The 5 Best Bicep Long Head Dumbbell Exercises

For those of you who are looking to maximize your biceps growth with dumbbell workouts, this article is for you. I’ve shared some of the best bicep long head dumbbell exercises to help you grow your biceps strength and size.

Everyone wants to have beefy and rounded biceps, but not everyone achieves it, and there can be numerous reasons for this, such as genetics, diet, and the selection of exercises.

You can’t do much about your genes, but you can grow your biceps by doing the right exercises and feeding the optimum nutrition to your muscles.

The biceps have two heads, long and short, and you’ll need to work on each to build solid and rounded biceps.

You can train these muscles with numerous exercises using multiple types of equipment, such as barbells, dumbbells, kettlebells, machines, and resistance bands. However, this guide is for dumbbell lovers who work at home and gym.

Bicep Long Head Dumbbell Exercises to Grow Your Arms

Biceps Anatomy

Working the long head of the biceps is important for overall growth and development. It is the major portion of your biceps and is responsible for bigger biceps.

Being the largest muscle of the biceps, the long head is easy to target. Here are some of the best bicep long head dumbbell exercises you can incorporate into your workout routine to grow your upper arms.

  1. Dumbbell Drag Curl
  2. Alternate Rotational Biceps Curl
  3. Incline Dumbbell Curl
  4. Concentration Curl
  5. Incline Prone Dumbbell Curl

Let’s see how to do these exercises step-by-step.

1. Dumbbell Drag Curl

Equipment NeededLevelExercise Type
Dumbbells OnlyBeginnerPull

The drag curl is one of the unique biceps exercises, different from the other curls. It isolates the bicep’s long head and brachialis and helps sculpt your arms. It keeps your biceps under constant tension and helps build better bicep peaks.

However, it is challenging, and you need to perform this exercise with proper form to get the best results.

Here’s how you can do it step-by-step:

  1. Grab one dumbbell in each hand with an underhand grip and stand upright.
  2. Keep your arms straight at your sides with your palms facing forward.
  3. Driving your elbows backward, curl your arm until your biceps are entirely engaged.
  4. Pause for a moment and uncurl your arm. That is your one rep.

Pro Tips:

  • This exercise requires you to drift your elbows back during the curl instead of bringing the weight in front of your shoulders.
  • If you do this exercise, pick light dumbbells and perform each rep in a controlled fashion, focusing on your biceps.

Drawbacks:

The dumbbell drag curl is an excellent exercise for the bicep’s long head, but it also has some disadvantages. For example, it only focuses on your biceps and limits the amount of weight you lift.

2. Alternate Rotational Biceps Curl

long head bicep dumbbell exercises
Equipment NeededLevelExercise Type
Dumbbells OnlyBeginnerPull

The alternate dumbbell curl is an effective exercise for building beefy biceps. It isolates the long head of your biceps and adds definition to your arms.

As a unilateral exercise, it enables you to lift more weight and allows you to work on each arm individually and equally. So if you have one arm stronger than the another, you can use this movement to fix this imbalance.

How to do it:

  1. Grab one dumbbell in each hand with a neutral grip and stand upright.
  2. Hold your arms straight at your sides with your palms facing in.
  3. Rotating your wrist, curl your left arm until your biceps is fully shorted and engaged.
  4. Pause for a second and then reverse the movement. Repeat the same on your opposite side to complete your first rep.

Tips:

  • You can also perform this curl sitting on the bench.
  • Perform a couple of more reps on your weaker side.

3. Incline Dumbbell Curl

dumbbell exercises for long head bicep
Equipment NeededLevelExercise Type
Dumbbells and a adjustable workout benchBeginnerPull

The incline curl is one of the best dumbbell exercises for targeting the long head of the biceps and helping you build up and tone the muscles of the upper arm.

A study has demonstrated the long head remains engaged during the entire range of motion when performing incline dumbbell curls while lying on your back.1Oliveira LF, Matta TT, Alves DS, Garcia MA, Vieira TM. Effect of the shoulder position on the biceps brachii emg in different dumbbell curls. J Sports Sci Med. 2009 Mar 1;8(1):24-9. PMID: 24150552; PMCID: PMC3737788.

Not only the long head, but the incline dumbbell curl target the entire biceps brachii and helps build sturdy upper arms.

How to do it:

  1. Set the bench at a 45 to 60-degree incline.
  2. Grab one dumbbell in each hand with a neutral grip and lie supine on the bench.
  3. Hold your arms straight down with a slight bend in your elbows. This is your starting position.
  4. Curl your arms until the weight is in front of your anterior delt.
  5. Pause for a second, and then extend your elbows. That is your first rep.

Common Tips:

  • You can perform incline curl unilaterally and bilaterally, whichever suits you best. The unilateral curl helps you lift more weight and allows you to focus on each arm effectively.

4. Concentration Curl

Dumbbell Concentration Curl
Equipment NeededLevelExercise Type
Dumbbells and a benchBeginnerPull

If you want to focus your biceps long head, consider doing concentration curls. It helps put your biceps under constant tension and allows you to concentrate only on your biceps.

A study published by the American Council of Exercise (ACE) has shown that the concentration curl provides the highest muscle activation than any other biceps exercise.2ACE Study Reveals Best Biceps Exercises by Scott Young, M.S., John P. Porcari, Ph.D., Clayton Camic, Ph.D., Attila Kovacs, Ph.D., and Carl Foster, Ph.D. So, it can be an excellent addition to long head bicep dumbbell exercises.

How to do it:

  1. Grab a dumbbell in your left hand with an underhand grip.
  2. Sit on a flat bench with your feet flat on the floor.
  3. Slightly lean forward and place the back of your upper arm on your left thigh.
  4. Place your left hand on your left knee for support. This is your starting position.
  5. Bending your elbow, curl your arm until your biceps is fully contracted.
  6. Pause for a moment and lengthen your arm to complete your first rep.

Tips:

  • Focus on your biceps throughout the movement.

5. Incline Prone Dumbbell Curl

Equipment NeededLevelExercise Type
Dumbbells and an adjustable benchBeginnerPull

The prone dumbbell curl is a great exercise that helps hit the long head of the biceps. It also engages your forearm muscles and adds definition to your entire arms.

How to do it:

  1. Set the bench at a 45 to 60-degree incline and lie on it on your stomach, holding one dumbbell in each hand with an underhand grip.
  2. Keep your arms straight down with your elbows slightly bent. That is your starting point.
  3. Curling your arms, bring the dumbbells in front of your shoulder until your biceps are shortened.
  4. Pause for a moment, and then uncurl your arms. That’s one rep.

Tips:

  • Keep your toes grounded.
  • Maintain a neutral spine position throughout the movement.

The Takeaway

If you’re working hard to get your biceps to grow but not seeing the results you expect, you’re probably making a few common mistakes; for example, you may not be doing the right exercises for your long and short heads.

You can train these muscles with numerous exercises using multiple types of equipment, such as barbells, dumbbells, kettlebells, machines, and resistance bands. However, if you exercise with dumbbells, you can do the above long head exercises to sculpt your biceps.

Related Exercises:

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Author
Murshid Akram
I'm a certified personal trainer, fitness blogger, and nature lover. I always learn more about exercise science and human anatomy so that I can provide the best information possible. I share science-based, practical, and logical information that can help you achieve your desired fitness goal.