Man using adjustable dumbbells

The Best Bicep Exercises to do with Dumbbells

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on Bicep Exercises with Dumbbells, where we delve into the world of targeted arm strengthening. For anyone looking to sculpt and enhance their upper body strength, understanding and implementing effective bicep exercises with dumbbells is crucial. Dumbbell bicep exercises are renowned for their simplicity and efficiency, offering a versatile approach to muscle building that can be tailored to fit any fitness level.

This article is designed to guide you through a variety of dumbbell bicep exercises, each carefully selected to maximize your bicep workout routine. Whether you're a fitness enthusiast seeking to refine your existing regimen or a beginner embarking on your muscle-building journey, the information provided here will be invaluable. We will explore exercises that not only enhance the size and strength of your biceps but also promote better muscle balance and overall arm aesthetics.

Our focus on bicep workout techniques using dumbbells comes with an emphasis on form, frequency, and progression. These key factors are essential in ensuring that your workout routine is both effective and safe, reducing the risk of injury while maximizing gains. So, grab your dumbbells, and let's embark on this journey to stronger, more defined biceps!

Benefits of Exercises with Dumbbells

Using dumbbells to work out the biceps brachii, or in other words, the biceps muscles, has many different benefits beyond just growing bigger muscles. Let’s find out what the biggest benefits of exercises with dumbbells are. Remember, dumbbells are great for triceps exercises too!

Flexibility in Training Location

One of the standout benefits of using dumbbells in your exercise routine is the remarkable flexibility they offer in terms of training location. Weighing considerably less than large gym machines and often compact in size, dumbbells are highly portable and can be used virtually anywhere.

This versatility allows individuals to maintain their fitness regimes in a variety of settings – be it at home, in a hotel room while traveling, or even outdoors. This adaptability is especially beneficial for those with busy lifestyles or limited access to a traditional gym.

With just a set of dumbbells, your workout environment can be as flexible as your schedule demands, enabling you to stay consistent with your fitness goals without being tied down to a specific location.

Muscle Engagement and Isolation

Dumbbell exercises are exceptionally effective for targeted muscle engagement and isolation. Unlike machines that often guide and stabilize movements, dumbbells require the user to engage multiple muscle groups for balance and coordination.

This leads to more dynamic muscle activation, involving both primary and stabilizing muscles. For instance, when performing a bicep curl, the biceps are the primary muscles worked, but the exercise also engages muscles in the forearms, shoulders, and even the core for stabilization.

This increased muscle engagement not only builds strength in the targeted area but also improves overall muscle coordination and balance.

The ability to isolate muscles with dumbbells is particularly beneficial for addressing muscle imbalances and focusing on specific muscle development. If you have a set of dumbbells along with a good weight bench, such as this one, it will allow you to isolate many different muscles, not just your biceps!

Versatility in Exercise Variations

Dumbbells offer an extraordinary range of versatility in exercise variations. They allow for a wide array of movements that can be modified or expanded upon to suit different fitness levels and goals.

With dumbbells, you can perform basic exercises like curls and presses, as well as more complex movements like lunges, squats, or rotational exercises that incorporate the entire body. This versatility extends to adjusting weight increments, enabling progressive overload for continual strength and endurance development.

The variety of exercises possible with dumbbells helps in keeping workouts diverse and engaging, preventing monotony and encouraging consistent progress. This adaptability makes dumbbells an invaluable tool for both beginners and experienced athletes looking to diversify their training routines. If you’re new to weightlifting, check out this kettlebell vs dumbbell comparison to see which is best for you.

Top 5 Dumbbell Bicep Exercises

Right now, we want to take a look at the top five dumbbell exercises out there and what they can do for you!

Hammer Curl

To perform dumbbell hammer curls, start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart, holding a dumbbell in each hand at your sides, palms facing your body.

Keep your elbows close to your torso, and then curl the weights up towards your shoulders while maintaining the vertical position of the dumbbells.

Squeeze your biceps muscles at the top of the movement before slowly lowering the dumbbells back to the starting position. This exercise is excellent for targeting both the biceps and the forearms.

Aim for 3-4 sets of 10-12 reps each. Ensure you maintain control throughout the movement, avoiding any swinging or momentum use. 

If you need a good pair of dumbbells to get you started, this set of adjustable dumbbells is a great option to consider.

How to Do a Hammer Curl | Arm Workout (

Concentration Curl

Begin seated with your legs spread and a dumbbell in one hand. Lean forward slightly, resting the elbow of your working arm against the inside of your thigh. Keep your other hand on the opposite thigh for stability.

Curl the dumbbell up towards your shoulder, focusing on contracting the biceps muscles. Slowly lower it back down after a brief pause at the top. This isolating exercise allows intense focus on the bicep.

Perform 3 sets of 8-12 reps per arm. Keep your upper arm stationary throughout the exercise to ensure maximal engagement of the biceps.

How to Do a Concentration Curl | Arm Workout

Alternating Dumbbell Curl

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, holding a dumbbell in each hand at your sides.

Perform bicep curls by alternately curling each dumbbell up towards your shoulder, rotating your forearm so that your palm ends facing up at the top of the movement. Lower back down with control.

Alternate between arms for each rep. This exercise allows for focused tension on each arm separately.

Aim for 3 sets of 10-15 reps per arm. Keep your elbows stationary and avoid swinging the weights for maximum effectiveness.

How to Do an Alternate Dumbbell Curl | Arm Workout

Preacher Curl

Preacher curls require a preacher bench and a dumbbell. Sit at the bench with your upper arms resting on the padding.

Hold the dumbbell with an underhand grip (palms facing up) and let your arm extend fully. Curl the dumbbell up towards your shoulder, then lower it back down with control. This exercise provides excellent isolation for the biceps muscles.

Perform 3-4 sets of 8-12 reps, ensuring that your upper arms remain in contact with the bench throughout the exercise.

How To Do Preacher Curls Properly (

Supinating Dumbbell Curls

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, holding a dumbbell in each hand, palms facing in towards your body. As you perform the curl, rotate your forearms so that your palms end up facing your shoulders at the top of the movement.

This rotation, or supination, activates more of the biceps muscle. Slowly lower the dumbbells back to the starting position, rotating your palms back to face your body.

Focus on keeping your elbows close to your sides throughout the exercise. Aim for 3-4 sets of 10-12 reps each, maintaining a controlled movement to maximize the engagement of the biceps.

How to Do Dumbbell Supinated Curls

Tips for Using Dumbbells for Biceps

Let’s go over some quick tips to help you make the most out of your dumbbell biceps workouts. If you want to get started with some dumbbell curls, check out this full set of dumbbells that is ideal for any home gym.

  1. Start with the Right Weight: Choose a weight that allows you to perform the exercise with proper form but is also challenging for the last few reps. Starting too heavy can lead to poor form and potential injury.
  2. Focus on Form: Proper form is crucial. Keep your back straight, shoulders rolled back, and engage your core. Avoid using momentum to lift the weights; the movement should be controlled and originate from your biceps.
  3. Full Range of Motion: Ensure you're moving through the full range of motion in your exercises. Fully extend your arms at the bottom of the movement and fully contract your biceps at the top. This ensures you are engaging the entire biceps muscle effectively.
  4. Controlled Tempo: Lift and lower the dumbbells in a controlled manner. A common tempo is lifting for 2 seconds, squeezing at the top, and lowering for 3 seconds. Avoid letting gravity do the work on the way down.
  5. Breathe Properly: Breathe in as you lower the weight and breathe out as you lift. Proper breathing helps maintain good form and ensures adequate oxygen supply to your muscles.
  6. Vary Your Exercises: Incorporate different bicep exercises (like hammer curls, concentration curls, and preacher curls) to target the muscle from different angles. This variety can lead to more balanced muscle growth and development.
  7. Rest and Recovery: Give your biceps time to rest and recover. Working them out 2-3 times a week is typically sufficient. Overtraining can lead to injury and hinder muscle growth.
  8. Progressive Overload: Gradually increase the weight or the number of reps over time. This principle of progressive overload is key to continual muscle growth and strength gains.
  9. Mind-Muscle Connection: Focus mentally on the muscle you're working. This connection can help increase muscle activation and effectiveness of the workout.
  10. Warm-Up and Stretch: Start with a light warm-up to increase blood flow to your arms. Stretching after your workout can help improve flexibility and reduce muscle tightness.


What Dumbbell Workouts Are Best for Biceps?

The best dumbbell workouts for biceps are those that target the muscle from various angles, such as alternating dumbbell curls, hammer curls, and concentration curls. These exercises engage different parts of the biceps and aid in comprehensive muscle development.

What 3 Bicep Workouts Should I Do?

Three effective bicep workouts you should do are the alternating dumbbell curl for overall development, the preacher curl for isolating the lower part of the bicep, and the hammer curl for targeting the brachialis and brachioradialis muscles. These exercises offer a balanced approach to bicep training.

What Are the 2 Best Bicep Exercises?

The two best bicep exercises are the alternating dumbbell curl, which allows for a focus on each arm independently, and the hammer curl, which targets both the biceps and the forearm muscles. These exercises are highly effective for building both strength and size.

How to Build Biceps in 2 Weeks?

To build biceps in 2 weeks, focus on high-intensity workouts with progressive overload, ensuring you work the biceps every other day with exercises like dumbbell curls and hammer curls, while maintaining a protein-rich diet to aid muscle recovery and growth. However, significant muscle development usually takes longer than 2 weeks.

Whether you live in a small apartment or are trying to build out a full home gy, Montreal Wrights has the right set of dumbbells for you. You'll find everything from adjustable dumbbells to full sets of individual dumbbells, as well as a number of accessories such as benches and stands.

Julien Méthot

Passionate about fitness from a young age, Julien co-founded Montreal Weights in 2020 with the vision of providing Canadians with all the necessary tools to workout & stay fit from home. 

Over the years, Julien has helped build a dynamic team that continuously strives to help create the best possible home gym setups for Montreal Weights customers across the nation. 


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