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How to Bulk Up Your Biceps With Dumbbell Biceps Curls

Anju Mobin

Posted on November 13 2018

Dumbbell bicep curls are clearly one of the most effective bicep building exercises. This is one exercise that you cannot avoid in your training routine if you are looking to build strong and bulging biceps. Bicep curls and its variations are exercises you most often see being done in gyms, but not everyone seems to be reaping its benefits though. This is most probably because of wrong techniques and postures. So let's take a look at what all things you need to note, to ensure you are doing it right, to maximize the muscle bulking.

 

Dumbbell Bicep Curl Instructions:

First, let's take a look at the basic instructions on how the exercise is performed.

1. Stand up with your spine straight, holding a dumbbell in each hand. Let your arms hang down at full length, but make sure to keep your elbows close to your torso. The palms of your hand, gripping the dumbbells, should be facing forward. This is the correct posture for starting bicep dumbbell curls.

2. Exhale and curl the weights up, contracting the biceps. The upper arms must be held stationary during this movement.

3. Raise the weights until the dumbbells are at your shoulder level and your biceps are fully contracted. Maintain that contraction for a brief pause, squeezing your biceps as much as possible.

4. Now lower the weight back to the starting position, while exhaling your breath. Do not swing it down. Your movement has to be slow and controlled.

5. Repeat the exercise again until you have a completed a set of 8 to 12 reps.


5 Dumbbell Biceps Curl Form Tips

You can also sit, with or without back support, while doing bicep curls. Take care not to lean back while performing the exercise. You can hold dumbbells in both hands and move them together.  Or you can alternate them by lifting and lowering the right arm and then the left one and so on.


1. Drop The Weight

Lifting bigger weights is not the way to bigger muscles, especially if you are unable to handle the weight correctly. Slow, controlled reps that fully utilize the muscles are what builds stronger and bulkier muscles, With heavier weights, people resort to swinging to lift up and lower, which is basically cheating. So you don’t get the results you are hoping for.

Choose a weight that allows you to complete at least 8 to 10 reps. You must be able to complete at least 3 sets of bicep curls using those weights. If you cannot, then you need to choose lighter weight dumbbells. Do not swing the weights as it will be the momentum that lifts the weights rather than your muscles.

 

2. Complete Full Reps

The weight must be lowered all the way back to the starting point. Some people lower it only halfway and bring it back with the focus on the contractions. In order to stretch the muscle properly and work all the muscle fibers, the rep must be completed fully from beginning to start. It's more effective to do full reps with lighter weights than to do half reps with higher weights.

If compared to a race, building bigger and stronger biceps more of like a marathon than a sprint. Rushing through the reps is considered a major gym sin as you will not be working the muscles hard enough, you’re just wasting your time. Maintain a strict tempo of curling the weight up powerfully and lowering it slowly to unlock the muscle growth potential.


3. Fix Your Elbows

Elbows and upper arms must be close to the torso and remain fixed/stationary throughout the exercise. Moving the elbows move during a rep takes the tension off the biceps. Watch out for the tendency to move the upper arms and elbows forward to help support the upper movement. This may also cause you to swing the weight.

Some trainers recommend holding your elbows slightly behind your body. This not only helps prevent any cheat reps, but this also ensures the biceps are kept engaged during the exercise.


4. Rotate Your Wrists

The biceps muscles allow us to externally rotate our wrists, so such movements help engage the bicep muscles even more during dumbbell curls.

You can start with the palms facing your torso, gripping the dumbbells and allow them to turn to face up as you lift the weight. To activate more muscle fibers, reverse this movement of the wrists as you lower the weights.

 

5. Squeeze At The Top

Some people just focus on lifting and lowering the weights, they do not pause at the top to squeeze the muscles. But this is an important part of bicep curls.

Consciously contracting your biceps at the top of each rep not only helps reinforces your mind-muscle connection, but it also pumps more blood into the muscle tissue. At the peak of the contraction, the grip should be angled in a way that the small finger is higher than the thumb.

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