Seated Incline Dumbbell Curl

If you’re trying to build big biceps, then the incline dumbbell curl is a must-add exercise. Because it can help you add peak and width to your biceps all the way from your elbow to your armpit.

But in order to beef up those biceps, you have to do this exercise properly. That’s why I’m going to show you exactly how to do incline dumbbell curls.

And I’ll include several variations to help you target specific parts of your biceps using whatever equipment you have available.

Exercise performed by Nutritioneering Athlete and Founder of Flight Physiques, Dylan Kosek.

Incline Dumbbell Curl Muscles Worked

The incline dumbbell curl is great for isolating the biceps. It works both the inner (short) and outer (long) heads of the bicep muscle.

The more you angle your arms away from your body, the more inner bicep you’ll work. Whereas, angling your arms toward your body works more of the outer bicep.

Outer Bicep Workout: 7 Exercises To Build Wider Biceps

Also, rotating your palms up (supination) works the inner bicep. While keeping your palms facing in or down (pronation) works the outer bicep.

In addition, this exercise keeps the bicep under tension at both the bottom (stretched) and top (contracted) position in the range of motion. Something you don’t get with other dumbbell exercises.

Incline Dumbbell Curl Muscles Worked

How To Do Incline Dumbbell Curls

First, set an incline bench at an angle between 50 and 70 degrees. Then lean back and let the dumbbells hang straight down at your sides.

From this position, curl the weight straight up towards your armpits. Make sure your upper arm does not move as if your elbows are pinned in place.

Now lower the weight under control back to the starting point. And repeat this movement until your biceps fail.

Once you get the form down, you can up the intensity by going even slower on the way down (negative). Or by doing a static hold on the last rep as demonstrated by Dylan in the video.

Incline Dumbbell Curl Form

  • Curl the weight straight up towards your armpit

  • Keep your elbows pinned at your sides

  • Do not swing or move your upper arms

Incline Dumbbell Curl

Incline Dumbbell Curl Variations

Of course, some of you may not have dumbbells or an adjustable bench at your disposal. Or maybe you want to target a specific part of your biceps.

Here are some variations of incline dumbbell curls that could work for you.

Incline Dumbbell Hammer Curl

This variation is for those of you looking to add peak to your biceps. Instead of holding the dumbbells with your palms up, keep your palms facing in so the dumbbell moves up and down like the head of a swinging hammer.

Holding the dumbbell in this way engages the outer portion of your biceps or the long head.

Alternate Incline Dumbbell Curl

Another option is to alternate arms and curl one side at a time. While this doesn’t change the muscles worked, it can help you focus the muscle contraction.

And it’s this mind-muscle connection that results in greater muscle activation and growth.

Incline Dumbbell Curl Without Bench

Lastly, here’s an option for those of you without a bench. For this variation, you’ll need two cables or a set of resistance bands.

Place the pulley or one end of the band near the floor. Then stand in front with one cable or band in each hand.

Facing away from the pully or bands, your arms should be slightly behind your upper body. From here, perform the movement as you would with dumbbells.

As the resistance increase, you can lean forward slightly to keep from tipping back.

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In summary, the incline dumbbell curl is an excellent exercise for targeting your biceps. It isolates the muscle while keeping it under tension from the stretch to the contraction. And that’s a recipe for growth.

So make sure you include this unique exercise in your next arm day. And feel free to try the cable or band variation if you don’t have a bench or dumbbells.

As always, you can check out more of my workout tips below.

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