12 Best Short Head Bicep Exercises (Inner Bicep)

The biceps brachii muscle (biceps) is a large, thick upper arm muscle. The short head of the biceps brachii muscle refers to one of the two heads that make up the biceps muscle in the upper arm.

Why focus on the short head? As we know, the biceps brachii muscle consists of two distinct heads: the long head (outer side) and the short head (inner side).

While both heads contribute to overall bicep development, the short head adds thickness and width to your bicep, creating that sought-after “peak” appearance.

Exercises like the barbell spider curl and preacher curl place more emphasis on the short-head.

Let know about more exercises..

How To Build Short Head Of Bicep

The bicep’s short head (inner part) is a vital muscle head for mass and strength. Training the short head is important when working to raise the strength of the biceps.

There are many exercises that emphasize the short head (inner head bicep) of the bicep.

You probably already know many of them, but maybe you didn’t realize they are best for the short head. All you have to do is implement the techniques. 

There are four main techniques that you can use to emphasize the short-head bicep during training:

  • Curling with your elbows in front of your body (upper arm held up parallel with the floor).
  • Use a wide grip to curl.
  • Using a supinated grip, the palm is held upward and outward.
  • When you curl with your arms held laterally toward your body. 

Best Short Head Bicep Exercises To Build Bigger Arms

There are 12 best short-head bicep exercises to strengthen the inner bicep and increase its thickness.

1. Wide Grip Barbell Curl

The barbell curl is a highly recognizable biceps exercise that builds biceps muscle mass. This isolation exercise works primarily on the biceps and also trains the forearm muscles.

Doing a wide-grip barbell curl will ensure you will blast your short-head biceps effectively.

Wide Grip Barbell Curl

How To Do Wide Grip, Barbell Curl

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Grab the barbell with an overhand grip that is wider than shoulder-width apart.
  3. Allow your arms to extend fully, with the barbell resting against your thighs.
  4. Then, exhale and curl the barbell upward while contracting your biceps.
  5. Pause briefly at the top, then slowly lower the barbell back to the starting position while inhaling.


  • Your body should remain fixed. Only your biceps should be used to move the weight.
  • Pause at the top of the movement and squeeze your biceps.
  • The motion should occur at the elbow to isolate the biceps, not on the shoulders.
Know More: Barbell Bicep Exercises & Workout For Mass & Strength

2. Concentration Curl

Concentration Curls are an excellent dumbbell exercise for activating the short-head bicep and building a biceps peak and thickness. This exercise should be part of your arms routine.

Resting the upper arm against the thigh prevents movement at the shoulder, which is an excellent way to isolate the biceps since it inhibits the involvement of the leg, shoulder, and upper back muscles.

Concentration Curl

How To Do Concentration Curl

  1. Hold a dumbbell in your hand and rest your arm on your thigh.
  2. Curl your arms to the maximum and twist your wrist. The little finger should be at an upper level than the thumb.
  3. Concentrate on fully activating the short heads of your biceps.
  4. Curl the dumbbell back to the start position.
  5. Repeat the exercise with your opposite arm.


  • Exhale while you exert.
  • Keep form strict and go as heavy as you can.

3. Spider Curl

Spider curls are a remarkable exercise for building the biceps because they produce an intense muscle contraction on every rep.

That is why it is one of the best bicep exercises you can consider incorporating into your training regime if you want a bulging short-head bicep.

There are many ways to do spider curls:

  • Barbell Spider Curls
  • EZ Bar Spider Curls
  • One-Arm Spider Curl
  • Flat Bench Spider Curl
Spider Curl

How To Do Spider Curl

  1. Adjust the bench to an incline level to a 60-degree angle.
  2. Grab two moderately light dumbbells with an underhand grip.
  3. Sit on the bench in a reverse position with your chest pressed into the backrest.
  4. Let your arms hang in front of your torso.
  5. Curl the dumbbells towards your shoulders and squeeze your biceps.
  6. Hold the contraction momentarily, then lower the weights under control until your elbows are fully extended.


  • Perform this exercise in a slow, controlled manner for best results.
  • Only the forearms should move. Do not swing the arms.

4. Preacher curl

The preacher curl isolates the biceps muscles by eliminating momentum and limiting the involvement of other muscles. This allows for a more targeted and intense bicep workout.

With a preacher curl, you get a lot of benefits that don’t come with regular bicep curls. Do preacher curl with a little wider grip to impart more load on short head biceps.

There are many ways to do preacher curls, each of which has its benefits.

  1. Dumbbell Preacher Curls: Allow for a greater range of motion and independent arm movement.
  2. Reverse Grip Preacher Curls: Target the brachialis muscle and emphasizing the outer portion of the biceps.
  3. Preacher Curl Machine: Provide a more controlled and stable environment for the exercise.
  4. Cable Preacher Curls: Provide continuous tension throughout the movement
Preacher curl

How To Do Preacher curl

  1. Get seated on the Preacher Bench with your chest against the support.
  2. Grab the bar placed on the preacher’s bench rack in front of you and place it in front of you.
  3. Curl the bar as in a standard barbell curl and get maximum contraction at the top.
  4. Lowering the bar slowly gives constant stress throughout the movement.
  5. Lowers the bar to get the maximum extension.
  6. During the last few reps, your short biceps heads should feel burning and intense.


  • Keep the motion slow and controlled throughout the set.
  • Squeeze the biceps as hard as possible as you get the weight to the top.
  • Use a wide grip to work the short-head biceps and a close grip to work the outer biceps.

5. One Arm High Cable Curl

It is a highly effective exercise that targets the inner head of the biceps, thereby promoting muscle width and thickness.

There are two main versions of the high cable curl: one-arm and two-arm. Both variations are effective, but the one-arm version allows you to use more relative weight for potentially greater gains in biceps size and strength.

One Arm High Cable Curl

How To Do One Arm High Cable Curl

  1. Begin by standing sideways next to a high pulley machine, arm extended out at about shoulder height.
  2. Using one hand to hold the handle.
  3. Slowly curl the cable towards your head, isolating the bicep, until you feel tension.
  4. Hold for a count and focus on short peak activation.
  5. Return to the starting position and repeat for as many reps and sets as desired.
  6. Repeat the exercise with your opposite arm.


  • Hold for a count of two and squeeze your biceps brachii.
  • Inhale as you extend your elbow, exhale while squeeze.
  • Keep tension on the short head the entire time. 

6. Standing Dumbbell Preacher Curl

Unlike traditional preacher curls, the standing dumbbell preacher curl allows for a greater range of motion, which results in a deeper stretch and increased muscle activation.

It is usually performed by using a regular bench and a dumbbell.

Standing Dumbbell Preacher Curl

How To Do Standing Dumbbell Preacher Curl

  1. Adjust the bench to an incline level so that you can comfortably rest your arm down the back of the headrest.
  2. Grab a dumbbell in one arm and extend it over the bench so that your forearm and tricep are rested upon the bench.
  3. Hold on to the top of the bench with the opposite arm to stabilize your body and to balance the weight.
  4. Exhale and slowly curl the dumbbells up towards your shoulders while contracting your biceps.
  5. At the top of the movement, squeeze your biceps for a brief pause.
  6. Inhale and slowly lower the dumbbells back to the starting position.


  • Make sure to keep your upper arms flat on the bench during the exercise to eliminate cheating.
  • Perform this exercise in a slow, controlled manner for best results.
  • Maintain stress on the short heads throughout this exercise.

7. Wide Grip Ez Bar

This is a great exercise if you want to target your inner biceps. You may find it easier to focus on the short head, as your hands are wider apart during the movement.

The straight bar version of this exercise is excellent too. However, it can cause wrist and forearm discomfort for many lifters due to the need to use a fully supinated grip.

In the study conducted, they found that the EZ barbell curl showed the highest overall electromyography (EMG) activity in the biceps brachii (BB) and brachioradialis (BR) muscles compared to the dumbbell curl (DC) and barbell curl (BC) variants.

Wide Grip Ez Bar

How To Do Wide Grip Ez Bar

  1. Stand holding an EZ-curl bar using a wide supinated grip (hands wider than shoulder width apart and palms facing upward). Let the bar rest on your thighs.
  2. Keeping your elbows fixed to your sides, exhale as you curl the EZ-curl bar up toward your shoulders.
  3. Hold for a count of two and squeeze your biceps.
  4. Inhale as you lower the EZ-curl bar to the starting position.


  • Keep your elbows locked to your sides and your body still. Only your forearms should move.
  • The motion should occur at the elbow to isolate the biceps, not on the shoulders.

8. Standing Inner Biceps Curl

As the name suggests, the standing inner bicep curl works the short head or inner biceps.

There are many possible variations for this movement. For instance, you can perform the exercise sitting down on a bench with or without back support.

You turn your hands from the position when palms are facing each other to the position when palms are facing upwards. This movement also develops the biceps along with the elbow contraction.

Standing Inner Biceps Curl

How To Do Standing Inner Biceps Curl

  1. Stand up with a dumbbell in each hand being held at arm’s length. The elbows should be close to the torso.
  2. Rotate the palms so that they are facing inward in a neutral position.
  3. Curl the weights out while contracting the biceps.
  4. Your wrist should turn so that when the weights are fully elevated you have supinated grip (palms facing up).
  5. Continue the movement until your biceps are fully contracted, and the dumbbells are at shoulder level. Hold for a second.
  6. Slowly begin to bring the dumbbells back to the starting position.
  7. Remember to rotate the wrists as you lower the weight in order to switch back to a neutral grip. Repeat for desired reps.


  • Your body should remain fixed. Only your biceps should be used to move the weight.
  • Pause at the top of the movement and squeeze your biceps.
  • The motion should occur at the elbow to isolate the short head biceps, not on the shoulders.
  • For a better stability, you can also do the exercise in a seated position

9. Zottman Curl

The zottman curl is one of the best variations of the standard bicep curl. It utilizes different hand positioning at different portions of the lift. For this reason, it is one of the best exercises to target the short head bicep.

  • The first portion, the regular curl, focuses on bicep strength.
  • Second and lowering phase work on brachuoradialis.
  • You can perform zottman curls with both arms at the same time, or alternate the arm you lift with.
Zottman Curl

How To Do Zottman Curl

  1. Hold a pair of dumbbells to your sides.
  2. Keep your palms facing up as you curl the weights up to your shoulders. Pause at the top of the movement.
  3. Slowly rotate your grip, so your palms are facing downwards.
  4. Lower the dumbbells slowly back to the starting position using an overhand grip.
  5. When the dumbbells are close to your thighs, again turn your hands while returning to the starting position.


  • Perform this exercise in a slow, controlled manner for best results.
  • Don’t go heavy. Choose a lighter weight and focus on perfecting your form.

10. One Arm Dumbbell Preacher Curl

Do the one-arm dumbbell preacher curl to better control and connect the mind-muscle connection.

It is a great exercise for the short head of your bicep because it positions your elbow out in front of your body, which provides more stimulation to the short head.

One Arm Dumbbell Preacher Curl

How To Do One Arm Dumbbell Preacher Curl

  1. Adjusting the preacher bench seat so that your arm is level with the top of the bench.
  2. Grab a dumbbell on one arm with an underhand (palms up) grip and rest your arm against the bench with your arm extended fully down.
  3. Slowly curl the dumbbell up towards your head, keeping your arm on the bench at all times until you reach the top position.
  4. Hold for a count, squeeze and isolate your bicep.
  5. Do the desired number of reps, then change to your other arm.


  • Perform this exercise in a slow, controlled manner for best results.
  • As a general rule, always hit the weakest arm first. In most cases, this is the left arm.

11. EZ Bar Concentration Curl

This exercise can be performed standing with the torso bent forward and the arm in front of you.

In this case, no leg support is used for the back of your arm, so you will need to make extra effort to ensure no movement of the upper arms. It’s going to absolutely annihilate the short head.

EZ Bar Seated Close Grip Concentration Curl

How To Do EZ Bar Concentration Curl

  1. Sit down on a flat bench with a barbell or E-Z Bar in front of you in between your legs.
  2. Use your arms to pick the barbell up and place the back of your upper arms on top of your inner thighs.
  3. A supinated grip closer than shoulder width is needed to perform this exercise.
  4. Your arm should be extended at arm’s length and the barbell should be above the floor.
  5. Curl the weights forward while contracting the biceps as you breathe out.
  6. Hold the contracted position for as a second as you squeeze the biceps.
  7. Slowly begin to bring the barbell back to the starting position as you breathe in.


  • Avoid swinging motions at any time.

12. Chin Up

The chin-up is a bodyweight exercise that can induce serious muscle growth of the biceps and back. But when it comes to the biceps, it is great for targeting the short head.

During the chin up exercise, the palms are faced towards the body. Since the lifter is pulling their own bodyweight, the biceps are usually exposed to loads heavier than what one can lift with a barbell.

Chin Up

How To Do Chin Up

  1. Grasp a pull-up bar with an underhand grip, hands shoulder-width apart or slightly narrower.
  2. Straighten your arms, keep your knees bent and cross your lower legs.
  3. Retract your shoulder blades and pull your body until your chin becomes aligned with the bar.
  4. Pause for one to two seconds at the top, with the biceps under maximum tension. Slowly lower to the start position.


  • Don’t get in the habit of doing half reps and chasing numbers.
  • Lower to almost full extension of the elbow, but avoid locking out completely.
Know More: Pull Ups Vs Chin Ups: The Ultimate Comparison

Short Head Bicep Training Tips (With Workout Routine)

1. Training Volume

While dedicating an entire workout to just the short-head biceps isn’t ideal. Do a complete arm workout for your arm development. Here’s how to structure your bicep training volume for optimal results.

  • Beginners: ~10 sets per week.
  • Intermediate: ~15 sets per week.
  • Advanced: ~20 sets per week.

When a certain amount of volume stops being effective and your progress stalls, you can add sets to increase volume and use that as a driver of renewed progress. 

2. Exercise Variety and Selection

You should include exercises that specifically target the short head of the biceps, such as barbell spider curls, preacher curls, concentration curls, and cable curls with a narrow grip.

You can add variety to your arm workout by switching up the exercises each 3–4 weeks.

Week 1-4

  1. Incline Curls
  2. Dumbbell Preacher Curls
  3. Wide Grip Curls

Week 5-8

  1. Concentration Curls
  2. Dumbbell Preacher Curls
  3. Wide grip Barbell Curl

3. Progressive Overload

Increase the weight or resistance you use over time. Progressive overload is crucial for muscle growth and development.

Train the short head of the biceps with an appropriate frequency and volume. Aim for 2-3 weekly workouts, allowing sufficient rest and recovery between sessions.

4. Increase Intensity

It’s also important to increase the intensity and workload over time.

  • Drop Sets: Start with a heavier weight and perform an exercise until failure. Then, immediately reduce the weight and continue the set without rest.
  • Do Supersets: Perform two different exercises back-to-back without resting in between. You can either target the short head with two different exercises, or pairs a short head exercise with another bicep exercise.
  • Eccentric Training: Focus on the eccentric part of the exercise, which is a slow and controlled descent. This puts more stress on the muscles, which leads to increased strength and hypertrophy.

5. Improve Recovery

Eat a balanced diet to help your muscles grow and repair. Consume enough protein to aid in muscle recovery.

Additionally, getting adequate sleep and rest is significant to allow your muscles to recover and grow.

Dumbbell Short Head Bicep Plan

Spider Curl48-10
Standing Inner Biceps Curl3-48-10
Standing Dumbbell Preacher Curl310-12

Beginner Bicep Short Head Workout Plan

Preacher curl3-48-10
Concentration Curl310-12
One Arm Dumbbell Preacher Curl38-10

Intermediate Short Head Bicep Workout Plan

Wide Grip EZ Bar46-8
Spider Curl48-10
One Arm High Cable Curl3-410-12
Zottman Curl3-48-10


What Bicep Workouts Work The Short Head?

There are many exercises that work the short head of the bicep. You probably already know many of them, but maybe you didn’t realize they are best for the short head.

Use these exercises to strengthen your short head of the biceps and improve the overall function of your upper arms.

  • Wide Grip Barbell Curl
  • Spider Curl
  • Preacher Curl
  • One Arm High Cable Curl
  • Dumbbell Preacher Curl
  • Standing Inner Biceps Curl

Does Preacher Curl Work Long Head?

Curling with your elbows in front of your body targets more of the short-head bicep and brachialis. Incorporating a preacher curl into a short head bicep exercise brings many benefits that don’t come with conventional bicep curls.

Which bicep exercises hit which head?

In general, bicep exercises that use a narrower grip will better target the long (outer) head of the bicep, such as close-grip preacher curls and close-grip barbell curls.

Whereas bicep exercises that use a wide grip will engage the biceps’ short (inner) head to a greater extent, such as grip barbell curls and inner bicep curls.


Working on your short head bicep allows you to shape your upper arm and make it appear stronger and bigger. You can increase the weight and reps recommended, achieving a better outcome, but you should do so slowly.

Remember that the slightest shift in the range of motion or hand positioning can significantly impact the situation.

If done correctly, these short-head bicep exercises should help you build that impressive inner and short-head bicep peak and strength.

12 Best Short Head Bicep Exercises For Bigger Arms

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