Dumbbell Concentration Curls

Image of how to do a concentration curl


Type: Strength

Main Muscle Worked: Biceps

Secondary muscles worked: Forearms

Equipment: Dumbbell

Level: Beginner

What are Dumbbell Concentration Curls?

Concentration curls or also known as dumbbell concentration curls are one of the popular terms that we hear at the gym nowadays, Professional athletes and gym goers say that it can help build bigger muscles in the arm.

And it’s true as concentration curls are a great bicep workout for stimulating the muscle fibers on the peak of the biceps. What people love about concentration curls is the fact that if performed properly, you can fully isolate the biceps and maximize biceps stimulation. In addition, you can use this exercise for fixing symmetry issues (such as one arm is bigger than the other one), also, you can self-spot yourself as well by using the other hand to help you squeeze out a few more reps.

For extra safety, lift heavier weights and support I recommend buying a pair of wrist straps as they help a lot, the ones I use are here: Wrist straps

Muscles Worked in Dumbbell Concentration Curls

Concentration Curls
Primary: Biceps brachii, Brachialis

Secondary: brachioradialis

Benefits of Dumbbell Concentration Curls

One of the major benefits you can get from doing concentration curls and dumbbell concentration curls is it will help you grow your muscles. According to a study done by the American Council on Exercise, doing seated dumbbell concentration curls can result in 97% biceps activity.

If you do this type of exercise on a regular basis, you can target the specific muscle fibers and break them down. Which in return, they rebuild themselves and become larger through protein synthesis.

In addition, doing the dumbbell concentration curls are good if you wish to isolate the biceps muscle group.

It’s true there are various exercises for the biceps out there. However, the concentration curls can do more than most of those exercises combined. It can concentrate on the movement of the bicep and it enables biceps workout more completely

How to do Dumbbell Concentration Curls

Disclaimer, you can use a bench and rest your bicep on that if you find difficulty with this.

If you need a dumbbell one can be purchased from here: Dumbbells

Concentration Curls

  1. 1. Sit down on a flat bench with legs positioned shoulder width apart, knees bent and feet flat on the floor. At this stage of the exercise the dumbbell should be placed on the floor, between your legs.
  2. 2. With whichever arm you choose to perform with first, firmly grip the dumbbell whilst keeping the previously stated body position. With the arm that isn’t being used or the ‘resting arm’, place it on the inner thigh of the leg. For example, if you are training the right bicep, the left arm will be resting and placed on the inner thigh of the left leg.
  3. 3. As you exhale your breath, elevate  the dumbbell in a curling movement until it has reached a point of full contraction. Realistically, the dumbbell should reach to about shoulder height.
  4. 4. Once this point is reached, pause for a brief second, squeeze and place considerate tension on the bicep. Remember, ‘concentrate’ on that mind to muscle connection.
  5. 5. As you finish this contraction, breathe in and slowly release the dumbbell down back to the starting position. The rest of your body should be staying in the same position throughout without any momentum being used.
  6. 6. Once the required number of repetitions have been performed with one arm, repeat on the resting arm with the same applied technique and form throughout.

Important tip: Do not sway your arms while performing this exercise.

Mistakes commonly made in dumbbell concentration curls

Wrist Position

When performing the dumbbell concentration curl your wrists should always be in a neutral position, not bent up or down. If you find that you cannot maintain a neutral position throughout, this means that the weights are too heavy.

Too Fast

You should also focus on good form rather than executing the rep quickly, at least when starting out. You should lift slowly and smoothly so that you feel the burn.


You should not use your momentum to lift the weights as this actually reduces the effectiveness of the exercise. Quickly moving the weights allows momentum to reduce the tension within the muscles, especially at the top of the lift which reduces how much your muscles end up working in the exercise.

Elbow Position

Your elbows should not move during the dumbbell concentration curl as they should be close to the side of your body at all times.

Going Too Far Down

When performing the dumbbell concentration curl do not pull the dumbbell so far back that the forearm moves past a vertical position.

Safety when performing dumbbell concentration curls

This exercise is recommended for most people. Although if you have any arm injury or experience any pain during the motion, do not continue and stop the exercise. Although you should still talk to your doctor or physical therapist about if concentration curls are suitable for you.

When performing concentration curls you can expect to feel fatigue and possibly burning in your biceps after a few reps, and this is to get your muscles to get stronger and grow. However, do not force extra repetitions once you are unable to perform the concentration curls with good form. You should then take a rest before doing the next set.

Also, do not lift a heavy weight to begin with, don’t rush to get to heavier weights before you’re strong enough to do it with ease. Using a weight which is to heavy for you can result in Injury to the elbow or wrist, and that will affect your entire workout routine.

Write below in the comments your opinion on the concentration curl, if it works for you and any questions you might have.

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