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Drag Barbell Curls

Developing the biceps long head

The main function of the bicep is to flex the forearm at the elbow joint. The other less known function is flexion of the arm at the shoulder. The long head of the biceps is active when you perform exercises like forward raises with a dumbbell because it crosses the shoulder and acts on that joint.

To completely activate the long head of the biceps you must stretch the muscle before it is contracted and maintain that stretch throughout its contraction. Now you're saying, "How in the heck do I do that?". The exercise is called the drag barbell curl. It specifically stimulates the long bicep head.

Grip a barbell shoulder width apart, standing up with your palms up. Pull your elbows back and curl the bar so that it "drags" across your body up to your chest. If you can go higher than your chest then you have allowed your elbows to come forward. The key is to keep the elbows as far back as possible. At the top of the movement, squeeze your biceps and lower the bar, close to your body in the same path that it came up.

If you do this correctly, at the top of the movement you will feel a deep burn in the long head of the biceps that you normally do not experience with regular barbell curls. You will have to use lighter weight than usual but this is a good alternative exercise to include for complete upper arm development Good luck!

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