Dumbbell Curl | How is it done? All Variants

By healthiergang writer , former competitive athlete and currently Bodybuilding athlete (Bikini category).

Curl With Dumbbells 

Il dumbbell curl is one of the basic exercises for the brachial biceps.

In fact, it allows to isolate and stimulate this muscle group in the best possible way. However, it can be done in different variations and performed with different techniques that can improve its effectiveness in terms of hypertrophic adaptation and strength.


The classic execution provides that the person stands or sits with arms at their sides. At this point the dumbbells should be raised with a bicep flexion.

Dumbbell Curl | How is it done? All Variants

Since the biceps is also a shoulder flexor it is suggested, to have a complete excursion and a greater shortening of the muscle, to raise your arm slightly at the end of the concentric phase.

This movement is, in my opinion, counterproductive as it does not allow the target muscle to be isolated in the best possible way and unloads a lot on the anterior deltoid.

Another tip is to supinate the hand, therefore start with a neutral grip (palms inward) e finish with a supine grip (palms up).


If the classic dumbbell curl is effective, we can still find variants which make exercise even more profitable.

1. Spider Curl

It involves using the Scott bench upside down in order to have the humerus perpendicular to the ground.

In this way we can take advantage of a forward flexion of the bust and support while maintaining the same strength curve as the dumbbell curl.

The angle that is formed between the bust and the humerus is in fact anagolo to that of the scott curl, which brings the bicep to work in pre-shortening with greater emphasis on this stimulus.

Dumbbell Curl | How is it done? All Variants

2. Scott Curl

This exercise involves using the Scott bench. With this machine, the angle that forms between the humerus and the torso leads the shoulder to bend forward, however, avoiding a load on the anterior deltoid thanks to the support provided by the bench.

A good way to emphasize maximum shortening, the only problem lies in the force curve which is less advantageous than the classic curl and which leads to a loss of tension right at the point of maximum shortening.

To overcome this problem you can use the machine (scott curl machine) or cables. Both solutions allow to have a continuous tension on the whole range of ROM.

Dumbbell Curl | How is it done? All Variants

3. Arm Blaster Curl

This exercise involves the use ofarm blaster, a tool that saw its boom in the 70s. It allows to give support to the humerus, at the height of the triceps in order to better isolate the biiceps while working.

The shoulder will also be slightly flexed thus leading to a greater shortening of the biceps and a lower loss of tension at the end of the eccentric phase.

Dumbbell Curl | How is it done? All Variants

The arm blaster has, as its only drawback, the fact that places load on the stomach by increasing intrathoracic pressure and cutting off the breath. For this reason it is not recommended to use it with exaggerated loads. It generally works better with barbells rather than dumbbells.

4. Concentrated Curl On Incline Bench

Very interesting exercise that plans to rest your torso on a bench inclined between 15 and 30 degrees. The arms, in the starting position, must be perpendicular to the ground.

The force curve will be identical to that of the dumbbell curl but, again thanks to the angle formed between the torso and the humerus, a pre-shortening of the biceps.

Dumbbell Curl | How is it done? All Variants


Why so much attention to the shortening of the bicep? It is a moment, a phase that allows you to better establish the feeling with the contraction. In this sense we can use two techniques to further increase this effect:

  1. Peak of contraction. It is a question of remaining in an isometric stop at the point of maximum contraction of the bicep for a few seconds. This will not only increase pump and muscle fullness but also allow you to feel the muscle working at its best.
  2. Concentric emphasis. It is about emphasizing the concentric phase of the movement. Therefore a very slow Tempo when we shorten the muscle group and a faster Tempo when we lengthen it (eccentric phase) this will allow you to feel the muscle work at its best and never lose maximum activation.

We can also use a forced stretch between the different sets. In this way we will increase the metabolic stress on the muscle.


These exercises and techniques are certainly optimal for maximum brachial biceps development. First of all though it is essential to maintain a high volume of training and never forget the basics. It always starts from there, the subtleties come later.

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