The right way to Do the Dumbbell Curl: Type, Advantages, and Variations


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The dumbbell curl is the cornerstone of most weightlifters’ biceps coaching.

It’s extensively used as a result of it’s easy, efficient, and adaptable for many anybody’s circumstances, which makes it perfect for maximizing your biceps growth.

On this article, you’ll study what a dumbbell curl is, why it’s useful, which muscle tissues it really works, how you can do a correct dumbbell curl, the most effective dumbbell curl variations, and extra.

What Is the Dumbbell Curl?

The dumbbell curl—additionally known as the “dumbbell biceps curl” or “biceps curl”—is a biceps isolation train that entails lifting a dumbbell out of your waist to your shoulder by bending on the elbow, then straightening your arm.

There are various biceps curl variations, however maybe the most typical—and the one we’ll deal with on this article—is the standing alternating dumbbell curl (typically known as the “standing dumbbell supinated curl”). 

Because the identify implies, you carry out this variation whereas standing and prepare every arm individually, alternating between your arms with each rep.

Barbell Curl vs. Dumbbell Curl: Which Is Higher?

The barbell and dumbbell curl are comparable biceps workout routines. What makes them totally different is that within the dumbbell biceps curl you employ dumbbells, and within the barbell curl you employ a barbell.

This implies the dumbbell curl trains your biceps unilaterally (one arm at a time), whereas the barbell biceps curl trains your biceps bilaterally (each arms concurrently).

It additionally signifies that through the barbell curl, your arms are fastened in a supinated (palms up) place throughout each rep, whereas within the dumbbell curl, your wrists can transfer extra freely.

That is important as a result of protecting the wrists supinated can irritate your wrists and elbows. As such, some individuals discover the dumbbell curl extra snug than the barbell curl as a result of they’ll flip their wrists inward barely to keep away from ache. 

That stated, in case you can carry out each workout routines with out discomfort, neither is best or worse than the opposite—they prepare the identical muscle tissues to an analogous diploma, so you need to use them interchangeably.

A great way to do that is to incorporate the dumbbell curl in your program for 8-to-10 weeks of coaching, take a deload, then substitute the dumbbell curl with the barbell curl for the next 8-to-10 weeks of coaching.

Then, you’ll be able to both proceed alternating between the workout routines each few months like this or persist with the one you like.

That is how I personally like to arrange my coaching, and it’s just like the strategy I advocate in my health books for women and men, Larger Leaner Stronger and Thinner Leaner Stronger

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Dumbbell Curl: Advantages

1. It maximizes biceps progress.

Your biceps are closely concerned in “pulling” workout routines, such because the lat pulldown, row, and pull-up.

Nonetheless, analysis reveals that if you wish to maximize biceps growth, doing compound pulling workout routines isn’t sufficient—it’s important to do biceps isolation workout routines, too.

There are two causes for this.

First, biceps isolation workout routines just like the dumbbell biceps curl let you prepare your biceps in numerous methods—at totally different angles and thru totally different ranges of movement—which in all probability produces extra balanced and full progress than doing simply 2 or 3 pulling workout routines.

And second, biceps isolation workout routines let you prepare your biceps when it’s now not sensible to take action with a compound train. 

As an example, your lats, traps, and rhomboids will in all probability be bushed after a number of units of pulling workout routines, however your biceps could also be comparatively contemporary. Coaching them with just a few units of curls ensures they’re adequately stimulated, which is significant to maximize progress.

2. It trains your biceps unilaterally.

The alternating dumbbell curl is a unilateral train, which implies it permits you to prepare one facet of your physique at a time. 

That is useful as a result of unilateral workout routines . . .

  • Could allow you to elevate extra complete weight than you’ll be able to with some bilateral workout routines, which can assist you acquire extra muscle over time
  • Make it easier to develop a larger mind-muscle connection along with your biceps since you solely must deal with one facet of your physique at a time
  • Make it easier to right muscle imbalances, as a result of either side of your physique are pressured to elevate the identical quantity of weight (one facet can’t “take over” from the opposite)

3. It’s extremely adaptable.

There are a number of dumbbell curl variations that place your arms in various positions relative to your torso.

For instance, the common biceps curl locations your arms by your sides, the dumbbell preacher curl locations your arms in entrance of your torso, and the incline dumbbell biceps curl locations your arms behind your torso.

That is vital as a result of analysis reveals that coaching your biceps along with your arms in numerous positions is likely one of the greatest methods to construct proportional biceps.

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Dumbbell Curl: Muscle mass Labored

The primary muscle labored by the biceps curl is the biceps brachii (typically shortened to the “biceps”), the two-headed muscle positioned on the entrance of the higher arm, between the shoulder and elbow.

To a lesser extent, it additionally trains the brachialis, a small muscle that lies beneath the biceps that considerably provides to the biceps’ measurement and circumference, and several other forearm muscle tissues, together with the brachioradialis and pronator teres.

Right here’s how the biceps look in your physique:

Alternating Dumbbell Curl Muscles Worked

Dumbbell Curl: Type

The simplest solution to study how you can do a dumbbell curl is to separate the train into three elements: arrange, curl, and descend.

24.PULL-Alternating Dumbbell Curl

Step 1: Set Up

Maintain a dumbbell in every hand along with your palms dealing with away from you and your arms hanging at your sides. Rise up straight along with your toes shoulder-width aside.

Step 2: Curl

With out twisting your wrist, curl your proper hand towards your proper shoulder till your forearm is roughly perpendicular to the ground. Permit your elbow to maneuver ahead barely because the dumbbell rises. 

Step 3: Descend

Decrease the dumbbell and return to the beginning place. Don’t let the burden fall again to the beginning place or attempt to straighten your arm slowly. Your complete “descent” ought to be managed however solely take a couple of second.

As soon as your proper hand is again at your facet, repeat the sample along with your left hand (to finish one full rep).

Right here’s the way it ought to look if you put all of it collectively:


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The Greatest Dumbbell Curl Variations

1. Single-Arm Dumbbell Curl


Analysis reveals that the single-arm dumbbell curl (sometimes called the “dumbbell focus curl” or “single dumbbell curl”) is a wonderful train for coaching your biceps. 

What makes it so efficient is that it locations your elbow towards the within of your thigh or knee, stopping you from utilizing momentum to “cheat” the burden up and forcing your biceps to do the lion’s share of the work.

2. Dumbbell Preacher Curl

Dumbbell Preacher Curl

Within the dumbbell preacher curl, you place your higher arms towards a preacher curl bench. Equally to the single-arm dumbbell curl, this prevents you from utilizing momentum to elevate the burden. This ensures your biceps do the vast majority of the work, which ought to assist you to acquire extra biceps measurement and energy over time.

3. Incline Dumbbell Biceps Curl

Dumbbell-Incline-Curl (1)

Not like many different biceps workout routines, the incline dumbbell biceps curl locations fixed stress in your biceps all through all the vary of movement and trains your biceps in a completely stretched place, which is mostly higher for muscle progress.

+ Scientific References


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