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Top 5 Dumbbell Bicep Exercises!

Maximize Your Bicep Workouts For More Muscle Growth & Strength!

Posted by Scott_Herman - February 25th, 2015

Working with dumbbells is a great way to bring out imbalances you may have in your body.

Incorporating any of these five dumbbell exercises into your current routine is a great way to not only switch up your bicep workout, but to maximize your muscle engagement for more growth and strength.

You can also choose to use these five exercises together as a bicep routine. Perform 4 sets of each exercise increasing the weight with each set.

Follow the rep ranges of:

  • 12 reps for set 1
  • 10 reps for set 2
  • 8 reps for set 3
  • 6 reps for set 4

Teat it up Nation! #HTH #SHFAthlete #ProjectGains

Alternating Dumbbell Curl

This is a great isolation exercise to work the entire bicep. The focus here is to keep your palms facing forward and your elbows in front of your hips throughout the entire movement. As you curl each arm keep your shoulder blades retracted and squeeze the dumbbell as hard as you can to force an even harder bicep contraction. Bring the dumbbell all the way up to your chest and control the decent never letting your elbow go pass your hip. Fully extend your arm at the bottom of the movement and do not begin to alternate sides until your arm is fully extended. The reason being is because you want to put as much focus as possible into isolating each bicep for maximum muscle engagement.

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Dumbbell Drag Curl

The dumbbell drag curl is a great exercise to work on the peak of your bicep. To perform this exercise you’re going to once again begin with your palms facing forward. While maintaining a tight core, bring the dumbbells up to your armpits while pushing your elbows back as far as you can. Flex and squeeze your biceps as hard as you can while you curl and as you lower the dumbbells make sure you still focus on pushing your elbows back. You’ll notice that to perform this movement correctly you’ll need to use lighter weight.

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Hammer Curl

The hammer curl is a great exercise to target the entire bicep, but you’ll be putting a lot more emphasis on your brachioradialis. This is the muscle runs from your wrist, across the inside portion of your elbow and into your upper arm. You’ll be using the same form to perform this exercise as you did with the Alternating Dumbbell Curl, however the only difference is that you’ll be keeping your palms facing in throughout the entire movement and lifting both arms at the same time. So let’s recap. Keep your core tight, shoulder blades retracted, elbows in front of your hips and be sure to bring the dumbbells all the way up to your shoulders and fully extend your arms at the bottom of each repetition.

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Zottman Curl

If you’re looking for an exercise that will target a little bit of everything, the Zottman Curl is number one. You’ll work the primary movers for a traditional bicep curl on the way up (the biceps and brachialis) and you’ll target the main muscles for the reverse curl on the way down which includes the brachioradialis, a muscle we just talked about in the Hammer Curl. To perform the movement, begin with the dumbbells by your side with your palms facing in. As you curl the dumbbells begin to twist your wrists so that your palms face your shoulders at the top of the movement. Once you reach the top of the movement, turn your palms so they face out. Then slowly return to the starting position and repeat. Once again focus on keeping your core tight, shoulder blades back, elbows in front of your hips and perform the full range of motion with each repetition.

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Dumbbell Concentration Curl

The last exercise is the dumbbell concentration curl. This movement will target both heads of the bicep, but more emphasis will be placed on the long head or outside of the bicep. To begin, find a bench and sit with your legs spread apart so you have enough room to perform the curl. Place the outside of your right arm, just above the elbow, on your inner thigh. Once in place grab your dumbbell and while squeezing it as hard as you can curl the dumbbell to your shoulder. Then return to the starting position and repeat. As soon as you complete all your reps, be sure to switch arms to complete your set.

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Drag Curl Vs. Spider Curl

It’s time to continue our VERSUS series by comparing two underappreciated and underused biceps exercises that are similar in many...


I like to twist the wrist at the top of the hammer curl and twist it back again as Ilower the weight. Not sure if it REALLY doea anything but I feel it. :)


Great tips for bíceps and triceps, I'm going try doing with out moving my body, that is my mistake. 


I like the Ab video I needed a couple new exercises to change up my routine a little.


Nice clean article Scott! Bicep day is the most important day, is it not? haha

Btw, nice haircut on the first related video haha I just noticed it 

Scott_Herman  Edit  Delete  Close

thanks @whiper! and yeah I had to cut my hair short for my movie role bro!  lol


Anyone ever try finishing their bicep routine with Zottman Curls?  The burn is ridiculous.. but AWESOME!

Scott_Herman  Edit  Delete  Close

hahaha @adawg38, I think we all make those noises lol

Adawg38  Edit  Delete  Close

I make weird noises when I finish with these. On the way down you're fighting the burn so much I almost sound like a little puppy whimpering. LOL! My favs are concentration curls by far!