Biceps: Two Heads Are Better Than One

Biceps: Two Heads Are Better Than OneBy Jim Vaglica

Have you ever seen a guy with biceps that look impressive from the side, with a great peak, but then all the size vanishes when viewed from the front? Conversely, have you seen biceps that, when viewed from the front, appear thick & meaty and hang from the inside of the arm as if they were sliding off, but viewed from the side appear flat with no shape? Apparently one of the bicep heads has developed while its brother has lagged behind.

Truthfully my friends, I intended to write an article that would instruct the trainer on how to focus on one head of the bicep over the other. However, the deeper I dove into my research the more conflicting information I discovered. One piece of information I do know to be fact is that both heads share the same insertion tendon that connects to the radius bone of the forearm. That being said, is it even possible to work one head harder than the other?

Rather than giving out advice, I don’t fully believe to be accurate, I prefer to challenge you to experiment with some of my favorite techniques to see if you can detect if one head is being stressed over its brother.

My focus here is on the good ol’ biceps brachii. The other muscles that make up the elbow flexors are not targeted in this article. The biceps brachii has two heads. The short head runs on the inside of the arm, closest to the chest, and adds to the thickness when viewed from the front. The long head runs along the outside of the arm and forms the peak when flexed. If you’re genetically lucky enough you may have been gifted with an obvious split between the two heads.

How would one target each of the heads? Some trainers claim the more supinated the wrist (higher the little finger) the more the short head would work. Others stated it was about the width of your grip on the bar and a narrow grip would have a greater effect on the long head. Most info pointed to the position of the elbows in relation to the torso, stating that the long head would work harder if the elbows were kept behind your body. I’m not convinced that any of these theories are true but I do use some techniques that I believe are effective and the results should get you two tickets to the gun show.