Dumbbell Bicep Curls 

Work Your Biceps for "Beach Ready" Arms

Bicep curls are among the most popular weight training exercises and for good reason. Your biceps are a highly visible muscle and keeping them lean and muscular can have a big impact. When someone admires your well-toned arms, they presume your entire body is the same.

Although the biceps are the target muscle of these curls, this exercise also works the shoulder and upper back muscles. Working all of these muscles together as one unit allows you to build the muscles evenly and avoid injury due to a weaker muscle group.

Typically, most of us have a stronger arm or side of the body. By working the body with independent dumbbells, the muscle balance can stay consistent.

Dumbbell Curls

In most cases, you should try and use enough weight that you can perform 10-12 repetitions. You should be lifting a weight heavy enough that you feel a little fatigue during the last couple of reps.

Make sure that you don't try and use so much weight that you have to move your body around to finish all of your reps. That will diminish the quality of the exercise and could also cause injury. 

Exercise Instructions:

  • Start this exercise holding a dumbbell in each hand with your palms facing out and your arms extended down to your thighs.

  • With your feet shoulders width apart, slowly bend your elbows and start to lift the dumbbells, make sure to keep your elbows at your sides and try to have them touching your hips.

  • Raise the dumbbells up to shoulder level and then bring them all the way back down to your starting position. Repeat your reps.

dumbbell bicep curl step1Kyle Demonstrating the Bicep Curl
dumbbell bicep curl step2


  • Make sure you lower your arms all the way down with each rep. By completing a full range of motion with your bicep curls, you will maximize additional muscle strength.

  • Try and keep your elbows slightly presses against your rib/hip area. If your elbows start moving around it can be a sign that you are using too much weight.

  • Don't stop your movement at the top or bottom of reps, you want to develop a fluid rhythm and keep the tension on your arms.

Bicep Curls for the Runner

If you want to become a proficient runner, you need to do more than just run. Upper body strength is an essential part of any successful running program. Runners tend to focus on the cardio and typically stay away from any strength training. 

Upper body exercises like curls help the runner's swinging arm motions that generate forward momentum. By adding strength training exercises like curls to your training plan, you will strengthen your muscles and joints which can improve your times and cut down on injury risk.

Research shows that lifting weights helps to increase your lean muscle mass and decrease your percentage of body fat. Strengthening the upper body with exercises like bicep curls will improve your balance and coordination. It will be a confidence builder.

Bicep Curls Benefits

  • Muscle Toning - The biceps are your most highly visible muscles that are almost always on display. Any exercises you do for your biceps will have a powerful impact on the appearance of your arms.

  • Highly Useful - Bending your arm at the elbow is something you do a countless number of times. Bicep curls effectively make most ordinary daily tasks easier. Whether it is picking up a heavy bag of dog food or lifting up a child.

  • Activate Tricky Muscles - We have countless small muscle groups throughout the body that may only be responsible for a single movement, but they are still functional. Using exercises like curls can help you train some of these hard to reach muscles.

  • Muscle Balance - It's natural to favor the muscles of your stronger side and using hand weights like dumbbells for independent arm exercises like curls allows you a balanced lifting routine. Working your muscle groups on each side evenly reduces your chances of injury and increases your stability, range of motion, and keeps your overall body strength well-rounded.

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I will continue to share ideas about diet and exercise that have helped me along the way. If you have any questions I can help you with, or if you have any ideas you want to share, feel free to contact me or visit our Q&A forum.

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