Dumbbell biceps curls is an isolation exercise which helps to develop big biceps. It is a strength training exercise and involves a pair of dumbbells. There are plenty of variations in this exercise, each one targeting the biceps from a different angle. They will be covered later on.
Correct Form Of Dumbbell Biceps Curls
Here is a step-by-step description on how to execute the dumbbell biceps curls correctly.
- Grab a pair of dumbbells and keep them by your side. Tuck your elbows in by your sides, and dont let the dumbbells touch your body. Keep a slight bend in your elbows and knees, and keep your shoulders back and chest out.
- Many people like to hold the dumbbells with palms facing forward, while some like to hold them with palms facing each other. Whichever position you choose, becomes your starting position.
- Slowly curl the dumbbells up without moving your elbows (OK, you might move them, but JUST a little bit) and contract and squeeze your biceps as you reach the top of the motion. Exhale while you do so.
- Now slowly bring the dumbbells back to starting position, inhaling on the way down, till you reach the starting position. This completes one rep.
Precautions To Keep During Dumbbell Biceps Curls
There are a few precautions/tips that you must keep in mind while performing the dumbbell biceps curls.
- Never swing the weights. If you cant lift it without your body swinging like a pendulum, choose a lighter weight.
- Always choose moderate weights. Correct form is much more important than heavy weights here.
- Keep your elbows fixed during the repetitions. Moving your elbows back and forth will put undue stress on your shoulders.
- Do not let the dumbbells touch the body. The aim is to keep them under stress throughout the exercise. Resting them against your body will take that stress off them.
- Keep the rep timing slow. Bring the dumbbell down slowly. The time to come down should be double than what it took to curl the weights up.
Video: Biceps Curls
Variations In Dumbbell Biceps Curls
1. Standing Alternate Dumbbell Curls
The technique is similar to the dumbbell curls, but here, the dumbbells are moved in an alternate fashion.
- You are much better keeping your dumbbells with palms facing each other here.
- You can twist your wrist while going to the top, but make sure you keep the twist in motion, else you might develop wrist problems.
2. Seated Dumbbell Biceps Curls
This variation of the biceps curls can be performed seated on a flat bench with and without a backrest.
- Its preferred that you sit on the edge of a bench, with your feet together in front of you. This is done mainly to allow for smooth movement of the dumbbells.
- Let the dumbbells hang, keeping a slight bend at the elbows. Bring the dumbbells up just like you would in a normal curl. Squeeze your biceps at the top.
- A backrest helps to keep your back straight, so it is recommended that you use a bench with an adjustable backrest.
3. Alternate Seated Dumbbell Curls
The alternate dumbbell curls are similar to the above exercise, with the slight difference that here, the dumbbells are moved in an alternate sequence.
- You are much better keeping your palms facing each other here.
- You can turn your wrist slightly outwards if you want, at the top of the motion.
Video: Seated Dumbbell Biceps Curls
4. Seated Inclined Biceps Curls
This is an advanced variation of the biceps curls.
- Sit with your back flat against an inclined bench.
- Let the dumbbells hang perpendicular to the ground. Keep a slight bend in your elbows.
- Curl the weights up using the standard curling motion. Your upper arms will be parallel to your body.
- Squeeze at the top and come back to starting position slowly.
5. Lying Dumbbell Biceps Curls
Just like the above exercise, lying biceps curls is an advance variation of the dumbbell curls.
- Lay down on a flat bench and let the dumbbells hang perpendicular to the ground, but in your control.
- Slowly bring the weights up in a curling motion, till your elbows are roughly 45° to the ground. Squeeze your biceps.
- Slowly return to the starting position.
- It is advised not to pick very heavy weights in this variation, as the stress on the shoulder is great.
Muscles Used In Dumbbell Biceps Curls
The following muscles are primarily used while performing the dumbbell biceps curls.
- Biceps Brachii
Anterior Deltoids and Trapezius muscles are used as stabilizers.