Home health remedies How to do the perfect dumbbell curl

How to do the perfect dumbbell curl


The humble bicep curl is your simplest lift, and an essential ingredient in your quest for titanic arms. But are you making the most out of them? We’ve got 3 variations on the classic exercise to hit your arms like never before. Those tickets to the gun show aren’t selling themselves...

(Related: The 16 best exercises for bigger biceps)

How to do it

Stand holding a dumbbell in each hand with your arms hanging by your sides. Ensure your elbows are close to your torso and your palms facing forward. Keeping your upper arms stationary, exhale as you curl the weights up to shoulder level while contracting your biceps.

build bigger biceps: easy tips

Use a thumb-less grip, advises sports scientist Ross Edgley. “Placing your thumb on the same side of the bar as your fingers increases peak contraction in the biceps at the top point of the movement,” he says. Hold the weight at shoulder height for a brief pause, then inhale as you slowly lower back to the start position.

When to do it

At the end of a workout to specifically target the biceps after you have worked them through several compound ‘pulling’ exercises (such as close-grip chin-ups). Or superset them with tricep dips to work your entire arm musculature.

(Related: The 10 best exercises to build bigger triceps)

Watch: Can you build bigger biceps by sawing wood?




Sets, reps and rest

2 sets of 12 reps.
Suggested load: 70-75% of your one repetition max.
90 seconds rest between sets.

3 sets of 8-10 reps.
Suggested load: 75-80% of your one repetition max.
90 seconds rest between sets.

4 sets of 8-10 reps.
Suggested load: 75-80% of your one repetition max.
60 seconds rest between sets.

How to… emphasise your outer bicep

(Related: The workout to superset your back and biceps)

Target your biceps brachii with the hammer curls. Hold the dumbbells with your palms facing your torso. “This targets both the outer biceps and the muscles in your forearms used to flex it at the elbow,” says Edgley.

Easy tips to build bigger biceps

How to… supercharge your shoulders 

Simply perform your dumbbell curls lying down on a flat bench, face up. “This will work your biceps brachii in a position they are unfamiliar with, while also taxing your front deltoids,” says Edgley.

how to build bigger biceps

How to… terminate your forearms

Target your pronator muscles with Zottman curls. Perform a regular curl. Then, at the top of the movement, rotate the weights until your palms are facing forwards. Now slowly lower the dumbbells toward your thighs, stopping just short of fully extending your arms. Pause. Then turn your palms back to the starting position. And repeat.

(Related: How to master the bicep curl)

“The rotation in the Zottman curl will train both the muscles of the biceps and of the forearms,” says Edgley.

Big arms: best exercises

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