9 Best Short Head Bicep Exercises for Massive Upper Arms

Biceps are one of the famous and main focal muscles for new and seasoned bodybuilders. Curls are the main exercises for targeting the short head of the biceps. Adding variability to this exercise is the best way to build massive biceps, keeping the things exciting and fresh.

The biceps brachii is the most famous muscle in the human body and non-exercisers can also point where their biceps are!

The biceps brachii has two heads; the short head and long head. Both heads originate on the scapulae of the shoulder blade and come together, and insert onto the radius bone of the forearm.

If you want to increase the size of your biceps and make them appear bigger, massive, and bulkier. Then you should focus on targeting the short head bicep.

However, the best way to target your short head bicep is to add variations and perform a full range of motion. So, here are 9 best short head bicep exercises that will help to get desired biceps thickness.

Also Read : 7 Best Long Head Bicep Exercises for Building Huge Peaks

What is the Short Head of the Bicep?

The biceps brachii has two separate heads that form the bicep muscles, that are; the long head and short head. Both heads are responsible for elbow flexion and forearm supination.

The short head bicep is located on the inner arms and responsible for adding width to your flex. The long head muscle is responsible for the peak.

With many muscle groups, complete isolation of the short head is a bit difficult. However, here are some best exercises that target your short head biceps and help develop that upper arms bulge. 

Why Is it Important to Target the Short Head of the Biceps?

If you want to see well-defined, thick biceps that look massive for the front, then you need to make sure your short head is activated during the bicep exercises. There are many people who constantly repeat the same bicep workout that isolates the long head.

Yes, you will get a big peak that looks great for the side. But you release the tension and look at the upper arm from the front, and it looks strangely slim. So, it is very important to target your short head biceps.

9 Best Short Head Bicep Exercises (2024)

You understand the function and importance of the biceps. Now, you can know about the 9 best short head bicep exercises.

01. Wide-Grip Barbell Curls

Barbell curls are classic biceps exercises, and shifting your grip width is the best way to isolate your short head or even long head. The wider grip barbell curls will put the onus on the inner biceps to complete the movement.

This exercise will help you build fuller and bigger biceps, also improve your grip strength and allow you to lift heavier weights.

How to perform:

  • Hold a barbell with your hands placed just outside of shoulder width with an underarm grip.
  • Stand straight, keeping your back straight, chest up and elbows tucked, slowly curling the barbell up until it reaches your chest.
  • Hold the position for a second at the top of the movement, then slowly lower the weight back to the starting position.
  • Do 3 sets of 10 to 14 reps.

02. EZ Bar Preacher Curl

EZ bar is the best gym equipment that makes it easier to target the muscle during the movement. The zig-zagged center allows you to shift their grip and incorporate alterations while maintaining proper form.

This exercise targets the short head biceps rather than shifting onto the shoulders and back.

This exercise gives many benefits to your short head biceps that don’t come with conventional bicep curls. To perform this exercise, all you need is an EZ curl bar and a preacher bench.

How to perform:

  • Start adjusting a preacher bench so that your upper arms rest on the pad comfortably. the top of the preacher bench should rest against your triceps. Don’t rest your armpit on the bench, because it will put pressure on the shoulder, which can lead to an injury.
  • Hold the EZ bar with a supinated grip, with your hands placed about shoulder-width apart.
  • Look straight, keeping your back straight and chest up, and curls the EZ bar towards your chest while keeping your triceps in a fixed position.
  • When your arms are perpendicular to the floor, hold the position for a second and squeeze the muscles, then slowly lower the weight back to the starting position.
  • Do 2 to 4 sets of 10 to 14 reps.

03. Cable Hammer Curls with Rope

This is another bicep exercise that puts more load on the short head bicep. This exercise can improve your short head bicep targeting by swapping out the bar attachment with a rope. It will allow you to add more weight as you exercise to overload your bicep.

How to perform:

  • Start connecting a rope attachment to a low pulley cable machine.
  • Hold the ropes with palms facing you.
  • Stand straight, keeping the torso locked in position and your shoulder back. And make sure your body doesn’t move more during exercise.
  • Curl the ropes up towards your chest (until your forearms touch the biceps).
  • Pause the position at the top of the movement and squeeze the muscle. Slowly, lower the rope to the starting position to complete the rep.
  • Do 3 sets of 10 to 14 reps.

04. Reverse Curls

Reverse curls are a simple and effective exercise to pump your short head bicep and forearm. Reverse curls can be performed with a EZ bar, dumbbell or barbell. The difference with reverse curls is that you will use an overhand grip rather than supinated grip.

Adding this exercise in your bicep workout can help muscle activation to build bigger biceps while engaging the forearms.

How to perform:

  • Grab a barbell or dumbbell with your palms facing down (pronated grip). Your hands should be shoulder-width or even a bit wider.
  • Keep you back straight and elbows tucked, curls the barbell up towards your chest-stop just before you reach your shoulders.
  • Hold the position for a second and squeeze your biceps and then, slowly lower the barbell back to the starting position.
  • Do 3 to 4 sets of 8 to 12 reps.

05. Zottman Curls

The Zottman curls are one of the popular exercises for short head biceps and this exercise is a hybrid movement that combines all the benefits of the reverse curls, dumbbell curls and rotation of a rope hammer curls.

This is the best upper arm exercise; when you perform properly it will help you to build big biceps.

How to perform:

  • Hold two dumbbells using supinated grip.
  • Keep your shoulder back, fully extend your arms and your elbows tucked, curl the dumbbells up towards your chest.
  • Hold the position at the top of the movement and squeeze the bicep.
  • Rotate your arms to a reverse curl position (pronated grip).
  • Keeping your upper arms in a fixed position and your elbows tucked, lower the dumbbells back to the starting position.
  • At the bottom of the movement, rotate your arms into a supinated position.
  • Do 3 to 4 sets of 8 to 12 reps.

06. Hammer Curls

Hammer curls are a classic exercise for advanced bicep development. This exercise is most preferred by lifters who are looking to get huge biceps peaks.

This exercise mainly targets the short head bicep and long head bicep.

How to perform:

  • Stand straight and hold the dumbbells in each hand perpendicular to the ground, similar to a hammer.
  • Keeping your elbows locked in position and relaxing your shoulder, curls the dumbbells up towards your chest and concentrate on pumping up your short head biceps.
  • Hold the position for a second and slowly, lower the weight back to the starting position.
  • Do 2 to 3 sets of 10 to 14 reps.

07. Chin-Ups

Chin-ups are one of the best foundational short head bicep exercises. This exercise is excellent to train your back and also, they will target your inner bicep (short head bicep).

Chin-up is excellent upper body exercise that can target different muscle groups such as back, chest and bicep brachii. When you keep the graip space narrow, it can be great short head bicep exercise.

How to perform:

  • Hold the chin-up bar with a supinated grip, your palms should be facing you. Ensure the bar is high enough so that your feet don’t touch the floor.
  • Allow yourself to hang all the way down with your arms fully extended.
  • Brace your core keeping your shoulder and head straight, and pull yourself up until your chin is above the bar.
  • Hold the position for second at the top of the movement and slowly, lower yourself back to the starting position.
  • Do 2 to 3 sets of 08 to 10 reps.

08. Lying Bicep Cable Curl

Lying bicep cable curls is one of the best exercises for your short head bicep. Laying on the floor and pulling the curl bar ensures full use of your biceps.

When you perform this exercise correctly, it will strengthen your biceps better than other bicep exercises.

How to perform:

  • Start connecting a straight bar to a low pulley cable machine, sit on the ground with your feet planted on either side of the cable machine and your legs are extended.
  • Grab the bar with an underhand grip and lay down on the floor, place your arms shoulder-width apart.
  • Brace your abs and keep your elbows tucked by your side. Curl the bar up towards your chest without moving your elbows.
  • Hold the position for a second and slowly return back to the starting position with controlled motion.
  • Do 2 to 3 sets of 8 to 14 reps.

09. Dumbbell Concentration Curl

Concentration curls with dumbbells are an excellent exercise to activate your short head bicep. Because they concentrate on weight and the muscle that you’re training.

Flexion and supination of the hands while a dumbbell concentration curl can shift the tension towards your short head muscle.

How to perform:

  • To start this exercise, sit on the bench or chair, keep your feet on the floor and spread your legs, keeping your chest up.
  • Hold the dumbbell with your palms facing forward, rest your elbows on the inner side of your thigh. Curl the dumbbell towards your chest. make sure your elbow is locked in place.
  • Hold the position for a second. Then, slowly return back to the starting position.
  • Once you finish your reps with one side, then switch to the other arm and follow the same instruction.
  • Do 2 sets of 10 to 14 reps for each arm.

Short Head Biceps Workout

If you want to grow faster muscles, you must add the above exercises in your bicep workout routine. The reps may vary person to person, depending on their endurance. Here is the best workout routine that targets your short head biceps.

Wide-Grip Barbell Curls
3 sets of 10 to 14 reps
EZ Bar Preacher Curl 2 to 4 sets of 10 to 14 reps
Chin-Ups2 to 3 sets of 8 to 14 reps
Reverse Curls2 to 3 set of 10 to 14 reps
Dumbbell Concentration Curl2 sets of 10 to 14 reps for each arm

FAQs on Short Head Bicep Exercises

  • How Do You Target Every Part of Your Bicep?

    It’s possible that you can hit every part of your biceps with every curling exercise that you perform. To build your arm workout, include some cable curl exercise that will provide tension at every point of the movement and include some dumbbell exercises that will help you to train your biceps unilaterally. Use a variety of heavier and light weights.

  • Which Bicep Head is the Peak?

    The short answer is that the long head of your biceps is the peak. It is also a similar muscle compared to the short head of the bicep. The peak is like what you see from the side, which is a big part of the visual appearance of the upper arm.


Targeting your short head bicep will allow you to shape your upper arms and make them appear stronger and bigger. Maintaining the right postures while targeting muscles will help you to achieve a massive bulk with time.

To build bigger and stranger biceps, you must incorporate targeted exercises into your workout routine. Remember to maintain proper form and slow down the movement, and squeeze your muscles at the top of the movement to get the most out of these bicep exercises.

Hopefully, you like this article, if you have any questions and suggestions kindly put them in the comment box below.  

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