Gym Shorts: The Dumbbell Curl

New to the dumbbell curl or looking for a quick technique tutorial? Learn correct form in one short video.

The Floating Deadlift

Gym Shorts videos provide short video demonstrations of correct form for various exercises.

Follow these steps:

  • Neutral grip at the bottom: arms hang naturally
  • Supinate wrists on the way up
  • Extend arms fully returning to the start position
  • Finish with elbows high & dumbbells in line with eyes
  • Gaze straight ahead
  • Breathe at the top
  • Tight abs
  • Limit torso movement: keep it strict

The dumbbell curl is an accessory movement that targets for biceps, for bigger and stronger arms. We recommend you eat your squat, deadlift, bench press, and press meat & potatoes before getting your curls for dessert.

You probably want bigger biceps and bigger arms, and this movement targets the biceps brachii on your anterior humerus. The biceps contribute to elbow flexion (bending your elbow) and shoulder flexion (bringing your humerus–or upper arm–up above your head). We complete this movement with the elbows high to add some shoulder flexion to the movement, which helps train the proximal function of the biceps brachii–shoulder flexion.

The main difference between bicep curls and barbell curls (besides the equipment) is that you can bring the dumbbells next to you, but this requires a neutral grip at the bottom. Because of this, we supinate the arms on the way up.

We recommend adding these to your programming if you’re an intermediate or advanced lifter, though if you really want to do some curls at the end of linear progression, they CAN be added as they don’t add that much stress.

These are usually programmed for higher volume, so sets of 8-15, because we’re aiming for hypertrophy. They will likely be the last exercise you do, after press, bench press, and upper body pulling. The only exception is if you’re really focusing on hypertrophy with multiple upper body accessory exercises, and then these can be done in more of a circuit or superset way, to save time while still blasting your biceps.

Add dumbbell curls to your routine for bigger biceps and arms and stronger shoulder & elbow flexion. You’re probably going to do them anyway.

Click HERE to watch a video on the rolling dumbbell extension, our favorite accessory exercise to target the triceps, and HERE to learn about becoming a beefcake.

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