How To Do The Bicep Curl [Exercise Guide]

The bicep curl is a common and effective exercise for the upper arm muscles.


This article explains how to do the bicep curl.


How To Do The Bicep Curl:

  • To begin, stand with a dumbbell in each hand.

  • Keep your elbows at your sides, and your forearms should extend out in front of your body. Keep your knees slightly bent.

  • Lift the dumbbells to your shoulders in an "arc" motion by bending your elbows.

  • Once you're at the top of the rep and the dumbbells are near your shoulders, hold it for 1-3 seconds and squeeze.

  • Slowly lower the dumbbells back down.


This same process applies for the barbell bicep curl.

What Is A Bicep Curl:

The biceps curl is a highly recognisable exercise that works the upper arm muscles, and to a lesser extent, the lower arm muscles.


The bicep curl is an excellent exercise for strength, size and definition - it is one of the most common exercises done by many athletes.


This exercise has several variations, including dumbbells, barbells, kettlebells, resistance bands, and even cable machines.


The bicep curl can also be done at home using various items such as backpacks, water jugs etc. (see home workouts)


We recommend starting with the standing dumbbell biceps curl; these you can do anywhere.


Bicep curls are a common exercise used in many upper body strength training routines.

The Benefits Of The Bicep Curl:

Bicep curls work the bicep muscles at the upper arm and the lower arm muscles - the brachialis and brachioradialis. (Source)


These muscles are required anytime you pick something up.


Doing the bicep curl can help build strength and size in the upper arm, depending on how you train.


It can also improve the mind-muscle connection, and training the biceps can help enhance the muscle pump and circulation.


The bicep curl can improve bicep strength and size.

How To Make the Bicep Curl Harder:

There are a few ways to make the bicep curl harder.


The obvious ways to make the bicep curl harder are to:

  • Increase repetitions.

  • Increase weight.


Increasing the weight or the reps, or both, can increase the resistance and make the bicep curl harder.


The other ways to make the bicep curl harder is to:

  • Add resistance bands.

  • Increase time-under-tension.


Adding resistance bands to this exercise can enhance the bicep curl's dynamics, making it more effective.


This addition makes it more challenging at the top of the rep; usually, it gets easier as the dumbbell gets past the 45° angle.


Increasing time-under-tension also makes the bicep curl more useful; you can do this by going slower or holding at the 45° mark.

How To Make The Bicep Curl Easier:

Making the bicep curl easier is merely reversing the ways to make it harder.


You can make it easier by:

  • Using lighter weights.

  • Doing fewer reps.

Frequently Asked Questions


Q: Can you get big biceps from just curls?

A: The answer is yes. However, for the most effective and efficient increase in strength and size, you would want to vary your training and exercises.


Q: How much do your bicep curl?

A: It varies per person and depends on many factors, however on average and ideally, the one-rep maximum should be as follows; men up to 120 pounds should be able to curl 70lbs. Men 121-135 pounds should be able to curl 85lbs. Men 136-155 pounds should curl 105lbs. Men 156-170 pounds should lift 120lbs. Men 171-185 pounds should curl 135lbs. Men 186-205 pounds should curl 155lbs.


Q: How can I make my bicep curls easier?

A: Reducing the number of reps and the amount of weight being lifted can help make the bicep curl easier. You can read more here.

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