How to Do a Proper Dumbbell Curl

The dumbbell biceps curl is one of the most familiar and basic exercises you can perform with a set of free weights. Although it's an easy resistance exercise, with a simple twist in variation it can be made more effective than it already is. With the correct form and technique, your biceps will feel the burn and you'll avoid potential injury along the way. Be sure to seek expert advice from a qualified trainer before engaging in this exercise or any other weightlifting exercise. Consult with your doctor before beginning any physical strenuous activity.

Here's how to correctly do a dumbbell biceps curl. (Image: Demand Media Studios)

Step 1

Stand up straight with legs shoulder-width apart or sit on a bench. If you're sitting on a bench, make sure your head, shoulders and butt are in contact with the bench with your feet firmly on the ground.

Step 2

Hold a dumbbell in each hand. Make sure your thumbs are curled around the grips. Hold the dumbbells by your sides, palms facing forward. Keep your back straight and shoulders rolled back and down.

Step 3

Bend your elbows and slowly bring the dumbbells up to your chest while breathing out. Keep your elbows by your sides and don’t arch your back. Make sure your wrists are in line with your elbows and keep your shoulders straight.

Step 4

Breathe in as you lower the dumbbells away from your chest back to the starting position. Maintain a slow and controlled movement as you straighten your elbows. That's one rep. Aim for two to three sets of eight to 12 repetitions (lifts). Increase the weight when the repetitions become easier to perform.

Step 5

You can work the biceps more by holding the dumbbells at the starting position with your palms facing in toward your sides. As you bring the dumbbells up, twist your wrist and forearm up so the dumbbells ends facing your chest. As you bring the dumbbells down, twist your wrists and forearms back toward your sides as your arms come to rest.

Things You'll Need

  • Dumbbells

  • Bench (optional)

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