overall arm size and shape.
Because all three of these groups are complex enough to fill pages and pages with information, we’re only going to focus on one of them – the biceps. Working different parts of the biceps isn’t particularly difficult, but many beginners are unaware of how isolation works. Even slightly different exercises may have entirely different target muscles. Let’s take a quick look at how to work the different parts of the biceps.
- Biceps brachii – the long head. The particular head of the biceps brachii is most often activated during exercises that require flexion of the elbow. This encompasses a wide variety of movements including all types of curls and rows. Because elbow flexion is such a common movement, it isn’t very difficult to find a few suitable exercises. When it comes to working this part of the biceps, stick to curl variations such as the standing barbell curl and standing dumbbell curl. Certain vertical rowing variations are a great help too. A few of these include bodyweight chin-ups, weighted chin-ups, bodyweight pull-ups, and weighted pull-ups.
- Biceps brachii – the short head. The short head is most often activated rotation occurs at the forearm. As with the long head, this motion often occurs during curling movements. However, there are certain types of curls that have a greater amount of forearm rotation than others. These include hammer curls, concentration curls, and preacher curls. Alternate between these for optimum results.
- Brachialis. As with the other muscles of the biceps, the brachialis is responsible for elbow flexion. Various types of curls and rows are bested suited to development of this particular part of the biceps. To really hit the brachialis, switch your curling grip to a hammer grip. This simply means that rather than your palms facing towards the ceiling, they will be facing each other. You may perform hammer curls in a number of variations, although there are a couple that stand above the rest. Try to alternate primarily between dumbbell and cable.
The above exercises are a just a few of the many movements available to you when it comes to working different parts of the biceps. Read up, hit the gym, and experiment to see what works best for you.