HomeExercise LibraryHow To: Incline Dumbbell Curl

How To: Incline Dumbbell Curl

Incline Dumbbell Curl
When it comes to building big biceps no gym-goer needs an introduction to the bicep curl.

When performed with correct form the dumbbell bicep curl is hard to beat for adding mass and strength to the biceps.

The dumbbell curl is often performed as an ego lift, as the majority of gym-goers will be able to lift a substantial bit more weight when they’re utilizing momentum… with excessive increases in weight our form ever so quickly goes out the window, along with the tension placed on the muscle and the growth of the biceps.

Laying on an incline bench eliminates the swing, you can’t calf raise the weights up as if you were performing a standing set of dumbbell biceps curls.

Movement: Isolation

Targets: Biceps

Required: Dumbbells

Optional: N/A

Incline Dumbbell Curl Form:

In order to perform the incline dumbbell curl set up a bench at a 45 degree angle with the bottom pad angled slightly, as if you were going to perform an incline dumbbell press.

Lay down on the bench with your arms fully extended gripping a pair of dumbbells, the dumbbell should be slightly off the ground upon full extension.

While laying back keep your elbows locked in place, curl only your upper arm until fully contracted.

See also
How To: Decline Push-Up

Squeeze at the top for 1 second.

Slowly lower the dumbbell back down until its returned to your side in the fully extended position.

Proceed with your other arm.

Incline Dumbbell Curl Variations

Standing Hammer Curl

The hammer curl is performed with a neutral grip (palms facing toward your torso).
This places greater emphasis on forearm development, will allow you to lift heavier and is a great mass builder for the biceps.

Seated Dumbbell Hammer Curl

Performing the dumbbell hammer curl seated is a great way to eliminate any swing or potential use of momentum from the movement.

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Incline Dumbbell Curl Mistakes


Every guy in the gym wants to swing around heavy weight on biceps, I get that.

As I said earlier – if you want to build big arms you’re going to have to lift heavy, HOWEVER form always have and always will take priority over the weight being lifted.
The bottom portion of a bicep curl is without a doubt the hardest portion of the movement, and when lifting too heavy many gym-goers attempt to swing backwards or hip thrust to attempt to move the weight.
Using momentum to move the weight takes tension off the bicep, doing you no good.
If you’re swinging and swaying your back on every repetition you’re also placing your lower back at a high risk of injury – not good.

See also
How To: Inverted Row

Pick a weight that’s heavy for you to perform with good form, save the cheat curls for Arnold.

Arm Training Frequency Too High

it didn’t take me long to realize that training my arms every single day wasn’t getting me very far in terms of results given all the effort I was exerting.

Train smart.

The biceps act as the secondary muscle group when we’re training back, and the triceps act as the secondary muscle group when we’re training chest.
Training chest, back and one dedicated arm day per week (or triceps and biceps split up onto seperate days instead) is more than enough to build big, strong arms.

More isn’t always better – if you’re training frequency is any higher than this you may very well be hindering your own progress, like all other muscle groups the biceps and triceps require time to recover.

Lifting Too Light

If you don’t generally train in the lower rep range I recommend you give it a try, stop lifting in the 10 – 15 rep range for at least a month and focus on heavy, low rep sets. Once you start to see results you won’t want to go back.

Now, you may still think high reps are beneficial, but let me tell you they’re far from it.

See also
How To: Flutter Kicks

High repetitions result in increased stress on your CNS, increase in localized inflammation and increased soreness.

“Movements or exercises that do not give the muscle the required resistance, but are the kind that involve a great number of repetitions, never break down any tissue, to speak of. These movements involve a forcing process that cause the blood to swell up the muscle, and simply pump them up”– George F. Jowett, 1926

Similar & Substitute Exercises 

  • Barbell Overhead Press
  • Dumbbell Shoulder Press
  • Dumbbell Front Raise
  • Clean & Press

Any Questions Regarding The Incline Dumbbell Curl? Ask Below!

Scott J.
Scott J.
I’m SJ. I’m a fitness enthusiast and published author. I transformed my body from a skinny fat 135lbs with 18% body fat to a solid 192lbs at 8% body fat. I became qualified in a field I was passionate about. I founded several online businesses that allow me to pursue ideas and projects in my life that I am passionate about without having to constantly worry about money. I published several eBooks explaining the training and dieting techniques I used to achieve the body I have today. I learnt a plethora of new information on dieting and fitness by reading and applying what I read, to find out what does work and what doesn’t work, because as I’m sure you’ve noticed the health and fitness industry is full of non-sense claims and BS. I found out what was true and what worked for me and applied that knowledge. And you bet I had fun during the whole process.

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