Top 5 biceps exercises with dumbbells

For the biceps to have an excellent shape, well-defined and relief, training using a barbell will not be enough. A complex in which biceps exercises with dumbbells are presented in all sorts of variations is suitable for this purpose. Is it possible to pump up your biceps with dumbbells, and not just give the muscles the best shape and relief? Let’s look at this in this article.

Is it possible to pump up your biceps with dumbbells and how to do it correctly?

If we consider a set of exercises for the biceps, then in bodybuilding, exercises with a barbell represent a base that is relevant at the stage of gaining mass. At the same stage there are several exercises with dumbbells, which are difficult to do without. But when working on relief, exercises with dumbbells prevail over options with a barbell. But this fact does not mean that biceps are developed only with a barbell and cannot be properly pumped up with dumbbells.

Using dumbbells for this purpose is quite acceptable and effective. If we consider training at home, then dumbbells will be the best solution for such training. It is important to be able to train with heavy weights, and dumbbells provide just such an opportunity. It is especially important to perform exercises with dumbbells using supersets and drop sets. Even at home, with two collapsible dumbbells, it’s easy to prepare equipment of different weights to perform a bunch of exercises.

To increase volume, without having a barbell, you can get by with dumbbells with the ability to change the weight to gradually increase it and, accordingly, progress. It is best to use exercises with dumbbells on back training days, so the load from biceps exercises will be complemented by the load received from back training.

Top 5 biceps exercises with dumbbells

1. Seated biceps curl

There is no better exercise with dumbbells than this one. It can be considered the most effective exercise among others. Firstly, during execution, the athlete fixes the position of the spine by supporting the back of the bench. Of course, you can perform the exercise while sitting without support, but the best option is one in which the athlete is in a position at an angle of 45 degrees. This position can be easily achieved using a bench with an adjustable backrest. With this embodiment, the legs can be placed on a hill so that the knees are located approximately at chest level.

The sitting exercise should be done with wrist supination. This nuance allows you to better work out the peak of the muscle. Technically the exercise is simple:

  1. Starting position – sitting. Hands with a load are lowered down perpendicular to the floor.
  2. Your back should completely touch the bench. If there is no backrest, the spine must be kept straight.
  3. The movement begins with bending the arm at the elbow joint while exhaling.
  4. To the top point of the amplitude, you should turn the hand as much as possible, then slowly return the hand to its original position.

Arm curls with supination

There are two options for performing arm curls with dumbbells – alternate and simultaneous. The options do not affect the result in any way.

note that the exercise is performed smoothly and slowly, without jerking or tossing the dumbbells. Elbow extension should be twice as slow as bending.

2. Standing arm curl

At its core, it is absolutely the same exercise as the sitting option. But still it has some advantages and disadvantages. The advantage of this option is that in a standing position it is more convenient for the athlete to help the biceps with other muscles, swing and bend the torso, in other words, use cheating, which in turn makes it possible to use a large working weight.

Disadvantage Standing bending poses a risk of injury because there is no fixation of the spine. If the technique is violated and heavy weight is used, swaying and bending appear, which can have a detrimental effect on health. The technique for performing this type of exercise is identical to seated curls.

Arm bending with supination: photo.

3. Concentration curls

Among this type of bending, there are several popular exercises: these are performed on a Scott bench and while sitting in an upright position. The second option is relevant at home. The advantage of the exercises should be considered isolation, since the emphasis completely makes it impossible to involve additional muscle groups in the process of bending. Because of this, the athlete is deprived of the opportunity to use the heavy weight of the sports equipment. The exercise is often used as an additional exercise and is introduced into the training process last. The option involves working with emphasis on the inner thigh so that the elbow is below knee level. Flexion is performed in a concentrated manner with exhalation. At the top point, you should linger at the peak contraction and slowly lower your hand while inhaling. Performed separately for each hand.

sitting concentrated curls photo

4. Hammer Curls

This exercise is aimed at developing the brachialis. This option will not create a lot of volume, but it can make your hands more aesthetically pleasing and give them a sporty look. The exercise is performed both standing and sitting. In the initial position, the arms are along the body. The technique differs from classic biceps curls only in the position of the hands, which, unlike other exercises, do not change their position throughout the entire exercise and are parallel to each other.

Exercise hammer

5. Zottman curls

A very specific exercise, is a movement with a change in the position of the wrists. During flexion, the palms look up and are in supination. At the top point of the movement, the hands turn and the dumbbells are lowered with a reverse grip (pronation). This variation of curls trains not only the biceps but also the forearms, and strengthens the grip and strength of the arms.

Zottman Curls

Example training program

The best option for performing biceps exercises is on the day of back training, so in the first example, we will consider just such a workout.

Using this training option, you can quickly pump up the target muscle group in a short time and move on to the next stage of training.

It is worth noting that the training programs presented in the article are suitable for men, while women do not need much attention to their hands.

The second example is a workout aimed at developing biceps. In this case, it makes sense to combine the biceps with the triceps:

In this workout, exercises are performed in 3 sets. Rep range: 12-14. The only exception would be barbell curls. This exercise should be performed 2-3 sets of 8-10 repetitions. Naturally, the working weight should be greater than that with which you need to work for 12-14 repetitions.

If you train your arms separately, then it is enough to allocate one workout per week to them.

It is difficult to say how long it will take to develop large cans, but using these complexes and alternating exercises, not forgetting about proper nutrition, the result will not be long in coming.


It’s easy to develop bigger biceps with exercises with dumbbells, but you need to know the following nuances: what number of biceps exercises is acceptable, how many approaches and repetitions to do in a workout, and also take into account the greater load on the biceps in training for other muscle groups.

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