9 Short Head Bicep Exercises for Massive Arms
Try these 9 short head bicep exercises to achieve nicely shaped biceps. Find best routines for your at-home or gym workout.
Table of Contents
- Bicep Anatomy: Short Head vs. Long Head
- 9 Short Head Bicep Exercises for Your Bicep Workout
- Short Head Bicep Workout Tips
- Wrapping Up
Having well-rounded biceps depends on two things: their peak and their width. The latter is specifically what makes your biceps look full and is determined by how developed your bicep’s short head is.
In this article, we will discuss the anatomy and function of the biceps and provide you with some of the best short head bicep exercises to grow well-defined arms.
Bicep Anatomy: Short Head vs. Long Head
The bicep muscle is located in the upper arm and has two heads, known as the short head and the long head. Another biceps muscle is the brachialis, responsible for bicep peaks.
Both long and short heads attach to the shoulder blade. Whilst the long head attaches to the rear of this bone and gives the biceps its thickness, the short head attaches to the frontal part and extends to the inner side of the arm, so it is responsible for the width of the biceps muscle.
Both heads work synergistically to extend the arms and flex the shoulders. However, the short head contracts earlier than the long head and plays a very small role in extending the arm.
Can You Isolate Short Head Bicep?
As both the long head and the short head work together to enable the movement of the biceps, it is not possible to perform short head-only biceps workouts.
Instead, you can incorporate some short head bicep-focused exercises into your current routine, where both heads are working but the short head gets more emphasis.
These exercises have some common features that enable better targeting of the short head and include:
- Wide grip: holding a barbell with a grip wider than shoulder-width targets the short head of the biceps
- Supinated grip: chin-ups or other supinated grip exercises stimulate the contraction of the bicep’s short head 
- Short range of elbow movement: the short head contracts earlier than the long head, so shorter ranges of motion can target it more effectively 
To gain muscles and get desired results, it is essential to have a well-designed exercise plan that allows you to track and monitor your progress. An easy way to do so is using a workout-builder app to create targeted workouts based on your goals.
9 Short Head Bicep Exercises for Your Bicep Workout
Below we outline some of the best short head bicep exercises.
Holding a dumbbell in each hand whilst standing upright with your arms extended in front of you and the palms facing in. Lift the dumbbells to your chest by moving the hands up while bending the elbows to the sides. Keep your elbows higher than your wrists. Extend the arms down to complete one repetition.
Dumbbell Bicep Curl
Stand holding a dumbbell in each hand with your elbows tucked in your waist and palms facing forward. Bend the elbows to lift the dumbbells to your shoulders, keeping your elbows tucked into the waist. Extend the arms down to the starting position to complete the repetition.
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Sit on a bench with your legs placed a bit wider than shoulder-width whilst holding a dumbbell in your left hand. Position your left elbow on the inside part of your left thigh, then bend the elbow to curl the dumbbell up to your shoulder. Extend the arm down to complete one repetition. Repeat on both sides.
Stand upright or sit on a bench with a dumbbell in each hand. Extend the arms down the sides with the palms facing in and the dumbbells at the sides of your body. Bend the elbows to lift the dumbbells to your shoulders, keeping your palms facing in. Extend the arms down to complete one repetition.
Wide Dumbbell Bicep Curl
Stand upright, holding a dumbbell in each hand. Extend your arms down your sides, palms facing out. Bend the elbows to lift the dumbbells to the shoulders, keeping your elbows tucked at the waist. Extend the arms to complete one repetition.
Inner Bicep Curl
Stand upright holding a dumbbell in each hand with the arms extended down the sides and the palms facing in. Bend the elbows to lift the dumbbells. As you get to waist height, rotate the wrists outwards to face the palms up, lifting the dumbbell until you get to your shoulders. Extend the elbows and rotate the wrists back inwards to get back into the starting position as you move the dumbbells down.
Stand upright holding a dumbbell in each hand, whilst keeping the arms down your sides with the palms facing forward. Bend the elbows to lift the dumbbells to your shoulders. Once you reach your shoulders, rotate the wrists inwards until the palms face down, then extend the elbows to lower your arms down.
Rotate the palms forward again to prepare for the next repetition.
Dumbbell Reverse Grip Bicep Curl
Stand upright holding a dumbbell in each hand. Extend the arms down your sides, with the palms facing back. Bend the elbows to lift the dumbbells to your shoulders, keeping the palms facing down. Extend the arms down to complete one repetition.
Grab a pull-up bar with a narrow, supinated grip, palms facing toward you. Bend your elbows and engage your biceps and back muscles to lift yourself until the bar gets to chest height. Slowly extend the arms to lower yourself down and complete one repetition.
Short Head Bicep Workout Tips
You can train the short head of your biceps by incorporating the above exercises in your upper body workouts. However, there are some factors that need to be taken into account in order to provide an appropriate stimulus to the biceps and get the best results.
Here are some tips to help you include short-head focused exercises in your upper body routine.
Training volume is really important to get good muscle-building results. It can be calculated as the load lifted multiplied by the number of reps performed. The higher the volume, the greater the stimulus to the muscle. Ideally, perform 40-70 total repetitions per session of each of the above exercises, a minimum of twice per week. 
To maximize your results and muscle hypertrophy, perform the above exercises in 8-12 rep ranges for 4-5 sets per exercise. 
Rest for 1-3 minutes between sets to maximize intra-workout recovery. 
The weight lifted should be challenging to stimulate muscle growth and achieve an ideal training volume. However, you should be careful not to compromise your posture as you lift your weights.
If your technique starts to deteriorate as you get close to the end of the set and you start utilizing swinging motions to complete a rep, this means the weight selected is too heavy for you. If you can complete more than the prescribed number of reps for an exercise, then the weight is too light.
The weight lifted should be challenging, but one that you can lift, maintaining a good form throughout the entire set.
Having well-shaped biceps depends on many factors, including which head of this muscle is trained. Below you can find the key points about the bicep’s short head and how to train it:
- Despite working together, the short head contracts earlier than the long head, hence why it cannot be isolated, but some exercises do target it more than others.
- Wide and supinated grips, along with narrow ranges of elbow movement, can target the short head of the biceps more intensely.
- To obtain the best results from your short head bicep exercises, perform them in a rep range of 8 to 12 reps for 4-5 sets, a minimum of twice per week.
- Ensure your training load is challenging enough to provide a stimulus to the biceps but not excessively heavy to the point where your posture and form are compromised.